This last weekend ended on a brutal temperature note for the folks in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles as well as southwestern Kansas. A ridge of high pressure is being exacerbated by the worst drought the region has faced in recorded history. Underlying all of that are the warmer base conditions that exist thanks to climate change. If we don’t stop our greenhouse pollution problem, these records won’t stand for very long.
Just how hot did it get?
117F in Childress, tying the city’s all-time record high temperature and breaking the previous daily record by 9F.
112F in Lubbock.
111F in Medicine Lodge.
110F in Dodge City.
109F in Amarillo.
108F in Garden City.
CapitalClimate has a post detailing more of the records set.
Dr. Jeff Masters points out that these temperatures are boosted by the most extreme drought on record for these same areas. Without moisture in the soil or plants in the region, the incoming solar radiation can heat up the earth and therefore the atmosphere much more effectively. Masters’ post includes a graphic showing current drought conditions across Texas. Not much of the state remains outside of `Exceptional` drought conditions.
Welcome to the new normal. Don’t like it? Then it’s time to start demanding climate action.