It will be a cold day in August before…

For those less familiar with English sayings, there’s one that goes “It will be a cold day in Hell before…” meaning a nearly impossible event before you will have some other thing happen… Thus the title.

Well, San Francisco has been reprising it’s reputation for a “cold day in August”…

Complete it how you like. Perhaps “… before they will admit it is cooling not warming.”?

Bolding of bits mine.

The most San Francisco summer — just one day in 70s in August

By Kimberly Veklerov and Erin Allday Updated 1:46 pm, Saturday, August 27, 2016

The cool mists of San Francisco have gotten a little carried away this summer, blanketing much of the city in a noirish gloom that has even those who profess to like fog hankering for a ray or two of sunshine.

This August, a month that means searing heat in most other places, has been decidedly cool in the city, according to the collectors of weather records.

San Francisco has seen only one 70-degree day in August, according to meteorologists. The last time the city had a month that wouldn’t budge above 70 at all was 1942, and there have been only two other Augusts on record — in 1917 and 1882 — with that distinct dishonor.

“We had the one day when we reached 70 degrees. That was on the eighth of August. And every other day has been in the 60s,” said Jan Null, a meteorologist for Golden Gate Weather Services who’s been tracking August records.

So just where has all that heat gone? According to the Global Warming theology, it can’t have left the planet. Maybe it went into the ocean to hide for a while. Or maybe “it’s just weather” (since it is cool, not warm…)

SFGate, and really anything to do with San Francisco, is at the extreme of the extreme for left / Socialist / Progressive / out there wing of things. Next, they try to paint cold like only 3 times ever recorded before as not so cold, really:

It hasn’t been a brutally cold month, he noted. Just persistently foggy and maddeningly temperate.

“We’re in an extreme of mildness,” he said.

As if to emphasize this point, the temperature in San Francisco reached a tantalizing 68 degrees early Friday afternoon, with blue skies and sun downtown, but cooled off steadily the rest of the day.

Yeah, an “extreme of mildness”… Have to remember that one when it is 68 in January and they are screaming deadly heat…

And, as usual, the infernal fog rolled in over the beleaguered Sunset District, where residents had gotten a short, teasing glimpse of that seldom seen fiery orb in the sky known as the sun.

“It’s the first sunny day we’ve seen in something like 45 days,” said Roger Cook, owner of Nomad Cyclery on 27th Avenue and Irving, before the fog rolled back in. “Oh, it’s been really foggy. Everybody is talking about it.”

Cook said the relentless pall of gray hasn’t really hurt business, but he constantly has to explain to shivering tourists renting bicycles about the San Francisco climate and why the fog rolls in off the Pacific Ocean. He said he is normally OK with fog, but not this much of it.

“It can be somewhat depressing,” he said. “If you are a normally depressed person, you would get really depressed. I’m not one of those guys, but it does get a bit discouraging.”

August — which some locals have taken to calling “Fogust” — hasn’t been the only cold month. The summer as a whole has been decidedly un-summery. San Francisco has hit the 80s four times this year. And none of those days arrived in the summer months.

“The warmest reading all year was April 6, and it hit 87. Then two more dates in April and one day in May,” said Charles Bell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey. “And that’s been it.”

Yeah, an ‘un-summery’ cold is not cold… then they try to say it’s just normal. Somehow missing the irony that just normal means not warming at all whatsoever…

The irony is that it actually hasn’t been a whole lot cooler, on average, in San Francisco. Historically, high temperatures in August average 66 degrees, and this month, the city has been averaging 64, making it about the 37th-coolest August on record, Bell said.

Last year, he said, the average high for the month was 72 — the ninth-hottest August. A drop like that in one year can feel pretty significant in a city that doesn’t get a lot of big shifts in temperature, he said.

So yeah, it’s normal. Normal as in not warming. Normal as is cold like it has only been 3 times before.

Not everybody wandering around in the biting wind on the Golden Gate Bridge or at other foggy attractions in the city was thrilled by the crisp coastal temperatures.

Crista Lucey, 57, a San Francisco accountant who was showing the Golden Gate Bridge to some visitors from France, said the local weather can catch people from hot places by surprise.

