High Today, If You Can Call It That

Sometimes the “regular Joe” or the “regular Jane” just gets things “exactly right” in a way that can not be improved.

Today is one such day.

I was driving in the morning commute and listening to the local radio news station. The weather report came round. The announcer said:

“The high today, if you can call it that, will be in the low 50s”…

Disappointment dripping from his lips…

You see, this time of year, well, it is when we expect warmth. Sun. Lazy spring days with a garden well along. The first green tomatoes already set and waiting for the warmth to make them red and juicy. This year? Bupkiss… We expect to be getting boats ready for water skiing weekend holidays and have already had a couple of BBQ dinners. This year? Cold and dank. Hot soup and warm stew weather…

Is it just fantasy?

So, is this just moaning and groaning fantasy, or are there any numbers to back this up?

From Wunderground for San Francisco and San Jose:

SF:

May 25, 2011	Max Temp	Min Temp
Normal (KSFO)	68 °F  		51 °F 
Record (KSFO)	87 °F (1951)	45 °F (1967)
Yesterday	62 °F  		49 °F

So we have a record of 87 F and “normal” is 68F. What is predicted for today?

Forecast:

Wednesday, 25

56 | 49 °F 
Rain

As you can see, that 56 F high is closer to the normal low of 51 F than to the normal high of 68 F. We’re looking at 10 – 15 F below normal, depending on location. And a good 31 F below the record. “Record heat” we don’t have… But I notice that we’re trending toward that record low of 45 F set during the last cold phase of the PDO… Our low is set to be all of 4 F above that, and the PDO shift is young…

How about SJC?

May 25, 2011	Max Temp	Min Temp
Normal (KSJC)	77 °F 	 	53 °F 
Record (KSJC)	95 °F (1982)	39 °F (1893)
Yesterday	69 °F 	 	46 °F

Notice that “record” of 95 F. While “normal” is a pleasantly warmer than room temperature 77 F, it is frequently much warmer.

Forecast:

Wednesday, 25

65 | 49 °F 
Chance of Rain

While San Francisco has a 60% chance of rain, we have only a 40% chance. But notice those high / low temps. 65 F and 49 F.

Compared to the “normals” and record? Well, that 65 F is a full 30 F below the “record” and that 49 F is 10 above the record low ever. So not quite as extreme as SFO. Still, “warm it aint”. and that 65 F is 12 F above a ‘normal low”. So we are about 3/4 of the way to a “low” as our high for the day … “HIgh, if you can call it that” indeed… And the low yesterday was worse…

Here are the monthly charts, so you can see it in context. Notice that the “peaks” are trending well away from the “normal high” band…

San Jose:

San Jose, May 2011

San Jose, May 2011

For comparison, the 1997 graph:

San Jose May 1997 Wunderground

San Jose May 1997 Wunderground

Oh, for that Mid May 100 F spike of days gone by… Also notice how in 1997 the temps tended to track the “average high” line and only sporadically would try to reach the “normal low”, where now we’re basically tracking the “normal low” with peaks that reach up briefly, but all too often fail. A minor “dig here” would be looking at the total area under those curves to see if the “peaks” are more narrow and limited now than in the past…

SFO;

SFO May 2011

SFO May 2011

The temperature just laying there like a dead hand, peaks just about the 16 C line and going nowhere.

For comparison, the 1997 graph:

SFO May 1997 Wunderground

SFO May 1997 Wunderground

Peaks “hanging around” the 24 C line and with that glorious run up to 32 C / 90 F in the middle of the month. IIRC I was working in San Francisco then and had a wonderfully warm “lunch on the wharf” watching sailing ships and soaking up some sun..

Comparing those sets, I think we can get a pretty clear idea what the power of the PDO might be. Notice how the lows don’t reach the ‘normal low’ in the last half of May 1997? The exact inverse of now where we crawl along the bottom wishing for some sun.

