Entries in Temperature (13)


July Was Hottest Month Ever in US, NOAA Says

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- July was the hottest month ever since forecasters started keeping records in 1895, according to figures released Wednesday by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA reported that last month's average of 77.6 degrees Fahrenheit was 3.3 degrees higher than the 20th-century average and beat the all-time record by two-tenths of a degree set in July 1936.

In fact, January through July 2012 were the warmest seven months of any year on record, as were the past 12 months, according to NOAA.  With the exception of Washington, all of the Lower 48 experienced warmer-than-average temperatures from July 2011 through June 2012.

Unfortunately, these high temperatures have contributed to extremely dry conditions across the U.S. and droughts that will drive up food prices.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NASA: 2011 the Ninth-Warmest Year Since 1880

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – Last year was the ninth-warmest year on Earth since 1880, continuing a trend “in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000,” NASA scientists said Thursday.

"We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting," said James E. Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "So we are continuing to see a trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a strong La Nina influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record."


NASA says 2011 was 0.22 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than 2010, the warmest year on GISS' record.

“Higher temperatures today are largely sustained by increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide,” NASA said in a news release. “These gases absorb infrared radiation emitted by Earth and release that energy into the atmosphere rather than allowing it to escape to space. As their atmospheric concentration has increased, the amount of energy ‘trapped’ by these gases has led to higher temperatures.”

Scientists and politicians alike have long debated whether or not global warming actually exists, and the degree to which increasing temperatures could affect human life.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Summer Heat Wave Continues for Many Parts of US

Burke/Triolo Productions/Comstock/ Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Many parts of the U.S. continue to bake in a sweltering heat wave, with high temperatures and humidity pushing the heat index well above 100 degrees.

Folks in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington D.C., Boston and the rest of the East Coast are expected to be especially hard-hit Friday.

On Thursday, New York park officials closed access to the Statue of Liberty’s crown when temperatures inside reached 110 degrees.  The rest of the statue and Liberty island remained open to visitors.

New York City’s power company, Con Edison, said its system was at 93 percent capacity Thursday and it expects to break the record for power consumption Friday.  Customers are being asked to do their part to conserve by setting air conditioners at 78 degrees or higher and delaying running appliances until after 10 p.m.

The power company ISO New England, which covers six states in the Northeast, said Thursday’s power demand made its top 10 of high usage days, and Friday is expected to rank up there as well.

PJM Interconnection, which transmits electricity to some 13 states and the District of Columbia, says it may have set an all-time record for power demand on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in Indianapolis, the local water authority is asking customers to stop watering their lawns in an effort to save water.  The city’s department of waterworks usually pumps 140 million gallons of water on an average day.  On Wednesday, when temperatures soared into the high 90s, it pumped 217 million gallons.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Heat Wave Heads East; Heat Index Forecast to Top 100 Degrees

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The scorching heat that's been burning up the Midwest is now moving towards Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and the rest of the East Coast.

Forecasters say the heat index will top 100 degrees Thursday in most Eastern cities and will be even higher on Friday.

In response to the heatwave, Alaska Airlines announced pets will not be accepted for travel in the cargo hold of flights traveling to or from Chicago, Minneapolis, Miami, Washington, D.C. or Newark, New Jersey through the weekend.

And just how hot has it been?  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, since the heatwave began last Friday there have been 221 new record-high temperatures set.

These record temperatures are to blame for the deaths of 22 people so far, authorities say.

Dr. Jordan Moskoff advises people to keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion and deadly heat stroke.  For example, take special notice when you stop sweating because that’s a sign of heat stroke, which can kill within a half hour.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Heat Wave Sets Sights on East Coast

Burke/Triolo Productions/Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- This week, the East Coast is expected to get a taste of what life has been like for the Midwest and Gulf Coast for days and even weeks, but the heat wave isn't exactly moving on -- it's just growing larger.

Nearly 200 million sweltered in dangerously high temperatures Wednesday. There are heat warnings and advisories in 36 states, and temperatures in many areas have broken the 100-degree mark.

The National Weather Service attributed the extreme weather to a heat "dome" sitting over much of the nation. The "dome" is caused by a huge area of high pressure that traps and compresses hot, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico.

