It’s not a record breaker yet

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on It’s not a record breaker yet
Jan 162013
 

The National Weather Service has cut their warming outlook for the next few days. Their current forecast doesn’t have our temperatures rising to normal levels. Currently, their outlook has our highs reaching 43 F, and our lows in single digits. The high is near normal. The normal low is about 16 F. This leaves us 3-5 degrees below normal on the average. Other forecast outlets have our temperatures returning to near normal levels in a couple of days.

While not a record, the last 5 days are the coldest for 22 years. I think we are on our way to the coldest January since the 1980s.  From the National Weather Service –

 

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/News/jan15_2013_2.jpg

 

 Posted by at 7:09 am

Will January 2013 be a record breaker?

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Will January 2013 be a record breaker?
Jan 152013
 

It has been unusually cold, but it has been colder. The conversion point between above average to below average temperatures happened after the first week of December. A turn around is ahead.

Departure from normal temperatures(blue) and cumulative departure(orange) for December and January.Departure from normal temperatures and cumulative departure for December and January.

Departure from normal temperatures and cumulative departure for December and January.

The last couple days have been the coldest. But this is the deepest part of the could. After today, the forecast is for temperatures to return to near normal levels. If we stay near normal for the rest of the month, we will end up 4.5-5 degrees below normal for the month. This is significant, but I doubt it will be a record breaker.

Over night lows will remain very cold below 20 degrees. Moisture will be scarce to non-existent for the rest of the month. Clear night skies will continue to hold the overnight temperatures to low levels. It’s going to be very dry.

 Posted by at 7:01 am

Where are Flagstaff’s temperatures going? How warm was 2012?

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Where are Flagstaff’s temperatures going? How warm was 2012?
Jan 102013
 

You may have heard that 2012 was the warmest, or one of the warmest on record. Probably not completely accurate, but absolute statements rarely are. But now, we are looking at a very cold January, about 7 degrees below normal so far, and even colder weather on the way for the next week or so. As a result of all this news, I started wondering about looking back into Flagstaff’s long-term temperature trends.

There are two temperature databases I have used to prepare this post. First, I used the 1950 – 2005 temperature database for the Flagstaff Airport from the Western Regional Climate Center. If you ever wonder about an Arizona location’s climate data, give their site a glance. Second, I used the Preliminary Monthly Climate Report from the National Weather Service’s Flagstaff Climate page. However, you will notice that this database only goes back to 2008. I have downloaded and recorded their data back to 2004. For 2004 and 2005, the databases are closely matched.

I looked at the annual average temperature from both datasets. Here is the resulting graph.

Flagstaff's average annual temperatures for 1950 to 2012

Flagstaff’s average annual temperatures for 1950 to 2012. See text of article for data sources.

First, 2012 wasn’t the warmest year during this time. It’s the fourth warmest according to these temperature records. When I look at this data, it seems that the temperature trend for the last 20 years have been fairly constant. Also, the first 20 years of this record seem fairly constant. I applied a 3rd degree polynomial trend line to this data using Microsoft Excel’s function. This produces an interesting result.

 

Flagstaff's average annual temperatures for 1950 to 2012 with trendline


Flagstaff’s average annual temperatures for 1950 to 2012 with trendline

How are Januaries trending compared to the annual numbers? They look very similar to the annual temperatures.

 

Flagstaff's average annual and January temperatures for 1950 to 2012 with trendline

Flagstaff’s average annual and January temperatures for 1950 to 2012 with trendline 

The year to year variability is roughly on the same scale as any long-term trend. In the past, I have written about the concerns that many solar science experts have about the current and future solar cycles. The current cycle has had a lower than expected level of activity and a much decrease. Predictions for the next two cycles are for weaker conditions. This could result in a 30-50 year cooling trend for everyone, including us. Which will win, anthropogenic global warming or a cold star?

Looks more and more like we could get more than a couple of inches of snow over the next few days. It will be windy and much cooler. If you need to do anything outdoors, do it today.

