Many people complain this is the hottest year ever. Is it really hotter than normal? Or, is that just the way residents feel every summer?
“This summer has been hotter than usual. There is not doubt,” said Dr. Steven Newman, meteorologist at Central Connecticut State University. “But, it is not hot everywhere. In the western part of the country, for example San Francisco, it has been cooler than usual. If one place is hot, it tends to even itself out and another place is cooler.”
In Connecticut 25 days (as of August 10) have been over 90 degrees. Normally there are 11 days over 90 degrees each year.
“We had 93 degrees in April and 103 in July,” said Newman. “But, on May 11 we had a record cold of 29 degrees. The normal is 47 degrees.”
Newman said weather is cyclical and patterns can change each week depending on the upper level flow of the jet stream.
“So far we have a heat wave pattern for July and for August, but that can change in a week,” he said. “There has been a developing El Nino in the pacific and now there is a La Nina which makes it cooler there so it may be warmer here.”
The good news the hottest of the weather may be over.
“The first week in August is considered the dog days of summer,” he said. “If you have a dog you will find that week they sit around doing nothing. That is how it got its name.”
Newman said some of the heat could be due to global warming.
“There is warming, but it is hard to answer the question of is it from global warming. There really is not good answer,” he said. “There is no definitive evidence.”
But, Newman said there is a definite warming climate change. Measurements are taken over a 30 year period to determine the average temperature etc.
“At the end of 2010 new climate averages will come out,” he said. “The first 10 years of the 30 year period were cooler and the last 20 were hotter. I expect it will show warmer weather and a climate change will be something we cannot deny.”
How that will affect the winter months ahead cannot be seen, but Newman said he had a student who had a theory that has shown to be true so far.
“He found if you have a warm September and a warm October, the winter will be very cold,” said Newman. “If this is true, look out.”