Super heat wave in the US, is it now so unusual?

Are these phenomena still to be considered so anomalous given the period? The answer would be: yes. But with climate change underway, these weather patterns may become the norm

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Super heat wave in the US, is it now so unusual?

On Friday, April 14, 2023, temperatures in the North-East of the USA went well above +30°C, breaking numerous records. Ohio, Maine, New York, Vermont, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut all reported historic heat, with temperatures typical of June and July.

Are these phenomena still to be considered so anomalous given the period? The answer would be: yes. But with climate change underway, these weather patterns may become the norm. Hartford and Bridgeport, Connecticut had record-breaking temperatures.

A maximum of 30.5°C was recorded in Bridgeport, breaking the previous record set in 1949. A maximum of 35.6°C was recorded at Bradley International Airport in Hartford County, beating the previous April 14 record of 80°F (27.8°C), set in 1941.

Super heat wave in the US, is it now so unusual?

Additionally, this temperature equals the all-time April record for the state of Connecticut and is the warmest temperature ever recorded in the first half of April in all the Northeast of the USA.

Peaks of +34°C were also reached in Massachusetts, +33°C in New Jersey, Rhode Island and in the state of New York, +32°C in Pennsylvania. Records for maximum temperatures for April were also set on Thursday, the 13th, making it the warmest April day on record and the warmest day since autumn in many areas, the National Weather Service said.

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and Energy has issued an air quality advisory for parts of southeastern Connecticut for poor air quality, advising those suffering from respiratory problems to limit their time outdoors.

According to scientists, heat waves have become more frequent and intense in recent years due to the current global warming, i.e. they would be one of the ways in which this warming would manifest itself at a meteorological level, ie in the short term.

Often, but not always, the most intense heat waves are preceded by another mini heat wave, lasting a few days, which acts as an anticipation of the second one.