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Jonny W. Malloy, Daniel S. Krahenbuhl, Chad E. Bush, Robert C. Balling Jr., Michael M. Santoro, Joshua R. White, Renée C. Elder, Matthew B. Pace, and Randall S. Cerveny

Abstract

This study explores long-term deviations from wind averages, specifically near the surface across central North America and adjoining oceans (25°–50°N, 60°–130°W) for 1979–2012 (408 months) by utilizing the North American Regional Reanalysis 10-m wind climate datasets. Regions where periods of anomalous wind speeds were observed (i.e., 1 standard deviation below/above both the long-term mean annual and mean monthly wind speeds at each grid point) were identified. These two climatic extremes were classified as wind lulls (WLs; below) or wind blows (WBs; above). Major findings for the North American study domain indicate that 1) mean annual wind speeds range from 1–3 m s−1 (Intermountain West) to over 7 m s−1 (offshore the East and West Coasts), 2) mean durations for WLs and WBs are high for much of the southeastern United States and for the open waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, respectively, 3) the longest WL/WB episodes for the majority of locations have historically not exceeded 5 months, 4) WLs and WBs are most common during June and October, respectively, for the upper Midwest, 5) WLs are least frequent over the southwestern United States during the North American monsoon, and 6) no significant anomalous wind trends exist over land or sea.

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Khalid I. El Fadli, Randall S. Cerveny, Christopher C. Burt, Philip Eden, David Parker, Manola Brunet, Thomas C. Peterson, Gianpaolo Mordacchini, Vinicio Pelino, Pierre Bessemoulin, José Luis Stella, Fatima Driouech, M. M Abdel Wahab, and Matthew B. Pace

On 13 September 1922, a temperature of 58°C (136.4°F) was purportedly recorded at El Azizia (approximately 40 km south-southwest of Tripoli) in what is now modern-day Libya. That temperature record of 58°C has been cited by numerous world-record sources as the highest recorded temperature for the planet. During 2010–11, a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Commission of Climatology (CCl) special international panel of meteorological experts conducted an in-depth investigation of this record temperature for the WMO World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes (http://wmo.asu.edu/). This committee identified five major concerns with the 1922 El Azizia temperature extreme record, specifically 1) potentially problematical instrumentation, 2) a probable new and inexperienced observer at the time of observation, 3) unrepresentative microclimate of the observation site, 4) poor correspondence of the extreme to other locations, and 5) poor comparison to subsequent temperature values recorded at the site. Based on these concerns, the WMO World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes rejected this temperature extreme of 58°C as the highest temperature officially recorded on the planet. The WMO assessment is that the highest recorded surface temperature of 56.7°C (134°F) was measured on 10 July 1913 at Greenland Ranch (Death Valley), California.

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