The Heat is On

Global warming continues to surge as America’s Midwest and Northeast set record temperatures for late September.

You can throw out memories of late September in the Midwest and Northeast as filled with cool temperatures and occasional dappling of first snows in the northern central continental U.S., and up through southern New England. That is so 20th century.

Chicago, the windy city normally associated with chilling breezes and blowing leaves right now, just logged in with its seventh straight day of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more, on September 25. It also is the first time Chicago had such a continuous high heat wave since 1988, when it stayed over 90 degrees for 9 straight days.

Those 9 straight days happened in the middle of summer, by the way – from July 27 through August 4. This particular heat wave is happening right in the first days of fall.

Lambeau Field, where the Green Bay Packers football team plays in Wisconsin, is well-known for its shivering outdoor games. On September 24 it hit its warmest home field football game temperature in history, at 89 degrees when the kickoff happened. Like Chicago, Green Bay also set a record for a string of 90 degrees Fahrenheit weather for four days ending September 25.

Other cities in the Midwest also hit records with Minneapolis stringing three 90 degrees+ Fahrenheit weather ending September 24, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin climbing to 95 degrees F on September 22.

In New England, Caribou, Maine, climbed the charts to 88 degrees on September 25 and 26, closing on a four-day streak with temperatures over 80 degrees. That was also the longest streak at that high a temperature for the entire year. Burlington, Vermont even hit 92 degrees F on September 26.

Even Ottawa, Canada, far enough north that some respite from the heat might be expected, also set a record in the same time. Its high temperature reached 91 degrees F on September 25, breaking a previous record for this late in the year by 7 degrees.

The cause of all the temperature rises was a massive heat dome spread throughout the Midwest and Northeast states. It is being blamed yet again on further warming related to greenhouse gas emissions buildup.

Temperatures have eased since that time. Chicago’s projected temperature on October 9, Columbus Day, is expected to be 76 degrees F. Ottawa, Canada is projected to hit 63 degrees Fahrenheit for the same day. There are also early winter weather warnings beginning to pop up in the northern parts of the continental U.S.

Memories of the recent heat waves may soon fade, but the truth that the U.S., Canada, and the world are going to continue to get even hotter as time goes on is now an undeniable reality.

As the 1984 Glenn Frey song from the movie “Beverly Hills Cop” put it, “The Heat is On”. Barring an amazing shift in belief systems and behavior, the continued increases in global greenhouse gas emissions are going to continue to make things even worse as 2017 closes and 2018 is upon us.