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Yes, this extremely cold weather can be linked to a warming climate

Record low temperatures were shattered this morning across much of the Central U.S. as unusually cold air dumped south from the Arctic.

Davenport officially dipped to -6 degrees at 7:00 a.m. with the Quad City's official thermometer going colder than any time on a previous November 12th.

If the calendar was January, this type of air mass would easily give us temperatures in the -20s and the pattern makes us remember what happened nine months ago when we saw all-time low-temperature records. While this isn't the exact same, there are plenty of similarities...and the origins may shock you.

The Pacific Ocean is running much warmer than it should be, and a prevailing north-to-south pattern transports the warm air from Hawaii to Alaska.

The image above is the temperature anomaly for the Pacific Ocean. An anomaly is a departure from normal. The yellow on the map represents ocean water temperatures that are warmer than normal, the blue, below normal.

Much like the "Scale of Justice," it's a good example of "what goes up, must come down." As very warm air is advected into Alaska, it dislodges the cold, sending it down into the center of the continent.

But there isn't an unending amount of cold air. That means it probably won't last through the winter season. However, this pattern is likely to continue colder than normal.

The maps of the day are comparisons between our early morning temperatures and Alaska's. These snapshots were taken at 6:00 a.m. CST. It's not normal to see temperatures in Illinois and Iowa colder than Alaska. But it is a good representation of how our weather patterns are all connected.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen


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