Bitter cold records broken in Alaska – all time coldest record nearly broken, but Murphy’s Law intervenes

Jim River, AK closed in on the all time record coldest temperature of -80°F set in 1971, which is not only the Alaska all-time record, but the record for the entire United States. Unfortunately, it seems the battery died in the weather station just at the critical moment.

Image from hamweather.com

While the continental USA has a mild winter and has set a number of high temperature records in the last week and pundits ponder whether they will be blaming the dreaded “global warming” for those temperatures, Alaska and Canada have been suffering through some of the coldest temperatures on record during the last week.

For example in  Circle Hot Springs, AK on Sunday, 29 Jan 2012 the HIGH temperature was a blistering -49°F, breaking the  -44°F record which has stood since 1917. It gets better.

That same day in Circle Hot Springs the low temperature was  -58°F   breaking the old record of  -52°F set  in 1941 by six degrees.

Here’s a list of temperature records in Alaska from the past week:

Brrr!

While all that was happening, the weather station in Jim River, AK closed in on the all time record coldest temperature of -80°F set in 1971. That’s not only the Alaska all-time record, but the record for the entire United States. Unfortunately, the weather station stopped reporting at -79°F.

Here’s the data feed at that moment:

2012-01-28 14:20:00,1028.30,-75.0,-87.6,39,,,1021.19,-55.3,-57.7,85,1.5,155
2012-01-28 14:35:00,1028.00,-77.0,-89.5,39,,,1021.19,-54.2,-65.3,48,1.5,155
2012-01-28 14:50:00,1027.90,-75.0,-87.6,39,,,1021.84,-54.2,-67.8,40,1.5,155
2012-01-28 16:05:00,1027.40,-77.0,-89.5,39,,,1022.74,-57.0,-68.2,47,1.7,160
2012-01-28 16:35:00,1027.10,-77.0,-89.5,39,,,1022.74,-54.6,-59.0,75,1.7,160
2012-01-28 16:51:00,1027.10,-77.0,-89.8,38,,,1022.74,-54.6,-59.0,75,1.7,160
2012-01-28 17:05:00,1027.20,-77.0,-89.5,39,,,1022.10,-56.0,-67.2,47,1.4,163
2012-01-28 17:20:00,1027.20,-77.0,-89.8,38,,,1022.10,-56.0,-67.2,47,1.4,163
2012-01-28 17:49:00,1027.20,-77.0,-89.8,38,,,1022.30,-54.7,-66.0,47,1.4,163
2012-01-28 18:04:00,1027.20,-77.0,-89.8,38,,,1019.33,-55.8,-67.2,47,1.7,174
2012-01-28 18:19:00,1027.10,-79.0,-91.6,38,,,1019.30,-55.8,-71.0,36,1.7,174
2012-01-28 18:34:00,1026.90,-79.0,-91.6,38,,,1019.28,-54.6,-67.9,41,1.7,174
2012-01-28 18:49:00,1026.90,,,,,,1019.30,,,,,
2012-01-28 19:04:00,1026.80,,,,,,1019.39,,,,,
2012-01-28 19:19:00,1026.80,,,,,,1019.39,,,,,
2012-01-28 19:34:00,1026.60,,,,,,1018.84,,,,,
2012-01-28 19:49:00,1026.30,,,,,,1018.84,,,,,
2012-01-28 20:04:00,1026.20,,,,,,1018.45,,,,,
2012-01-28 20:19:00,1026.20,,,,,,1018.46,,,,,
2012-01-28 20:34:00,1025.70,,,,,,1018.46,,,,,
2012-01-28 20:50:00,1025.70,,,,,,1018.46,,,,,

Note at 18:49 on 1/28/12 it stopped reporting all data except barometric pressure.

Some background on the equipment tells us the likely cause.

The station is the venerable Vantage Pro2 by Davis Instruments, arguably one of the best weather stations available to consumers. I have deployed several myself and put them online, for example here and here. They are hardy, accurate, and well constructed, being manufactured in the USA in Hayward, CA instead of some Chinese gadget mill. They also have NIST traceability on sensors.

The Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS) communicates wirelessly with the console below, and the console has an optional PC and/or standalone Internet interface (for DSL/Cable modems) attached.

