WASHINGTON, DC — The National Weather Services (NWS) reported today that the mercury has risen to a record high of 32 degrees Celsius, well above the 35 degree temperature average.
The temperature is now on pace to break the previous all-time high of 29 degrees Celsius in November, the agency said.
The temperature record for November is 27 degrees Celsius set in October, a record that dates back to 1897.
The previous record was 28 degrees Celsius on July 11, 1970.
The current mercury peak is 29 degrees.
The mercury is now the fourth highest on record and the second-highest temperature on record.
The mercury is also the highest temperature ever recorded in the northern hemisphere, topping previous highs of 26 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius recorded on November 1, 2016.
As of 2:30 p.m., the mercury had reached 32 degrees.
The new record is tied with November as the highest mercury average since records began in 1880.
The highest mercury total in the past 15 years was 33 degrees in November 2017.
“This new record set in the heart of winter and spring, when most of the nation experiences highs in the 30s and 40s, will continue to be a major driver of temperature extremes,” NWS Administrator Rob Walker said in a statement.
While it is rare to experience mercury above 32 degrees, this is not unusual, Walker said.
This is the fifth time this month that the high temperature has reached 32, a streak that has lasted for more than 40 years.
Scientists have been monitoring mercury levels in the atmosphere since 1859 and have reported temperatures that are between 28 degrees and 32 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees and 15 degrees Celsius) in some regions, Walker added.
Temperature records have been broken in the U.S. several times over the past century, including in the summer of 1917 when the mercury reached a record 30 degrees Celsius.
The nation was gripped by a mercury-soaked cold snap that lasted for weeks and was the worst on record, with record snowfalls and record highs for temperatures.
At the same time, temperatures soared and summer temperatures were the best on record in many parts of the country.