This the first in a new series of weekly updates meant to give you quick, easy-to-read nuggets of the week’s weather and climate headlines.
2,200 square miles — The size of an iceberg that broke away from the Larsen C ice sheet in Antarctica this week. Or if you prefer to measure your icebergs in state-sized units, it was a piece of ice about the size of Delaware. It’s not the biggest observed breakaway of an iceberg, but this massive chunk of ice is certainly in the top-10-biggest recorded icebergs. (Chris Mooney/The Washington Post)
244 days — The current length of the 2016-2017 ski season at Mammoth Mountain in the California Sierra Nevada. And they aren’t done yet. One of only three active ski resorts in operation in North America, Mammoth’s estimated close date is Aug. 6, capping the season at an impressive 269 days. (On the Snow)
134 degrees — The world record surface temperature recorded in Death Valley, Calif., 104 years ago this week. Despite occurring over a century ago, the record has only officially belonged to Death Valley for just five years, after the World Meteorological Organization determined that a 136-degree measurement in Libya in 1922 was erroneous. Ironically enough, though, the Death Valley record may face a similar fate, as recent evidence suggests it, too, was an erroneous reading. (National Centers for Environmental Information)
500 frames per second — The speed of the telescopic camera on the GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been slowly but surely releasing to the public more accessible data from the revolutionary satellite, first launched into orbit in the fall. That access now includes live 24-hour monitoring of lightning data. Apologies to your productivity, as it’s easy to stare at this site for hours on end. (NASA)
28 days — Consecutive days that the temperature in Phoenix has reached at least 100 degrees. It’s nowhere close to the record of 76 consecutive 100-degree days set in 1993. But then again, the forecast doesn’t call for cooler weather anytime soon. (NWS Phoenix)