This station at weather station in Jim River, AK was recording temperatures in conditions way out of its design spec, it only goes to –40 F

From:  http://davisnet.com/product_documents/weather/manuals/07395-249_IM_06152.pdf

Appendix B: Specifications
Complete specifications for the ISS and other products are available in the Weather
Support section of our website at www.davisnet.com.
Cabled ISS
Temperature range: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -40 to 150°
Fahrenheit (-40 to 65° Celsius)
Power input: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Console Cable from Vantage Pro2 console Optional
Vantage Pro2 AC power adapter
Wireless ISS
Temperature range: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -40 to 150°
Fahrenheit (-40 to 65° Celsius)

While they operate on solar power during the day, these units have an internal lithium battery for operation at night and through extended cloudy periods.

I suspect the internal CR123A Lithium 3 volt battery in the outside ISS died.  Note that on 2012-01-28 18:49:00 the data for barometric pressure is still reporting after temperature and other values die. At that temperature, the battery likely could not sustain enough voltage to keep the transmitter running.

The barometric pressure sensor is in the internal LCD console, inside the house/office where the unit is connected to the Internet. All other sensors are outside in the ISS.

The CR123A Lithium 3 volt battery specifications are:

3V 1400mAh Lithium BatteryWide operating temperature range: -40°C to 85°C

So it was operating way out of spec as well.

Some people have emailed me wondering about why the readings at  Jim River, AK stopped just shy of a new all time record. I don’t see any nefarious motive here, just simple equipment failure under extraordinary extreme conditions combined with Murphy’s Law.

Let’s hope the observer there has a backup thermometer, but who’d want to go outside in cold like that to read it?

h/t to Dr. Ryan Maue and Joe D’Aleo

BTW, if you want one of these splendid weather stations, you can get them here. Details here.

UPDATE: The NWS in Fairbanks moves quickly to disavow the temperature report. I suppose the Drudge link has the phones ringing off the hook. But here’s the interesting thing, the nearest other “official” station, PAPR at Prospect Creek Airport, AK only 0.9 miles away, is also offline.

Data Status

Over the last 28 days, no data was seen on the following dates: 2012-01-04 to 2012-01-16, 2012-01-18 to 2012-01-20, 2012-01-22 to 2012-01-29.

It would be interesting to see how they defend an official airport station failure.

NOAK49 PAFG 302352 PNSAFG AKZ219-222-311200-
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FAIRBANKS AK
252 PM AKST MON JAN 30 2012

...CLARIFICATION OF TEMPERATURES FROM JIM RIVER DOT CAMP...

TEMPERATURES THIS PAST WEEKEND AT THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF
TRANSPORTATION JIM RIVER MAINTENANCE CAMP AT MILE 138 DALTON
HIGHWAY...STATION JMTA2...HAVE BEEN REPORTED AS LOW AS 79 BELOW.

THE TEMPERATURES ARE NOT CORRECT. THE WEATHER STATION IN USE AT
THE JIM RIVER DOT CAMP IS A PERSONAL WEATHER STATION THAT IS NOT
RATED FOR TEMPERATURE COLDER THAN 40 BELOW. THE UNREALISTICALLY
LOW TEMPERATURES ARE BELIEVED TO BE A FUNCTION OF THE BATTERY
FAILING AT VERY LOW TEMPERATURES.

THERE ARE NO OFFICIAL...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STANDARD...
TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS AT JIM RIVER DOT CAMP.$$
RT/JL JAN 12

UPDATE2 1/31/2012 9:30AM PST

According to Gladstone and NCDC MMS, PAPR (Prospect Creek, just 0.9 mile from Jim River DOT station, and holder of the low temperature record from 1971) is an AWOS station, part of the “B” COOP network.

https://mi3.ncdc.noaa.gov/mi3qry/identityGrid.cfm?setCookie=1&fid=22862

Details on AWOS:

http://www.allweatherinc.com/aviation/awos_dom.html

and as I understand it, it is not rated to –80F, the specs for the thermistor say:

Ambient Temperature Sensor.

The sensor shall be thermally isolated in a

motor aspirated radiation shield to accurately measure air temperature.

A. Range. From –40C to +60C (-40 oF t o +140 oF)

B. Accuracy. ±0.3C.

C. Resolution. 1 oF.

Source: http://www.allweatherinc.com/pdf/awos_level_iii.pdf

So, given the official equipment there at Prospect Creek, it seems NOAA has either purposely or unintentionally created an impossibility of the Prospect Creek record of ever having been broken there again.

