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Numerous Heat Records Broken Monday, Tuesday

7:15 AM EST, December 5, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, James West


The unseasonably warm start to the final month of 2012 for the U.S. Eastern Half tied or broke more than 250 daily temperature records Monday, with additional ones scattered on Tuesday. Several dozen of Monday`s temperature records broke monthly ones.

So what caused the unseasonably warm temperatures extending from deep in south Texas to the central Plains eastward onto the Atlantic Coast earlier this week? Simply, a strong area of high pressure centered off the North Carolina Coast produced a strong southwest flow around its western flank. This brought subtropical air from Mexico and the western Gulf of Mexico northward, sending temperatures skyward into record territory. Most locations east of the Mississippi River were 20 to 30 degrees warmer than normal on Monday, with similar circumstances in the East on Tuesday.

However, this warm-up was short-lived. A cold front is moving across the East today, bringing a few showers and slightly cooler air. A series of cold fronts will jump across the northern and central Plains through the weekend, each one bringing shots of progressively cooler air with it. Even so, this will only send temperatures back to more seasonable temperatures, except across the northern Plains, where arctic air will keep highs from climbing out of the teens and 20s by Saturday.

Here is a look at some of Monday`s high temperature records:

Number of U.S. states with temperature records: 39

Number of temperature records broken: 164, with another 95 tied

Highest daily temperature record: 89 degrees in Castolon, Texas

High monthly temperature record: 88 degrees in Washington, Texas

Lowest temperature that broke daily high temperature record: 44 degrees in Pierce, Idaho, 2 degrees above previous record

Lowest temperature that broke monthly high temperature record: 64 degrees in Trempealeau, Wisc., 1 degrees above previous record

Largest Temperature Record Difference (Daily Record): Wapello, Iowa, 71 degrees broke previous record by 7 degrees.

Largest Temperature Record Difference (Monthly Record): Quincy, Ill., 74 degrees broke previous record by 3 degrees.

Here is a look at a few of Tuesday`s high temperature records:

Watertown, N.Y.: 69 degrees (old record: 63 in 1982)

Georgetown, Del.: 71 degrees (old record: 70 in 1951)

Binghamton, N.Y.: 64 degrees (tied record from 1998)

Syracuse, N.Y.: 70 degrees (old record: 68 in 1941)

Danville, Va.: 74 degrees (tied record from 1970)

Roanoke, Va.: 73 degrees (old record: 70 in 1943)

Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.: 73 degrees (tied record from 1998)

Morgantown, W.Va.: 69 degrees (old record: 68 in 2001)

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Source: National Climatic Data Center


Story image: A man walks past a holiday window display during unseasonably warm weather at the Penn Security Bank & Trust building on Spruce Street in downtown Scranton, Pa., on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. AP Photo/The Scranton Times-Tribune, Butch Comegys

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