Christopher C. Burt is the author of 'Extreme Weather; A Guide and Record Book'. He studied meteorology at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.
By: Christopher C. Burt , 7:38 PM GMT on September 03, 2013
Warmest August on Record at South Pole
This past August was the warmest such on record at the South Pole’s Amundsen-Scott Station. The temperature averaged -53.3°C (-63.9°F) breaking the previous record of -53.5°C (-64.3°F) set in August 1996. The departure from normal was +6.3°C (+11.3°F). The ‘warmest’ temperature was -38.3°C (-37.0°F) on August 6th (far from the record) and the lowest -71.1°C (-96.0°F) on August 26th. Temperature records began in 1958 at the site. Also in this blog; Salt Lake City and Elko recorded their warmest summers on record.
June tied its record for warmest such with an average of -52.6° (-62.7°F), last recorded in June 1996. This was 5.2°C (9.4°F) above normal. An all-time June monthly record high of -28.8°C (-19.8°F) was set on June 19th. July experienced average temperatures, so I am not sure whether or not the past three months constituted the ‘warmest’ climatological winter (June-August) on record for the site.
This table purports to represent the normal and extreme temperatures at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. It is from a Wikipedia page but other sites give slightly different values, so this table may be for just some specific period of record (not provided above). Some sources claim that August is normally the coldest month of the year, not July as indicated in this table. From Wikipedia page on ‘Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.
Warmest summer on record in Salt Lake City, Utah and Elko, Nevada
Preliminary climate data indicates that the summer of 2013 was the warmest on record for Salt Lake City, Utah where records go back to 1874. The climatological summer (June-August) averaged 80.7° surpassing the previous record of 79.3° set in 2007. June averaged 75.3°F, July 84.1°F (the warmest single month on record), and 82.7°F in August (the warmest August on record).
The official NWS site for Salt Lake City is now located at the Salt Lake City International Airport on the far western outskirts of the city (see map). Comprehensive weather records for the city go back to 1874, but it is reasonable to assume that the city itself (where the early records were maintained) is a bit cooler than the airport location being closer to the Wasatch Mountain foothills. It is also somewhat drier at the airport site than downtown, being located further out in the desert. The aerial photograph above shows the airport in the foreground, city center nestled up against the hills, and the Wasatch Mountain Range in the background. Photo is looking west to east. Photo by Roy Tennant.
Elko, Nevada also measured its warmest summer on record with a three-month average of 71.8°F (+4.8° above normal). The previous record was 71.4° during the summer of 1981. July was the city’s warmest single month on record with a 76.8°F average (old record was 75.9°F in July 1985).
In the case of both cities, a persistent upper atmosphere high-pressure system dominated the weather pattern for most of the summer.
KUDOS: Thanks to Maximiliano Hererra for bringing the South Pole record to my attention.
Christopher C. Burt
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