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Beyond The Forecast: Why you may have seen some meteorologists “showing their stripes” last week

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Happy Monday! Last week, Your Local Weather Authority meteorologist Chris Michaels wore a unique tie to work. It depicted global “warming stripes” (the average annual global temperature) from 1850 to 2019. You’ll notice the top of the tie is blue and the bottom is red, meaning Earth’s climate has warmed greatly in the past few years.

Chris wasn’t alone in “showing his stripes.” Many meteorologists around the country came together to spread awareness of our warming climate, including Paul Gross of our sister station, WDIV in Detroit.

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The warming stripes idea was conceived by English climatologist Ed Hawkins. Climate Central is helping to push this campaign. They have provided warming stripe graphics for states and cities around the country.

Here’s the warming stripes for Virginia.

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Here’s Roanoke.

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And finally, Lynchburg.

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The trend is pretty clear, average annual temperatures are increasing across our viewing area, state, country and world.

2019 was the second-hottest year in Earth’s recorded history and we may be well on our way to another top-five hottest year in 2020.

Switching gears to the forecast, it’ll certainly feel like summer as the first week of the new season will feature highs in the 80s and 90s. Storm chances look highest today and tomorrow. Check out Chris’ breakdown of what we expect here.

You can always get specific forecast details for your zone, whether it’s the Roanoke Valley, Lynchburg area, Highlands, or elsewhere around southwest and central Virginia, anytime at WSLS.com/weather. Know your zone!

In case you missed it, we’re posting great weather content on WSLS.com. Here are a few links from the past week to check out:

If you prefer your weather information delivered by social media, you can follow Your Local Weather Authority on Facebook and Twitter.

-- Justin McKee


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