If there’s any one thing everyone — beach vacationers and locals alike — knows about August on the Outer Banks that’s this: It’s hot, y’all. So hot. 100 degrees in the shade with humidity so high you could slice the air. It’s just how it goes around here this time of year.
Thank goodness you recently had a brand new air conditioner installed in your Nags Head vacation home this spring, because for a solid month now, it’s been working overtime. Because this summer… This summer seems hotter.
And if this summer has seemed hotter, it’s because it has been.
The following content was originally published by NPR on July 22, 2016.
The culprit: a “heat dome.”
It’s a real meteorological event — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration even took the time to define it: “A heat dome occurs when high pressure in the upper atmosphere acts as a lid, preventing hot air from escaping. The air is forced to sink back to the surface, warming even further on the way. This phenomenon will result in dangerously hot temperatures that will envelop the nation.”
Last year was the hottest year ever globally — or it was until 2016 got off to a sweltering start. NASA announced this week that the first six months of this year have been the hottest since 1880, which is when people started keeping reliable records, NPR’s Christopher Joyce reports.
“Let’s look at June. Scientists took temperatures from around the world and got a June average. What they found was a world that was 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the average June in the 20th century. How about January? Hottest ever. Same with February, March, April and May. Every month in 2016 has been warmer than ever, at least since people started keeping reliable records — that was 1880.
“How much warmer is 2016 so far? Overall, this year has been almost 2 degrees warmer than what people experienced in the 20th century.”
With weather this hot, it’s important to: