The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: Were We Due For An Anomalously Hot June For The U.S.?… A Discussion
Dear Diary. As most of you know, I like looking at simple statistics because they can tell us something about our future. For example, when I was working as a meteorologist at the Weather Channel, POPS, or the probability of precipitation from 0-100%, would be used to better forecast a rainy day, or whether or not people needed to carry umbrellas. The same can be used in the world of climate, even where long term forecasts blend with shorter term weather.
Another set of statistics that I started to look at while working for TWC was record temperatures during the 1990s, which culminated with the 2009 Meehl record study. You can peruse here:
In the study we showed that during the first decade of the 21st century there was an approximate 2-1 ratio of daily high maximum to daily low minimum records, or records set or tied for individual days in the calendar for all stations that track temperatures across the United States. That statistic didn’t change much for the 2010s. Now we are in the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century.
During 2020 we found that the ratio of DHMx to DLMN records was again near that 2-1 ratio, which was no surprise. The only thing that does raise my eyebrows a bit is the fact that we should be seeing at least some increase from that 2-1 ratio given how far global averages have increased the last few years. That leads me to the cold behavior of record statistics from the U.S. for 2021 through May.
Via monthly emails, I issue surface record reports to many scientists and friends curious about my climate work. I took the liberty of saving the following chart, which shows United States record numbers through May 2021 for that monthly report:
Notice how much both May 2021 and 2021, as a whole, were bucking that trend of a 2-1 ratio of daily records. Blue colors were used when the number of cold records outpace warm records for any item. Red colors were used when the number of warm records were more than cold records for any item.
Now, fast forward to early July after I issued my June 2021 report:
After a historically hot June, particularly for the western United States, all blocks on the above chart are red, which is what would be expected if climatologically we should see about a 2-1+ ratio for most years going forward through the 2020s, provided that the planet doesn’t cool off. Oh but we can only wish.
Breaking these stats further down on a month by month basis using my Record Scoreboard we can see why there is a big cold lag from seeing that 2-1 ratio during 2021:
The main culprit was the historically cold month of February 2021. After that month it seemed like we were “due” for a month to cancel out the cold, bringing these statistics back into better equilibrium with that 2-1 ratio. It just so happened that the month to do the trick would be June, one of the summer months in which any hot records could prove deadly. Of course, the same was true in February in which cold records were deadly. Just ask residents of Oklahoma and Texas.
One thought, though, is that any process towards equilibrium could have come later anytime from July through December, so we could not quite peg down if June would be roasting hot back in May. However, I do note that for the 2010s the month of June, by far, has tended to be warmest just looking at record counts alone:
To my knowledge, no climate scientist can explain why. Maybe we should dread the arrival of June from now on.
So what do you think? Did these weighted record statistics send up a red flag that a historic hot June was in the offing or not?
Here are “ET’s” reported from Monday:
Here is some more climatology from June 2021:
Here is more climate and weather news from Monday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”