ALBANY, N.Y. – New numbers confirm what the sweaty brows of Northeasterners have been saying for months: The summer of 2010 was a record-breaking scorcher.
Preliminary figures provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University on Friday show 28 cities from Washington, D.C., to Caribou, Maine, set record highs for average temperature from March through August.
A large swath of the country sweltered in early August, when scorching temperatures and high humidity made it feel like at least 100 degrees in many places and prompted heat advisories for 18 states. While unrelenting heat is the norm in the Deep South, it’s unusual in places like Burlington, Vt., and Portland, Maine, which saw their hottest spring and summer in more than a century.
The temperatures are consistent with a global pattern of severe heat-related weather this summer. Meteorologists say 17 nations have recorded all-time-high temperatures this year, more than in any other year.
Meteorologists caution against reading too much into the hot weather, saying such a short-term weather pattern alone cannot be interpreted as a sign of global climate change.
“Last summer was quite a bit below normal,” said meteorologist Brian Edwards, of Accuweather in State College, Pa. “It’s just another portion of the cycle of ups and downs that we’ve been going through.”