Officials with the World Meteorological Organization are warning of soaring temperatures globally. Western Washington is no exception.
The unusual warmth we have experienced during the first half of November is on par with what will be experiencing around 2080, according to Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. Mass says the Pacific Northwest has seen temperatures “more representative of September than November” over the past few weeks.
The average temperature for the first 10 days in the Seattle area is about 55 degrees, Dana Felton with the National Weather Service told KING 5. Seattle has had at least eight days with highs of 60 degrees or more.
On Nov. 8, Seattle reached 70 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. That is the warmest day this late in the year, according to the Weather Service.
“We are living in interesting times, and I am not talking only about our recent election,” Mass wrote in his blog.
Mass points out that the daily lows so far this month are typical of the daily highs we usually experience in November. But don’t be too quick to blame global warming, Mass warns. While Western Washington enjoys — or has enjoyed — unseasonably warm weather, a portion of northern Asia and Europe are cooler than normal.
The U.N. weather agency reports that while global temperatures could hit a record high this year, another report shows emissions of a key global warming gas have flattened.
Preliminary data from the World Meteorological Organization through October show temperatures have been boosted by the El Nino phenomenon; temps are about 2 degrees above preindustrial levels. The Associated Press reports that’s near the limit set by the global climate agreement adopted last year.
Environmental groups and climate scientists said the report underscores the need to quickly reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses blamed for warming the planet. However, another report shows global CO2 emissions have flattened out over the past three years. Whether that is permanent or temporary remains to be seen.
What is a little more certain is the change in weather starting this week. Forecasts call for highs in the low 50s starting Tuesday. The National Weather Service reports the snow level is around 6,000 feet in the Cascades and freezing levels are lowering.
Over at Mission Ridge in Wenatchee, snow was reported Monday morning.
— Mission Ridge (@skimissionridge) November 14, 2016