Pueblo Sets New Record for January Warmth

The temperature in Pueblo, Colorado, hit another record high of 74 degrees today, January 22, 2009.  With this record, Pueblo has set a new record for consecutive days in January reaching 70 degrees or higher. The new record is four, and this is the first time this has occurred during the period of record, 1850-2009.  Monday's high was 72 degrees, Tuesday hit 70 degrees, and Wednesday set a record of 75 degrees. The previous record of three was set twice, in 1971 and 1981.  Both times the temperature did not exceed 74 degrees.  While this January will not likely set a record for the warmest January on record, it will probably end up as one of the ten warmest on record.

The culprit for this unusual string of very warm weather days was a very strong ridge of high pressure called a "blocking high". This ridge divided the continent so that extremely cold air remained over Eastern Canada and the Upper Midwest, while very warm weather persisted over the Desert Southwest and California.

Can "Global Warming" be blamed for this unusually warm January thaw?  No single event such as this can be directly attributed to "Global Warming".  The more direct cause was the extreme weather pattern mentioned above, and the particular global weather pattern and atmospheric circulation.  While the Central Rockies basked in warm weather, Florida experienced frost and freeze warnings, and Eastern Canada remained well below zero.  However, a warming climate does make it more likely that extreme climate events like this will occur, and Global Warming will likely continue to result in a greater frequency of anomalous warm events in the United States.

Daily High Temperature in Pueblo, January 19-22, 2009

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