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Record Year for Simultaneous Temperature Highs and Lows in US

By Niina Heikkinen, E&E reporter
8/27/2014 2:46:29 PM

To date, 2014 has had the largest number of record warm and record low-temperature days to occur simultaneously in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"This is the most unusual year we've seen in terms of bipolar temperatures," said Deke Arndt, a climate scientist with NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. "We've seen twice as much record cold and twice as much record hot days."

Sunset on a hot day. (Credit: Flickr/Photofinish 2009)

States west of the Rocky Mountains experienced temperatures that were "much above normal" in July.

By contrast, states from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico had temperatures that were much below normal for July, continuing a cooler trend from the beginning of the year, according to NOAA's monthly climate update.

The cooler weather have also been accompanied by dry conditions, which has helped to boost agricultural production in much of the nation's Corn Belt.

"It's fairly uncommon to have very cool temperatures and very dry temperatures at the same time," said Dennis Todey, a state climatologist and professor at South Dakota State University.

Both Arkansas and Indiana experienced their coolest July on record, while California has had its warmest year.

Overall, the average national temperature for July has been close to the historic average; it was also the coolest since 2009.

Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500.

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