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From arctic blasts to heat waves, this year's weather broke more than 120,000 records in the US

An Alaskan heat wave. A...

Posted: Dec 23, 2019 3:44 AM
Updated: Dec 24, 2019 7:30 AM

An Alaskan heat wave. A Hawaiian winter storm. A deluge in Nebraska that turned towns into islands.

This year's extreme weather broke more than 120,000 daily records across the US -- from temperatures to precipitation and snowfall records, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

While the total number of daily records aren't that unusual compared to previous years, meteorologist Guy Walton told CNN, the bigger picture is.

'We should see the wettest year in recorded history, or at least since records have been kept in 1895,' Walton said, who has spent more than 30 years as a meteorologist.

The Midwest was particularly hit hard earlier this year, with large areas under water. The flooding devastated farms in parts of Nebraska and Iowa, killing livestock and ruining harvests.

And climate experts suggest the extreme nature of this year's weather -- from record flooding to record highs -- is a red flag.

It was 70 degrees in Alaska. In March

There were a lot of first-time-evers for communities across the US.

The first time Nick Dombek's five-year-old son saw snow falling at their house on the east side of Tallahassee, Florida.

The first time Assistant Chief Bimbo Gifford had to battle a fire in freezing temperatures with wind chills of minus-50 degrees. He's been a volunteer with Wisconsin's Cameron Fire Department for decades.

The first time Alaska saw 70-degree weather as early as March. And with the Arctic warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, the summer was no better.

On the Fourth of July, Anchorage was hotter than Key West at 90 degrees, setting a new all-time record, according to the National Weather Service.

All this has meant a lack of sea ice for Alaska this fall, according to the National Park Service, with ice coverage in the Arctic at the lowest levels ever recorded. Which is critical to the coast's ecosystem, since sea ice sustains millions of organisms.

'You'll see that when it comes to alarming changes, the last frontier feels like the first in line,' CNN Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir said after traveling across Alaska this summer.

And across the Southeast, it was a seemingly 'never-ending summer,' with temperatures up to 100 degrees lasting into October, CNN Meteorologist Brandon Miller said.

The unseasonable heat has been part of the larger pattern of climate change. And Walton says a new state will have to brace for the global domino effect -- Hawaii.

Hawaii state park sees snow for the first time

Despite its tropical climate, Hawaii has seen hundreds of record highs this year. And record lows. Like near Maui's Polipoli State Park, when it was blanketed by snow.

'For perhaps the first time ever, snow has fallen in a Hawai'i State Park,' the Department of Land and Natural Resources said in February. 'It could be the lowest elevant snow ever recorded in the state.'

But Walton points to the hundreds of record highs the islands experience this year.

Like the 97-degrees recorded in late September by a weather station near the Honolulu Zoo, setting an all-time record, according to the NCDC.

'Beyond temperatures getting more uncomfortable in an already warm environment, our 50th state will get more susceptible to organized tropical activity moving from the east and south due to an overall hotter surroundings,' Walton said on his site tracking historical weather data.

'To sum up,' Walton said, 'here we have one more case for a warming world.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 42808

Reported Deaths: 664
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9292163
Marion5929108
Washington583877
Umatilla337645
Clackamas317265
Lane241927
Malheur192738
Jackson17076
Deschutes113613
Yamhill100115
Linn81615
Polk65715
Jefferson6059
Morrow5457
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Benton4456
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Wasco34816
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Columbia2691
Josephine2693
Coos2510
Clatsop2440
Baker1253
Crook1102
Tillamook700
Curry581
Wallowa462
Lake380
Harney340
Sherman190
Gilliam110
Grant110
Wheeler20
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 914888

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CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3020777027
Riverside669931303
San Bernardino633671073
Orange589801454
San Diego55210877
Kern33928416
Fresno30969439
Sacramento25601491
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Stanislaus17714398
Tulare17590288
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Imperial12967336
San Francisco12189140
Monterey1141990
San Mateo11198159
Santa Barbara9827122
Merced9531155
Sonoma9494136
Kings826483
Solano744576
Marin7096129
Madera503774
Placer420757
San Luis Obispo417432
Yolo321959
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Santa Cruz280825
Napa196616
Shasta195431
Sutter186512
San Benito144215
El Dorado13514
Yuba132310
Mendocino113621
Tehama8928
Lassen7661
Lake69816
Glenn6713
Nevada6238
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Colusa5516
Calaveras34218
Amador33116
Tuolumne2754
Inyo23115
Siskiyou2050
Del Norte1801
Mono1802
Mariposa792
Plumas700
Modoc360
Trinity270
Sierra60
Alpine30
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