Heat Records Climbing Around the World

Recent headlines at Jeff Masters Wunderblog have announced regularly:

Hong Kong Sets All-Time Heat Record

All-Time Record Heat Returns to Germany

All-time July National Heat Records Fall on Three Continents

Tokyo Heat Wave Lasted Eight Days, Doubling All-Time Record

June 2015: Earth’s Warmest June on Record

And the map says it all: the deeper red are all all-time records.

Climate Heat Records


Here, in the Bay Area, the Rocky Fire near Clear Lake is finally under control, after burning through 70,000 acres, but this morning a sibling was born, the Jerusalem fire, already through some 3,000 acres.  Evacuations proceed apace.

And in Europe?  Try Spain for starters.  1,400 evacuated in the southwest, some 15,000 acres burned.


Meanwhile, not ONE of the GOP candidates for president believes any action is necessary.  Why? Because nothing out of the ordinary is happening….

Artic Ice Thinning; Reindeer Seeking Shelter

“One of Norway’s hottest summers on record has caused overheated reindeer to take refuge in a highway tunnel located in the far north of the country.” from Earthweek

“…measurements show the snowpack has thinned from 14 inches to 9 inches in the western Arctic and from 13 inches to 6 inches in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, north and west of Alaska.”  from Earthweek

High Heat and More of It — and More Insects, Fewer Trees


The term “extremely hot” means different things in different places … . A reading of 100°F is rare in Madison, Wis., but on the other hand, in Phoenix 100°F days are not rare at all. These days, 115°F is considered an extremely hot day there. The mercury matches or tops that scorching number only about once a summer; but by 2100, more than 53 are projected. By contrast, a generally cooler city like Madison gets about 10 days at or above 90°F each year, so the temperature threshold there is lower. By 2100, Madison is expecting more than 67 days of 90°F-plus temps.

The graphic shows your city’s extremely hot threshold: the number of days that temperature is matched/topped on average during the period 1986-2005, and the number times that temperature is expected to be reached/topped by 2050 and by 2100. This assumes there’s no significant cutback in greenhouse-gas emissions.

Hot and more of it…


And it’s not just the maximum heat…

Phoenix set a record high temperature of 115°F at 1:32p.m. on Thursday afternoon. Then, 43 minutes later, it set another as the temperature gauge at Sky Harbor International crept up again to 116.

Yuma, Arizona tied its record high of 117 for this date, and nearby Tacna hit 120.

Arizona hasn’t just been suffering high maximum temperatures — it’s the high minimum temperatures too. Thursday set a record high minimum temperature of 93, up from the previous record of 90 set back in 2006. “We have not dropped below the 90 degree mark since Tuesday morning, if you can believe that,” said Dr. Matt Pace of Phoenix’s NBC 12 News.

“More people die from heat than any other weather event,” Dr. Bob England, director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, told the Arizona Republic.

Think Progress


And if the heat isn’t enough there are the insects…

New research from North Carolina State University shows that urban “heat islands” are slowly killing red maples in the southeastern United States. One factor is that researchers have found warmer temperatures increase the number of young produced by the gloomy scale insect — a significant tree pest — by 300 percent, which in turn leads to 200 times more adult gloomy scales on urban trees.

Gloomy Scale

Gloomy Scale

“We’d been seeing higher numbers of plant-eating insects like the gloomy scale in cities, and now we know why,” says Adam Dale, a Ph.D. student at NC State and lead author of two papers describing the work. “These findings also raise concerns about potential pest outbreaks as temperatures increase due to global climate change.”

Gloomy scales suck sap from trees, removing nutrients and energy. This reduces tree growth and can eventually kill trees.

Science Daily

Super Typhoon Approaches Japan

Updates:  Neoguri was downgraded to a tropical storm thought with winds gusting up to 120 mph

TOKYO: Typhoon Neoguri slammed into the Japanese mainland on Thursday bringing widespread flooding, ripping trees from their roots and leaving houses half-buried under mud, as tens of thousands were urged to seek shelter.

The storm, which has left several people dead and a string of damage in its wake, caused havoc in many small communities as residents struggled to keep waves of dirty water from destroying their homes.

More than 500 houses in several prefectures were flooded due to the typhoon and heavy rain, according to the disaster management agency, with about 490,000 households urged to seek shelter.

Typhoon Neoguri Advancing on Japan

Typhoon Neoguri Advancing on Japan

Typhoon Neoguri reached sustained winds of over 150 miles per hour Sunday, making it a ‘super typhoon,’ as it continued to gain force and approach Japan’s southern and western islands. It is likely to cause heavy rains and strong winds across much of Japan, and threaten at least two nuclear power plants in its path.

Heavy rains from another storm have already been setting records in Kyushu, Japan’s southern and southwestern-most major island, where Neoguri is likely to make first landfall. Kyushu is home to two nuclear plants, which have been shut down for safety in advance of the storm’s arrival. A nuclear plant on nearby Shikoku island has been shut down for safety, as well. After making landfall, the storm is expected to move north through virtually all of Japan, losing strength as it travels up the island.

Climate Progress

Deluge North and South

In Toronto, Canada

A dramatic night of storms in Toronto on Wednesday flooded subway stations, turned a major freeway into a river and knocked out power to thousands of people.

On Wednesday, Environment Canada issued a special weather warning for heavy rain in Toronto Wednesday evening. Some parts of the city received nearly three inches of rain in just three hours.

