Cold = No Global Warming, then Hot = ?

When it gets cold out, some people claim that as evidence that global warming isn’t real. If that logic truly works, than the current temperatures across much of the nations would auger for the opposite conclusion — supported by the massive drought and fires in Texas and Arizona. You might want to forward the article below to your climate change doubter friends who harassed you last winter. . .

 

Posted 6.9.2011 on The New York Times

by Timothy Williams

 

An art installation by Ted Freeman seemed all too realistic in Atlanta as a baking heat, more common in August, spread across half the country. (Source: David Goldman/Associated Press)

It was so hot in St. Paul that a once-giant snow pile, the remnant of a long, harsh and suddenly vanquished winter, succumbed this week in 103-degree heat.

 

So stifling in Indianapolis that a projected high on the cool side of 90 degrees — even if that meant 89 — was greeted with thanks worthy of benediction. And so miserable in Philadelphia that a meteorologist summed up the forecast in three words: “considerably more disgusting” than the day before.

 

A heat wave that has taken hold across much of the Central and Eastern United States intensified Thursday, with cities from St. Louis to Richmond, Va., seeing record or near-record high temperatures, cloying humidity and dangerously elevated ozone levels.

 

Officials responded by closing schools early, opening public pools before the start of swimming season and establishing cooling centers in municipal buildings for people without air-conditioning.

 

All this, and the start of summer is still nearly two weeks away.

 

“We are seeing conditions that we normally don’t have until August,” said Jim Keeney, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “The heat has been pushed north all the way into Wisconsin, and in the North especially, we are seeing temperatures 15 to 20 degrees above normal.”

 

A sampling of high temperatures from the past several days in places where early June temperatures are often in the low 80s: Washington, 99 on Thursday; Indianapolis, 92 on Wednesday; St. Louis, 97 on Monday; Richmond, 99 on Thursday; Minneapolis, 102 on Tuesday; Cincinnati, 96 on Thursday; Detroit, 95 on Wednesday; Kansas City, Mo., 96 on Monday; Philadelphia, 99 on Thursday but it felt like 103; Baltimore, 103 on Thursday; Milwaukee, 97 on Tuesday; and New York, 96 on Thursday.

 

The weather has led to a number of heat-related deaths, mostly of elderly people, in states including Maryland, Tennessee, Missouri and Wisconsin, officials said.

 

For many people, it was not simply the heat — or the humidity, for that matter — but the suddenness of the hot weather; in many areas, it seems that spring has been abbreviated or skipped altogether.

 

“The heat came so quickly that people couldn’t acclimate to it,” said William Snook, spokesman for the Kansas City, Mo., Health Department.

 

In some states, including Connecticut, where children were allowed to go home early this week, school would not have been in session had it not been for storms that shuttered schools for several days in January and February.

 

The people overwhelmed by swampy heat hardly needed a reminder, but many places have had their weather come with a dose of superlatives of late. In Indiana, the start of June has been the hottest on record for an early June since 1942. In Nashville, there have been 11 consecutive days of temperatures above 90 degrees — a trend expected to continue for a few more days.

 

But for some people, there was a positive side to the brutal heat.

 

Tyrone West, 50, a cab dispatcher at Union Station in Washington, said people tipped him better when it was hot. On Thursday, he was sweating profusely and seeking shade, but he had received several $20 tips.

 

“People get generous,” he said as he smoked a cigar. “If you are in the line and got your luggage, you’ll be thankful.”

 

In the Philadelphia suburb of Ambler, Pa., Evan Vernon, 25, was less lucky. He was drenched in perspiration on Thursday afternoon after having spent four and a half hours walking around town trying to sell credit card processing services to local merchants. There was little he could do to avoid the heat except chat up shop owners for as long as he could. “You just try to spend as much time inside as you can,” he said.

 

Sean Collins Walsh contributed reporting from Washington, Jon Hurdle from Ambler, Pa., and A.G. Sulzberger from Kansas City, Mo.

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