Breaking Records

Breaking Records
MGN Online
Weather Talk
Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 5:21pm

West Texas breaks Heat records while Midwest breaks records in the other extreme

The Sun City is known for having the sun shine down for more than 300 days a year.

And the city is doing its name justice. On Saturday, El Paso, TX broke records as it reached a high of 81°, beating the record set back in 2000, with a high of 78°.

A few miles down the road, Las Cruces, NM also established record breaking highs of its own. Back in 1999 the high was 76°, and on Saturday, the Mesilla Valley set a new record high of 81°.

As the borderland region continues to heat up, other places like the Midwest is freezing over.

The Great Lakes now look like an ice skating rink, as 90 percent of the lakes are frozen over. The last time this happened was back in February of 1979 when 95 percent of the lakes were frozen.

You could imagine the headaches for the shipping industry are facing as the ports are frozen solid.

But it's not all that bad. This blanket of ice is actually producing some positives too.

For example, the ice cover could help delay the spring warm-up. For farmers this is excellent news because it means the cold weather will help keep certain crops, like fruit trees, stay dormant longer, and not risk freezing early in the growing season.

Another great plus for the Great Lakes the water levels have been down in recent years and this freeze could be beneficial in providing more fresh water.

At this point not all the lakes have been frozen over.

The ice cover on Lake Superior currently stands at 93.6 percent, Lake Huron, 95 percent, Lake Erie, 95.7 percent, Lake Michigan was at 81 percent yesterday and Lake Ontario was at 40 percent on Thursday.

This year, weather extremes have taken place all over the US, and according to the Nature Climate Change Journal, "This hiatus could persist for much of the present decade if the trade wind trends continue, however rapid warming is expected to resume once the anomalous wind trends abate."

Basically, it means the Earth is going through a solar minimum and the oceans are sucking up most of the heat.

But an associate professor at the Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth, Minnesota, Jay Austin, said the ice will produce an “air conditioning” effect this summer. “Typically, the lake will start warming up in late June, but it will be August before we see that this year.”

Supposedly, according to the websiter, somebody at the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change leaked a report last year that had scientists reversing their convictions on global warming. Some now believe we’re in for a period of global cooling, not warming.

I will not argue against global warming, but I will not argue for global cooling either. All I can say is the freezing of the Great Lakes is looking to be a good thing so far, and hopefully the heat eases up in the South Western region soon.

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