“Our weather is so fickle,” Lucey said. “I’m surprised by how much fog we’ve been seeing. Very wet. Very windy.”

Jamie Andrew, 30, from London, and his girlfriend, Ella Young, 28, weren’t quite ready for the cold.

“We’re wearing every piece of clothing we brought,” Andrew said. “It’s certainly colder than we thought it’d be.”

When folks from London are complaining about the cold and fog, it’s pretty darned cold and foggy…

So why does this happen? Well, the return of old weather patterns. Now don’t go expecting anyone to say maybe it had been warm for a few decades because of a cyclical PDO driven weather change… but that’s why it got cold again:

There won’t be much use for beach towels, sunscreen or bathing suits in or around San Francisco until after Labor Day, Bell said. The low-pressure front that’s causing the cooler temperatures — optimists call it the Bay Area’s “natural air conditioner” — has set up camp over the West Coast and doesn’t seem inclined to blow off any time soon.

“We have to have a pattern change, and there’s not an indication of that coming,” Bell said. “Even looking out two weeks.

“If it makes you feel better, and I don’t know why it would,” he said, “we’re having the same issues down here in Monterey, day after day after day. If people want the heat, they’re going to have to go well inland.”

It was 79 in Sonoma, and Stockton hit 87 Friday. There was no sign of fog in Redding, which was a decidedly summery 97 degrees.

I will note in passing that it’s been that way elsewhere on the coast, too, as they point out. Also note they selected Stockton and Redding for inland temperatures. Stockton is near the middle of the Central Valley and can get some bay winds bringing a bit of cool, so while it often reaches 90 to 100+ in August, it usually abates after 2 or 3 days when the SF fog flow reaches more inland (as it dries out and warms). 87 F is relatively cool, but essentially a normal August temperature. I grew up about 90 miles south of Redding. In between it and my old home town is Red Bluff. Redding was often cooler than Red Bluff, but not by a lot. It is on the start of the climb into the Cascade Mountains. Normal for August is a few 100+ F days, some up to 110F, and not much below 90 to 95 F. We rejoiced at a 90 F day… So again, 97 F is smack dab normal. No “global warming” there, either.

Do note that July was not all that warm either, so this isn’t a weather “fluke”, but rather a return to older prior trends, but they couldn’t help getting in a “Global Warming” dig using February weather:

Though they just MUST appeal to February weather as counterpoint. Perhaps we ought to remind them February was just “extreme moderation” ;-)

San Francisco chilled by coldest July in years, after hottest February temperatures in three decades

By Brandon Mercer Updated 9:34 am, Friday, August 5, 2016

The coldest winter I ever knew was July of 2016 in San Francisco. Literally, we had warmer evenings back in mid-winter. With the month’s climate data now in, the average high temperature for July only hit 65.2–the coldest July in six years–while February’s average daily high was 66.4 degrees as measured in downtown San Francisco.

While July felt downright chilly, August so far is on track to have colder afternoons than February too, averaging just 65.7 for the daily high temperatures so far.

Now, to be clear, we’re talking about the temperatures we notice — the daily high.

February’s lows still get colder than July’s lows, bringing the overall average temperatures down, but most people aren’t awake to feel the daily low temperature overnight. It’s those afternoon highs that feel so frigid. February enjoyed 77 degrees one sunny afternoon this year, while we had one July afternoon where it never got above 59.

As I walked upwind from the Chronicle toward BART on a “hot August night” this week, face pelted by a fog so heavy it could be more accurately called drizzle, and with hands in my pockets to avoid the chill, I wondered just how cold our summer will remain.

Today, I actually put my coat on. Indoors.

Then they launch into a full on Self Delusion episode:

The real story though is not the summer cold, but the winter heat. Downtown had the hottest average high temperatures in February in 28 years.

Just ignore that man behind the curtain… indulge your confirmation bias and self delusion… /sarc;

No, the real story is the PDO shift and the return of the pattern of 30 years ago (and of the time of Mark Twain who was the first to note that the coldest winter he knew was a summer in San Francisco… but the author above didn’t credit the original).

