News reports about record temperatures, which this summer have been mostly about record high temperatures, often mistakenly refer to these records as being the hottest ever for the respective period. Whether they are about daily records, monthly records, annual records, or all-time records, it is important to realize that any record extreme is actually the extreme of the period of record and this is a lot different than the extreme of forever.

For example, one of the oldest continuously reported weather records in Central Park, New York, began in 1869. Should the Central Park station top it's all-time record high of 106 degrees set July 9, 1936, that would be the hottest since 1869, and not the warmest ever, as is often reported. This distinction may seem trivial, but any student of climatology is well aware that forever is a very long time.

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