The heat wave has set more than 200 records since Friday. In Chicago, temperatures were in the high 90s Wednesday, although it felt like 105 or hotter.

To make matters worse, some area residents had to cope with no air conditioning because of a power outage.

In Minnesota, the heat index hit 134 degrees Tuesday. In Iowa, blistering heat buckled highways. And in South Carolina, residents prepared for a second major heat wave as the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory Wednesday.

Schools in Tennessee, where a heat advisory is in effect for the western half of the state, rescheduled practices and scrimmages for their student-athletes as weathercasters predicted heat indexes of 110.

As some major U.S. cities prepared to keep public swimming pools open longer to help residents beat the heat, in Detroit, where temperatures rose into the 90s, county officials discussed closing the city's only water park because of budget cuts. Thirteen public schools in Detroit were opened as cooling stations.

For those in the Midwest hoping to take a dip in a lake or pond, the severe heat has also helped a dangerous algae to thrive, threatening swimmers and livestock. Blue-green algae can cause skin irritations and even damage the liver and central nervous system.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Heat Wave Continues to Scorch the Nation

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Excessive summer heat and humidity are taking their toll on millions of Americans.

Some 20 states issued heat advisories or warnings Monday, with health officials in Texas advising people to drink at least two bottles of water per hour to avoid heat stroke.

Dr. Michael Halbert, an emergency room physician in Madison, Wisconsin, says the heat has triggered an increase in ER cases and he expects even more as the hot weather continues this week.

And if you were thinking of jumping into a lake to cool off, think again.  The heat is causing many lakes to evaporate even faster, and as a result, blue-green algae and bacteria are exploding in the stagnant waters.

In Oklahoma, health officials have closed access to several contaminated lakes.  Tony Clyde of the Army corps of Engineers says spring floods carried a lot of ground fertilizer into the lakes and that has turned many lakes and reservoirs into “pea soup.”

Temperatures across Minnesota rose to 97 degrees Monday with a heat index that reached 112 degrees.  At a Minnesota Twins doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians in Minneapolis, a woman had to be treated for what appeared to be heat exhaustion.  Ironically, one of the games was a make-up for a game that had been canceled on April 22 on account of snow.

Elsewhere, the heat index was 126 in Newton, Iowa and 120 in Mitchell, South Dakota Monday.

Folks in Phoenix, Arizona are used to the heat, but they're getting tired of a recent rash of dust storms.

Another giant wall of dust, this one some 3,000 feet high, rolled through the Phoenix area Monday, causing poor visibility and some delays for flights at the city’s Sky Harbor International Airport, where visibility was less than a quarter mile.  The dust storm generated winds with gusts up to 40 miles per hour.

Earlier this month, a monster dust storm a mile high pounded Arizona, halting airline traffic and knocking out power to many residents.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Heat Index Rises: Hot Weather Hits Midwest, South

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- This weekend's raging heat wave across parts of the U.S. will linger into the upcoming week, threatening to set existing high temperature records ablaze.

Seventeen states have heat warnings in effect for the upcoming week and 36 states were expected to see temperatures at or above 90 degrees on Sunday.

A high pressure system anchored over the Great Plains will produce sizzling temperature in the 90s and 100s from Texas through the Upper Midwest.  Accuweather predicts that the plains and Mississippi Valley will feel the brunt of the blazing temperatures.

Luckily for residents of the Northeast and Southeast, temperatures in those areas are expected to stay around the high 80s, perhaps sliding into the 90s.

Minnesota was under an excessive heat warning again on Sunday that will be in effect until late Wednesday.  The combined heat and humidity readings for the Minneapolis area were around 110 degrees for Sunday afternoon, shattering the previous record high on this date of 99 degrees, which was set in 1936.

In many areas across the country, the heat is not just uncomfortable; it's unprofitable.  In Texas, 95 percent of the state is suffering from extreme, severe or exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.  The parched land and arid skies have contributed to almost $3 billion in wheat crop losses, the Texas Farm Bureau estimates.

In Oklahoma, fields are barren, with no water to feed thirsty herds.