Now just wait for the volcano activity to have an effect too…

But Wait, There’s More!

For bonus points, here is the same look at Sacramento. That is the State capital and about 80 miles inland from San Francisco. In the middle of the California Central Valley, it gets quite hot in summer, and sometimes even in spring.

May 25, 2011	Max Temp	Min Temp
Normal (KSAC)	82 °F 	 	52 °F 
Record (KSAC)	100 °F (1951)	43 °F (1980)
Yesterday	75 °F 	 	47 °F

Forecast:

Wednesday, 25

65 | 47 °F 
Chance of Rain

Well, not too bad, I suppose. “Only” 17 F below “normal” (and our “high” will be a full 12 F above the “normal low”, while the low of 47 F is only 5 F below low…). Yet it’s 35 F below the kind of temperatures we see when things are hot… Interesting to note, though that the 1980 temperature is the “record low” for the day. Sometimes the Sacramento area goes exactly backwards from SFO…

How do the graphs look? I ought to mention that Sacramento often runs a day or two behind SFO. The “weather” has to move inland over SFO to reach Sacramento. In summer there is a fairly reliable 3 day cycle of Sacramento getting hot, air rising, then pulling in cool air over SFO and three days later cooling Sacramento. Then it all stops. Until the sun heats the air in Sacramento. Repeat…

Sacramento May 2011 Wunderground

Sacramento May 2011 Wunderground

Looks like those wind gusts are being something fierce given how compressed the scale is on the wind graph…

And the 1997 graph:

Sacramento May 1997 Wunderground

Sacramento May 1997 Wunderground

FWIW, you find the same general pattern in Portland Oregon too. I suspect the same analysis would hold for all the Pacific Coast cities of the USA and Canada… (Dig Here!)…

In Conclusion

This was not the Global Warming I was promised. I was promised that I would have Tomato Weather regularly going forward. With lows below 50 F we will not be getting fruit set. That means a late harvest, if any.

So is it possible to have a breach of contract or breach of promise suit brought against the Global Warming Establishment? They gave us their promise that they ‘had it right” and we’ve made plans for our garden based on that… With total “degree days” determining when most crops ripen, it’s going to be a sad day in California for a bunch of different crops.

Mark 2011 as a year where reds will be thin and acid… It will be very hard to get the deep rich mellow flavors of a sun warmed Merlot… (But on the plus side, we can likely make some decent German Style whites at last.) It will be even harder for the vineyards in Washington and Oregon to perform. They were in more marginal degree-day regions to start with. Now, it will be a struggle to make good wines. (I’m sure they will find a way, but the work needed will present challenges…)

“High Today, if you can call it that”.. indeed…

Subscribe to feed

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...
This entry was posted in AGW and Weather News Events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to High Today, If You Can Call It That

  1. The simple lesson is this:

    When government scientists started hiding and manipulating experimental data in order to gain favor with the politicians who control grant funds, they violated the basic principles of science and destroyed public confidence in government science.

    The corruption of government science apparently began soon after former President Eisenhower clearly warned that this might happen one day in his farewell address to the nation on 17 January 1961:

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  2. PhilJourdan says:

    Guess I will have to ship you some of my tomatos then.

    OUr May temps have been fantastic! Our normals are about 80 this time of year, and we have been pegging them (until this week) about right on or 5 degrees less.

    This contrasts with 2003 when May was a lot cooler (about 10 degrees) and 2010 when it was about 10 degrees above. I have not bothered to research the rest of the years as those hold special meaning for me.

    This week we are in the high 80s and low 90s and I do not expect to see nice weather again until september (hot and sticky for the summer – i.e. normal).

    They say the growing season around here is about mid-april, but for tomatos, if we get a May like this, we are doing great! Otherwise mid to late may is when tomatos take off here.

  3. H.R. says:

    We’re running below normal here in the Midwest with record rain. My tomatoes are yearning for a bit of sunshine.