He does note that the ocean has changed state, but misses the point that this means the heat didn’t run off to hide in the ocean, as it is the source of the cold:

Blame the ocean. The sea surface temperature off the coast is like setting your home’s thermostat to either “Heat or Cool.”

The cooler the ocean, the cooler the city by the ocean. Even as the Central Valley broils under 105+ degree heat.

The ocean water has been around 52 degrees off our coast this summer.

Oh, and do note the “broils under 105+”. As noted above, that is called “absolutely normal”. Growing up in that central valley, I remember one day of 117 F near Marysville, and more August days of 110 and 110+ F than I can count. No A/C, just a ‘swamp cooler’, so we watched that thermometer / news reports closely. A 105 F day was “nice” and a 95 F day a treat.

Then there is this tasty bit. They note that the airport, where the official temps are now taken, is biased against the cool:

The difference in summer and winter temperatures is most noticeable in downtown San Francisco. If you explore the official climate records using the weather station at San Francisco International Airport, you won’t find the same phenomenon, because the cold blasts in July don’t impact the airport as much as they do downtown.

Now there was no SFO Airport in the 1800s, the early 1900s, the 1920s etc. It is located well south of S.F. and near the inland bay with warmer water nearby. So about those global warming homogenization of that “grid cell”…

They seem to have ‘gotten schooled’ by someone with weather knowledge over a La Niña claim, and an interesting meander follows:

The coldest July average high temperatures on record for Downtown San Francisco? 1962, when the average high temperature barely made it out of the fifties: 60.4. (Records have been kept for this station since 1921.)

September and October are coming, for all your heat seekers. Those are our warmest months of the year.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story referenced a correlation between El Niño and La Niña conditions influencing our coastal ocean temperatures. After studying conflicting analyses of the impacts of the equatorial ocean waters on our local micro climates, we have chosen to remove that discussion. Continue reading for why.

While forecasters draw many different conclusions about the cause of our incredibly complex ocean temperatures and their influence on our micro climates, one meteorologist says 40 years experience suggests caution.

Jan Null from Golden Gate Weather Services tells SFGATE, “When you have a long pervasive El Niño, you are warming up the entire Pacific, but we’re much more influenced than normal wind patterns than anything going on in the tropics.”

He cautions that all the stories about warm water fishes or other warm water irregularities spotted along the California coast are not necessarily because of El Niño, and our summer’s cold ocean temperatures this year and in other years are not necessarily directly correlated to La Niña’s colder ocean conditions either.

Null explains that the warmer water we had this past winter actually pre-dated El Niño occurring, and he says the biggest phenomenon influencing our warm winter was the “warm blob” — a strange mass of warmer water that lurked off the coast, up into the Gulf of Alaska, dramatically influencing local conditions.

As for La Niña right now?

The colder ocean temperatures have already formed along the equator indicating a La Niña is forming, but it must continue to be colder than normal for three months before a La Niña condition is officially called.

So, parsing the weather speak, you could say “a La Niña appears to be forming, and the ocean is at La Niña levels, but it’s not yet a La Niña, because it hasn’t lasted for three months.”

With that, we’ll just say, enjoy what Jan Null calls “Fogust” in San Francisco.

Ah, the joys of watching folks stuck in a meme trying to interpret realty through it.

This is just a return to the normal of pre-1977 Great Pacific Shift as it was then known, or the PDO flip as we now call it in a shorthand way. It’s a 60 ish year cycle, so anyone under about 40 has no clue what was normal then. I’d guess for most folks they had to be born in at least 1965 and in California and stayed here to “have clue”. Oh, and noticed / watched the weather and weather news a lot…

Well, with that, I now return you to your “extreme moderation” in climate and hope you enjoyed a pleasant August weekend.

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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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40 Responses to It will be a cold day in August before…

  1. catweazle666 says:

    Clearly a result of CAGW…

  2. John Robertson says:

    Absolutely “Extreme ordinariness” caused by CAGW.
    As the cycle seems to be following past patterns,all I can think are the Lyrics of “Oh Susanna”.
    It is unprecedented…
    We are past 101 excuses for the pause and seem headed for a cooling spell.
    If so it will give me great pleasure to mercilessly mock the afflicted.
    In my eyes,people who bought the Emperors New Clothes, I mean the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming story are just too gullible to be trusted with any position of public authority.
    Not even dogcatcher.

