Freaky February Heat Waves Trigger More Chills Over Climate Change


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A bonkers February with stretches of extremely high temperatures mixed periodically with old-fashioned, pre-climate-change plunging mercury is the latest chilling warning about global warming.

Single-day record highs as well as multiple-day heat waves broke more than 248 month-to-date records for February in spots across the nation, according to the National Center for Environmental Information. 

Temperatures in Oklahoma, home state of new Environmental Protection Agency chief and climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt, nearly reached triple digits earlier this month. The town of Magnum hit an all-time record Feb. 11 of 99 degrees, more than 40 degrees above the average February high.

The rest of  the Southern Plains also blew historic stats out of the water, and Midland, Lubbock, and Wichita Falls, Texas, all racked up temperatures in the 90s the same week. The heat wave was followed by a cold snap in the region that dropped temperatures as much as 50 degrees. 

Milwaukee’s 71 degrees this Wednesday was the highest temperature ever recorded in the state in the winter. (The normal high temperature for the day is 34.5 degrees). It was also the fourth time in February the city hit temperatures over 60 degrees, another all-time record for the state, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. 

Boston hit 68 degrees Thursday, busting its previous record of 65 degrees in 1990. All-time record highs for the month of February were broken Thursday in Burlington (63 degrees) and Montpelier, Vermont (63 degrees).

Denver broke its third record of the month last Thursday, topping out at 75 degrees, a full 5 degrees hotter than the date’s previous record, according to the National Weather Service. Snow was back a week later today.

Unseasonably warm days before cold snaps can have a devastating impact on the environment. Trees and flowers can blossom early in the warn weather, and the buds can then freeze and wither in following cold weather.

The freaky February is expected to continue with more of the same with dozens of new broken records. 

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