Cold Followup

OK, we had a cold coming posting. What was the result?

Well, Snow in San Francisco and while we didn’t have snow in San Jose, we did have a cold record:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Snow fell overnight in the highest reaches of San Francisco, but the Bay area dodged the heavier flurries forecasters had been expecting, the weather service said on Saturday.

Northern California did experience record low temperatures overnight in several cities.

San Francisco got down to 37 degrees, which tied the previous cold weather record for this day set in 1962, said Chris Stumpf, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

San Jose tied a record low of 33 degrees set way back in 1897, and Oakland got down to 34 degrees, breaking a record set in 1987.

“It was definitely cold enough, but it didn’t have the precipitation that we needed to get any of the snow showers that we were hoping for,” Stumpf said.

So, but for the lack of any precipitation, snow was ‘on the cards’… It did snow some in the hills where ridge lift made some precipitation, but most of the flow was straight down the coast, not inland, so the precipitation didn’t make it this far inland.

I noticed that the “official” temperature for San Jose was 33 F, above freezing, but tell that to the squash sprouts that died of freezing. Yes, I’m “ambitious” about my start of garden. One of the “benefits” of growing your own seeds. One squash gives you a decade worth of seeds, so you can start some “crazy early” indoors, then keep setting them out until some survive…. I’ve got beans and squash set out already. Welcome to Darwin’s’ Garden (c) “The Survivors Will Be Eaten!” (c)….

At any rate, the Garden Thermometer reports that the ASOS is a degree or two high at SJ Intl. (Gee, didn’t we already know that the airport thermometers read high?… Yes, but it’s important to point out the physical impact in my garden…) and the news reports that what was OFFICIAL was coldest in 100 years+.

Let that sink in a minute. One Century+

Oh, I also find the Oakland thing interesting. Broke a record SET in NINETEEN 87. So, lets see, we were setting record cold even 24 years ago…

So, all this Record Cold is consistent with Global Warming because?…. (Oh yeah, having cold weather all over the planet is just weather… “Trust us, by the time the data is done in the homogenizer and adjuster, it will be The Hottest Year EVER!!!!” )

Global Warming? I could uses some….

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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15 Responses to Cold Followup

  1. John F. Hultquist says:

    You will have to do worse than 33 degrees if you want sympathy from those of use in the cold and snow.

    Here’s an interesting rant. Don’t have a sip of coffee or red wine in your mouth when you read it.

    By Mike Tidwell (executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.)
    A climate-change activist prepares for the worst

  2. Eric Barnes says:

    Thanks John. :) That link is a *howler*. The comments are just as good. Is there no limit to the BS these people write? I suppose I respect Tidwell a bit more than your average alarmist. He’s got the excuse of actually being crazy.

  3. P.G. Sharrow says:

    If he is freaked out now, wait tell things get bad. What is he going to do, grow his own food or take his new shotgun and steal from his neighbors? Things are not unnormal now, the last 50 years were unnormal. Now is normal and it will get worse before it gets better.
    This is the end of the old age and the start of the next. A few labor pains are in order. Looks like fun to me, but then I enjoy the challange. ;-) pg

  4. Richard says:

    Everyday we get to re-define what is normal. More acurately everyday we get to add to that which is known to be part of ‘normal’ so far.

    The scienticific fact is that 150-200 samples of any complex system are nowhere near enough to have even a basic grasp of the number of underlying components and their weightings.

  5. pascvaks says:

    Snow is nice if you’re inside, don’t have to drive in it, and the power lines/company doesn’t crash, but it doesn’t add much to the ground moisture –most usually evaporates. Ice is nice too, but much more dangerous. From the pics I saw of the aftermath, it looked real nice.

  6. The good side of cold: Could you imagine how can it be being 20 years old and trying to focus in study, while having 100 °F or more, while watching at a beach full of temptations?. Now, can it be a better reason to explain why under developed countries are, precisely, those with higher temperatures: You just can´t think! :-)

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @John F. Hultquist:

    Well, I’m reminded of that “Broken clock right twice a day” tautology.

    He’s doing the right things, for all the wrong reasons ;-)

    I just love the way their fantasy world has record cold and snow events caused by it being warmer, after they spent 2 decades telling us global warming was going to bring megadroughts and unspeakable heat with snow ‘a thing of the past’….

    What? No sympathy for not being able to get my garden started in February? How heartless 8-)

    But I did loose 4 baby squash plants…


    Any idea how old the guy is? Personally, I remember times just like these (so far…) so it’s just ‘cycle turn’. And yes, the last 30 years were warm, this is ‘normal’. So he’s paniced because he grew up in silver spoon in mouth weather?


    The number I learned in stats class was 1200. You need a (truly) random sample of 1200 data points to get decent stats. Anything lower is a terribly wide error band guess.