    It’s rained so much that the joke ’round here is that it’s now considered an acceptable excuse for being late to work because, “I was having trouble getting my outboard motor started.”

    The only “high” I know about comes from what those global warmers were smoking.

    /grumbling

  4. Bruce says:

    I live near Vancouver BC.

    “April 2011 has already gone into Vancouver’s meteorological record book as having the most days in which the daily high temperature fell below the average.

    “Our normal [average maximum] temperature for April is around 13.1 degrees,” said Yu.

    “We only had one day where we met that normal.”

    “In March, we only got about 66 per cent of the normal sunshine. Normally, we’d get about 134 hours. We only got about 88.1.”

    May is just as bad.

  5. co2fan says:

    Here in Tucson we have had fabulous weather. We have not reached 100F yet (This is called the ice breaking on the Santa Cruz river- the river is sand this time of year). My tomatoes are setting fruit, I have some golf ball sized green ones.

    Everyone here has commented how this has been the most pleasant spring in decades. We don’t need no stinkin’ global warming here. LOL

    Hal

  6. boballab says:

    EM:

    Luckily this week here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore we are getting highs mostly in the low 80’s (tomorrow it is suppose to get to 87) and we are starting the cycle of 3 days of sun and 1 day of rain. However last week was miserable with overcast most days with highs in the upper 60’s to low 70’s. We also would only get spritzes of rain.

    Because of the swing to the negative PDO with the resultant more La Nina’s, we invested in a 6×8 greenhouse. Just put it up today and boy does it work, got temps inside 10° higher then outside. This is really going to come in handy during Sept and early Oct in extending the growing season. Also starting out next season will be a lot easier.

    With that said my Potatoes are growing fast along with the Onions next to them. Also the leaf lettuce and radishes in the planter boxes on my deck are almost ready to be picked.

  7. R. Shearer says:

    My Front-Range Colorado garden is starting slow from cool temps but we’re enjoying a wet May and with mountain snowpacks almost 200% of normal there will not be any watering restrictions this summer.

    I’m putting on my skiis tomorrow for probably the last time this season, but what a wonderful season it was, and the base is even higher today than it was a couple of weeks ago. I’ve only skiied a couple of times in June but I’m guessing that A-basin will stay open well into June and will probably open for July 4th weekend as they have occassionally done previously.

    http://www.arapahoebasin.com/ABasin/default.aspx

  8. ROM says:

    A very interesting comment, Chiefio!

    “So is it possible to have a breach of contract or breach of promise suit brought against the Global Warming Establishment? They gave us their promise that they ‘had it right” and we’ve made plans for ?????”

    There are an immense number of organisations and businesses that have based their business plans for the future on the highly specific, categorical claims of a [ Catastrophic ] “Global Warming” and / or Climate Change occurring now and on into the foreseeable future from a number of Climate Research institutions and “climate scientists”.

    As the evidence and the actuality is now pointing to a global cooling phase and those businesses that have specifically used the forecast projections by a number of these very prominent climate scientists, ie; Mann, Hansen, Jones, Trenberth and etc of an immediate and sustained increase in global temperatures for their future planning, now disrupted by the totally unforeseen and unpredicted global cooling trend, may well be considering recovering their costs and losses arising from the increasingly and manifestly incorrect global warming forecasts from the institutions and scientists who made those predictions.

    This would really put the cat amongst the pigeons as the erroneous forecasts would in all likelihood have to be admitted too as the data base is now becoming of sufficient length to start to remove doubt on the current global cooling phase.
    Or there would have to be a denial of the immediacy and severity of the consequences that was attached to all of those global warming and climate change forecasts and that those forecasts were only projections and should not have been relied on for any decision making.

    And that would effectively admit that all the hype and angst that has been a part of the emotional blackmail around global warming / climate change has been based entirely on false and mendacious pronouncements from the warmista climate scientists and their supporting institutions.

