Our intrepid reporter Mr. Mat Honan spent some time in Kentucky this past week, and he said the weather was incredibly, unseasonably hot. It was 27Â°C in March. Back in Blighty, we've also been enjoying an uncharacteristically warm and dry March. Not normal.Â What the heck?
So we asked our friends at The Weather Channel: please explain? We were hoping they'd say something reasonable, like, about ocean currents or jet streams or something that seemed scientific and vaguely comforting. Anything but "I'm scared." But that's basically what we got from Stu Ostro, senior director of weather communications at The Weather Channel:
In recent years I've documented hundreds of extreme and/or unusual weather events nationally and globally, but this one is even freaking me out with the nature of the air mass, clouds and downpours yesterday and today, and how the sky has looked so tropical, where I live in the Atlanta area â€“ in mid-March. It's surreal.
But it's not just the heat that's got his lid a bit flipped. It's how early in the season it's happening, how high the temps are, how persistent it is, and how far north it's reaching. But there must be some reasonable explanation, right?
This remarkable warmth is associated with a bulging ridge of high pressure aloft that is exceptionally strong and long-lasting for March. While natural factors are contributing to this warm spell, given the nature of it and its context with other extreme weather events and patterns in recent years there is a high probability that global warming is having an influence upon its extremity.
It's a bad combination that does not seem to bode well for locations already experiencing sweltering summers.
Image: Shutterstock/Alejandro Medoza