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380 thoughts on “Bitter cold records broken in Alaska – all time coldest record nearly broken, but Murphy’s Law intervenes

  1. Record highs do not confirm global warming but are, of course, consistent with the theory.

    On the other hand, record lows run prima facie against the theory; if all the manmade CO2 emitted this past century causes back radiation which in turn warms the atmosphere alternatively slows down the cooling, one would not expect to see any record lows. Of course, the odd one or two could be outliers but to still be setting record lows some 100 years after manmade emissions raises questions marks as to whether the AGW theory is correct, alternatively whether CO2 is as effective a temperature driver as AGW warmists would have one believe.

  2. Do we have a correspondant at Jim River who can take the temperature by some other means, or maintain the power supply to this faltering station? There’s history to be made here…

  3. I am about to purchase and set up one of these for my parents. They have a new place on exposed countryside near the coast in south west England. Interesting and timely to see an article about one here.

  4. Assuming the wind pattern causing the far north cold breaks, is there any way if that bodes a serious winter arriving in the continental US, or is it too late (February), or is there no way to predict?

  5. Lucky for the warming crowd that both the record lows AND the near record highs are consistent with AGW theory.

  6. What they need to add to the ISS is a user adjustable CO2 release. That way when it gets REALLY cold, they can blow off some CO2 and warm things up a bit!

  7. The cold here has been unbelievable!!! I took the family skiing at Alyeska this weekend. And on the way there my truck was reporting temps as low as -27f. Fortunately when we got there it had warmed up to a balmy -6f.
    Now a warmer system is moving in. Temps are above zero at my house for the first time this year! On the down side. It is snowing AGAIN… sigh

  8. Lots of inside slider systems in CA this year (which has meant, a cold drought).

    If / when that pool of cold air floods out of AK and hitches a ride on one of the sliders, CA could be in a world of hurt. Could be on par with early ’91, early ’07 or even early ’76.

  9. It’s cold in Alaska in the winter, and therefore global warming isn’t happening. A most elegant proof. Well done.

    REPLY: Only in your mind Alan (RW), and I don’t appreciate you putting words in my mouth not said. Take some time off in the troll bin. 48 hours should do it. – Anthony

  10. Since AGW is supposed to show up as higher temps in the upper latitudes, numerous record lows below that of industrial time period are proof of the theory’s failure. AGW is supposed to affect the upper latitudes most of all.

  11. It looks like the data feed recovered at around 03:44:00 when it warmed up to -52.0F before dropping again to -66.0F at 15:44:00. The latest reading at the time of this post, 23:29:00, shows -46.0F so that -80F record seems to be slipping away.

  12. So what would a block of dry ice do at that temperature (-80 C)?
    Would it get bigger, smaller or just stay the same?
    Are they eligible for carbon capture credits?


    The opposite process is called deposition, where CO2 changes from the gas to solid phase (dry ice). At atmospheric pressure, sublimation/deposition occurs at −78.5 °C (−109.3 °F).
    — From Wikipedia

  13. Ooops,
    On my last post I have misread the scale on the data (C for F).

    Maybe I have a future in climate science after all :-)

  14. dscott (or anyone),

    I was thinking that global warming theory called for greater effects at higher latitudes. Does anyone have a link to a good reference for this?

    Thanks

  15. Alan Statham says:
    January 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    It’s cold in Alaska in the winter, and therefore global warming isn’t happening. A most elegant proof. Well done.

    Well thank you sir! Personally I would have thought it one hell of a stretch, but having seen some of the projections you align with I can fully understand your acceptance of this one.

  16. US, in the GREAT WHITE NORTH, would appreciate it ,IF some of you DOUBTERS, would at least be quiet, if you can’t support the Warmistas!
    I,for one, pray they are right! Science may not be on their side right now,but I am PRAYING it will be, and soon. ANY of YOU, have any bloody idea how COLD we are,and it seems to be getting colder every winter! -40,50,60 is only a NUMBER, until you have to live in it!
    Bless the Warmistas’,and whatever they can do to actually make it warmer!

  17. “It’s cold in Alaska in the winter, and therefore global warming isn’t happening. A most elegant proof. Well done.”

    But when it’s hot in Australia in summer, AGW people say it is proof… Talk about wanting your cake and eating it as well…

  18. Why is it claimed that high temepratures are CAUSED by global (sic)
    warming (sic), when in fact they CONTRIBUTE TO global warming ?

  19. RobertM > “The cold here has been unbelievable!!! I took the family skiing at Alyeska this weekend. And on the way there my truck was reporting temps as low as -27f. Fortunately when we got there it had warmed up to a balmy -6f.”

    Rang the memory bell here! Spent a couple of Winters in Fairbanks area and appreciate the sentiment in that “a balmy -6f.” After a week or more of -45F to -50F anything warmer than -20F felt like a heat wave, almost balmy enough to take a walk in shirt sleeves!

  20. A point of clarification. The article states “Alaska and Canada have been suffering through some of the coldest temperatures on record during the last week” . Well, Canada is a huge country with vastly varying weather regimes. I see this generalization far too often from folks who must be unfamiliar with the vastness of the country. It is true that last week western Canada had some pretty cold temperatures, but few if any records were broken. Now the west (south of 60N) is very mild again, as it has been most of the winter. In fact, for most of Alberta, this is one of the mildest and driest winters I can remember. Broad brushing over all of a huge country is something best left to the AGW crowd.

  21. How well does barometric pressure correlate with temperature? In the data feed shown above the pressure seems to be falling with the temperature. Just curious.

  22. The Copper River School District cancels school at -50F, as the busses are prone to problems at those temperatures. My son was quite happy to have school cancelled last week, but still asks what’s the difference between -49 and -50?
    The permafrost studies done here in the Copper River Basin bagan in the early 70’s, continuing through present and what we’ve seen as a peak in temperatures, ocurred in 2004/2005.
    Since then, the temperatures at depth continue the decline. We’ll be back to the 70’s (climate wise) in no time at all.
    Cheers!

  23. MaxL says: January 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Your from Canada? You must know Bob Franklin, he lives there too, near the beer store :-)

    All the time, many people just do not grasp the size of this country.

  24. Andrew30 says:
    January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    MaxL says: January 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Your from Canada? You must know Bob Franklin, he lives there too, near the beer store :-)

    All the time, many people just do not grasp the size of this country.

    Yes, I know him well. We go hunting polar bears and moose together regularly. :-)

  25. Friends near Fairbanks tell me they’ve hit -60 or below several times in the past few weeks.
    In southern CO, we may hit +60. I don’t tell them that, don’t need ex-friends.

  26. Hey Max. I too, am from Alberta. You have any comments about LAST winter? The bloody coldest, with the greatest amount of snow,in MY memory. By the way, I was born in Alberta in 1945,and have lived 98% of my life here, Hows’ about you?
    Coupla weeks back was SWEET[ -32] ,compared to last year. Guess THAT must mean the Warmistas are now correct?

  27. Seems like an instrument that stops at -40f/c shouldn’t have been installed in a more or less professional weather station in Alaska. After all, -30f is not uncommon in the lower 48; even Oklahoma reaches -25f at times.

  28. Our local weather guy says we are basking in balmy Southern Ontario because the jet stream is at its northern limit and is keeping the arctic air from coming south. Is that why it is so cold up north?

  29. Why are we now making part of the station out of black plastic? Whitewash was the standard, then white latex, and now black plastic in the sunlight is an improvement? Why not white? This makes no sense.

    REPLY: Note the white louvers below, where the temperature/humidity sensor is. The black part is the rain gauge, which has no color issues. That particular plastic is UV resistant. – Anthony

  30. I think they should send Al Gore there dressed in a T shirt and shorts, along with the rest of the global warming nuts.

  31. . Either the Arctic is a symbol of CAGW or it isn’t. When it was melting in late summer for the foolish expeditions like Caitlin it was. Now that we have record cold and rapidly expanding sea ice and it isn’t? It (the moving goal post of CAGW symbolism) is definitely worse than we thought..

    It must be that all of those poley bears that Coke put on their cans for the WWF saved the day.

  32. -62 At Eielson January 1982 48 hours after pulling through the front gate. Had to wait three weeks for it to warm UP to -40 before they would deliver my furniture. Then another 19 years at the end of Plack road outside North Pole. Charter member of Alaskans for Global Warming.

  33. So there appears to be a market opening for weather stations capable of recording and reporting down to -80°C — all winter long when the sun doesn’t shine at all for several months.

    Which won’t be easy at all because one must heat most electronics to a higher temperature to keep them working; which can compromise the sensor readings and significantly so at the very low temperatures unless extensive measures are taken to prevent the necessary heat island from influencing the sensors. Doing it well requires clever design, careful implementation and rigorous testing to determine the magnitude of actual effect on the sensors.

    Observing a system changes the system. It’s crucial to understand that and to have some idea about the magnitude of the perturbation that measurement introduces.

  34. -80??? Been through -60 during the Blizzard of ’78 in Ohio and that was bloody cold.
    When you get down to -80, you’re not that far (about 20-30 degrees) from the carbon dioxide dropping out of the air as dry ice and wouldn’t THAT be fun…. (hey NASA, lets send some guys up to Alaska to train for Mars…)

  35. Here in McMurdo station Antarctica it is summer (-2f), however our stations (Campbell and Costal) over the winter often withstand temps and windchill colder that -80f. During the winter the system switches to transmitting only twice a day vice every 15 min. The battery is probably the problem.

  36. Alan Statham says:
    January 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    “It’s cold in Alaska in the winter, and therefore global warming isn’t happening. A most elegant proof. Well done.”

    Anthony – when you get inane comments like this, it’s a sign you are being effective. And the CAGW cabal doesn’t like that. Well done and bravo!

    By the way, Alan, if the warming is truly “global” and the earth has been “warming” for over a century, how can there possibly be any more cold temperature records??? (heh)

  37. I’ve experienced -50F in Saranac Lake, NY as a child in the 50s and nearly -70F on the flight line loading nukes on B-52s in the Michigan UP. Luckily I was wearing full arctic gear and had a heater hose stuffed under the back of my snorkel parka in the second case. Very traumatic to exposed flesh in both cases – you literally flash-freeze. I have also experienced 130+F on many occasions in Thailand.

    Little chance of dying from the weather in Thailand and guaranteed death in both Saranac Lake and the UP without protective clothing. Give me warming any day – please!

  38. I live in a small cabin outside North Pole, Alaska and the coldest it got there over this weekend was a nice, balmy -52. Of course, Alaska is huge and I’m not in those other places, but it was apparently a heat wave, by comparison.

    But regardless, this is life in Alaska…and it’s weather like this that really tends to separate the true Alaskans (those who actually love and appreciate Alaska — for being Alaska) and those who are merely Lower-48’ers (a description which is often an insult, up here), who are here by circumstance in what they consider just another American place (even though it’s really not), and who complain and shiver as soon as it hits 20 above. Here’s some advice, from us Alaskans: GO…BACK…HOME — and take your Lower 48 ways, customs, culture, music and box stores back with you.

    That’s one thing I love about weather like this…it helps such a process, and thins the herd!

  39. My heart and old Bunny Boots go to those of you in The Great Country of Canada and Alaska.

    I remember once when I flew from Prudhoe where it was a warm -25 back home to Fairbanks where the temp was -60,no wind. One of the few times that I wished that I had stayed in Deadhorse.

    Another cold experience was in Fort McMurray, it was a balmy -55.
    brrrr

  40. I live in a small cabin outside North Pole, Alaska and the coldest it got there over this weekend was a nice, balmy -52. Of course, Alaska is huge and I’m not in those other places, but it was apparently a heat wave, by comparison.

  41. Even the scoundrels at East Anglia in UK NOW admit that temperatures have been dropping for the last 15 years and fear a mini ice age. Time to eliminate this ‘carbon’ crap destroying industry, economies and generating fraudulent taxes.

  42. BTW: Looking at the data history, temperature drops as pressure falls. Which is not surprising. So keep your fingers crossed and hope that the pressure sensor is still producing real results and; on a hunch; you can tell when to run out and measure the minimum temperature just as pressure begins to rise.

    During the cold war, the USSR and the USA seemed to have a race for the coldest temperature ever measure on Earth. ISTR lots of reports of around -70°C from the USSR; perhaps because the meteorologists didn’t actually go out into the cold and lose a finger trying to read the thermometers.

  43. [Reply: Site traffic just jumped 40%. ~dbs, mod.]

    Wait till the West coast gets home. ;)

    [Now it's up over 100%. ~dbs]

  44. Alan Statham says:
    January 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    ‘…It’s cold in Alaska in the winter, and therefore global warming isn’t happening. A most elegant proof. Well done…’

    And, in the same vein, if Al Gore finds melting ice in Antarctica in the summer, it’s proof CAGW is worse than we thought. Where’s the well done for that “proof”?

  45. I am sure they turned it off. Can’t tax people for an ice age not caused by humans.
    Wouldn’t want an all time record low to get out in the media….

  46. More on the UAH data: Based on the 600hPa level, and running the uptick in recent data on for another three days, we’re looking at a Jan 2012 anomaly of -0.095C or thereabouts.