    And that in turn would have huge repercussions and potentially severe downstream legal and financial consequences for both the institutions and the researchers directly involved.

    Not, I would assume, what the warmista climate scientists had in mind when they not very long ago, so confidently assured everybody that “the science is settled”.

    As that old Chinese curse says; May you live in interesting times!

  9. John F. Hultquist says:

    From WA State: I think you are right about tomatoes – we can’t ripen fruit if there is none to ripen. As for grapes it is hard to say. We do have long daylight hours from now through September so there is hope. As for German Style whites in CA – color me dubious.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @All:

    I’ve noticed that in the “hot phase” PDO the jet stream is fairly flat and it’s modestly warm all over. (See the examples of low wind gustyness and steady wind / temps in prior Wunderground graphs). But when it swaps to “cold phase” PDO (at least in this early stage), we get larger Rosby Waves and a “loopy jet stream”.

    That has given me an every week or three warm couple of days, then we slide back into a cool “dip” of the jet stream.

    Head to about Mississippi and the Rosby Wave has the lobe headed north. More wet warm air from the Gulf of Mexico is pulled up like a warm blanket over the southeast. Also more rain (as the cold hits the warm – wet) and more tornados…. Rather like I remember from the late ’60s – early ’70s.

    So when I’m freezing, you folks with the warm Mexican air get to gloat…

    But in the end, it’s still a ‘cold phase’ and the over all averages drift lower…

    @ROM:

    Glad you like the idea… May the Tort-turing begin ;-)

    @Boballab:

    I got to get me one of them greenhouse things… ;-)

    @John F. Hultquist:

    I was thinking of some of the more northern and mountainous wineries in California. Not the Gallo type jug wine folks in Modesto (Central Valley) or even the Napa Valley folks. But maybe some of the folks up in the Humbolt or even a bit further north… Mendocino maybe…

    http://www.mendowine.com/

    At any rate, it’s only a hope… an attempt to find some possible silver lining this cold dark cloud…

  11. George says:

    More snow up in Tahoe today and in Northern California along the Oregon border. They still don’t have the initial plowing done on Tioga Pass road in Yosemite yet and that has normally long been done by now. The road usually opens by end of May or early June but they haven’t even finished the initial plowing run yet, let alone started on repairing winter damage and clearing avalanche areas so they can actually open it to traffic. Snow depths were near 15 feet in some places on that road and they have been using front loaders to get the snow down to 8 feet deep so the rotary plows can move it.

    SR 108 (Sonora Pass Road) is also “CLOSED FROM 26.4 MI EAST OF STRAWBERRY TO 5.3 MI WEST OF THE
    JCT OF US 395”

    At Yosemite they have brought in crews from Mammoth Mountain to help plow from the Lee Vining side. They still haven’t cleared through Tuolumne Meadow. Maybe we should run a pool on when Tioga Pass Road will open this year.

  12. dearieme says:

    It’s cool and raining here in East Anglia, about the first worthwhile rain we’ve seen since February. Of course, we’d planted out our tomatoes yesterday.

  13. R. de Haan says:

    Night frosts are back again in Germany.
    Very sunny spells with periods of low winds turn cloudy and stormy the next day.

    In the mean time the G8 meeting with Obama will be occupied with the Fukushima disaster in Japan, climate change, food security and other futile subjects that will cost a bundle but won’t change anything.

    In the Gemran elections the Greens are the big winners which would never have happened without the years of anti muclear propaganda and the Fukushima disaster.

    The fact that freshly indoctrinated teenagers are now allowed to vote at the age of sixteen also has proven to be a great help.

    Germany has turned into an idiocracy leading the way for all other nations to follow suit.

