What will a warming East Australian Current change along the way?


But scientists say there is still a lot more to learn about the East Australian Current (EAC).

The EAC is like an oceanic river that flows the length of Australia’s east coast, from the Great Barrier Reef to the kelp forests off Tasmania’s south-east.

The current carries warm, low-nutrient water from the Coral Sea to the cold southern waters of the Tasman Sea, changing ecosystems along the way.

But the EAC itself may be changing and that could have dramatic consequences for the ocean’s ecosystems.

“The oceans are really the driver of climate,” said CSIRO chief voyage scientist Chris Chapman.

“More than 90 per cent of the heat that has been emitted into the atmosphere by greenhouse gases has found its way into the ocean and that doesn’t occur everywhere at the same sort of pace.”

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Kipchoge warming up for Olympics marathon in Netherlands race



FILE PHOTO: Athletics – London Marathon – London, Britain – October 4, 2020 Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge during the elite men’s race. Pool via REUTERS/Richard Heathcote

April 16, 2021

By Omar Mohammed

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic marathon champion and world record holder, said he was looking forward to a beautiful race on Sunday in Enschede, the Netherlands, a run he sees as crucial preparation for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

The race was originally scheduled to take place on April 11 in Hamburg but was postponed over COVID-19 restrictions, forcing the organisers to look for an alternative location.

It will be Kipchoge’s first outing since his surprise loss at the London marathon in October when he was eighth, more than five minutes slower than his world record of 2:01:39 and over a minute adrift of Ethiopian winner Shura Kitata.

“My goal is the same – to run a good race and a beautiful race,” he told reporters in a virtual news conference on Friday. “All of us will enjoy, we will test ourselves, the shape we will have on Sunday, but above is the beauty of the race.”

The event, closed to the public, will feature more than 50 elite athletes from at least 20 countries, said the organisers.

Among those competing on Sunday against Kipchoge will be 2012 Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda.

“Winning is important, specific time is important but I can’t say I want to aim for this time, I really want to run a beautiful race,” Kipchoge said.

Kipchoge also said it had been hard to cope with the restrictions on training resulting from the pandemic.

“COVID has destroyed everything, it has destabilised our training, our lives. Now we train with the small groups and we are competing without the fans,” he said.

“I have been in the sport for the last 17 years and trained with a crew and imagine one day you are being told to train alone,” Kipchoge added. “But all in all, we have overcome, we are nearly overcoming.”

NO FANS

Considered one of the sport’s greatest marathoners, the 36-year-old suffered his first defeat since 2013 in London.

Kipchoge, who up until the London marathon had won 10 straight races, said he had suffered from a blocked ear that affected his breathing and cramp in his hip.

While he told reporters he did not change any part of his training regime after the London race, the experience taught him how to run without fans, who have been forced to stay home from sports competitions due to the pandemic.

“I still continue with my training, I have the same coach, same management, same thinking and that’s why I am here again,” he said.

“We started to run without fans in London and this is the second leg of running without fans and that’s one way to learn and actually absorb and accept that we should move on because life cannot stop anymore.”

Overseas fans have already been barred from attending the Tokyo Games and organisers plan to decide this month on the maximum number of local fans permitted in venues.

The race in Enschede on Sunday, taking place at Twente airport, is crucial preparation for the Olympics marathon in August, said Kipchoge, the first man to run the distance in under two hours in an unofficial race.

Kipchoge will also for the first time use a biosensor to monitor his glucose levels during the race, a tool that he said will help him know when he can “fuel”.

“It’s good actually this race was organised, to help me and the rest of the people who will be qualifying for Tokyo,” he said.

(Reporting by Omar Mohammed; Editing by Ken Ferris)



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Reductions in aerosol emissions had slight warming impact, study finds — ScienceDaily


The lockdowns and reduced societal activity related to the COVID-19 pandemic affected emissions of pollutants in ways that slightly warmed the planet for several months last year, according to new research led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

The counterintuitive finding highlights the influence of airborne particles, or aerosols, that block incoming sunlight. When emissions of aerosols dropped last spring, more of the Sun’s warmth reached the planet, especially in heavily industrialized nations, such as the United States and Russia, that normally pump high amounts of aerosols into the atmosphere.

