Heat and Cold


What are some other unusual events that saw a sudden increase in temperature in the United States?

Extreme shifts in weather patterns, such as when a strong warm or cold front moves through a region, have been known to cause rapid changes in temperature of 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, sometimes in periods lasting less than an hour. One of the most stunning examples occurred in Great Falls, Montana, on January 12, 1980, when Chinook winds carried warm air into the city. A hydrologist for the National Weather Service reported that over a period of just seven minutes the temperature in Great Falls rose from –32°F (–35.5°C) to 15°F (–9.4°C), a change of 47 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22 degrees Celsius, which was a record, at least in the United States. Previously, Montana held the record when on December 1, 1896, the temperature changed by 36 degrees Fahrenheit in seven minutes in the town of Kipp; it rose a total of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7°C) that same day over just a few hours.

While not occurring over such an impressively short period of time, there have been many other incidents in the United States where abrupt temperature changes have happened within a relatively short time frame. Below are some other remarkable temperature changes.


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