A look at weather extremes and the big-picture climate connections.

You Want Records? Search! Interactive Temp Tracker

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By Climate Central

The U.S. just experienced an epic heat wave, and it's hard to process the raw numbers — more than 7,000 daily high temperatures broken or tied, and a nearly equal number of warm overnight low temperature records set or tied. 

This interactive map draws on the National Climatic Data Center's database. You can explore the records state-by-state, weather station by weather station. For the most impressive view, zoom out to see the U.S. as a whole, and click "play month" for the month of March. You'll note a surge of warm temperature records start moving across the country, starting on about March 12 and lasting for more than a week in some spots. 

In recent years, record daily highs have been outpacing record daily lows in a pattern that has been shown to be inconsistent with natural climate variability alone. So far in 2012, the daily record high to record low ratio has been 17-to-1 through March 27, for monthly record highs compared to monthly record lows the ratio has been a whopping 33-to-1 in favor of warm temperature records.

Of course, you can use this tracker to see cold records too. For example, in January of this year, multiple cold weather records were set in Alaska, as temperatures dipped below -60°F!

Note that because of the large number of records this interactive is processing, it may be a bit slow to load at times.

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Comments

By Patriciajifn7 (United States)
on June 4th, 2012

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