 Posted by at 8:33 am

The complexity of the situation

 Climate  Comments Off on The complexity of the situation
Oct 152012
 

In the last month or so, there have been 3, maybe 4, significant event reports.

First, while we enjoyed a beautiful and warm September, the El Nino which had built in the Pacific vaporized. Since the oceans cool by evaporative processes, using the word “vaporized” isn’t a stretch. See the sea surface temperature animation below. This could be insignificant.

Second, record low amounts of Arctic sea ice occurred in September. Third, record high amounts of Antarctic sea ice occurred in September. Keep in mind that the total sea ice for Antarctica is smaller because of the land mass that covers so much of the South Pole. See image below.

Fourth, the Daily Mail, a UK newspaper, reports that global warming stopped nearly 16 years ago. See image below.

I’m baffled.

In the mean time, we have more beautiful weather ahead.

Global tropical sea surface temperature and anomaly. From the Climate Prediction Center

Global tropical sea surface temperature and anomaly. From the Climate Prediction Center

Global, Arctic and Antarctic sea ice

Global, Arctic and Antarctic sea ice

Global temperatures since 1997 - Daily Mail

Global temperatures since 1997 – Daily Mail

 Posted by at 3:53 am

The weather probably wasn’t so warm in Quillayute

 Climate  Comments Off on The weather probably wasn’t so warm in Quillayute
Mar 032012
 

One of the curiosities about weather data is the difference between misreported highs and misreported lows. Quillayute logged a record temperature this week on Tuesday. I blogged about it this in a earlier post. I should have suspected something. Its reported daily high came at 12:15 am. It is totally possible for temperatures to drop through the night and not recover the next day. But according to the thermometer at Quillayute Airport in Washington State, it was 34 degrees 15 minutes before and after.

Weather data from Quillayute Airport on February 28, 2012

Weather data from Quillayute Airport on February 28, 2012

I tried to find a blog post about temperature measurements that go awry from another site. I couldn’t find the more comprehensive article I wanted, but this will do: Watts Up With Nuuk? Goofy things happen in the measurement and reporting of data. Oddly, most errors result in elevated temperature measurements. Manually entered data ends up missing minus signs for negative temperatures. Heat sources like trucks are parked nearby. Occassionally a tree is planted nearby and slowly grows to shade the station. For the United States, this has been documented very well at SurfaceStations.org.

I looked for images of the weather station at Quillayute to see if the siting would have made it susceptible to errors from jet blast or other sources. A similar event happened on January 23, 2012.

Weather data for January 23, 2012 at Quillayute, WA from Weather Underground

Weather data for January 23, 2012 at Quillayute, WA from Weather Underground

December’s record had a downward spike. There are lots of data missing for the station. The good news is that it looks like someone is removing the bad data from the record before making the official record. The bad news is that the station is probably failing. This station isn’t part of the official climate data network in the US. But there are lots of other stations that have similar issues. Take a look at SurfacesStations.org.

 Posted by at 6:14 am

Interesting Extremes

 Climate  Comments Off on Interesting Extremes
Feb 292012
 

I thought numbers 4-6 on Weather Underground’s record report were interesting. Rome, Oregon and Deer Park, Washington are in the eastern parts of their states. Quillayute is near the Pacific Coast. What a variety!

 Posted by at 6:40 am

Dry, Dry, Dry

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Dry, Dry, Dry
Feb 202012
 

It looks like my weather station stayed up and running through the weekend. That is the first time since last summer. Hopefully, it continues.

It looks like we had our last bit of snow for a while. Looking out to March 4, 2012, Arizona will be dry according to this morning’s GFS model run. The GFS outlook to March 4, 2012 has precipitation staying away from Arizona.

NCEP GFS model for total precipitation through March 4, 2012.

NCEP GFS model for total precipitation through March 4, 2012.

During this time, there isn’t even a near-miss. Temperatures should stay pretty close to normal, but there could be cold and warm swings as we have seen for most of February. This morning we are in single digits.

