You see this picture up here? That’s a mapping of the Land Surface Temperature anomaly for the week of March 8 – 15, 2012. It basically shows all the spots in North America where the temps were either abnormally high or low. Needless to say, March has been a record smashing month for anomalous temps.
The unseasonable warmth broke temperature records in more than 1,054 locations between March 13–19, as well daily lows in 627 locations, according to Hamweather. Cities as geographically diverse as Chicago, Des Moines, Traverse City (Michigan), Myrtle Beach, Madison (Wisconsin), Atlantic City, New York City, and Duluth, (Minnesota) all broke records for high temperatures in recent days.
The intensity and scope of the heat wave is clearly visible in this map of land surface temperature anomalies. Based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on the Terra satellite, the map depicts temperatures compared to the average of the same eight day period of March from 2000-2011. Areas with warmer than average temperatures are shown in red; near-normal temperatures are white; and areas that were cooler than the 2000-2011 base period are blue.
And it’s not just that a bunch of records were broken, but that they were broken in some particularly amazing ways:
Records are not only being broken across the country, they’re being broken in unusual ways. Chicago, for example, saw temperatures above 26.6°Celsius (80°Fahrenheit) every day between March 14-18, breaking records on all five days. For context, the National Weather Service noted that Chicago typically averages only one day in the eighties each in April. And only once in 140 years of weather observations has April produced as many 80°Fahrenheit days as this March. Meanwhile, Climate Central reported that in Rochester, Minnesota. the overnight low temperature on March 18 was 16.6°Celsius (62°Fahrenheit), a temperature so high it beat the record high of 15.5°Celsius (60°Fahrenheit) for the same date.
Emphasis added. Here in Ann Arbor we broke several high temps with several days getting into the low 80’s. Usually in March we range in the low to mid 50’s during the day. Spring-ish weather, but not friggin’ late June to early July weather like we’ve been having.
Today we’re back to normal with the high only supposed to reach 50° which is right around where we should be. The next several days are also going to be a little more normal so things appear to be settling down here at least. It was very weird having to turn on the A/C in the apartment for a couple of days in friggin’ March.