DATE: August 31, 2017
SNIP: This year so far has been one of the warmest on record for the contiguous United States, with the January-July temperature ranking as the 2nd highest since records began in 1895. It has also been a wetter than average year (even before Hurricane Harvey), with the precipitation total for the first seven months of the year ranking as the seventh wettest in the 123-year record.
So far, 2017 has been an extreme year. Temperatures and precipitation have been above average. The Climate Extremes Index ranked as the third highest on record. There have been nine billion dollar weather disasters. Hurricane Harvey broke the record-long streak of a major hurricane not hitting the United States. This year has also broken the mold in terms of how we think about the relationship between precipitation and temperature outcomes for the nation. Could this be a symptom of climate change or a potential new aspect of understanding climate and weather interactions? Well, that remains to be seen.