Before you hyperventilate over the weekend temperatures…

Put them in a historical context.

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No denying it … it was really hot his weekend.

High temperatures hit 97 on Friday and 99 on Sunday Source

So predictably, I’ve been hearing that the weekend temps prove that there’s global warming.

image

Before jumping to that conclusion, it helps to resort to data and put the weekend heat in a historical perspective….

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Being a data-driven kinda guy, I looked up the the hottest days ever in DC.

Here’s what I found:

10 Hottest Temperature Days in
Washington D.C. History
Source

  • T-1. July 20, 1930 – 106 degrees
  • T-1. August 6, 1918 – 106 degrees
  • T-3. August 17, 1997 – 105 degrees
  • T-3. July 10, 1936 – 105 degrees
  • T-3. July 22, 2011 – 105 degrees
  • T-5. June 29, 2012 – 104 degrees
  • T-5. July 16, 1988 – 104 degrees
  • T.5  July 9, 1936 – 104 degrees
  • T-5. July 21, 1926 – 104 degrees
  • T-5. August 7, 1918 – 104 degrees
  • T-5. September 7, 1881 – 104 degrees

The first obvious conclusion is that you need a 104 to make the list … a 99 doesn’t get the job done.

Yeah, it’s hot … but not that hot.

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It gets more interesting when you scan the Top 10 dates.

Here’s the list sorted chronologically:

  • T-5. September 7, 1881 – 104 degrees
  • T-1. August 6, 1918 – 106 degrees
  • T-5. August 7, 1918 – 104 degrees
  • T-5. July 21, 1926 – 104 degrees
  • T-1. July 20, 1930 – 106 degrees
  • T.5 July 9, 1936 – 104 degrees
  • T-3. July 10, 1936 – 105 degrees
  • T-5. July 16, 1988 – 104 degrees
  • T-3. August 17, 1997 – 105 degrees
  • T-3. July 22, 2011 – 105 degrees
  • T-5. June 29, 2012 – 104 degrees

Note a couple of things:

1) The earliest year is 1881 … way before the introduction of the SUV … but soon after Edison’s invention of the light bulb … coincidence?

2) 1918 was a tough year with 2 days making the list … between 1908 and 1927, Ford built some 15 million Model T cars source …  1918 is in the middle of that period, so let’s assume that there were 7.5 million Model Ts on the road in 1918 … was that enough to spike temperatures?  Sounds like cause and effect to me.

3) 1936 was another doubleheader year … hard to blame it on factories belching mercury-rising smoke since we were in the middle of the Great Depression

4) 2012 was the last year to make the list … gee, that seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?

Bottom line: chill out.

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Before you pepper me with ‘but what about the trendline?’ …

Be sure to refresh your memory re: the 13 Reasons why I’m lukewarm on climate change

Pay particular attention to #4 Dinking with the data

Its punchline: Temperature data “adjusted” by the NOAA eliminated the 18-year pause and bolstered the global warming case by consistently adjusting temperatures down in the distant past and adjust them up in recent years.

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Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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2 Responses to “Before you hyperventilate over the weekend temperatures…”

  1. Robert Heflin Says:

    Hi Ken- those historic temps are Houston Texas Temps every summer. The ones DC is getting now we in Texas call it coolin’ off. Hell, we go to Florida I’m the summer to cool off.
    Calm down DC- Houston gets those temps for 4 months- almost every day. Do what we do – stay indoors in A/C.
    Da Cuz

  2. Heatwaves: More historical perspective… | The Homa Files Says:

    […] News & Views on Marketing, Economics & Politics « Before you hyperventilate over the weekend temperatures… […]

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