CNY breaks another April heat record; climate expert says it’s a sign of global warming – syracuse.com
Syracuse, N.Y. — An already extraordinarily hot April has now become unprecedented, and climate change is likely part of the reason, New York’s top climate expert believes.
“I really do think now we’re starting to see the issues of the global warming,” said Mark Wysocki, New York state climatologist and an atmospheric sciences professor at Cornell University.
Syracuse hit 88 degrees just before 4 p.m. today, setting a new record for the most days of at least 80 in the month of April. So far, we’ve had six; the record was 5, set in 1962.
Today’s high temperature has broke the record for April 21, which was 87, set in 1954. Le Moyne College students took advantage of the abnormally warm weather and held their annual Dolphy Day festival.
Wysocki said the extended warmth in April continues the pattern we saw in the warm, low-snow winter. The jet stream dug deeply into the central U.S., he said, in a wave that peaked in Canada and dipped all the way into the Gulf of Mexico. When that happens, he said, the central U.S. stays colder, warm air from the Southeast gets funneled into the Northeast, and tornadoes develop along the boundary.
Not only is the jet stream dipping steeply south to the Gulf, it’s staying put longer, conveying more and more of that warm Southeast air our way. That’s expected with global warming, Wysocki said.
“That is one of the conditions that people have forecasted would be an issue, that these long wave patterns would cause the weather to be kind of stationary or slow moving,” he said. A stationary pattern allows warm air to just keep flowing into the north
It’s not just the U.S., Wysocki said: Scientists are seeing the same trends play out across the globe. Much of Asia has been gripped in a heat wave for weeks, including China and India, which together comprise a third of the human population. Thailand just broke the record for the hottest day in its history — it was 114 degrees on April 14.
And it could get worse this year, as an El Nino is expected to develop this summer. That’s when surface waters of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean become abnormally warm, influencing global weather patterns.
April in Syracuse has been extraordinarily warm. Here are a few more examples of records we broke this month. Records to back to 1902.
— This month’s average temperature so far is the highest ever recorded.
— Syracuse saw five days in a row over 80 last week. That never happened before.
— We saw three consecutive daily records broken: April 13, 14 and 15.
— Including today, we’ve had a total of four daily records broken this month.