How many extreme weather records did York County break in 2012?

Extreme weather shattered 3,527 monthly records across the county last year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, an international, nonprofit environmental organization.

And that’s up from the 3,251 monthly records broken in 2011, the organization reported Tuesday.

In Pennsylvania, at least 62 monthly records were broken in 2012, according to a news release. Here’s the breakdown:

* Twelve counties reported record-breaking heat with 21 new records.

* Twenty-one counties, including York, recorded record-breaking rainfall. A total of 36 records were set.

* Five counties reported record-breaking snow with five records shattered.

* Five large wildfires also were reported.

The rainfall was the only monthly record broken in York County. According to the report, 5.2 inches of rain fell on Oct. 30. That broke the previous monthly record of 3.66 inches on Oct. 5, 1962.

“That’s a lot of rain,” said Kim Knowlton, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The report points to a growing concern about climate change.

Knowlton says communities can take action on two fronts: prevention and preparedness.

People can reduce carbon pollution through limiting the use of fossil fuels and buying energy-efficient products.  Steps also can be taken to reduce emissions from power plants, Knowlton said.

On the preparedness side, communities can add climate change to their hazard mitigation plans.  Some communities, such as Philadelphia, have invested in heatwave early warning systems. It not only helps to save lives but also money, she said.

To see the interactive weather map of the broken records, click here.

What do you think of this report?

About Teresa Boeckel

Reach Teresa Boeckel at tboeckel@ydr.com or call 717-771-2031.
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