It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Florida, Texas

I generally dislike people quoting other people's blog articles at great length, but Steve Scolnik's blog is more than a bit interesting right now and I'll make an exception.
The National Weather Service reports that Wednesday's (June 15) high at Tallahassee, Florida was the all-time hottest temperature in records dating back over a century:

AT 307 PM EDT...THE TALLAHASSEE REGIONAL AIRPORT RECORDED A HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 105 DEGREES. THIS TEMPERATURE BREAKS THE PREVIOUS ALL TIME HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD FOR TALLAHASSEE...WHICH WAS 104 DEGREES SET MOST RECENTLY ON JUNE 20TH 1933. THE PERIOD OF RECORD FOR TALLAHASSEE DATES BACK TO 1892.

The old record had also been observed on 4 other previous occasions. The previous day's high of 103° also blasted away the old record for June 14 by 4°. So far this month, daily records have also been set on June 1 (103° vs. 101° in 1927), June 3 (101° vs. 100° in 2000), and June 13 (102° vs. 101° in 2010). For the first 2 weeks of June, Tallahassee's temperature has averaged 5.8° above normal.

The high temperature of 98° at Apalachicola blasted away the previous record for June 15, set just last year, by 4°. The previous day's high of 97° also broke a daily record of 95° set last year.

Elsewhere in Florida, daily records were set at Miami (96° vs. 94° in 2010) and Gainesville (103° vs. 100° in 1977). Records were tied at Tampa (95°) and Daytona Beach (99°).
Meanwhile here in Texas, well,


I guess the most notable thing is that 97 F no longer qualifies as "hot".

I hear people complaining about the weather, and, Texas newbie that I am, I shrug and say "that's Texas in summer for you, I guess", but the old-timers squint at me and say "but it's only June".

And rivers are starting to run dry in parts of the state where they don't normally do that.

From the linked Austin Statesman article:
Central Texas experienced one of the driest October to May periods on record, said Bob Rose, chief meteorologist for the Lower Colorado River Authority. Normally, the region would get 23.1 inches from October to May; this year, only 8.96 inches of rain have fallen at Austin's Camp Mabry, Rose said.

Rain is not typical in July, and it could be as late as August or September before Central Texas sees any, Rose said. The dry spell is due to one of the strongest La Niña patterns the Southwest has seen, he added.
I played with the colors on the official drought map of Texas and came up with something pretty (click to embiggen). It's not so pretty on the ground, though. Over half the state is in "exceptional drought" and less than a fiftieth is in "normal" conditions. Exactly backwards of the statistically typical proportions. If the colors were reversed, this would be an unremarkable map.

7 comments:

Alexander Ac said...

Lat year Russia, this year Texas... next year?

BTW, this year in Rusia the are of burnt forest is 3-times bigger than last year this time... today I am in Slovak TV talking to climate-skeptic... will be "fun"

Alex

EliRabett said...

Some, not Eli to be sure, might say that it may be useful that the birds are roosting on the correct nests. Concentrate the minds and all that.

Steve Scolnik said...

Thank you for the exception :).

Steve Scolnik said...

P.S. You were a day early on the Texas drought. The latest weekly data, posted this morning, puts the exceptional area (highest of 5 categories) up 7 percentage points to 65%, so it's more like two-thirds than one half.

Word verification: "rening". NOT!

greysparkles said...

Welcome to the new normal.

Greg said...

The quote
>The dry spell is due to one of the strongest La Niña patterns the Southwest has seen
makes me want to respond "You mean the once fairly-strong La Niña that is now completely finished according to the ENSO index?

Michael Tobis said...

Greg, yes, it is a fairly parochial (and not quite correct) way of putting it. But the La Nina PATTERN remains entrenched over North America even if the SOI is back to zero.