Category Archives: Climate

How much summer is left?

The welcome respite we just enjoyed from the prolonged heat and humidity of late June and July may have inspired fond thoughts of autumn to many in southern Wisconsin.

Of course, there is still a lot of summer left, though we have just passed the climatologically warmest day of the year in Madison – July 14/15. This closely coincides with the date on which air with a temperature of 23 degrees at about 1 km above the surface shrinks to its annual minimum extent. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

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Is climate science becoming a political issue?

Last week a group of four Republican U.S. senators — Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, James Lankford and Jim Inhofe — wrote to the inspector general of the National Science Foundation attacking its support of the Climate Matters program. The program … Continue reading

Category: Climate

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If we stopped emitting carbon dioxide right now, would Earth stop warming?

No. Objects, even the atmosphere, will warm as long as the energy gains exceed the energy losses to their environment.

When the energy gains balance the energy losses, the object’s temperature remains constant. If the carbon dioxide levels were to suddenly remain constant, the atmosphere would continue to warm. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology

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Is this hot start to summer unusual?

Beginning on Saturday, Madison has experienced two straight days in May at or above 90 degrees for the first time since 1991 and for only the third time in nearly the last half-century (the others were in 1975 and 1978).

What’s more, the forecast is for temperatures to soar into the mid-90s again today and Tuesday which, if it happens, would be the first time since at least 1971 (and perhaps in its history) that Madison has had four consecutive May days at or above 90. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

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Is this cold early spring unusual?

Though we recently endured a colder than normal March (1.3 degrees below normal), temperature extremes were almost non-existent.

The daily average temperature in Madison was below normal on 16 of the 31 days of the month but never by more than 8 degrees. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology, Seasons

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