Saturday, September 3, 2016

Detroit just had its warmest summer on record

For the planet, July 2016 was the hottest month on record yet. Here in Detroit, that helped produce the warmest meteorological summer on record.* Here's the infographic from the National Weather Service in Detroit/Pontiac, which my wife found for me. Thank you, dear.

We broke the average from 2012. I remember that summer. I wrote about the heat wave and drought throughout the Midwest, along with special attention to record high temperatures here in metro Detroit. That summer followed the warmest meterological spring in Detroit history, including the warmest March. The odd thing is that I don't recall the days being that warm this year. They weren't, as the infographic after the jump shows.

Detroit had a week fewer of days over 90 degrees Fahrenheit this summer than in 2012 and more than two weeks fewer than the record-setting summer of 1988, which I just missed when I moved here. In addition, the Detroit News reported that there was never a day over 100 degrees all summer. Instead, the nights were consistently warm, which fits my recollection of them being muggy and not fun to sleep in without air conditioning.** MLive noted what that meant in terms of comfort.
Warm sunrise temperatures are a sign of high humidity. While no records exist on humidity levels of a summer, this June through August was a real steamy period.
While the thermometer readings didn't set records, there were quite a few days with heat indices above 100. Those are as important for perception of heat as the actual temperature. Here's to hoping that the record-setting summer helps convince some of my skeptical students that climate change is real, despite political polarization.

Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment entry.

*Meterological summer consists of the entire months of June, July, and August. So even if astronomical summer doesn't end until the Autumnal Solstice Equinox, it ended Wednesday and it is now meteorological fall.

**My air conditioner broke down last month, which is why I know. I replaced with a much more energy-efficient unit, but that's a story for another time.

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