According to the 2009 National Climate Assessment, heavy downpours have increased in frequency and intensity during the last 50 years. Models predict that downpours will become still more more frequent and intense as greenhouse gas emissions and the planet’s temperature continue to rise.
The most likely explanation for the lack of significant warming at the Earth’s surface in the past decade or so is that natural climate cycles caused shifts in ocean circulation patterns that moved some excess heat into the deep ocean.
A heat wave struck the Midwest in late August and early September 2013. This map shows the hottest temperatures in the United States between August 1 and September 8, 2013, based on data from NOAA's Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis.
They say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and that was certainly true in June. Throughout the month, two very different stories played out in the contiguous United States. While the drought-stricken West fell into the grips of an intense heat wave, East Coasters were bombarded by summer thunderstorms.
The Spring Outlook encompasses temperature, precipitation, drought, and flooding expectations for the coming three months, and Mike Halpert, Acting Director of the Climate Prediction Center, discusses the outlook and its implications.
For the record books: A review of the ten most significant or unusual global climate or weather events of 2011, as ranked by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in its yearly review of the Earth’s climate.