    Oddly, the number does not vary with what you measure… it’s a “foundational truth”…


    So my Florida Friend keeps telling me when we talk… he has an office with a window “view” … maybe that’s why he gets most of his work done earily in the morning or at night ;-)

    At any rate, today we’re back to resonably nice weather, so I’m going to go plant some ‘replacements’ and see if this time it holds…

  8. Keith Hill says:

    In Tasmania we’ve just finished one our coolest summers for some years. It’s 10-00am on March 1, the first day of autumn, cold, intermittent showers, snow forecast down to the 800m level later and a top of 15C. March used to be one of hottest months.

    EM, Alaska Climate Research Center is worth a look as the’ve just released an analysis of climate in Fairbanks and Alaska for the first decade of 2011. A very interesting read with nary a mention of CO2 and indicating a strong downturn to the coming cold.

    In Oz, the climate debate is hotting up with our hapless PM
    Julia Gillard’s announcement she intends to bring in a carbon tax (which she euphemistally tries to call a carbon price), after specifically twice unequivocally promising just before the recent election not to bring one in.

    She has caved in to the Greens who got only one member (out of 150) elected to the lower House but will technically hold the balance of power in our Upper House, the Senate after July 1 this year.

    The Greens are adding to her woes by boasting about their influence on the decision and claiming it as their own.
    Drunk with the bit of power they think they have, they are also enunciating some of their other loony ideas to increase costs, help wreck our economy and export jobs and industry overseas.
    Shades of California!

    I have never before known such outrage, anger and determination from the general public, and mobilisation of so many to defeat this useless and destructive proposed tax.

    It is going to be a watershed in politics and the whole AGW debate in Australia and my own opinion is that whatever the outcome, Julia Gillard is gone as will be the Labor Party and the Greens at the next election.

    In that regard I note Ireland dumped all their Green MP’s in their recent election

    It’s strange how out of negatives, such positives can come!.

  9. Verity Jones says:

    We’ve had a nice taste of Spring for a few days, however I’m tempted to go round my garden with a camera and do a post on ‘what this year’s Winter killed’ and see what it says about hardiness in my gardening books.

    I’d just been given an new indoor/outdoor temperature sensor before Christmas and the minimum recorded one night was -20 deg C. I didn’t believe it. The next night it said -13.7C. That was closer to local reports. Anyways there are a lot of dead shrubs in my neighbourhood. Some of them I’ve known for 30+ years.

  10. John F. Hultquist says:

    Okay, I am sorry about the squash plants. Last spring I put tomatoes out and 3 days later had to cover them with buckets, straw, and dirt.

    I laughed when I read that guy’s rant. I thought of your posts, and so that was especially for you.

    BTW, I ordered two small inverters via WalMart’s “site to store” program. Now I have to go pick them up.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    @john F. Hultquist:

    I’m watching the thermometer tonight… Clear sky…

    Glad to see you going the ‘easy route’ of an inverter first. It does surprise me how many folks will go buy a generator just to get 100 W for lights and cell phone…


    You could ‘calibrate it’ with some other thermometer just to check it’s right. FWIW, I’ve used a photo chemical thermometer (quite accurate in it’s range) and found dramatic variations in the temp just above different surfaces. Temperatures really are driven by surface type, to the tune of tens of degrees C, and as noted by frozen ice covered windscreens when per the officials it “didn’t freeze” it can go lower on surfaces too…)

    A posting on what died, and what their hardiness says, would be very interesting…

    @Keith Hill:

    Nothing like a touch of Alaska to put me in my place, eh? ;-)

    Their ‘live temps’ showing about -8 F at the moment…

    Click to access Arctic62-3-295.pdf

    is an interesting paper. It has a nice graph showing that almost all the increase happens in a ‘regime change’ in about 1975. Flat low wobble before, flat high wobble after…

    he climate of Fairbanks was analyzed for a century ending in 2006. The temperature has increased by 1.4˚C, almost twice the global increase, which is expected as a result of the polar amplification in temperature change. While the overall trend is positive, as expected from increasing greenhouse gases, the temperature increase is non-linear, with multi-decadal variations. Auto-correlation analyses showed a weak, non-significant cycle of 11 years (sunspot cycle). Furthermore, there was a sudden temperature increase observed in 1976, which could be related to circulation patterns as expressed in the PDO index. The strengthening ofthe Aleutian Low in winter led to more advection of warm air and a decrease in atmospheric pressure for Fairbanks.
    Over the century, the growing season increased in length by 45%, a substantial value and highly important for agriculture and forestry.

    Warm is good for crops and other living things…

    Watch for Russia to have poorer wheat and other grain harvests on an ongoing basis. North China and Korea too…

    Also found this interesting:

    For example, the frequency of very low temperatures (below -40˚C, or -40˚F) has decreased substantially, while the frequency of very high temperatures (above 26.7˚C, or 80˚F) increased only slightly.

