Canadian Record Trends

As many of you know I began tracking United States record trends on 1/1/2000 (to commemorate the turn of the millennium when everyone else was doing so even though that date was really 1/1/2001). I knew that the first upgrade of the National Center for Environmental Information’s record site also contained vast scores of records from other nations beginning in about 2014, but never took the time to look at record trends outside of the U.S. until now. In this post I will show what I have uncovered using my Microsoft Excel programs. Just as an aside, the process of looking up and plugging in just monthly counts is tedious, so I would hope that NCEI will simplify data retrieval on future software upgrades. The current site is here:

So what country should I first research? Why not one with a long history of surface record keeping but with a land mass mostly north of the U.S.? It has been hypothesized that more northern latitudes are warming faster than those to the south due to carbon pollution, and bingo, that is what I indeed found using my record count trend program analysis…. the reason for my pick of Canada.

The number of eligible stations across Canada is about a tenth of the U.S. but still significant enough to get some valuable findings.

The following Canadian decadal charts starting with 1920 mirror those of the U.S.:

Indeed, as Mr. Spock from Star Trek would say, the Canadian departures by decade from a 1 to 1 ratio, for the most part, are higher than those of the U.S.; thereby confirming that Canada has been warming faster. Scientifically, it was exciting and fascinating to see the Canadian charts mirror those of the U.S. Note that the near 2 to 1 ratio of daily high max to daily low minimum records for the decade of the 2000s is present also in the Canadian count data (from the first Meehl study in 2009). Both the Canadian and U.S. ratios are higher for this decade, so far. Interestingly, the 1930s was also a warm decade in Canada.

So what about the supposition that nights are warming faster than days as addressed in an earlier post?


Here…not so much. I can only assume that since Canada is more arid with lower dew points, moisture is less of a factor in association with the behavior of the data than across the U.S. Assumptions in science need to be proven, though.😊

Let’s break down the data on a year by year basis using bar graphs.


Just like in the U.S. the ratios were near one to one with the warmest year being 1921.

The 1930s were a warm decade with the warmest year being 1931.

The 1940s were a slightly cooler decade in Canada than the 1930s but warmer than that of the U.S.

Just like in the U.S. the cooling trend continued in the 1950s.

The 1960s was another relatively cool decade.

A warming trend commenced during the late 1970s.

Just like in the U.S. the warming trend continued in the 1980s.

Just like in the U.S. during and after a record strong El Nino 1998 and 1999 were warm. The cooling from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo is apparent in 1992 and 1993.

The 2000s was a very warm decade.

The warmth from carbon pollution has continued into this decade. It remains to be seen if 2017 will see a record highest ratio in both the U.S. and Canada.

I have completed a colored “Records Genome” for Canada for this decade. “The streak” of the most recent 29 months of more daily record maxes than daily record lows is not apparent in Canada, but there are a lot of red colors:

If anyone has a good source to get monthly and yearly rankings for Canada drop me a note, and I will add those numbers to the above charts.

That’s it for now. So where to next after my April 2017 climate summaries in May…Perhaps Great Britain with a maritime climate and a long period of records; maybe Brazil, which is the largest country south of the Equator; Saudi Arabia, a large desert country; or maybe India, a country dependent on the monsoon? Ask and ye shall receive.😊

The Climate Guy

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