"We're selling 1,800 to 2,000 cows and it's just strictly due to drought," Bob Rodenberger, an auction owner in Oklahoma, told ABC News.

Oklahoma City felt like a blazing 114 degrees on Sunday.

From Arizona east across the southern part of the United States, there is also another concern.  Scorching temperatures and already scorched land are creating a recipe for possible wildfires.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, nearly five million acres have already been burned from Arizona to Florida.

In Chicago, these temperatures could prove deadly.  As if the high heat and humidity, paired with the poor air quality alert, was not enough, many residents have been experiencing power outages, a dangerous combination for a city that saw hundreds die over two days in 1995 due to heat.

Meanwhile on the West Coast, a low pressure system is keeping temperatures unseasonably cool for another day.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Heat Wave: Soaring Temperatures Spread Across US

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The death toll from the heat wave stretching across the U.S. rose to 39 Wednesday as scorching temperatures have affected nearly half of the country's population.

Some 150 million people are being seared by the relentless heat that has shattered records and led the National Weather Service to issue heat warnings for 24 states. Record temperatures across the country were either matched or broken at least 670 different times since the beginning of July.

In Wisconsin, 15 runners were hospitalized after collapsing during a half marathon.

"Your brain cannot function at temperature extremes, and so if you get too hot, you can have problems and you can have long-term damage," Dr. David Messerly of Rex Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina told ABC News.

This week, Oklahoma City saw its hottest temperatures in 20 years, at 111 degrees.  Tuesday was the city's 14th straight day above 100 degrees.

In Union County, South Carolina, fans were being handed out to the public, but the supply ran out.

"It concerns me because there are people out there who are suffering, when something as small as a $15 fan can make a difference in their lives," Lynn Smosky of the Council for Aging in Union City, told ABC News.

Phoenix has seen at least 33 consecutive days of temperatures at or above 100 degrees, while Dallas has seen at least 11 consecutive days with temperatures at or topping 100.  Dallas city inspectors are going door-to-door to ensure that air conditioners are working.

Medical experts say drinking plenty of water is the best line of defense.

"When the heat goes up at this level, you could be going through a liter every hour.  If you don't replace that, it could be very dangerous," ABC News' chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser said.

On another note, drought is now gripping farms and ranch lands in the South and Southwest, with parts of Texas breaking drought records set in 1917.  The federal government has declared the entire state a disaster area, with an estimated $3 billion in agricultural losses.

Ranchers in Tulsa, Oklahoma were selling what they would normally keep, and with no rain there is no hay to feed the cattle -- meaning beef prices will be on the rise.

"We can expect higher prices in the future, on top of what are already record retail prices for consumers," David Anderson, livestock economist from the Texas Agri-Life Extension Service, told ABC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Heat Warning Issued to 15 States

Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A heat warning has been issued to 15 states for the next couple of days with temperatures expected to exceed 105 degrees.

Warnings have been issued to Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Several high temperature records have already been broken.

On Sunday, for example, temperatures in Wichita, Kansas reached 111 degrees. That temperature has only been reached 10 times since 1988.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Winter Weather Sees Record Lows for California

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- It could be a quick walk down the red carpet for Hollywood's hottest celebrities at Sunday’s Academy Awards, as record low temperatures are expected for the weekend across California.

An arctic blast up and down the West Coast has seen the mercury plummet as low as 39 degrees in Los Angeles and snow fall for the first time in 35 years in the San Francisco area.

Though precipitation in the city has not been heavy enough to cause any accumulation in San Francisco, the snow still has area residents stocking up on supplies.

Sierra County, Calif., which lays inland of San Francisco on the Nevada border, was hit the hardest, with some having to cancel travel plans due to heavy snow.

Meanwhile heavy rains in the Santa Cruz Mountains have officials concerned about safety as well.

In Oakland, extremely high winds have tossed tree limbs around neighborhoods, with one crashing through the windows of a baby's bedroom. The child was not hurt.

About 350 miles south, the iconic sign that looms over Hollywood could be dusted in a light snow for the Academy Awards. Producers of the hotly-anticipated Oscar ceremony have covered the Kodak Theatre's outdoor set decorations and iconic red carpet in tarp. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio