125 Years ago: Willamette Valley climate of 1891

Going back 125 years ago to the summer of 1891 we find some things just never change…note the Salem Statesman on 6 August 1891 was concerned about climate change, as quoted in the August 1891 monthly report of the Oregon State Climate Service.
Salem Statesman on 6 August 1891:

Yesterday afternoon the vicinity of Salem was again visited by a genuine down-East rain storm, with thunder and lightning accompaniments.  This is the second storm of this kind to visit this immediate section this season, and it is a remarkable fact that they are the first storms of this nature that ever made their presence know hereabouts.  The memory of the oldest inhabitant retains no recollection of like storms.  Many persons have seen it rain just as hard here as it did yesterday, but no such vivid flashes of lightning were ever seen here, nor was such loud and sharp thunder ever heard in the valley.
Can it be the climate is undergoing a change, or is this the exception that forms the rule?  But this season is a remarkably peculiar one, anyhow.  Winter held on unusually long, making a late spring, with rains well into summer.  And now, in the midst of harvest, to be treated to an electric storm–well, it is an attraction not down on the bills.

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Seattle Precipitation – Winter 2015-16

Seattle Sand Point (SEW) has seen measurable precipitation on each of the past 14 days (26 Feb – 10 Mar 2016).  This month, with 3.20 inches so far, is likely to be the 6th consecutive month with above normal precipitation at SEW, where March normal precipitation is 3.51 inches.  We may reach the annual normal of 36.1 inches before the end of this month, with 6 months still remaining in the 2016 water year.

Seattle Sand Point WFO
Oct 2015  3.83  +0.42
Nov 2015  7.16  +1.32
Dec 2015  9.41  +3.98
Jan 2016  7.19  +2.38
Feb 2016  4.07  +0.76
Mar 2016  3.20  through 10 March
TOTAL    34.86
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From 106 F to 28 F in eastern Washington in 5 days

Eastern Washington has been a land of temperature extremes this past week.  Earlier this week the temperature reached 106 F at Benton City on 8 June 2015 and several sites reached 105 F, including the Hanford climate station.  Now just 5 days later, we are experiencing an unusually late freeze and frost near Spokane and Pullman.  The Turnbull NWR Climate Reference Network site is reporting a very unusual June temperature in the 20s with 28.3 F reported early this morning (13 June 2015).


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San Francisco Minimum Temperature Records – Downtown vs Airport

There seems to have been some strange climate change at work across San Francisco since 2000.  Daily minimum temperature records are very difficult to achieve at the airport in this the 21st century but still quite common in downtown San Francisco over the past 15 years.

Number of Daily Temperature Records since 2000 in San Francisco using 70-year period of record from 1945-2015:
                    # Min Records     # Max Records
Downtown            104                       102
Airport                      9                         108

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Whidbey Island Naval Air Station warm anomaly

In western Washington we have an ASOS site at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station (KNUW) whose temperature often runs considerably higher than surrounding sites.

For example, the high temperature today about 2 miles south of KNUW ASOS on Whidbey Island was 52 F at OAKH2.  Similarly, the AgWeatherNet site on northern Whidbey Island near Coupeville had a high temperature of 52.4 F.  But at KNUW ASOS the high temperature was 5 deg F warmer at 57 F.

At 2 PM PDT today (22 Sept 2015) the temperature at KNUW was running about +3 to +4 deg F warmer than surrounding sites as shown by this map.

It would be interesting to understand why the temperature at Whidbey Island NAS often runs so much higher than at surrounding sites.

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Record warm February 2015 at Hanford WA

The Hanford climate station in eastern Washington reports February 2015 to have been their warmest February in the 71 year historical record from 1945 – 2015.  The mean of 45.3 F exceeded the previous record in February 1958 by +0.8 F.  More detailed information can be found here.

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Warm February 2015 in the Pacific Northwest

Final results are in…at the Olympia Airport over the past 74 years since 1942 this past month was the 3rd warmest February in the historical record:

1) 1958   47.0 F
2) 1963   46.1
3) 2015   46.0
At Eugene Airport with 76 years of record since 1940 this past month was the 4th warmest February on record:
1) 1963  49.2 F
2) 1968  48.9
3) 1958  48.7
4) 2015  48.2
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Intense Cold Continues at Eureka Canada

March came in like a polar bear up in Eureka on the Arctic coast of Canada with a max temperature of -55 F and a min temperature of -60 F on 1 March 2013, the 2nd consecutive day to reach -60 F.  Yesterday marked the 12th consecutive day with a min temperature of -50 F or below at Eureka with 8 of those 12 colder than -55 F.  The SLP reached an unusually high 1051 hPa yesterday as well.

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Wenatchee WA reaches the freezing mark

They are celebrating in Wenatchee WA.  For the first time in nearly 3 weeks the temperature has risen above freezing with 33 F reported at 11 AM 29 Jan 2013.  The max temperature reached 37 F back on 10 Jan 2013 before sinking below the freezing mark for the next 19 days.

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500 hPa: Alaska warmer than Arizona today

Up at the 500 hPa level, this morning finds a considerably warmer temperature at Yakutat AK, with -19 C, than at Tucson AZ where the temperature is -31 C.  The warmest 500 hPA temperature this month (Jan 2013) at Yakutat AK was -17 C on 13 Jan 2013 while Tucson has today matched the -31 C also reported on 14 Jan 2013 for the coldest this month.  Check out the 500 hPa chart here.

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