“There was a big decline in emissions from the most polluting industries, and that had immediate, short-term effects on temperatures,” said NCAR scientist Andrew Gettelman, the study’s lead author. “Pollution cools the planet, so it makes sense that pollution reductions would warm the planet.”

Temperatures over parts of Earth’s land surface last spring were about 0.2-0.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.1-0.3 degrees Celsius) warmer than would have been expected with prevailing weather conditions, the study found. The effect was most pronounced in regions that normally are associated with substantial emissions of aerosols, with the warming reaching about 0.7 degrees F (0.37 C) over much of the United States and Russia.

The new study highlights the complex and often conflicting influences of different types of emissions from power plants, motor vehicles, industrial facilities, and other sources. While aerosols tend to brighten clouds and reflect heat from the Sun back into space, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have the opposite effect, trapping heat near the planet’s surface and elevating temperatures.

Despite the short-term warming effects, Gettelman emphasized that the long-term impact of the pandemic may be to slightly slow climate change because of reduced emissions of carbon dioxide, which lingers in the atmosphere for decades and has a more gradual influence on climate. In contrast, aerosols — the focus of the new study — have a more immediate impact that fades away within a few years.

The study was published in Geophysical Research Letters. It was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s sponsor. In addition to NCAR scientists, the study was co-authored by scientists at Oxford University, Imperial College, and the University of Leeds.

Teasing out the impacts

Although scientists have long been able to quantify the warming impacts of carbon dioxide, the climatic influence of various types of aerosols — including sulfates, nitrates, black carbon, and dust — has been more difficult to pin down. One of the major challenges for projecting the extent of future climate change is estimating the extent to which society will continue to emit aerosols in the future and the influence of the different types of aerosols on clouds and temperature.

To conduct the research, Gettelman and his co-authors used two of the world’s leading climate models: the NCAR-based Community Earth System Model and a model known as ECHAM-HAMMOZ, which was developed by a consortium of European nations. They ran simulations on both models, adjusting emissions of aerosols and incorporating actual meteorological conditions in 2020, such as winds.

This approach enabled them to identify the impact of reduced emissions on temperature changes that were too small to tease out in actual observations, where they could be obscured by the variability in atmospheric conditions.

The results showed that the warming effect was strongest in the mid and upper latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The effect was mixed in the tropics and comparatively minor in much of the Southern Hemisphere, where aerosol emissions are not as pervasive.

Gettelman said the study will help scientists better understand the influence of various types of aerosols in different atmospheric conditions, helping to inform efforts to minimize climate change. Although the research illustrates how aerosols counter the warming influence of greenhouse gases, he emphasized that emitting more of them into the lower atmosphere is not a viable strategy for slowing climate change.

“Aerosol emissions have major health ramifications,” he said. “Saying we should pollute is not practical.”

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Biden and the EU can forge a new path on global warming


Of these cap-and-trade systems, the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein jointly have the world’s largest. Still, it only covers sectors – from power generators to steelmakers and airlines – that account for 40 per cent of European emissions, so the system must be expanded. Even then it still faces a bigger problem.

It’s that the rest of the world isn’t in the system. This both slants the economic playing field against European companies and leads to “carbon leakage.” Take a European steel company, for example. It must buy allowances to emit carbon, which is a cost. To avoid that cost, it can invest in technology that makes production cleaner, but that’s also expensive.

By contrast, a Chinese steelmaker doesn’t incur this cost yet. A European firm that uses steel could therefore simply switch to buying it more cheaply from China than from the home market. The European steelmaker and its workers lose. And the world loses because the same amount of carbon – or even more – has been emitted, just elsewhere. Only the Chinese supplier wins.

