- Climate normals are 30-year averages of climatological variables such as temperature and precipitation.
- “Almost all places in the United States went from normal from 1981 to 2010 to normal from 1991 to 2020.”
- Normal in the United States is not only warmer, but also more humid in the eastern and central parts of the country.
“Normal” US weather has warmed up: what was considered “normal” a few decades ago is now about a degree (Fahrenheit) warmer, scientists said Tuesday.
Scientists have long referred to our extreme weather extremes, including warmer temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns due in part to human-caused climate change, as the new normal, and now we have the data. reliable about it.
Every 10 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) publishes an analysis of US weather for the past three decades that calculates average values for temperature and precipitation.
These climate normals are 30-year averages of climatological variables such as temperature and precipitation, which give us a benchmark against which to compare current weather with what is considered “normal”. They are calculated using climate observations collected from local weather stations across the country, NOAA said.
These ‘normals’ also provide important information for a range of economic sectors, informing producers’ decisions about when to plant and which crops to plant, how utilities can expect energy demand. Varies with the season and the planning of construction projects, according to nonprofit group Climate Central.
The warming between our new normal period (1991-2020) and the previous one (1981-2010) was widespread in the United States, with the exception of the northern Great Plains, which cooled slightly.
“Almost every location in the United States went from normal from 1981 to 2010 to normal from 1991 to 2020,” said Michael Palecki, NOAA’s normal project manager.
Dating back decades, with every ten-year climate normals update, temperatures keep rising, Climate Central said.
The normal news is warmer because the burning of fossil fuels has made the past decade “a much hotter period for much of the globe than previous decades,” said Natalie Mahowald, climatologist at Cornell University.
Normal in the United States is not only warmer, but also wetter in the east and center of the nation and considerably drier in the West than a decade earlier.
According to NOAA, at least some of this humidity in the central and eastern United States is linked to general global warming and the “wetting” of the atmosphere that has occurred when rising temperatures cause the evaporation of more water from the ocean and land surface.
However, precipitation – regardless of human-caused climate change – varies greatly from place to place in the United States, NOAA said.
As the Capital Weather Gang noted, there are signs that a decades-long mega-drought may have already taken hold in the southwestern United States.
Contribute: The Associated Press