Monday, February 1, 2010

Records Broken (UPDATED) and Alligators in the Duwamish


Its official!

JANUARY 2010 WAS THE WARMEST JANUARY ON RECORD IN SEATTLE INCLUDING THE RECORDS FROM THE FEDERAL BUILDING THAT GO BACK TO 1891. Yes, 1891.

This is a major new record.

Seattle had a mean temperature in January of 47.0F. The old record was 46.55F in January 2006. Take a look at this table of Seattle-Tacoma Airport observations. The fifth column has the daily deviation from normal. NOT ONE DAY WAS BELOW NORMAL. The warmth had a multiplicity of origins: southwest flow and clouds during the first half of the month, easterly flow with downslope warming in the second half, and a lack of cold air over the region. The latter half of the month was dominated by El Nino-like patterns with much of the precipitation going in south of the NW.




But there's more!

THE AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE IN SEATTLE FOR
JANUARY WAS 51.5 DEGREES. THIS IS THE SECOND
WARMEST AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR THE
MONTH OF JANUARY. THE RECORD AVERAGE HIGH
TEMPERATURE FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY
IS 52.0 DEGREES SET IN 1995.
So we were very close.

THE AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURE FOR THE MONTH
OF JANUARY WAS 42.5 DEGREES. THIS IS THE
WARMEST AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURE FOR THE
MONTH OF JANUARY BREAKING THE RECORD OF
42.3 DEGREES SET IN 2006. THE NORMAL AVERAGE
LOW TEMPERATURE FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY
IS 35.9 DEGREES.

And UNBELIEVABLY SEA-TAC had a warmer average
temperature than Tallahassee, Florida. (thanks to climo man
for noting this).

Next thing we will have to be worrying about alligators in the
Duwamish waterway!
Salmon taste good! I like this place!

BELLINGHAM TIED THE RECORD FOR THE WARMEST JANUARY.


OLYMPIA WAS THE SECOND WARMEST SINCE 1948 (lost by .3F)
QUILLAYUTE WAS NUMBER TWO (Lost by .2F)
HOQUIAM WAS NUMBER TWO.

Eastern Washington was also quite warm, but generally didn't hit
too many records.

Spokane had the 8th warmest January out of 130 years
Moses Lake was the 5th warmest out of 48 years
Wenatchee had the 10th warmest out of 84 years.

Very little snow on the east side...and far less of the typical low clouds.

Today while walking through the UW campus I was surprised to see a
number of the cherry trees in full blossom and many daffodils in flower.
But no alligators ...yet.

Biking along the Sammamish River Trail in the Future?

14 comments:

Brian said...

I'm trying to find information on the impacts of El Nino on the marine weather on the West Coast for summer 2010. How does it trend? Drier/Wetter? Windier/Calmer? Any information would be appreciated.

Lindsey said...

I had actually wondered, the way it was going the first half of January, if we might set records for both warmth AND precipitation for the month. Will be curious to see if we get any cold spell at all this month/winter.

I have to say that I don't like the overuse of the word "normal" by weather people when "average" should be used. Taking Feb. 1 as an example, the average high for Seatac is 47. But assuredly it can't be said that that's the "normal" high. Looking at the data from Wunderground, it's been well above 47 for the last good number of years. It's actually possible that the maximum as never been 47 on that date. I feel like "normal" should be reserved for more general tendencies, like perhaps it's "normal" for the maximum on such and such a date to be between 45 and 50, or something like that.

OK, so I'm anal. I accept that.

haunma said...

On the subject of averages... if I understand correctly, "average temperature" is defined as the average of two numbers: the high and the low for a given day. I've always wondered why this is. Is it just to retain continuity with past records? Why not use a true time-weighted average over the course of 24 hours?

JewelyaZ said...

Brian, I blogged about summer 2010 predictions from the gardening angle here: Bellevue City News, January 21, 2010 using some material I gathered here and other sources as well. I link to the long-range predictions in my blog post. Hope it helps.

climo man said...

Believe it or not, January at Sea-Tac was WARMER than Tallahassee, Florida(46.9), and most Southern cities except those on or near the Gulf Coast!

Brian said...

Thank you JewelyaZ, that is just what I was looking for. Nice article by the way, as I am an avid gardener.

Jim said...

I reviewed the weather records for Winthrop, WA. They are available from the Spokane NWS office, and start in the 1940s.

January 2010 was the warmest on record. It averaged 29.6 degrees and beat older records by nearly 1 degree. Only 7 days in January had high temperatures that remained below freezing.

Snowfall in January was near normal 20.8 inches, 3.8 inches above normal. Precipitation was 3.11 inches, 1.11 inches above normal.

Snow depth averaged about 10 inches. As is normal, about 200km of groomed cross country ski trails were open every day of the month.

patrickbuller said...

Where do you get this table from? And a legend to know how to read it? :)

Kevin Purcell said...

The climate data is from the "Preliminary Monthly Climate" (CF6)

You can find all the F6 product here

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/view/validProds.php?prod=CF6

This one for Seattle Office is here (and includes the other WWA sites).

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/view/validProds.php?prod=CF6&node=KSEW

There is a key for all the columns here

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/lwx/f6.htm

Or you can find it with all the other NOAA data in this all in one interface

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=sew

Script Maven said...

There are a few species of winter-flowering cherries. They bloom in a seemingly freakish way as early as December. But otherwise the first tree blossoms on campus are usually the flowering plums.

OregonGuy said...

http://grdurand.com/blogger/2010/02/ground-hog-day.html
.

jorge said...

I don't know how to begin to research this, but I was looking at the chart you publish, there were no days in January where the low fell below freezing (the lowest low was 35F). That must be very extraordinary for January.

MarkM said...

So, what is the possibility having 2 El Nino years in a row? Yikes!

Bill Reiswig said...

Cliff, once the alligators move in I am fairly certain the Salmon will have been long gone... Just sayin...