Archive for October, 2016

When Tmax and Tmin Are Poor at Describing Weather

October 25, 2016

Last Sunday was a miserable day in Rockhampton- overcast with drizzling rain and cold all day.  Mean maximum for October is 29.7 degrees, so the maximum reported by the Bureau of 20.4 was 9.5 degrees below average, as expected.  However, that does not tell you anything like the whole story.

Here is the temperature graph from the Bureau for the period midday Saturday to midday Tuesday.  The solid horizontal line shows the duration of Sunday 23rd, and the thin black vertical lines show 9.00 a.m., which is the time when the daily minimum and the previous day’s maximum are recorded.   Temperatures at recording times are circled.

rocky-temp-23-oct

On fine, clear days, minima usually occur around sunrise and maxima in the early afternoon: you can see this on the 22nd, 24th, and (almost) on the 25th.  Sunday 23rd was wet.  As you can see the temperature was falling fairly steadily from Saturday afternoon until Monday morning.   The maximum for Sunday was 22.7 at midnight, and the coldest temperature on Sunday was 14.3 from 7.30 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. on Sunday night- not the 17.6 at 9.00 a.m.   The official maximum for Sunday of 20.4 degrees was actually the temperature at 9.00 a.m. on Monday!

So what was the Diurnal Temperature Range?  Was 20.6 (or 22.7) a good representation of how high the temperature “rose”?  The temperature in the early afternoon varied between 15 and 16.4, and this was about 14 degrees below normal for this time of the year (and two to three degrees below the official lowest maximum of 18.1 on 10th October 1982).

Which is one reason I don’t take a lot of notice of claims of hottest or coldest extremes.

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The Pause Update: September 2016

October 18, 2016

The complete UAH v6.0 data for September have just been released. I present all the graphs for various regions, and as well summaries for easier comparison. The Pause has finally ended globally and for the Northern Hemisphere, and the Tropics, but still refuses to go away in the Southern Hemisphere.

These graphs show the furthest back one can go to show a zero or negative trend (less than 0.1 +/-0.1C per 100 years) in lower tropospheric temperatures. I calculate 12 month running means to remove the small possibility of seasonal autocorrelation in the monthly anomalies. Note: The satellite record commences in December 1978- now 37 years and 10 months long- 454 months. 12 month running means commence in November 1979. The y-axes in the graphs below are at December 1978, so the vertical gridlines denote Decembers. The final plotted points are September 2016.

[CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE]

Globe:

pause-sep16-globe

The Pause has ended. A trend of +0.18 C/100 years (+/- 0.1C) since March 1998 is about one sixth of the trend for the whole record.

And, for the special benefit of those who think that I am deliberately fudging data by using 12 month running means, here is the plot of monthly anomalies:

pause-sep16-globe-monthly

Northern Hemisphere:

pause-sep16-nh

The Northern Hemisphere Pause has ended.

Southern Hemisphere:

pause-sep16-sh

For well over half the record, the Southern Hemisphere still has zero trend.  The Pause may end shortly.

Tropics:

pause-sep16-tropics

As expected, the Pause in the Tropics (20N to 20S) has ended.

Tropical Oceans:

pause-sep16-tropic-oceans

The Pause remains (just) for ocean areas.

Northern Extra Tropics:

pause-sep16-next

The minimal trend is creeping up- how high will it go before decreasing again?

Southern Extra Tropics:

pause-sep16-sext

The Pause is one month longer.

Northern Polar:

pause-sep16-np

Another big increase in temperature in this region but the minimal trend is still one seventh that of the whole record.

Southern Polar:

pause-sep16-sp

The South Polar region has been cooling for the entire record- 36 years 11 months.

USA 49 States:

pause-sep16-usa49

One month shorter.

Australia:

pause-sep16-oz

No change.

The next graphs summarise the above plots. First, a graph of the relative length of The Pause in the various regions:

pause-length-sep16

Note that the Pause has ended by my criteria in all regions of Northern Hemisphere, and consequently the Globe, and the Tropics, but all southern regions have a Pause for over half the record, including the South Polar region which has been cooling for the whole record.

The variation in the linear trend for the whole record, 1978 to the present:

trends-78-now

Note the decrease in trends from North Polar to South Polar.

And the variation in the linear trend since June 1998, which is about halfway between the global low point of December 1997 and the peak in December 1998:

trends-jun-98-sep-16

The imbalance between the two hemispheres is obvious. The lower troposphere over Australia has been strongly cooling for more than 18 years- just shy of half the record.

The next few months will be interesting. The Pause may disappear from the Southern Hemisphere soon. How long will the Pause last in the Southern Extra Tropics and South Polar regions?  ( I would like to see separate data for the Extra-tropical regions from 20 to 60 degrees north and south.)