This is the classic problem of free riding, as analysed by the economist William Nordhaus among others. In a nutshell, countries have an incentive to share in the benefits of a global public good – saving the climate – while shirking the costs of abatement. This logic, also known as the “tragedy of the commons,” explains why purely voluntary international climate deals such as the defunct Kyoto Protocol or the Paris Agreement tend to disappoint.

The solution to the free-riding dilemma is the club model proposed by Nordhaus and now endorsed by sharp minds such as Guntram Wolff, the director of Bruegel, a think tank in Brussels. Here a group of countries would agree on a minimum international carbon price.

All club members would then set about reaching that price with either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, the equivalent of their club dues. As long as their domestic carbon prices are high enough and comparable, there’s no need for club members to punish each other’s imports, so they trade freely (if you ignore other tariffs and quotas for the moment).

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Non-members of the club, by contrast, would have to pay countervailing carbon duties on their exports to the club. The EU calls this a “carbon border adjustment mechanism” (CBAM). Unlike ordinary tariffs, the surcharges wouldn’t aim at making domestic producers more competitive but at spreading the cost of global carbon abatement. So they should be allowed by the World Trade Organization.

To existing members, the benefits of membership would be obvious, so the club would be a stable coalition. All others would quickly see the upside of joining the club by aiming for the same international carbon price at home.

As a first and relatively small demonstration project, the EU could link its emissions trading system with whatever the UK implements, now that it’s left the European regime (thereby causing that system to shrink by 11 per cent overnight). Simultaneously, the Biden administration could work on the bigger goal of introducing a national cap-and-trade for the US.

Climate change means businesses must prepare for more extreme weather events, say insurers.Credit:Getty.

All the while, diplomats on both sides of the pond would be preparing the transatlantic carbon club, a trade zone without internal carbon duties. Compared to negotiating comprehensive free-trade deals, such as the moribund Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, this should be a cinch.

In the process, the Western democracies would once again act as world leaders playing on the same team. But their club isn’t meant to be exclusive. Rather, it would measure its own success largely by how many new members it can attract over time. It would welcome the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, China, with particular enthusiasm.

If we still have a shot at controlling global warming, this might be it. Moreover, this kind of positive cooperation between rivals in east and west would have other benefits. Anxiety is growing that the enmity between the US and China could one day end as the contest between Imperial Germany and the British Empire once did: in war. A successful collaboration against the common enemy, global warming, could defuse this conflict – and save the planet along the way.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Andreas Kluth is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion. He was previously editor in chief of Handelsblatt Global and a writer for the Economist. He’s the author of ‘Hannibal and Me.’

Bloomberg L.P.

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YOU SAY: What’s the different between global warming and climate change? That’s easy | The Border Mail



news, local-news,

I’m happy to help out your correspondent John Walker (Border Mail letters, December 22) who thinks there is some confusion amongst the general public about an apparent difference between the terms “climate change” and “global warming”. It’s quite simple really, the planet is getting warmer, hence the phrase “global warming.” The climate is changing, hence the term “climate change”. There’s no need for confusion, both can happen at the same time. There are some climate change deniers who think the use of both terms is a flaw in the greenhouse theory but they’ve never explained what the flaw is. Just to complicate it a bit, changing weather patterns do periodically make some places get cooler than normal, the polar vortex being a good example of that. It doesn’t change the big picture though, the planet is still warming. I wanted The Border Mail to know how much the Culcairn community appreciated, and were delighted by, Ellen Ebsary’s article on Dr. Reddy’s upcoming retirement. Ellen did an outstanding job, which thoroughly and accurately captured him and his career over 46 years. I would also express my thanks for the excellent photos taken by Mark Jesser, which greatly added to the article. Many people from the Culcairn community have remarked positively on the article. I could not have expected better. It was a fitting tribute to our much respected and long-serving doctor. IN OTHER NEWS: As temperatures are set to soar all over the country, please remember that dogs should never be left in parked vehicles, which can become death traps in a matter of minutes. Even on a mild, 22-degree day, the temperature inside a car parked in the shade can soar to 47 degrees in minutes. Leaving the windows open will not keep animals comfortable or safe. With only hot air to breathe, dogs can succumb to heatstroke in as little as 15 minutes, resulting in brain damage or death. Symptoms include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, diarrhoea and vomiting, and even seizures. Please, when it’s warm outside, leave animals at home. If you see a dog left in a car, have the car’s owner paged at nearby shops or call 000 immediately because the dog’s life depends on it. The hard Border should be about keeping regions safe and not exposed to Sydney travellers or locals who have gone to Sydney and the Central Coast. Those returning from Sydney and any risk area now should face quarantine. You can submit a letter to the editor below or by emailing letters@bordermail.com.au. Your letter must contain your full name (for publication), as well as an address and contact phone number (not for publication).

