NOAA Weather Data Tracks Heating Trend Over Last Decade

Published: Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 3:42pm
Updated: Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 3:45pm
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released new climate data that includes temperatures through 2020.

The agency breaks data into 30-year intervals and updates it every decade.

The data is used as a baseline to provide context for daily weather and to make forecasts.

And it shows a warming trend in the Southwest. Temperatures have increased between half a degree and a degree in the last decade, said Mark O’Malley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

“That may not sound like a lot, but from a climate perspective that is rather significant. This trend is what we’ve been seeing for the past four decades now, of consistent warming in the Southwest," O'Malley said. 

Researchers expect the trend to continue for at least the next decade, which could mean that wildfires will continue to burn bigger and hotter.

However, scientists are not sure what to expect when it comes to precipitation.

The agency breaks data into 30-year intervals and updates it every decade.

The data is used as a baseline to provide context for daily weather and to make forecasts.

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