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Temperature Anomalies

Temperature Anomalies

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, May 27, 2015/Categories: natural history, space science, environment, climate change

               Temperature Anomaly in Alaska, May 17-24, 2015  (credit: TERRA environmental satellite )

When strange temperatures occur far outside their normal range, date, or location they are called an anomaly.

According to NASA, "in the third week of May, it was warmer in Fairbanks, Alaska (80F) than in Washington, D.C. while the small town of Eagle was hotter on May 23 (91F) than it has been on any day in Houston or Dallas so far this year. In what has become a frequent occurrence recently, temperature profiles in North America are being turned upside down."

The big data map shows North American land surface temperatures from May 17–24, 2015, compared to the 2001–2010 average for the same eight-day period. Red depict areas hotter than the long-term average, areas in blue below average for the week, while those in white lacked measurements.

The temperature anomalies were are likely related to distortions in the jet stream over North America recently. The causes for the atmospheric changes is the subject of considerable investigation but the temperature results on the ground give new meaning to the term "baked Alaska".


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