So How Unusual Was Today’s Warmth?

Today’s high of 99 degrees at Windsor Locks shattered the daily record of 94 degrees set back in 1965. Here are a look at some other stats…

  • Today’s high was the warmest temperature since August, 2006.
  • This tied the record for the warmest May day ever (old record set May 20, 1996).
  • Today’s high at BDL will likely be the warmest temperature in the United States today (which is exceptionally unusual… this may be one of the only times that has ever happened.. I can’t remember another example??).

How did we get so warm? First of all the models were a bit too cool with just how warm temperatures at 850mb got. Currently 850mb temperatures are near 21C over northern Connecticut which is just about as warm as it gets (only a few times in the last 2 decades have we been much warmer than 22 or 23C).

Another reason is the downsloping flow that developed in the Connecticut River Valley. When air descends off of hills or mountains in compresses and warms (science geeks: think ideal gas law while holding volume constant). This warming, in addition to nearly full sunshine, allowed temperatures to soar.

You can see as the wind picked up and came out of the northwest (off the Litchfield Hills) and down into the valley near BDL temperatures warmed and dew points fell. End result: record warmth!

Ryan

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