While everyone's attention has been focused on the tragedy from Hurricane Harvey (more on that in a future posting), there are some other weather extremes that have been taking place.
I was talking to a friend who lives in San Francisco and she told me the temperature there was over 100 degrees. I was floored! Sure enough, the recorded temperature on September 1 was 106 degrees F. We have a word for temperatures like that in Texas - heat wave! And, we're use to temperatures over 100 degrees. How does this compare to normal San Francisco temperatures? It's the all time high temperature ever recorded there. The average high for September 1 is 70 degrees - 36 degrees cooler.
At the same time, there are wildfires raging in the west. Fires have been burning all summer and, as of September, there are dozens still burning.
This is not some cherry-picking, either. While it is true the Northwest US is experiencing widespread record high temperatures, it actually is a worldwide thing. Worldwide 2016 temperature averages were the highest ever recorded and by a wide margin, breaking the previous record, set in 2015, by .2 degrees C (.36 F). That makes 2016 the third year in a row to set a new record high average temperature. (What was that? There hasn't been any warming since when?)
The thing I find interesting is how as soon as a snowflake falls, climate change deniers are out laughing and asking 'where is global warming.' And yet, when temperature records are smashed, they remain silent. The amusing thing is that their posturing actually supports the scientific evidence. When deniers come out and say something along the lines of, 'This particular date in this particular city was the coldest day recorded in 30 years,' what they're really saying is that temperatures that used to be the norm haven't been experienced in 30 years. Why would that be?
Meanwhile, Bangladesh is suffering from the worst flooding in 40 years. Bangladesh is a country prone to severe flooding, so that statement is highly significant. The death toll in Bangladesh from this one event is estimated at 142, as of September 3. Stunningly, over 1200 people have perished in flooding in Nepal, India and Bangladesh since June.
Even without Hurricane Harvey, we see severe weather is becoming worse and worse. And now, Hurricane Irma is on the way.