    We didn’t get hotter, we got ‘less cold’…

    Interesting signature to look for…

    I presume the article you were talking about was this one:

    Climatological data of the first decade of the 21st century are now available, and we analyzed the data for Fairbanks (see graph). Related to the temperature, the warmest year was 2002 with a mean temperature of 30.3°F, the 7th warmest in our records of more than a century. Higher temperatures were observed during the following years in order of decreasing values: 1926. 1987, 1928, 1993, 1940, and 1981. The coldest year of the last decade was 2006 with a mean temperature of 25.7°F. Numerous values below that level were observed during the last century. While the overall trend since 1906 shows warming, the best linear fit of the data points of the last decade displays a fairly strong cooling of 1.8°F. Recent cooling has also been observed in other parts of the world, and some climatologists have attributed this trend to the low solar activity we have experienced over the last few years. Another symptom of this can be seen in the aurora activity, which has decreased over the few last years here in Fairbanks. It is worthwhile to point out that during the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715), a time period of very low solar activity, Greenland froze over and the Vikings had to leave, as agricultural activities became more difficult.

  12. Keith Hill says:

    Chiefio: you’re in your right place, at or near the top of the pecking order in my opinion, so I don’t quite ‘get’ your opening comment.

    One of the main points I saw as very significant from the unshown part of that article was, quote:

    “The temperature has varied widely over the last century, 1926 being the warmest year. In 1976/77 a sudden and substantial temperature increase was observed in Alaska, which we attributed to a change in circulation, which is expressed in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The PDO shifted from dominantly negative to dominantly positive values. Since that change, the temperature trend has been fairly flat for Fairbanks.”

    Hard for the AGW lobby to explain how CO2 causes a “sudden and substantial temperature increase” in one year which clearly shows on the graphs!

    “Instrumental Climate History for Alaska” contains a fairly complete history and graphs of all stations in the area at

    It is quite comprehensive and reinforces your contention that instrument and location change is a big factor in apparent variations in temperature.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    It was just a snide remark in the context of my “moaning” that I’d lost a squash sprout / plant to frost … in February….

    So yeah, I know full well that planting things that are frost sensitive in February is, er, something most folks would lust after… (why do you think I put up with all the other crap here?…) and just saw the Alaska contrast as a clear way to contrast my “complaint” with most other folks realities… and a bit of self depricating humor…

    IMHO there are 3 things that in combination account for substantially ALL of the “Warming” found.

    1) Long duration weather cycles. So that ‘substantial shift’ from the PDO flop that happened then. And where they are getting the mirror image now.

    2) Instrument and location changes. All those thermometers moving from the grassy cow fields to the Jet Age Airport Tarmac…

    3) Process change. In 1987-1993 range there was a “change of process” that shows in the “dupicate number” or “modification history” flags. It matches the Great Dying Of Thermometers (but isn’t the dying itself). This shows as a hockey blade on individual stations in some cases; often with nearby stations that show now such impact (and no change of process). I think it is due to the “QA” process that was implimented then, but have not finished that work. At any rate, it’s a very significant part of the issue.

    IMHO, it’s why Phoenix rises like an eagle and Tucson is just flat. Hot, but flat. Phoenix got the full airport treatment with ample UHI and a full ASOS with new “QA” process. Tucson got ignored…

    I’ve found similar A/B sets around the world. If I had $100,000 I’d spend it on getting a team to take EVERY station in the GHCN and find a set of surrounding “ignored” stations then making graphs of the sets. I’m pretty darned sure you would see the GHCN with a ‘hockey blade’ and everyone around it “mostly flat” with a few with mild UHI artifacts.

    Oh well, I’ll just keep working with what I’ve got…

  14. tckev says:

    My sister lives just south of San Diego and emailed me recently to give me an update on things. She did say, in passing, that she’s busy having to pull all the fruit from the citrus in her yard and start using it all up by juicing/freezing some of it and jam making.
    Her reason for this action was that the night temperatures are just above freezing and has been cold for nearly a week, so the citrus was dropping fruit.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    The cold and snow in the “L.A. Basin” has actually been more dramatic than where I am, but I decided to go with the local touch :-)

    You just have to love things like this one:

    Snow — or something like snow — falls in some parts of L.A. County
    Southern California mountains receive the bulk of the snow, but places such as Glendale and Studio City experience rare dustings.

    You can almost here them shouting in the halls:

    “Hey, get Marvin, he lived back east when he was a kid in the ’40s… maybe he can tell us if this white rain is snow…”

    Burbank, Glendale and Studio City were some of the areas that saw flakes of soft hail or snow pellets, according to weather reports. The precipitation was part of an unusual weather system that flowed south from Canada and dropped snow and rain across much of the state.

    Someone needs to get them a photo of snow to study or something… “Flakes” of hail and “pellets” of snow?

    Uh Huh….


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