Before our planet’s warming trend began showing up in full force around 1980, the DC area averaged about 7 or 8 days per year of 95+ degree heat. But as the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang reports, in 2011 we’re likely to already have had 5 scorchers by June 9th:
A huge dome of steamy hot high pressure – responsible for more than 600 high temperature records since Saturday – shifts toward the East Coast starting tomorrow, Wednesday.
Over the weekend, this sultry airmass brought historically hot temperatures to Houston, Texas which reached 105 degrees Sunday, its warmest June day in history. The Houston Chronicle reported new record highs were set there in five of the first six days in June. The Sunday records in both Houston and Galveston shattered old records by seven degrees. […]
Here in Washington, D.C., we have already had three days at or above 95 degrees in 2011 and should tack on two more Wednesday and Thursday. Capital Weather Gang’s Ian Livingston indicates the long term average for 95+ degree days over an entire summer is 7 to 8, but that number has increased to 11 over the last 30 years.
Short-term weather patterns should never be confused with long-term climate trends – but in this case, they match. The first four months of 2011 were the 14th-hottest on record, nearly a full degree above our 20th-century average.
If we begin cutting carbon pollution now, we can avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis. But how can we make progress when virtually the entire leadership of the Republican Party is committed to denying it’s getting hotter, never mind finding solutions to the problem?