8 day average temperature anomaly - Dr. Ryan Maue at Policlimate.com

8 day average temperature anomaly - Dr. Ryan Maue at Policlimate.com

Later today, we will see how the Climate Prediction Center’s 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks match these.

 Posted by at 6:13 am

Are cooler temperatures ahead?

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Are cooler temperatures ahead?
Feb 072012
 

January was warm. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it was the 6th warmest January on record for Flagstaff. So far, mostly because of Friday’s low temperatures, February is off to a chilly start. But the forecasts for the next week point to near normal temperatures.

Looking over the one-week horizon, the Climate Prediction center is pointing to a shift in temperatures. Both the 6-8 and 10-14 day outlooks have below average temperatures on the way to the Western US. This would be a big shift from January.The shift in temperatures doesn’t seem to bring wetter weather with it.

We have a slight chance of snow for the next 3 days. I don’t think we will even see as much as we saw last Wednesday.

6-10 day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center

6-10 day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center

8-14 day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center

8-14 day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center

 Posted by at 6:49 am

La Nina Impacts

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on La Nina Impacts
Feb 032012
 

Jared N asked a great question yesterday. Basically, he was asking how long this current dry spell will last and what will the fire outlook be? La Nina and the general cold of the Pacific Ocean is driving our weather pattern and it doesn’t look like a big change is on the way

ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) Outlook from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society - January 19, 2012

ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) Outlook from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society - January 19, 2012

El Nino and La Nina are the warm and cold episodes for the sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. El Nino usually indicates a cool wet pattern for the Southwest. La Nina usually means a warm dry winter for the Southwest. In the chart above, most of the models show that La Nina will hang on at least through Spring. The March-April-May (MAM) data point shows the temperature anomaly just crossing above -0.5 degrees C. One half of a degree anomaly is the demarcation of La Nina or El Nino.

La Nina Impacts- CLIMAS - University of Arizona

La Nina impacts CLIMAS - University of Arizona

With El Nino, the storm track is typically right across the southern United States. With La Nina, the jet stream and storm track stay to the north. Since our last storm in December, we experienced this nearly exact situation. With La Nina predicted to stay in tact, the outlook is for more of the same. While it seems to me that the Climate Prediction Center’s 3-month outlook looks nearly the same for any situation, it actually applies now. Warm and dry conditions are forecast for the next 3 months. The would indicate a potentially bad fire season. However, a single errant storm could dump a bunch of snow and get us back to normal.

3 month temperature out look from the Climate Prediction Center

3 month temperature out look from the Climate Prediction Center

3 month precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center

3 month precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center

 

 Posted by at 7:09 am

Cold Pacific

 Climate, Northern Arizona Weather  Comments Off on Cold Pacific
Jan 112012
 

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation is a climate variability pattern that cycles over decades. An indicator of the phase is sea surface temperature. In the warm phase the eastern Pacific Ocean is warm and the western Pacific Ocean is cool. In the cool phase, the western Pacific is warm and the eastern Pacific is cool. Right now, the eastern Pacific is very cool. Also, notice the equatorial Pacific is cool with La Nina in place.

Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly on January 9, 2012. NOAA

Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly on January 9, 2012. NOAA

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index represents the degree of PDO variability. With the current cool conditions, the November 2011 measurement of the PDO Index is the lowest it has been since 1961. The PDO INdex in November was -2.33. It has been mostly negative since 2005.

PDO Index based on data from Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and the Ocean at the University of Washington

PDO Index based on data from Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and the Ocean at the University of Washington

While a number of factors affect Arizona’s climate, a cool or negative PDO Index is typically associated with drier than normal conditions across the southern United States. This seems to fit our current dry pattern.

The chance for snow on Sunday is evaporating.

 Posted by at 7:09 am
4 visitors online now
1 guests, 3 bots, 0 members
Max visitors today: 8 at 12:38 am UTC
This month: 14 at 07-08-2015 03:12 am UTC
This year: 23 at 06-23-2015 04:23 pm UTC
All time: 1611 at 04-27-2012 06:53 pm UTC

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.