    Thomas Sowell is not very optimistic about the outcome
    http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/

  14. George says:

    Just saw these links posted over at Instapundit. Apparently they can’t get the corn crop in the ground in Indiana and Ohio:

    http://www.indystar.com/article/20110526/BUSINESS/105260381/Time-running-short-state-corn-crop

    http://www.mariettatimes.com/page/content.detail/id/536283/Rain–wet-fields-wreck-spring-planting-time.html

    Indiana has only about half its crop planted. If they can’t get it in soon, it won’t have time to fully mature before the first frost. If we get lucky and that first frost is late, they might still pull through. But that depends on optimal growing conditions for what remains of the season. Anything that slows growth during the season and it isn’t going to matter when the frost comes. I have a feeling a lot of corn is going to be picked on ground frozen solid and more still will simply be plowed under.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    I’ve got just one word for them, son: “Buckwheat”…

    It’s that whole “Catch Crop” thing that the present generation of “Farmers in Suits” haven’t had to deal with for over 30 years…

    Those folks thinking “Corn, Corn, Nothing but Corn”, ought to have been thinking “Mix of exactly which crops? Maybe some barley and buckwheat too.”

    Now they will have 100% failure instead of 20% failure and adapatation with a “catch crop” to nearly 90% success at the end of the growing season.

    “Live and learn”…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growing-degree_day

    Corn (maize)	Zea mays	
    2700 GDD to crop maturity
    
    Barley	Hordeum vulgare	
    125-162 GDD to emergence and 1290-1540 GDD to maturity
    
    Wheat (Hard Red)	Triticum aestivum	
    143-178 GDD to emergence and 1550-1680 GDD to maturity
    
    Oats	Avena sativa	
    1500-1750 GDD to maturity
    

    http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/v3-195.html

    Unpublished data from Edwardson indicates that a “typical” buckwheat plant is 100 cm tall, has 15 leaves on the main stem, has 3 to 5 axillary branches, and matures at an accumulated level of 1200 growing degree days (with base temperature at 5°C).

    Since Buckwheat matures each seed at a different time you harvest when 75 % are mature or when you run out of season and you catch what you can…

    That is, it’s not a Zero or 100% game, you get SOMETHING from a short season…

    Now look at the “Growing Degree Days” (GGD).

    1200 for buckwheat.

    Only thing close is Barley at

    1290 to 1540.

    Compare with maize:

    2700 Corn

    So were I one of those farmers I’d be thinking about how many “degree days” I was likely to have available and I’d be swapping over to planting Wheat or Barley as needed; with a possible of Buckwheat if things just don’t come together at all…

    Yeah, you blow off that corn seed you bought (or sell it to someone in a better place for it); but at least you get a crop.

    (And the trading implication is to buy corn futures and short wheat futures against it… but that’s for hard core traders who can see the whole global market…)

    IMHO, what we are going to see is a migration of the “Corn Belt” back south toward Iowa and below; as it was in years gone by… and with places like Indianna and Ohio doing more wheat.

  16. dearieme says:

    When we were at school, we looked at the Canadian line for “90 day wheat”: is it still relevant?

  17. George says:

    Well, I am not sure there would be enough seed to plant Ohio and Indiana in buckwheat on such short notice but they will probably see some barley action, maybe oats.

    Though this might be a good year to put in a cover crop of alfalfa, cut it for hay in September, let it winter over, and then plow it in as “green manure” next spring.

  18. boballab says:

    EM:

    One question about the buckwheat: What is the subsidy for Buckwheat Ethanol again? :)

  19. George says:

    If one wants to make ethanol, sorghum might be a workable alternative.

  20. gallopingcamel says:

    Hilarious! However, James Hansen will keep telling us that each year is the hotter than the last one.

    Here in Florida things are back to normal after two really cold winters. You have to go back to 1984 to find anything comparable when it comes to practical things like destruction of our citrus crops.

  21. gallopingcamel says:

    Oliver K. Manuel,
    Anyone who has lived for a dozen years on government research grants as I have knows that you have to “sing for your supper”. Of course I hated myself when I did it but the alternative involved giving up a steady income and benefits that are unmatched in the wealth producing jobs available to me.

