Cold streak a passing phase

U.S. record-low temperatures may outnumber record-highs in 2013

In an example of natural short-term climate variability in the face of long-term global warming, this year’s daily record-low temperatures in the United States are poised to outnumber daily record highs for the first time in two decades.

National Climatic Data Center statistics show that the U.S. had 9,932 daily record-low temperatures through Dec. 1, compared to 9,023 daily record highs, according to Climate Central. Last year at the same time, daily record-high temperatures outnumbered record lows by a ratio of approximately 5-to-1.

Worldwide, though, this year is set to be among the top 10 warmest years on record.