  3. Jeff says:

    I’d rather they talk to Pete Giddings, or the Brian Sussmann, but they are “old fogies”.

    Funny how things go in cycles. The young’uns don’t seem to acknowledge that, and the CAGW “Warriors” refuse to.

    In the 1970s/early 1980s I contract programmed in a few places around the bay. Great for the gas companies, not so much for me. Sometimes I’d drive up 35/skyline Blvd. for my west-bay gigs. I could open the drivers’ side and passengers’ side windows and have the fog pass through the car. Ahhh. Those were the days. And it appears they’re back.

    Good news: the Coast Redwoods must be loving it!

  4. H.R. says:

    John & Jeff,
    When the coast redwoods disappear – not from earthquake or fire – that will be a strong indicator that the climate has changed, eh?

  5. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    It will be a cold day in August before we learn if the error in Bethe-Weizsacker’s nuclear “binding energy” was accidental or intentional, to hide the source of energy in atomic bombs. I realized the error in 1961, before first going to Berkeley in 1962, but I still did not realize that B-W’s “binding energy” error obscured neutron repulsion until 2000, and then only vaguely.

  6. John F. Hultquist says:

    Perhaps your missing heat went to Puget Sound. It was noticeably warm there many days this summer. That is according to the weather blog of KOMO News by Scott Sistek. In this one:

    In the latest blog (8/28) he starts “Summer heat is done …”

    The cooler pattern made it across the Cascades today (Sunday).

    The reports of 1917, 1941, and 1882 for SF suggest I should check Puget Sound to see if there is a yo-yo thing going on. I’m not going to do that tonight and likely will never get to it. I’ve got a busy week coming. With the cooler days I have some outdoor projects to get to. I’ve been heading to mountain trails (volunteer work) where it has been cooler. Today involved a lot of rock and dirt digging. Time for rest.

  7. Manfred says:

    “We’re in an extreme of mildness,” he said.

    An unadulterated oxymoron with profound emphasis on moron.
    In any case, it sure looks like the nefarious skills of the temperature adjustment bureau may be severely tested in the months to come.

  8. Mark M says:

    Hell frozen over? The 97% science has that covered as well.

    In a recent column, theology professor Susan Thistlethwaite explained that “frigid weather” was an “example of the kind of violent and abrupt climate change that results from global warming.

    The good professor also claimed that cold weather in the United States is a punishment sent by God for “our sinful failure to take care of the Creation.”

    Cold as Hell: The Chilling Effect of Global Warming

  9. philjourdan says:

    On a normal note, It is nice to note that at least during my tenure in SF, we had a handful of days that we saw the sun in August. So I guess the early 70s were more normal. But then that was before CAGW.

  10. Glenn999 says:

    Yesterday I was sent a link to an article ( ) and I wanted to reply as succinctly as possible to my friend.

    The article states “So far this year, the planet’s average temperature has been 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1.3 degrees Celsius) warmer than the late 19th century.” ” For the first time, NASA shared a midyear climate analysis, doing so because temperature averages this year have been so in excess of previous data, agency officials said. NASA’s data showed that each month in 2016 was the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record, which dates to 1880. This trend suggests 2016 will surpass 2015 as the hottest year on record, NASA said.

    “2016 has really blown that out of the water,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City”.

    I spent most of the day perusing the chiefio’s archives, but with the massive amount of data, I wasn’t able to find exactly what I needed. So here are my questions:

    When they refer to “warmest eveh” is this GISS, GHCN,GIStemp, or something else?

    Are they referring to anomalies, or actual air temperature?

    When they refer to temperatures, what are the error range associated with a specific number? Are there different error ranges for mercury measurements vs. new thermometer technologies?

    When they refer to a “temperature”, this is not a raw number, but has been modified, if I remember correctly. How many different modifications does a specif “number” represent?

    If I recall correctly from your archives, there aren’t many long running temperature series because they move the monitoring stations as time goes on. How many stations actually exist from the late 19th century?

