Contiguous U.S. minimum temperature, November-October, 1896-2016. The highest minimum temperature measurement was recorded in 2016. Graphic: NOAA

By Christopher C. Burt
21 November 2016

(wunderground.com) – One of the interesting facets of global warming has been how, over the past several decades, nighttime minimum temperatures have become warmer relative to daytime maximum temperatures. There are several scientific explanations for this. A recent study (published in the International Journal of Climatology in February 2016 by Richard Davy, et al., at the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research posits that the primary reason is that “night-time temperatures are inherently more sensitive to climate forcing”. See for more about this hypothesis and this for the full article. The focus of this blog post, however, is simply an attempt to correlate a list of the extremes for record maximum-minimum temperatures from available data.

The post consists of the figures of record daily maximum-minimum temperatures observed in the world and particularly the U.S. I should note, of course, that there is a difference between the ‘hottest night’ and ’the ‘warmest daily minimum’ temperatures since the temperature may, during the evening fall lower than the previous morning’s low temperature. It is difficult to determine just what the ‘hottest night’ on record may be for any given location. Temperature data is formatted and published to measure ‘calendar days’ rather than ‘24-hour periods’ since Excel files can’t handle more than one figure per column (at least that is the reason I’m given by those I’ve asked about this). That story is for a future blog. The statistics provided in this blog are for ‘daily record maximum-minimum temperatures’. [more]

World’s Hottest Nights/Highest Minimum Temperatures Yet Measured

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