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March-April 2010

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Weather Front

Decade with More Highs Than Lows

Over the past decade, daily record high temperatures across the United States occurred twice as often as record lows, according to research to be published in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters.

From January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2009, the continental United States set 291,237 record highs and 142,420 record lows, as the country experienced unusually mild winter weather and intense summer heat waves.

“Climate change is making itself felt in terms of day-to-day weather in the United States,” said the study's lead author, Gerald Meehl, from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). “The ways these records are being broken show how our climate is already shifting.”

KIMBRA CUTLIP is a freelance writer and former assistant editor for Weatherwise.

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