Today It Rained – A Curious Thing With Thermometers

A very curious thing. Today it rained in San Jose, California. For many years now, when something odd happens here, I look up the local long life station at the San Jose Airport on Wunderground, and that gives me the “typical” or normal averages (after way too many clicks) for comparison.

Rain in the first few days of October is an oddity here. Typically it waits until about Halloween. Sometimes a little before, often just the day after.

Today it rained.

So off to Wunderground. Get it focused on to the San Jose in California, not the dozen+ others around the planet. Look at history… No history. WT? Oh, I see, for some unknown reason it gave me the San Jose Japantown station. One with little history and located in an urban enclave a few streets from the airport. No worries, I’ll just change stations to the one that has been around the absolute longest and is used for all the climate stuff and aviation….

What? It’s not there? What?

Wunderground minus SJC

Wunderground minus SJC

Click to embiggen.

I’d think maybe they moved it into the Santa Clara batch, but the map argues otherwise. Other Santa Clara stations are on the list and map. Nice big hole over the SJC airport. One wonders why…

As I’ve used the normals before, I have a copy saved somewhere. If I find it I’ll add it here; but my original intent of showing rain unusual this early in October has been replaced with real surprise that Wunderground is leaving out the most important station in the area.

One other side note: Notice the orange tags for stations with current temperature on them. Notice most of them are withing a couple of degrees F of each other but some are 5+ divergent. That is the nature of ground temperatures. They vary a lot with microclimate. There is no way any significance can be ascribed to changes in the 1/10 degree range when you have whole degrees from local foliage, pavement, wetness, buildings, etc

The basic notion of using such readings for a 1/10 C precision is ludicrous after even a casual examination of stations in an area and accepted for reporting use by folks like Wundergroud.

Update: Looks like the LAX Los Angles airport is also left out. El Segundo and Maple Avenue are as close as you can get… Is someone trying to hide the Airport Heat Island and how it biases “climate change” to the high side? Hmmm….

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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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11 Responses to Today It Rained – A Curious Thing With Thermometers

  1. agesilaus says:

    Coincidentally I was fooling around with the Wunderground history on Gainesville FL, yesterday. The local rag, the Gainesville Sun (aka the mullet wrapper) posted a story a few days ago claiming this last September was the hottest ever. Since I’ve live in this area since the late 1970’s I instantly knew this was BS, I could clearly recall the summer when Hades door opened and we had multiple 100 deg plus days. Like you I found the Gainesville Airport history vanished on Wunderground. But some spelunking around found that the highest temp this last month was one day at 96 deg, hot but not completely unusual. I found the closest site with history on found 1997 had eleven days over 100 deg.

    Unfortunately you cannot leave a letter to the editor unless you subscribe to the mullet wrapper which I refuse to do. They owned by the NY Times for one thing.

    Actually I thought that September was on the mild side to normal for here. This is northern central Florida and it get darned hot here from July thru September every year. Plus 80% plus humidity is normal.

  2. E.M.Smith says:


    Nice to have the added data point / corroboration. Looks like the Data Diddling is continuing apace. Sigh.

    Yes, when I was in Florida a month or so back it was absolutely normal (Orlando area). Couple of days a bit cooler than expected and the pool was not as inviting as in other years, solar heated or in this case almost heated…

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    I’ve seen the same thing here in Colorado they are bleating about hottest ever summer and this summer was for someone with almost 70 years of personal experience mild, only a few days were comfortably warm, and I did not have to worry about things melting in my car this year. I remember years when it was like a blast furnace for extended stretches of time, where all the bank thermometers were reading in the low 100’s, and women were pulling their shoes off by sticking their heels in soft tar as they crossed the street down town.

    The current temperatures are recorded out at DIA on the open plains north east of Denver and the airport consists of a couple square miles of asphalt and concrete. Not even close to the old weather station at Stapleton field near I70 and Quebec street in north east Denver surrounded with neighborhoods with 50 ft tall deciduous trees.

  4. Power Grab says:

    I now ignore them when they start proclaiming the most recent month as having been the hottest evah. Overkill!

    I had a sibling that used to telephone Time & Temperature every morning and record the temp in a log. I’m wishing now that I had kept up that habit.

    This was not one of the hottest Septembers evah.

    I remember 45 years ago it reached 100+ in the middle of September. This past September was rather on the mild side, for the most part.

  5. ossqss says:

    I was part of WU for many years..Meff Jasters (will never speak his name) always had an agenda even prior tto selling the site to TWC and the station data ultimatwly to IBM (Deep Thunder). I will say no more.

  6. ossqss says:

    Mobile keyboard applologies again. Dangit!

  7. cdquarles says:

    It’s been a bit warmer than average, here, for the last 3 or 4 weeks. That’s due to a persistent ridge that developed after a tropical system came through late August/early September and reinforced by Florence. 80s here are average highs in early Oct. 90s are not unheard of, either. In any particular year, I can see 90F+ anywhere from March into October. I can see 80F+ anywhere from February into December. I can see 70F+ pretty much all year. Since the ridge is expected to break down in another week or two, I won’t be surprised if we get a killing frost before November. Average first killing frost date is mid-November. Last killing frost may occur anywhere from February to early May, though that’s very rare. Local farm lore has it that planting after Easter will succeed almost always. Tree fruits and grains ripen first here in spring, then melons/tomatoes in summer, followed by seeds/nuts in the late summer/autumn. It is greens planting time now. Remember that Easter (Western) falls between March 20th (very rare) and April 19th (also very rare).

  8. Steven Fraser says:

    Maybe they should start harvesting cold/cool air in Alberta and Sakatchewan, and piping it to Southern California. Put the outlet in the Subway.

  9. H.R. says:

    @ Simon Fraser: I think the cold air should be piped to Washington DC. That’s where Global Warming started and all the hot air given off there is what’s sustaining it.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmm wonder what the economics would be for running a big (giant?) ice slush pipe from Canada to D.C….

  11. Patrick healy says:

    Did you say pipeline?
    Not an earthly chance, the greenies would be camped out protesting.

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