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Hottest November on record, warming climate a factor


Territory-wide temperatures were 3.25°C above average, the highest since national records began in 1910. 

While the average daily maximum temperature in Darwin for the month was 35°C, 1.7°C above average, in  Alice Springs the average daily maximum temperature has been 38°C, 4.2°C above average.  

Along with record heat, there was below average rainfall In Darwin (65% of the average) and Territory wide (55% below average) but Alice Springs  had two stormy downpours bringing 39.8mm of rain, well above the November average of 28.3mm.    

Why has it been so hot?  Specifically, lingering high pressure systems over northern Australia have led to more easterly (warmer) winds, less cloud cover and sunnier conditions. 

The warming climate is also a factor. 

While La Niña typically leads to greater rainfall and cooler temperatures, in the month of November this climate driver weakened a little. La Niña has already started to strengthen again. 

Forecast:

In Alice Springs temperatures are expected to rise back to the low 40s by the end of the week. Another change moving through over the weekend is expected to drop temperatures to the low 30s from Saturday. 

Looking further afield, despite low rainfall in November, computer models are showing a high chance of above-median rainfall across most of the NT for the remainder of the wet season. Climate drivers remain favourable for a monsoon onset in mid-December.

 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology



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BOM and CSIRO Reported Worsening of the Climate Change Experienced by Australia Now

bushfire

There is no denying that climate change has long struck numerous areas around the world. Yet, we haven’t really come to grasp about the risks involved.

Today, the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO have teamed up for the latest biannual report on the climate, and yes, the claim about Australia experiencing climate change now is affirmed. More so, the warming phenomenon is continuing.

Dejectedly, since 1910, we are now up to 1.44 degrees Celsius of warming, plus or minus 0.24C. This results in the increase of extreme heat days. Susceptibility of heat waves and fire are prevalent. We might not necessarily feel this 1.44 increase, but heat waves and the fire weather are undeniable.

The manager of the climate environmental prediction service at the Bureau stated that they are now seeing a more tangible shift in the extremes, thus greatly affecting on the extreme events. This is with confidence as science had been broadly consistent and accurate regarding the climate system for the last several decades.

On record, 2019 had the most extreme heat days. But as predicted by Dr. Jaci Brown ” this decade will be one of the coolest in the next hundred years.” How alarming.

In addition to heat days, fire conditions are worsening. Not to mention, this time last year already saw the devastating effect as swathes of the east coast were already on fire and Sydney had just faced down catastrophic fire danger.

“They are the sort of events we should treat as becoming more and more likely as warming continues.” The manager added.  

Numerous parts of the country, in contrary, have welcomed change as wetter conditions are prevalent in recent months. But that does not assure a long-term trend, as southern cool season rainfall is expected to keep on degenerating.

What does this mean for our farmers? Dr. Brown emphasized “Australian farmers, for example, are very used to dealing with climate variability and coming up with clever ways to manage and adapt.” Thus, types of crops to plant and new ways to work together are deemed to be an additional necessity.

This change in climate has also affected the atmosphere negatively, as we all saw coming. We have pumped CO2 into the atmosphere; hence the oceans have acted as a sink for both CO2 and the heat.

As a result, surface waters around Australia are estimated to have had a 30 per cent increase in acidity since the 1880s. In addition, sea levels have risen by 25cm globally as a result of thermal expansion and melting of ice glaziers.