Dozens of people had to be rescued from their cars as water lapped at windows

In Recife, Brasil

“Just hours before the highly anticipated World Cup match-up between the U.S. and Germany is scheduled to begin, the host city of Recife, Brazil has been slammed by torrential rains.

Climate Flooding Brazil

CNN reported that around 2.9 inches of rain has already fallen. It has been raining for the last 24 hours and it is expected to continue raining throughout the day. FIFA officials examined the pitch this morning and determined the game can go ahead as planned. The pitch is reportedly soft, but playable.

…While deadly flooding happens in Brazil almost every year, the timing of these deluges is bizarre. Flooding mostly occurs in Brazil during the summer rainy season. Brazil’s winter months, May to August, are usually mostly dry.

Did I miss something?  Was this reported during the lead up to, or during, the game?

Just Another Warning, Among Thousands

May 2014 was Earth’s warmest May since records began in 1880, beating the record set in 2010, 

Climate Temperatures

‘According to wunderground’s weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, in his May 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary, an amazing heat wave occurred in China, Japan, and the Koreas the last week of May. Beijing saw its warmest May temperature on record with a 41.1°C (106.0°F) reading on May 30th, and all-time national heat records for the month of May were set for South Korea and China. A remarkable heat wave along the Baltic Sea broke the all time May heat record for Estonia (33.1°C/91.6°F at Kunda on May 19th) and at St. Petersburg, Russia with 33.0°C (91.4°F), also on May 19th. Gambia tied its all-time national heat record (for any month) on May 4th when the temperature rose to 45.5°C (113.9°F) at Kaur. 

And if that’s too far from home for you,

All-time June 24-hour Precipitation Record Broken in Savannah, Georgia

Record Rainfall in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Pensacola Under Historical Flooding

We sure don’t know how many ‘historical’ events it’s going to take before the 34% of those who don’t think the weather is changing change their minds.  Following some of the most powerful tornadoes on record, the Florida-Mississippi coast line, especially Pensacola, got an historic drenching — worse than during Hurricane Ivan, which dumped 3-7 inches of rain,  according to some residents.

About 22 inches of rain had fallen by midmorning in Pensacola, with 4 more expected Wednesday. Average annual rainfall for Pensacola is 65 inches, meaning much of that area was seeing about a third of that amount in just one day.

In some neighborhood, streets flowed like rivers as water reached mailboxes. Cars were submerged in driveways, and residents paddled by on kayaks.  NoLa

A road bed after  heavy rains on April 30, 2014 in Pensacola, Florida.

A road bed after heavy rains on April 30, 2014 in Pensacola, Florida.

The National Weather Service called the event “historic.” The official rain gauge at Pensacola’s airport measured an astonishing 5.68 inches in a single hour before it failed around 10 p.m. Tuesday. An analysis by the NWS office in Mobile, Alabama, estimated that single hour to be a 1-in-200- to 1-in-500-year event. The official rain gauge and weather radar both gave out, presumably from lightning strikes, so we might never know exactly how much rain fell Tuesday night.* Still, several unofficial rain gauges measured impressive totals.  [Slate]

Heavy Downpours Increasing

Heavy Downpours Increasing




And it’s not all kayaks and complaining.  A massive gas explosion, apparently set off by flooding the knocked out a retaining wall, has killed at least two prisoners and allowed three to escape county jail — which is to say, the results of severe weather are unpredictable.  Trying to adapt to what we can’t prepare for is sure to bring enormous knock-on effects, at every level.

Violent Thunderstorms Get More Violent

News from Arkansas, Mississippi and western Tennessee has been bad for folks there.  Thirteen dead is the count for Monday, and the total for several days at twenty-nine.  Houses, whole town smashed, cars hurled through the air, normal defenses not good enough.

Damage in Tupelo, MS

Damage in Tupelo, MS

Though nobody wants to talk about climate change in conjunction with this outbreak, it is at least worth watching the patterns of such events.  Getting bigger, smaller?  Wider? Shorter? The news is not promising. Here are graphs of mean path length and width — both of which have been increasing.

Elsner Tornado

The losses due to extreme thunderstorms, of which tornadoes are one kind, have increased by seven fold since 1980.

2013 thunderstorm 640

I’d say the ‘pay attention’ needle is quivering at top speed now.

California Gets a Tease of Rain; England Under Water

A monster storm named Ruth will bring winds of up to 80mph and as much as 1.6 inches of rain to parts of southern and central England this weekend. Perhaps most dangerous are the huge waves — some may reach 35 feet — expected to crash into the Cornish coast. In response to Ruth, the Environment Agency has issued three severe flood warnings, which indicate risk of loss of life, as well as 187 flood warnings and 280 flood alerts. In the Chertsey area of Surrey, the River Thames has burst its banks and home-owners are bracing for flooding.

Records from the world’s longest-running weather station at Oxford University show that the rainfall measured there in January was the most for any winter month since 1767, and was three times the average precipitation recorded.


Some scientists believe that the melting of the Arctic ice cap has caused the jet stream to track further south, leading to more storms channeled across the UK. Over the last two months, more than 5,000 homes in Britain have been flooded and a key stretch of railroad between Devon and Cornwall remains impassable.

Think Progress

And huge storms and waves have already destroyed enormous, millennial old landscapes.


And California, finally!  Hoping for more, more….

If There’s Global Warming … Why Is It So Cold?

Courtesy Yale video series, Peter Sinclair at Climate Denial Crock of the Week, and Jeff Masters.