Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

9-Month Temperatures Are Hottest in 65 Years

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

9-Month Temperatures Are Hottest in 65 Years

Article excerpt

The first nine months of 2012 were the hottest in Pittsburgh in 65 years, and long-term trends indicate an even warmer future, according to data released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The contiguous United States also experienced the warmest first nine months on record, as did 109 of 180 individual long-term temperature reporting stations across the nation. Thirty-one more reporting stations recorded their second- or third-warmest first nine months ever.

Jake Crouch, a NOAA climate scientist, said the city's temperatures are significantly higher than normal and almost certainly not a product of random weather patterns.

"They are a significant departure -- 274 days of data. The fact it's been so warm for so long is significant," Mr. Crouch said. "And when you see how 2012 compares to other years, you see the really warm years are more recent and the really cold years are not. That's another indicator of a long-term warming trend."

According to the NOAA's data, temperatures measured at the Pittsburgh International Airport from January through September averaged 57.8 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to the 1981 through 2010 average of 54.2 degrees, an increase of 3.6 degrees. The chances that such high average temperatures could occur randomly are only 4 in 100.

Mr. Crouch said there are older temperature records in Pittsburgh and most cities, but NOAA used the most robust records from single locations. Many of those stations are located at city airports.

Other cities in the region that also experienced warmest ever first nine months of the year include Erie (87 years), Harrisburg (65 years), Scranton (63 years), Allentown (65 years), and Philadelphia (65 years) in Pennsylvania; Buffalo, N.Y. (74 years), and Cincinnati (65 years), Cleveland (74 years) and Columbus (65 years) in Ohio.

The temperature monitoring station in New York City's Central Park, which has the longest running data, showed the warmest first nine months in 137 years. …

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