    Was I a DARPA whore? Absolutely!

    Since my retirement I have recovered my self respect and support your comments.

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    @Dearime:

    There is a nice article on WUWT that shows the impact of change of temps on the “corn line”:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/12/potential-agricultural-impact-of-the-eddy-minimum/

    And includes a map of the Canadian wheat line.

    so I think it’s still relevant…

    @George:

    I’m sure there isn’t enough buckwheat seed. That’s why having a “mixed cropping” pattern from the start is a better approach. You keep those options open. As it is now, we’d likely have to order buckwheat from Russia and wait 3 months for the freighters…

    Preparation has to be done in advance.

    (Were I running a corn operation in a marginal area, I’d have a large ‘walk in freezer’ of seed. Enough to plant at least one year. It would hold catch crop seed until needed, when I’d swap in the planned seed such as corn that was going to be ‘held’ for a year instead of planted. While a bit of ‘unnecessary overhead’ if you are in a reliable area, it’s a ‘cost saving profit increasing’ tool if you are in marginal areas…)

    @Boballab:

    Good point…

    Wonder if they can get a “hold fallow” subsidity for not planting wheat this year instead?

    ;-) I hope…

    @George:

    It is workable, but the Sorghum Beer is horrid… IMHO.

    @Gallopingcamel:

    Interesting bit of confirmation, that…

  23. George says:

    I haven’t had sorghum beer, but I have seen it before. I will take your word for it, though, as I think I trust your beer judgement.

    Can’t be any worse than my Dad’s tomato wine experiment, though.

  24. H.R. says:

    @George

    “Can’t be any worse than my Dad’s tomato wine experiment, though.”

    I’ll bet there’s a story worth telling in that, even if it’s a precautionary tale.

  25. E.M.Smith says:

    @George & H.R.:

    Getting the acid balance right in tomato beer would be hard, and then the flavor would be bizzare…

    I’ve only had one brand of Sorghum beer and I understand that Busch is coming out with one. As the former was way strongly flavored and with bad flavors at that, the hope would be that if Busch makes it they will leave all the flavor out and it might be tollerable ;-)

    FWIW, IMHO, they fermented the sorghum whole and got too much tannins and oxalates into the beer. I’d use “pearled” sorghum with the bran removed and I’d raise the Ca / Mg levels in the brewing water (to throw more “beer stone” and get the tannin / oxalate levels down).

    I think that with a lot of work you could maybe make something you could choke down in an emergency ;-)

    It was one of the few things brewed that I’ve actually poured down the drain rather than drink… and I’ve brewed some pretty crappy stuff… and drunk worse brewed by other folks. I usually would save the “crap” for “after the first six-pack” when esthetics and everything else is getting a bit fuzzy…. Couldn’t even do it then.

    Strangely, the first 1/2 bottle was “not that bad”. It was a strange case of an “un-acquired taste”. They more I drank the stuff the worse it was. At 3/4 bottle I was “having concerns”. One starting bottle #2 (hoping for a repeat of the “freshly opened not bad” of #1) the “gag reflex” started warming up…

    I’d say “maybe it was just me”, but my son had the same response. There is still the chance of “family incidence” as I’m to some extent a ‘supertaster’ and find a lot of things overly strong on flavors. There are chemicals that taste very bitter to some, not to other folks. So if it is one of those, there will be differences of opinion…

    But I’d not buy another six pack if you paid me to drink it.

    (Well, maybe if you paid me over $10,000…. )

    For the “gluten intollerant” folks, I think a beer made from rice would work better. As Bud is already largely rice, perhaps Busch will not be putting in enough Sorghum to flavor it so horridly. Were it up to me, I’d try a millet / rice beer with decent hops in it…

  26. George says:

    Yes, Busch is one of the largest growers of rice (possible THE largest) in the country. Chances are pretty good that the Minute Rice or Uncle Bens you eat was actually grown by Bush.

