Thursday, August 9, 2012

In the News: Extreme Heat and Climate Change

Today the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their National Climatic Data Center State of the Climate Report for the month of July (supplemental data available here).  According to the report,
July 2012 [was the] hottest month on record for the contiguous United States [as] [d]ought expands to cover nearly 63% of the Lower 48; wildfires consume 2 million acres... [resulting in] the warmest 12-month period the nation has experienced since  record keeping began in 1895.
To access prior editions of NOAA's State of the Climate Reports, select the appropriate year and month from the drop-down menu at the top of the page; reports are available dating back to 1998.  The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) Annual State of the Climate Reports are also available in various formats dating back to 1981.

Moreover, the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), a collaboration between NOAA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center also released its U.S. Drought Monitor report for August 7, 2012.  The report available here (explanatory text available here), illustrates how 62.9 % of the contiguous U.S. is currently experiencing moderate to exceptional drought - "the largest spatial extent of drought" ever recorded.
For previous editions of the U.S. Drought Monitor Report access the NIDIS' Drought Monitor Archives. The archives which date back to 1999, are a bit cumbersome to navigate as you have to actually click through which data sets you want to view,
do, however, allow for side-by-side comparisons as well as PDF and image downlads of each report.

Related Resources:

Environmental Visualization Laboratory, NOAA (last visited Aug. 9, 2012).

NWS Public Alerts in XML/CAP v1.1 and ATOM Formats, Nat'l Weather Service, (last visited) (scroll down to subscribe to RSS feeds for your state or individual county).

Free Online Sources of Historical Weather Data, NIDIS (last visited Aug. 9, 2012).

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