We might’ve assumed the 2020 global slowdown cause by the coronavirus pandemic has remedied the environment. However, it has not been enough to stop atmospheric concentrations of CO2 from surging. There were relative drops, yet indistinguishable from the background of variability.

Dr. Brown asserted that “It is not that simple. This is about a very long-term change.”

To date, Australia is currently under the influence of the La Niña phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation. Typically associated with wetter-than-average conditions for all excluding south-west.

Slight Arctic Warming Could Trigger Abrupt Permafrost Collapse – Study


A few degrees of warming in the Arctic could trigger an abrupt thaw of the permafrost that makes up two-thirds of Russia’s landmass and a subsequent climate change feedback loop, according to a new study based on ancient warming episodes.

Three of the region’s largest warming events in the past 27,000 years coincided with rapidly thawing and collapsing permafrost, said the study published Friday in the Science Advances journal. Its findings are based on an analysis of 8-meter sediment cores retrieved from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean off of Eastern Siberia by a team of Russian, Swedish and U.S. scientists in 2014. 

This demonstrates that Arctic warming by only a few degrees may suffice to abruptly activate large-scale permafrost thawing,” the study’s authors wrote. 

The warming works like “a sensitive trigger for a threshold-like permafrost climate change feedback,” they added. 

Scientists have long argued that climate change could trigger a feedback loop in which melting permafrost releases greenhouse gases like carbon and methane into the atmosphere, further accelerating global warming and permafrost melt.

Our study indeed suggests that abrupt permafrost thawing represents a tipping point in the climate system,” lead author Jannik Martens told the Inside Climate News website.

When that tipping point will arrive is still an open question, he added.

An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report last year said Russia’s permafrost is expected to thaw at an accelerating rate between now and 2100.  

The IPCC report predicts that 70% of surface-level permafrost could thaw by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, shifting the world’s “permafrost border” increasingly northward. 

More than 65% of Russia’s territory is located in the planet’s frozen cryosphere. The country is the world’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

The latest study’s co-author Örjan Gustafsson stressed that greenhouse gas emissions from both thawing permafrost and man-made sources will inevitably lead to “dangerous thresholds.”

The only way to limit permafrost-related greenhouse gas releases is to mitigate climate warming by lowering anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions,” he told Scientific American. 



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Lexington – Global warming and the presidential election | United States


THIS WEEK America’s oldest magazine offered its first-ever presidential endorsement. “We do not do this lightly,” said Scientific American, in explaining its decision to come out for Joe Biden. But what choice did it have? The country is gripped by two science-related catastrophes, a global pandemic and global warming. Donald Trump downplays the first on a good day (as America’s death-count approaches 200,000, he predicts it will soon “go away”) and denies that humans are causing the second. During a visit to Sacramento this week, to acknowledge the wildfires that have so far incinerated over 5m acres of forest and thousands of homes and killed at least 35 people, he assured a roomful of silent, serious Californians that global warming was about to go into reverse.

In a speech delivered in Delaware the same day, Mr Biden meanwhile underlined his determination to introduce at a national level the policies to combat climate change that America, almost uniquely among Western democracies, still lacks. Where Barack Obama made the issue secondary to health-care coverage, and Hillary Clinton put it behind immigration and other promised reforms, Mr Biden promises to make tackling climate change his priority. His proposals, with an important caveat, reflect that degree of urgency. There is no starker contrast between the Republican president and his Democratic challenger than on this issue.

The climate plan Mr Biden released in July includes faster, deeper cuts to America’s carbon emissions than either of his Democratic predecessors envisaged. Mr Biden promises a commitment to decarbonising the electricity grid by 2035. To that end, he pledges among other things to invest $2trn in renewable energy and other technologies over four years. He would also commit America to cutting its emissions to net zero by 2050. Mr Obama’s failure to enshrine a much more modest commitment—an 80% emissions reduction by 2050—indicates how bold that would be. Yet, if backed by a Democratic-controlled Congress, Mr Biden would probably have a much better chance of making progress on the issue than Mr Obama had.