    There is a little barley malt for flavor but the beer is mostly rice.

    What I can’t understand is this trend toward weisenbier. I can’t stand weisenbier. It was fairly common in some regions when I lived in Germany but I would pass. Berlin had their regional Berlinerweisse where colored syrups are added to cut the horrible taste and in Bavaria it was often served with lemon but man, that stuff sucks, in my opinion. I actually like rice beer. Japanese beers taste great to me, same with American beers that use rice.

    I’ll pass on the hefeweisen, thanks. Wheat is for bread, barley is for beer,

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    I’m quite happy with hefeweisen. Kind of bland, but OK in an understated kind of way. (Gives you and idea about how the flavor of that Sorgham beer must have been… if I’m fine with just about everything else…)

    All over the planet folks made a fermented fizzy drink (that we would call “beer” of some sort) out of whatever grain or starchy plants they could grow. Corn in the Americas. Cassava in some other places like Africa. (he Bings!)

    http://www.bevlaw.com/bevlog/malt-beverage/cassava

    Says that SAB / Miller is doing it in Africa as a cost cutting move…

    And as barley grew “up north and cold” where the Germanic and Celtic tribes hung out, you got barley beer up there.

    Only recently (ethnobotanically speaking) were hops added to give the characteristic “bitter” flavor of beers today.

    So I’d speculate that wheat beer was simply made in that slighly more southernly band below the barley band. Perhaps off toward the East a bit more too. Toward Turkey (where IIRC wheat is thought to have originated).

    That, today, we can ship beer all over the world so everyone can enjoy superior German and Celtic beer skills ought not to diminsh the value of “using what you have to make what you need”…

    FWIW, the archaological evidence is that beer was being made by Celts in what is now the Czech / Bavarian beer capitol of the world before the Germans and the Czechs got there.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/01/ancient-celtic-beer/

    Early Celtic rulers of a community in what’s now southwestern Germany liked to party, staging elaborate feasts in a ceremonial center. The business side of their revelries was located in a nearby brewery capable of turning out large quantities of a beer with a dark, smoky, slightly sour taste, new evidence suggests.

    Six specially constructed ditches previously excavated at Eberdingen-Hochdorf a 2,550-year-old Celtic settlement, were used to make high-quality barley malt, a key beer ingredient, says archaeobotanist Hans-Peter Stika of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart. Thousands of charred barley grains unearthed in the ditches about a decade ago came from a large malt-making enterprise, Stika reports in a paper published online Jan. 4 in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.

    Stika bases that conclusion on a close resemblance of the ancient grains to barley malt that he made by reproducing several methods that Iron Age folk might have used. He also compared the ancient grains to malt produced in modern facilities. Upon confirming the presence of malt at the Celtic site, Stika reconstructed malt-making techniques there to determine how they must have affected beer taste.

    The oldest known beer residue and brewing facilities date to 5,500 years ago in the Middle East, but archaeological clues to beer’s history are rare (Science News: Oct, 2, 2004, p. 216).

    At the Celtic site, barley was soaked in the specially constructed ditches until it sprouted, Stika proposes. Grains were then dried by lighting fires at the ends of the ditches, giving the malt a smoky taste and a darkened color. Lactic acid bacteria stimulated by slow drying of soaked grains, a well-known phenomenon, added sourness to the brew.

    Unlike modern beers that are flavored with flowers of the hop plant, the Eberdingen-Hochdorf brew probably contained spices such as mugwort, carrot seeds or henbane, in Stika’s opinion. Beer makers are known to have used these additives by medieval times. Excavations at the Celtic site have yielded a few seeds of henbane, a plant that also makes beer more intoxicating.

