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.

flooded houses on Breezy Point following Hurricane Sandy

Understanding how extreme events in 2012 were influenced—or not—by human-caused climate change

Although solar flares can bombard Earth’s outermost atmosphere with tremendous amounts of energy, most of that energy is reflected back into space by the Earth’s magnetic field or radiated back to space as heat by the thermosphere.

Temperature anomaly map

Record and near-record breaking temperatures dominated the eastern two-thirds of the nation and contributed to the warmest March in the contiguous United States since records began in 1895. The average temperature was 8.6 degrees above the 20th century average for March. In the past 117 years, only one month (January 2006) has ever been so much warmer than its average temperature.

The deadly Russian heat wave of 2010 was due to a natural atmospheric phenomenon often associated with weather extremes, according to a new NOAA study.

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