That is chiefly because his party is desperate for him to do so. Before covid-19 hit, the combination of Mr Trump’s denials with ever-worsening wildfires, hurricanes and floods had made Democratic voters increasingly likely to cite climate change as their main concern. And Mr Biden, a master at hewing to his party’s shifting currents, has further hardened this environmental consensus by using it to bridge the rifts exposed by his nomination.

His appointment of John Kerry and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—emblems of the centre-left and activist left—to co-chair his climate-policy shop was evidence of that. So is the heterodox nature of his proposals. For example, though he dispensed with the socialism-by-stealth of the left’s Green New Deal—which included guaranteed jobs and Medicare-for-All—he has mollified Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s faction by emphasising environmental justice, as well as with the scale of his ambition. Labour unions are reassured by his stress on job creation in low-carbon industries. Centrists are thrilled that he has bucked the left by remaining open to nuclear power and to the possibility of making fossil fuels safe by capturing the gases they emit when burned.

In a sign of how the climate-policy debate often scrambles ideological positions, moderate Democrats are also largely responsible for limiting the scope of market mechanisms—either a cap-and-trade scheme or a carbon tax—in Mr Biden’s plan. Democratic leaders in Congress consider them desirable but unsellable. Hence the more regulatory approach laid out in a 547-page climate plan released by House Democrats in June. While allowing for the possibility of a nationwide carbon tax—as Mr Biden’s plan does—it lays more emphasis on the sector-by-sector low-carbon standards adopted in California—including zero-emissions from cars, as well as power stations, by 2035. Mr Biden’s plan follows suit.

Implicit in the way it is designed to have maximum Democratic appeal is an assumption that a Biden administration could count on no Republican support. That is a reasonable precaution. While Democrats and independents have become more concerned about climate change, opinion on the right has hardly moved. Like Mr Trump, half of moderate and 75% of conservative Republicans deny the link between human activity and global warming. At the same time, any Republican tempted to break with his or her party should not find Mr Biden’s proposals off-putting. His emphases on growth and technology are hard to argue with. The recent rise of renewables industries—which employ a lot of people in Republican states—has also made them less divisive. And the fact that Mr Biden would probably jam much of his promised $2trn splurge into a broad, post-virus stimulus package would provide moderate Republicans with additional cover on their right flanks.

The politics and economics of climate change may thus, for once, be coming into alignment. The issue has already gone some way to making sense of Mr Biden’s unexciting candidacy. One of its overarching promises is to salvage Mr Obama’s legacy, then improve upon it; the former president’s climate record is in dire need of both services. Another is to rebuild America’s economy at home and reputation abroad; Mr Biden’s climate plan could help do both.

But there’s no escaping the flames

The lurking caveat to this upbeat prospect is that the regulatory approach he is pushing will almost certainly deliver much slower, more partial and more inefficient progress than he predicts. America is not California. A Biden administration’s sector-by-sector carbon standards would draw a storm of legal challenges, stalling them and making them vulnerable to partisan judges and hostile successors. That is not to knock Mr Biden’s plans unduly; they may well be as bold as is politically feasible. But what is feasible in America’s dysfunctional politics is likely to be much less than the country—and in this instance the world—requires.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline “Fire and ice”

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Weather News – Warming up in southwest WA


Warming up in southwest WA

Graeme Brittain,

Wednesday August 26, 2020 – 15:02 EST

A trough will briefly channel a warm airmass from the Pilbara towards the state’s southwest over the next couple of days.

The forecast top temperature on Thursday for Perth and Geraldton is 25 degrees and 28 degrees respectively, whilst on Friday the mercury could nudge above 30 degrees in Kalgoorlie.

These sorts of temperatures at this time of year equate to around 3-7 degrees above average in this part of the country.

 

Heat will be shunted away from the region from the middle of Friday, as a strong cold front moves in from the west, with maximum temperatures on Saturday as much as 10 degrees lower than Friday in some areas.

Gusty winds associated with the front will also make it feel 2-4 degrees colder than actual.

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