    So if you like those Barley based German and Czech beers:

    “You’re welcome” ;-)

    Imagine a 2500 year old conversation in the Brewmasters Tent:


    Hey boss, so these guys showed up for the party, think we ought to let them stay? I think they are germanic and slavic. Yeah, they are willing to learn to make beer. OK, I’ll tell ’em they can stay, as long as they help brew….

    ;-)

    And as we’ve already shown that Celts were spread all the way over to the middle of Asia and down toward Turkey in the ancient times, I’d not be at all surprised to find that the 5000 year old Babylonian Beer owed them just a tiny debt…

  28. George says:

    5 to 9 inches of snow above 7000 feet between now and Sunday at Lake Tahoe this weekend:

    http://www.accuweather.com/us/ca/south-lake-tahoe/96150/watches-warnings.asp

    Heck, if it keeps snowing, that snowcap might not melt at all this year. We have only 3 weeks until the highest sun angle of the year and snow is still accumulating.

    Hey, has that B-17 and B-24 been flying over your place?

  29. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    Havn’t see ’em, then again, I’ve been in Palo Alto most of today in the theatre watching old movies…

    The Confederate Airforce does fly over from time to time, though… I think they have a plane down in Hollister or Gilroy.

    Wonder what the glaciers in “Glacier Park” are doing?

    If we’re starting to set glacial non-melt conditions at Tahoe, it’s just got to be “more so” at Glacier Park …

  30. George says:

    “They” have gone completely silent on Glacier for the past two years, that probably means the ice is increasing.

    Went to Target today to get some clothes for the kids. Not a single pair of decent long pants for my boy. All the racks are loaded with shorts. There were a few pair of “carpenter” jeans in odd sizes.

    Someone could clean up around here with a shop that sells summer jackets, long pants and long sleeve shirts in summer.

  31. boballab says:

    Anthony has a good post out on the widespread snowpack:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/29/may-snow-depths-are-deeper-than-anything-we-have-seen-in-the-last-45-years/

    In it is a link to this news article:

    http://www.kansascity.com/2011/05/27/2907381/heavy-snows-spoil-weekend-holiday.html

    From that article is these selected paragraphs:

    In Oregon, some resorts were still trying to dig out cabins – let alone campgrounds – from snowpack.

    Yellowstone National Park has just one campground open. “We’re telling people to be prepared for snow,” said park spokesman Al Nash

    In other parts of Wyoming, officials have extended winter closures of wildlife management areas to campers. The reason: To protect wildlife from humans because animals are still searching for food at lower elevations.

    The reason I picked those paragraphs is because last year at this time I went on vacation in Oregon (Mt. Hood area), Washington (Mt. Rainier) and Yellowstone. In the first week of June 2010 Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge was still open for skiing and had snow 4 ft deep. The second week of June Mt. Rainier still didn’t have the road open to the Sunrise Observatory and while transiting the park there were places with snow still 15 ft to 20 ft deep. The week after that I was in Yellowstone and most of the park was clear of snow except for the highest mountain peaks and in the south side of the park at the continental divide on the Grand Loop Road. Also all campgrounds were open at that time and only small portions on the east side of the park was closed off because of the Mama Bears and her cubs coming out and foraging. Also when we left Yellowstone we took the scenic route named the Beartooth Scenic Byway. there was still ice bound lakes there halfway through June. I posted the photos of what Rainier and the Beartooth here (As well as the snow beside I80 on the way out):
    http://boballab.wordpress.com/2010/06/23/back-from-vacation/

    Mt. Hood pictures here:
    http://boballab.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/vacation-destination-portland-oregon/

    Take a look at the pictures in those posts then imagine that the snow is even deeper this year.

  32. George says:

    Another indicator is to search for news of the Washington state huckleberry picking season. So far the word is that this year looks like it will be “late” but with a good crop.

  33. PhilJourdan says:

    @George – I want to hear about this Tomato Wine!
    As for Tomato beer – they have them out west. Just add Tomato juice to a beer along with paprika. I have never tried it, but the ladies seem to like it.

Comments are closed.