a muggy summer evening. in January. in the Northern hemisphere.

6 January 2007, 3:18 pm

Look, I understand statistics at least as well as the average bear. I’ve been reading some, using this National Weather Service climate statistics tool.

For example, from the most recent “Record Event Report” (Select “Record Breaking” under “Recent Conditions” in the left navigation bar) I learn that:

1005 PM EST FRI JAN 5 2007

AT 247 PM. . .A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 63 DEGREES WAS SET AT BOSTON/S LOGAN AIRPORT. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 62 DEGREES SET IN 1993. TEMPERATURE RECORDS FOR BOSTON BEGAN IN 1872.

AT THE BLUE HILL OBSERVATORY IN MILTON. . .TODAY/S HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 61 DEGREES BROKE THE OLD RECORD HIGH OF 58 DEGREES SET IN 1950.

In other words, they’ve got roughly a century and a half of data, and the high record for Milton, set before the baby boomer generation started driving gas guzzlers, was in spitting distance of yesterday’s record. Any one day is just an anomaly. It’s blizzarding in Colorado, it’s not as if there’s no such thing as winter anymore. But a record temperature was also set on January 1st, and, as you browse through the archive, the NWS summarizers start to sound a little, well, “panicky” might not be a stretch:

. . .WARMEST FINISH OF ANY YEAR IN BOSTON. . .

. . .WARMEST DECEMBER AND WARMEST NOVEMBER-DECEMBER COMBINATION RECORDED AT BOSTON/S LOGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. . .

THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR DECEMBER 2006 WAS 41.1 DEGREES IN BOSTON. THIS BEATS THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 40.7 DEGREES SET IN 1990.
THE NORMAL DECEMBER MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IS 34.8 DEGREES WITH A DECEMBER 2006 DEPARTURE OF +6.3 DEGREES.

IN ADDITION. . .THE COMBINED AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2006 WAS APPROXIMATELY 45.1 DEGREES. THIS BEATS THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 44.6 DEGREES SET DURING THE COMBINED MONTHS OF NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 1990.

THERE WERE 19 CONSECUTIVE DAYS WITH ABOVE NORMAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FROM DECEMBER 10TH THROUGH DECEMBER 28TH AND 24 DAYS ABOVE NORMAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURES IN DECEMBER 2006.

and

. . .RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE SET AT BOSTON. . .

A NEW RECORD HIGH FOR NOVEMBER 30TH WAS RECORDED AT 143 PM THIS AFTERNOON. . .WHEN THE TEMPERATURE PEAKED AT 69 DEGREES. THE PREVIOUS RECORD HIGH OF 68 DEGREES SET WAY BACK IN 1881.

Okay, one more: Check this graph out Boston climactic extremes (2002 data; won’t show record temperatures set in the past 4 years). How many high daily temperature records for the month of December have been set since 1975? 14 out of 31. How many daily low temperature records have been set since 1975? 2 out of 31. Hmmm.

Update

While I was actually proofreading this entry (and making sure those links worked), the NWS added another record event report. This one jumps the record a staggering 7 degrees:

215 PM EST SAT JAN 6 2007

. . .RECORD WARMTH IN THE BOSTON AREA. . .

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 69 DEGREES WAS SET AT BOSTON/S LOGAN AIRPORT. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 62 DEGREES SET IN 1913.

One comment on “a muggy summer evening. in January. in the Northern hemisphere.”

  1. Terri

    I am on the verge of driving everyone crazy, I think, with my complaints about this weather, but I can’t get over it. No, I do not enjoy 60 degree weather in January. Yes, I would like to see snow before Punxsutawney Phil tells me that Spring has arrived. I am not a warm weather person. Basically, I anticipate cool weather and snow all year. If other people can complain about snow, I can complain about a lack of it. But of course this is about more than my personal preferences. It’s disturbing, especially because it’s taken such a long time for many people to even admit that global warming is happening.

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