ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The National Weather Service reports that a record high temperature was set just after midnight today in St. Louis. A temperature of 71 degrees broke the 70-degree record set on December 16, 1889.
The record set today did not break the all-time highest temperature recorded in St. Louis for December. The highest temperature on record at St. Louis for the month of December in St. Louis is 76 degrees. That record was set on December 15, 1948.
Several other temperature records were set Wednesday in nearby towns of Columbia, Missouri, and Quincy, Illinois. The warmest low temperatures broke the record by more than ten degrees across the area.
Scientists say extreme weather events and warmer temperatures are more likely to occur with human-caused climate change. However, scientifically attributing a storm system to global warming requires specific analysis and computer simulations that take time, haven’t been done and sometimes show no clear connection.
“I think we also need to stop asking the question of whether or not this event was caused by climate change,” said Northern Illinois University meteorology professor Victor Gensini. “We need to be asking, `To what extent did climate change play a role and how likely was this event to occur in the absence of climate change?’”
The unusually warm temperatures on Wednesday were due in part to record high ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico, which wouldn’t have happened without global warming, said Jeff Masters, a Yale Climate Connections meteorologist who cofounded Weather Underground.