    And the last question, are there any documented issues with the people or the organizations that are publishing this data? For instance Gavin Schmidt at NASA GISS or NOAA NCDC.

    I realize that you have probably already written about these issues, but I couldn’t find it in one place. I read about a dozen postings of yours yesterday and there were many additional links, but I was overwhelmed in my search. Perhaps there is an executive summary out there to help in my response?
    Either way, thanks for any help in my endeavor to push back against this crazy narrative.

  11. Gail Combs says:

    Comment at WUWT on data manipulation by guy saving the data for 30 stations:

    On Thermometer resolution, and ERROR

  12. Gail Combs says:

    Old thermometer readings
    The above are comments I made at Tony Heller’s on the destruction of the temperature record. They have a lot of links within each comment. (Tony gave up fishing my comments out of moderation and allows me several links per comment)

  13. Larry Ledwick says:

    Excellent link on thermometer accuracy and the limits which should be applied to compensate for all the error budget ( On Thermometer resolution, and ERROR)

    There was a similar post on WUWT a few years ago, not sure if by the same person.

    This is the primary reason I toss out all the assertions about warming, none of the measurements that they combine to calculate the statistic of “world average temperature” are any where near as accurate as the asserted precision in their average — ie the wandering up and down of that average is meaningless noise in the data and has no scientific significance at all.

    Unfortunately even when talking to friends who are professional thermal engineers they are so invested in the global warming meme that they will not even listen to that built in error in the global average temperature data.

  14. Larry Ledwick says:

    Ahh here is the WUWT link I was remembering on thermometer error.
    Looks like it is based on the same info / same person, from an older blog location.
    ( Metrology – A guest re-post by Mark of Mark’s View)

    Anthony’s discussion of the problems with electronic thermometers


  15. gallopingcamel says:

    The NASA/GISS meme of the “Hottest Year Evah” is an artifact of the fevered mind of James Hansen. Hansen has passed the baton to Gavin Schmidt.

    These people are fraudsters who sully the name “Scientist”. Tony Heller makes a cottage industry by showing how NASA manipulates its own data to create a warming trend. I could choose one hundred links at Realclimate but here is the most recent:

    Let’s hope that a Trump presidency will defund harmful and dishonest government agencies such as the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, the EPA, GISS and many, many more.

  16. Glenn999 says:

    Thanks for all of the links; plenty to read. It appears that the 1.3 degree Celsius increase in the global temps could be explained just by the error range of thermometer and the person reading the thermometer. Of course there is so much more that can be factored into the changes. One person made a comment stating that old records were changing every month; but I didn’t see any followup on that line. These might have been the adjusted records changing, but doesn’t seem right to continually adjust records.
    The other question I have is where is it getting warmer. If this is global, it could be in the poles or in the ocean. It would be interesting to see this 1.3 degree rise shown in grids where the warming is actually taking place. Most people hear this and think it applies to where they live.
    Also, one other point. I thought I remembered hearing about controversies with GISS or the NCDC temps….

    Okay, off to prepare for my date with Hermine!!

  17. Gail Combs says:

    On the changes in temperatures, they use a computer AlGoreRhythm to continually adjust the temperatures. Worse they now make up a lot of the temperatures instead of using real world data.

    This is for USA data:

    Filling in for world data:

    E.M. of course has excellent information on this slight of hand as well.

    To put it bluntly the global temperature is garbage with error bars you could drive a truck through.

    And that doesn’t even get into the fact that it is the completely wrong metric to measure in the first place because it does not take into account the heat bound in water vapor.

  18. philjourdan says:

    @Gail – you have a much better filing system than I do. Do you recall the article by Dr. RA Brown plotting CO2 increases with the GISS Temperature adjustments? The r2 value was some ungodly 99+

  19. Gail Combs says:

    Phil, That was Steve Godard (Tony Heller) not Dr Brown.

  20. philjourdan says:

    Steve found it, but Dr. Brown did an article where he applied the statistics and error checking to it. I do not remember if it was a comment or an actual article. But (his comments are always pure gold) he basically said it was impossible NOT to be shenanigans.

  21. philjourdan says:

    You are a gem! I wish I had your filing skills!

