Current Pattern Similar to July 1936

March 20th, 2012 at 12:47 am by under Chad's WLFI Weather Blog

JULY 1936 VS. MARCH 2012………….

A very similar upper level & surface pattern to what we are seeing now, occurred in the historic heat wave of July 1936.  This heat wave brought the maximum temperatures possible to a location such as the Midwest.  The Indiana state record of 116 was set in Jasper County & readings of 121 occurred in parts of the northern Plains.  The blocking, strong upper ridge was strongest from Indiana west & northward & its boiling heat was further enhanced by extreme drought.

In mid March 2012, the very similar blocking upper ridge present in 1936, is occurring.  It is bringing historic warmth on a scale that would be equivalent to 108-116 temperature in July with a drought.  Temperatures of 80 have occurred in southern Canada with many record highs in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin & Canada 15-20 degrees ABOVE PREVIOUS RECORD HIGHS.  Take International Falls, Minnesota for example.  They had a record high of 79 yesterday, which is 40 degrees above normal & nearly 20 degrees above the record high for the date.  The overnight low of 60 tonight will be ABOVE THE RECORD HIGH FOR THE DATE!  94 degrees was recorded in North Dakota, just 2 degrees shy of tying the all-time state March record of 96 set in 1943.  Chicago was in the 80s March 14-18 & at 1:42 a.m., the O’Hare ASOS temperature is 74!

80s are occurring in northern Wisconsin & Michigan, while it is cooler in Texas with only middle 70s.

Our projected 86 Tuesday & Wednesday will be within 1 degree of tying the all-time record high for March over most of the viewing area (1910).


The 1936 blocking ridge happened several times in that year & had occurred in 1934, as well.  By comparison, record-breaking warmth occurred in March 1986, only to return in mid April with 88-93 setting records.  Past data has shown that these blocking ridges tend to perpetuate into the year.  So, if history serves us well, another period of such blocking & record heat may occur this spring &/or this summer.

Interestingly, when such an upper ridge occurs in the North Atlantic & Greenland, it causes a blocking that keeps the eastern U.S. in cold & snow.  This happened during multiple years in the 1960s & especially late 1970s to early 1980s.  We just didn’t have ONE SINGLE HORRIBLE WINTER in the 1960s, 1970s or early 1980s, there were consecutive horrible winters as the Greenland block set in.  They bathed in unprecedented winter mildness, while we shivered, dug out & had an energy crisis.

6 Responses to “Current Pattern Similar to July 1936”

  1. renee outside lafayette says:

    does this mean in any way that we could have a very hot summer

  2. Crista says:

    I don’t care how or why this is happening but we LOVE IT! Feels like Summer already and I am loving grilling out!

  3. Mary Anne Best says:

    I dread a hot summer. Might be able to stand it IF the humidity is low. :-) We are so very dry and TX is flooding. Eastern TX I guess that would be. I am “old” and I do remember hot summers in the ’50s and we did not have AC for sure.

    MA in REM

  4. Tom says:

    I don’t think we will have a hot Summer. Just because it is hot now does not mean it will be hot this Summer. I think we will have a cool Summer. Before March 2012 there had been 22 days that the temp. reached 80+ degrees in March at West Lafayette since 1893. So far this March there have been 6 days that have reached 80+ and tomorrow will make 7 days. The summers of 1907, 1929 and 1986 were not that hot, so we might get lucky and have a cool Summer.

    March 29, 1895 – 82 degrees
    March 21, 1907 – 83 degrees
    March 22, 1907 – 83 degrees
    March 23, 1907 – 83 degrees
    March 26, 1907 – 83 degrees
    March 23, 1910 – 82 degrees
    March 24, 1910 – 87 degrees
    March 27, 1910 – 84 degrees
    March 28, 1910 – 84 degrees
    March 24, 1929 – 83 degrees
    March 25, 1929 – 82 degrees
    March 23, 1939 – 81 degrees
    March 24, 1939 – 81 degrees
    March 27, 1945 – 80 degrees
    March 28, 1946 – 81 degrees
    March 29, 1963 – 80 degrees
    March 30, 1963 – 80 degrees
    March 31, 1981 – 84 degrees
    March 29, 1986 – 80 degrees
    March 30, 1986 – 82 degrees
    March 31, 1986 – 82 degrees
    March 27, 2007 – 80 degrees

  5. mikey g says:

    Are this year’s abnormal temperatures correlated to the increase in solar activity? Also previous years of very warm spring? I know you had a previous post about solar activity and weather, I was just curious what your current thoughts about that were? Keep up the great work. Thanks again.

  6. [...] The 1936 blocking ridge happened several times in that year & had occurred in 1934, as well.  By comparison, record-breaking warmth occurred in March 1986, only to return in mid April with 88-93 setting records. – See more at: [...]

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