Muhammad Khan and his friends are unfazed by the sweltering summer. They get together whenever they can to play cricket.
“They love cricket. We don’t care about the hot,” Khan said.
The hot days were in abundance in August.
“We’re at record-breaking levels in August. It’s neck-and-neck, with all the results not quite in yet,” said David Robinson, New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University.
Robinson says so far last month was the warmest August since 1895 thanks to some high-pressure systems. The average temperature stood at 77.2 degrees. That’s more than 4 degrees higher than the average from 1981 to 2010 and three-tenths of a degree above the second-warmest August in 2016. He says 10 of the 16 warmest Augusts in 124 years have been since 2001.
“New Jersey is getting warmer, so there’s a foundation that’s higher or warmer,” Robinson said. “We’re seeing warmth increasing in all seasons. I think summer has been most notable in recent years and this is going to continue. This isn’t a new normal because this ‘normal,’ if you will, is going to continue to warm. We still don’t know exactly how much warming will occur. That will, in part, depend on how much greenhouse gases we continue to belch in to the atmosphere, and we’re just uncertain about how natural weather patterns will interact with this human influence. But it’s almost a certainty, what we’re seeing in recent years is just the beginning, or the continuation, of a warming that began back in the last century.”
Robinson says we’re witnessing natural climate change with humans accelerating it, but also failing to do enough to mitigate the effects.
“We’re still increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We’re still burning fossil fuels. We’re still not conserving enough energy. So, we’ve seen better efforts on community levels, some states and there’s more faltering, if you will, at the national level,” he said.
Robinson says New Jersey had above average rainfall last month – its 32nd wettest August. But, the northern part of the state had its 10th wettest August. Hot and humid weather is great for growing, beach-going and other summer fun. The state climatologist says rising temperatures is a phenomenon seen from Vineland all the way to Venice, California, and well across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the globe.
Update Sept. 5: Final numbers from the national center indicate that the August average temperature comes out at 76.8 degrees, which is just a tenth of a degree below 2016, and puts the ranking at second-warmest in recorded climate history since 1895. As for the summer, it comes it at 74.3 degrees as fifth-warmest (tied with 1999). Nine of the ten warmest summers since 1895 have occurred since 1999.