Unusually cool spring, until now

Posted by NBC12 Meteorologist Jim Duncan

Andrew Freiden’s last post discusses the definition of a “heat wave”, and the recent string of 100-degree days certainly qualifies.  In the midst of this headline-making heat wave over the East, it’s interesting to note that the spring up until now has been unusually cool.  Check out this press release from NOAA, http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20080606_ncdcspring.html.

Here’s the headline paragraph from the release,

“The March-May spring season was the 36th coolest on record for the contiguous United States, according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Separately, last month ended as the 34th coolest May for the contiguous United States, based on records dating back to 1895.”

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6 Responses to Unusually cool spring, until now

  1. bobby_r says:

    Contrast in Weather:
    Jim and his weather department team sometimes mention the weather contrast between the east coast and west coast because often when one coast is hotter than average the other is cooler than average. I’ve been looking at the average daily temperatures for June in a number of locations across the country. While a large part of the East coast has been suffering from the brutal heat this early June the opposite has been occurring in much of the West. Looking at the normal daily averages, through yesterday, in many locations around the country there are many places in the west, such as CA, OR, WA, etc., that have been experiencing below average temperatures for the month of June. Last week and this week, too, there have been frost advisories posted for parts of CA and OR. When it’s as hot as it is here it’s hard to imagine that there are still parts of the lower 48 states getting snow. Parts of OR. ID and MT have snow advisories and heavy snow warnings posted yesterday and today. Last night snow levels were to be down to 2500 feet, with up to 12” of snow expected. You can almost be sure that at some point there will be an exchange in weather patterns between the east coast and the west coast.

  2. Judy says:

    I don’t know what the temperature was here in Louisa yesterday but, when I had assumed that it was “cool” I went out and mowed the lawn. When I had finished, I was heading back into the house and glanced at the thermometer. It read 95 degrees! But I did notice one thing.. I was fine until I read the thermometer then all of a sudden, it felt hotter outdoors! LOL

  3. Fran says:

    Thanks to both of you for the reply. I knew it was hot but dang…..108! I thought for sure I would look out the window and see the devil sitting on my deck! LOL

  4. bobby_r says:

    Ref. Why Wide Temperature Variation? Thermometer location is possible cause. The following information was researched from the NWS.

    Surface temperature measurements are intended to represent conditions where we live, work, play, etc. It’s not unusual to have a difference in temperature of several degrees from just few inches above the ground to 5 ft. above the ground. The NWS use these established standards for a thermometer location or its sensor. Unless the typical geography for the area is hilly or in a valley the thermometer sensor should be placed in a well ventilated structure 5 ft. +/- 1 ft above a level surface. It should be no closer that 4 times the height of any obstruction. (Trees, fences, buildings, etc.) The sensor should be at least 100 feet away from any paved or concrete surface. Temperatures in the city are most always hotter because of it being next to impossible to meet the NWS standard.

    Note the temperature reported from many of the “Arby” school-net” stations, will have a wide range of temperatures, particularly on sunny days. More often than not, the reported current or daily high temperature from a school net station will be as much an 8 to 10 degrees warmer as reported from Richmond’s official weather station, RIC airport. Jim Duncan has many times noted the environment near a given reporting station probably affecting the indicated temperature.

    The NWS did a, “Rooftop Bias Study”. They report that about 50 of their weather measurement reporting stations are biased. They say that it has been known for years that rooftop exposures create measurement biases as compared to traditional ground-based measurement sites. Climatologist, Helmet Langsburg, wrote in his textbook, “Physical Climatology”, “conclusions on climate derived from roof stations may be no means representative of those at the ground level.

  5. afreiden says:

    Fran: Some of the Arby’s Weathernet sites have errors depending on where they are located at each school. When it comes to extreme heat, the errors can be magnified by tarred roofs, or air conditioning units near the instruments. Jim (who was in the office yesterday) likely noted the heat but thought it probably wasn’t an accurate enough reading to feature on air.
    -Andrew Freiden

  6. Fran says:

    Yesterday, around 1:00 I was on the computer with the “Weatherbug” up and running. It was at New Kent high school (I live in Quinton) and the temp was 105 and went up to 108 for a short time. It slowly started coming down but it was still 103 at 4:00. Yet when I watched the news later on last night, no word of this was mentioned. The airport reading was only 100. I noticed on weatherbug that the channel 12 logo is on there so I just guessed that something would be said about it. Can you explain? Thanks.

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