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2023 one of the warmest in Syracuse history

SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR) – 2023 will go into the record books as one of the warmest years on record in Syracuse history.

Just how warm was 2023 in Syracuse?

The average temperature for 2023, which takes the average of each day’s high and low, was 51.9 degrees making it the 2nd warmest year on record.

This is 3.2 degrees above the 30 year average yearly temperature for Syracuse. Half the months in 2023 were warm enough to be in the Top 15 warmest in Syracuse history:

Records have been kept in Syracuse since 1902

How many record highs were set in 2023?

There were six individual record highs in 2023, four of those coming in April.

There were no record lows in 2023.  Last year was not a new trend of having more record highs than lows but a long two-decade shift where record highs are outpacing record lows by a ratio of 70% to 30%.

Why was it so warm?

While this warmth certainly seems to fit in with our changing climate, there is another factor at play.

During the last half of the year, we transitioned to a strong El Niño. An El Niño is the warming of surface waters in the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean. On a planetary scale, our warmest years in the last few decades have occurred in El Niño years where additional warmth is being added to the atmosphere from the Pacific.

Is our climate truly changing? Weren’t the 1930’s warmer?

The decade of the 1930s was warm when you look at the surrounding decades up to 1989.  Six out of the top 15 warmest years were from that decade!

Since then, though, over the following 30 plus years more and more of those years from early last century have been pushed out. Now only one, 1931, is in that list of hottest years, and six out of the last 13 years have worked their way into the Top 15 warmest.

In the above graphic, the warm years from the 1930s are in red and the warm years just since 2011 are in orange.

So saying “It was warmer in the 1930s” isn’t an argument that holds up.

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