Winter heatwave breaks records in four US states | Weather in the United States | Today Headlines

Winter heatwave breaks records in four US states | Weather in the United States

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A record-breaking heat wave has swept through much of the United States, with much of the country experiencing mild conditions even as Americans enter what is supposed to be a meteorological winter.

Much of the western half of the United States has seen 35F (19C) above average temperatures for this time of year over the past few days, with Wednesday bringing the hottest December weather on record for the Montana, Wyoming, Washington State, and North Dakota.

Parts of British Columbia in western Canada reached 72.5 F (22.5 C), tying the national record for the highest temperature on record in December.

A series of state records have been tied or broken, with Jordan, Montana hitting 78F, Hettinger, North Dakota hitting 71F and Buffalo, Wyoming hitting 78F.

Denver, Colorado, where temperatures have been about 30F above average, has had no snowfall this season – the last measurable snow has fallen over the city.

In some places, unusually warm temperatures have helped spark unnaturally late wildfires, with flames roaring across the Montana prairies, razing dozens of homes and incinerating farm equipment.

“It’s certainly not a good sign that it’s so dry in December and so hot,” Brock Linker, a volunteer farmer and firefighter in Denton, MT, told The New York Times. “We haven’t had any humidity since May and no signs of humidity going forward. “

The National Weather Service said a “powerful ridge of high pressure” had brought in heat, predicting that “record heat” would continue across much of the southern plains and areas of the Rocky Mountains on Friday, before cooling down this week-end.

The climate crisis is causing longer and more severe heat waves to reach all corners of the United States, this summer being the hottest on record nationwide.

However, it is winters that heat up faster than summer, with researchers finding that winter is the fastest warming season in 38 US states.

While warmer winters reduce cold-related deaths, they also prolong allergy seasons, help forest fires become more frequent, and affect skiing and snowboarding due to reduced snowfall.

The shrinking snowpack also has a profound ecological impact, affecting the wildlife that depend on it and reducing the snowmelt that forms much of the water carried by streams and rivers, contributing to what scientists say is the worst drought in the western United States in 1200 years. .

Warmer temperatures also fail to kill pests, such as the mountain pine beetle, which are decimating trees.

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