  22. ren says:

    Abstract In this work we investigated the nature of correlations between low cloud cover anomalies (LCA) and galactic
    cosmic ray (GCR) variations detected on the decadal time scale, as well as possible reasons for the violation of these
    correlations in the early 2000s. It was shown that the link between cloud cover at middle latitudes and GCR fluxes is not
    direct, but it is realized through GCR influence on the development of extratropical baric systems (cyclones and troughs)
    which form cloud field. As the sign of GCR effects on the troposphere dynamics seems to depend on the strength of the
    stratospheric polar vortex, a possible reason for the violation of a positive correlation between LCA and GCR fluxes in the
    early 2000s may be the change of the vortex state which resulted in the reversal of GCR effects on extratropical cyclone

    Click to access SG_v10_No1_2015-pp-51-58.pdf

  23. Gail Combs says:

    Thanks ren,
    I expect a switch to more La Nino

  24. Glenn999 says:

    Isn’t espanol wonderful. I would like to switch to a more gender neutral way of referring to the weather:}

  25. Gail Combs says:

    Glenn, tomorrow I get up at 3:30 AM to go to a flea market (mainly hispanic) in the hopes of making a few hundred $$…. I do not speak Spanish and I am rotten at languages, just ask my French and German teachers.

    Time to make English the language of this country.

  26. Glenn999 says:

    No problemo. By the way, do you know if goats eat Cogon Grass? Here is the link to the invasive grass.
    I was told that goats will eat about anything, but don’t know if that is true.

  27. ren says:

    All colored regions in the hovmoller plot below depict regions where the flow is blocked according to the blocking index.

  28. Glenn999 says:

    Why do we call these weather events “El Nino” and “La Nina”. Isn’t there a more apt way of referring to a cold pool and a warm pool of water that causes changes to our weather. Perhaps we should rename these weather phenomena? How about something sciencey-sounding or maybe something just as bizarre as the little boy or the little girl. It could be The Cat or The Dog….or The Octopus or The Elephant or the Snake….

  29. Pingback: It will be a cold day in August before… – Climate Collections

  30. Larry Ledwick says:

    Why do we call these weather events “El Nino” and “La Nina”.

    That terminology is a legacy of where the effect was first recognized on the west coast of south American by fishermen in the 1600’s. Usually near Christmas and gave it the nickname “El Nino” in reference in to the Spanish nickname for the coming of Christ (child in a manger = “El Nino”).
    In following that concept its opposite was named “La Nina”.

    It is an historical legacy in weather related names such as “Monsoon” for seasonal rain in India is now widely adopted for similar rain patterns world wide.

  31. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well here is a fun way to keep yourself busy when you are bored.
    It would be fun to see what the Reddit kids would do with this and US politicians.

  32. E.M.Smith says:
    It would seem not. The stuff is very tough with high silica content (high tooth wear).
    Maybe if you fermented it as silage…

  33. Gail Combs says:

    Glenn999 says “….I was told that goats will eat about anything, but don’t know if that is true.”

    Actually goats are rather picky eaters. It is just that they prefer the same food as a deer — browse, not grass. They will head straight for the rose bushes, blackberries, green briar, virgina creeper, honey suckle, sweet gum (yum!) and other bushes and trees. That is why they are great for clearing a woody area. It is your sheep that make great lawn mowers.

  34. cdquarles says:

    @ Larry, If I am remembering my meteorology correctly, the monsoon is a seasonal shift in the prevailing winds. This may or may not have an associated seasonal rainfall in any given year. Examples are the SW US summer monsoon SE wind, which can feed a Gulf of Mexico fetch, and the Indian shift from an offshore winter wind to an onshore summer one.

  35. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes but the Indian Monsoon is driven by sea surface temperature. It kicks off when sea surface temps get to about 82 deg F, if the ocean is too cool the monsoon circulation does not develop in depth and the Indian Continent has terrible drought as that seasonal rainfall is greatly diminished. In the US it is similar we get hot moist air circulating into the central states late in the summer and that circulation pulls moisture into the middle of the continent. The wind shift is the cause, the trigger is difference in land and sea surface temp, and heavy rains are the consequence.

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