Summer 2015 Smashing Records

July 2, 2015

maine070215eastJeff Masters in Weather Underground:

Unprecedented June heat scorched portions of four continents during the past week, and many all-time heat records are likely to fall across multiple continents this July as the peak heat of summer arrives for what has been the hottest year in recorded human history. Already on July 1, in Wimbledon, England–site of the classic Wimbledon tennis tournament–players are enduring the city’s hottest day in tournament history. The mercury hit 96.3°F (35.7°C) at Kew Gardens, the nearest recording site, topping the previous record of 94.3°F (34.6°C) on June 26, 1976. London’s Heathrow Airport has risen to 98.1°F (36.7°C) so far on July 1. This is not only a new all-time July record at that location, but also a July heat record for the UK, topping the previous record of 97.7°F (36.5°C) in Wisley on July 19, 2006.

We’ve already seen two of the planet’s top ten deadliest heat waves in history over the past two months; the Pakistani government announced on Wednesday that the death toll from the brutal June heat wave in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, had hit 1,250. According to statistics from EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database, this makes the 2015 heat wave in Pakistan the 8th deadliest in world history. The heat wave that hit India in May, claiming approximately 2,500 lives, ranks as the 5th deadliest.

maine070215west

Open Mind:

Consider La Crosse, WA for instance. On Friday (June 26) it broke the all-time record for that date, not just by a degree or even two, but by five degrees. That’s five degrees hotter than any other June 26th on record. The next day (Saturday June 27) it broke the record for that day too, exceeding the hottest June 27th on record, not by one, or two, or even five degrees, but by nine degrees.

If you think that’s impressive, consider that on Sunday (June 28) it tied the all-time record for any day, not just for that date. And it was not even July or August (the usual hottest months) yet. As for the daily record, of course it broke that. Not by one degree, not by two, not by five, not even by nine. It broke the June 28th record by fifteen degrees.

Eric Holthaus in Slate:

Another heat wave in August 2003, centered in France, was the deadliest in world history—more than 70,000 people died across Europe that month. It was also the most intense European heat wave in terms of temperatures in at least 500 years. Although air conditioning is still relatively rare across most of Europe, a repeat of 2003 isn’t likely, even if the temperatures this week turn out to be hotter. France instituted strict heat wave guidelines after the 2003 disaster that are widely credited with a significant reduction in mortality during a 2006 heat wave. That emergency plan, which includes making daily phone calls to hundreds of thousands of especially vulnerable people, is in place again this week.

This rapid-fire sequence of extreme heat waves is not a trend that is going to end any time soon. A study late last year found that in just the last 10 to 15 years heat waves like this have become 10 times more likely—mostly due to human-caused climate change. On Wednesday, the World Meteorological Organization and the World Health Organization, both United Nations organizations, issued their first-ever joint guidelines for dealing with the expected rise in heat waves and their increasing impact on public health.

“Heatwaves have emerged as an important hydrometeorological hazard and will remain so, given projected changes in the frequency of extreme heat events associated with human-induced climate change,” the U.N. text warned.

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5 Responses to “Summer 2015 Smashing Records”

  1. earlosatrun Says:

    The thing that bothered me most about the recent hot in my neck of the planet was the lack of a nice big storm to finish the heat. Usually, I should say in the past, the heat would generate a nice rainstorm with lots of thunder and lightning, this year that didn’t happen.

    We had a small rain, and now the hot is starting again.

    Of course, all the guys who work for the oil companies here in Alberta are certain that it has nothing to do with global warming. Funny what their paycheque is doing to them.


  2. Peter, the table in the middle of this post needs a little more explanation. Certainly those are not daily records — not nearly hot enough. What are they? Thanks!

    • dumboldguy Says:

      My take was that they were some very old daily high records for some specific days in late June that have been broken in those locales. If that has happened already in 2015, we can expect July to blow the lid off in the Pacific Northwest as it looks to be doing in many other places on the planet.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      I believe these are monthly averages, not daily temp records.


  3. […] Summer 2015: WTFUWT (Open Mind): What’s puzzling is Watts’s reaction: he reports recent record-tying and record-breaking temperatures from Washington state. What’s surprising is not that the recent heat wave tied or broke record highs for so many locations, but by how much. […]


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