    Looks like a certain Mr Bastardi will be getting closer to winning his bet with any who chose to challenge his prediction of -0.15C anomaly by March

  47. I thought Alaskans were going to be growing citrus trees by now. We need more warming in northern climes so we can grow FOOD to eat. History has shown that humanity thrives when the climate is warmer, but the “powers that be” do not want humanity to thrive too much. After all, wasn’t it just a few years back they were harping on over population. Now, many scientists (actual scientists and not UN sycophants) are predicting global cooling. Somehow that will be blamed on some greenhouse gas “keeping” the suns rays from penetrating for which we must all be taxed and forced back to the stone age. Either way, we lose and the Al Gore’s of the world will hit the jackpott.

  48. This just came into my inbox from Rick Thoman with NOAA:

    THERE IS NO RECORD LOW AT JIM RIVER
    These temperatures are from a Davis Weather Station and the voltage from the lithium battery drops dramatically with temps below -50 and the result is bogus low temperatures. Davis makes no claims on temperatures below -40 and recent firmware changes keep the units from reporting colder than about -40F. The unit at Jim River has not had that firmware change installed.

    This is exactly the same problem as in Tok in January 2009.

    To repeat, the reported temperatures from Jim River are WRONG.

    Rick

    REPLY: I made no record low claim, only that it was close. As I point out in the article, the Lithium battery is the weak link, and likely died at -79F, but I’ve also been in touch with Davis Instruments management today, and they made no mention of accuracy issues below -40F, but did agree with my assessment about the battery failure. I’ll look into this more tomorrow. – Anthony

  49. If you go look at the sea-ice page on the side-bar, you will see a plausible explanation for both the recent dip in the sea-ice extent, and the very cold Alaskan temperatures.

    The sea ice is being rapidly drifted from Novaya Zemlya straight across the Pole to Alaska and Western Canada. Strong polar winds are blowing from Russia across the pole straight into Alaska. Brrr.

  50. But what about the Polar Bears, could they freeze to death, and the other critters that find a way to live in this enviorment.

  51. Fake global warming, yet another violation of our rights. The gov’t constantly violates our rights.
    They violate the 1st Amendment by caging protesters and banning books like “America Deceived II”.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by allowing TSA to grope you.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars.
    Impeach Obama, support Ron Paul.
    Last link of “America Deceived II” before it is completely banned:

  52. LEL says:

    “Fortunately for them, the caribou have the oil pipeline for a little extra warmth.”

    Remember all the hue and cry over how the proposed ANWR pipeline was going to impact all the caribou? It turns out that the proposed ANWR oil field is only 3.13 square miles. And the caribou are doing just fine.

  53. Bernd Felsche: That was a fascinating engineering solution you proposed. Might I suggest an alternative? Select a different battery chemistry, one that continues to function at adequate voltages to -80F or -100F. If that requires a larger battery because the power density is lower than lithium-ion, so be it. The mounting posts for weather stations are usually steel. They can handle the additional load. I suggest lithium/sulfur-dioxide.

  54. Jerry says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Now, many scientists (actual scientists and not UN sycophants) are predicting global cooling. Somehow that will be blamed on some greenhouse gas “keeping” the suns rays from penetrating for which we must all be taxed and forced back to the stone age. Either way, we lose and the Al Gore’s of the world will hit the jackpott.

    That’s already sown up. By minimising or ignoring all other possible factors and tuning their models to only respond in any significant way to CO2/CH4 for warming and aerosols for cooling (cf today’s claim (or “conclusion” if you’re Richard Black) that volcanoes caused the ‘Little Ice Age’), any temperature change at all can be blamed either on China’s dirty coal or the West’s scrubbed coal. Get those death trains off the tracks and we can live in Hansen’s blissful world of unchanging perfect climate forever.

  55. rwct says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Sometimes, I ponder the question, as to why GREEN-land was named such, centuries ago
    ==================================

    The Tyndall Effect

  56. That cold air will have to break free at some point, and move south. Depending on the upper air, that’s where it goes, and usually the US east coast. It’s a hard guess on the extent or probability, given the station surface baros in the 1020’s mb range. The real bad ones have much higher surface baro readings. Sometimes well over 1040 mb. When these break free, it’s a major CONUS cold event.

    The last several years, Florida winters have had more instances where temperatures have reached the 20’s, overnight. We’ve already had two reaching 28*F, though it’s been fast to clear the area. (One day we had 28*F pre-dawn to 74*F by afternoon!)

    I’ve got a Davis Vantage Pro 2 weather station with ISS. This is a good one, and repairable vs. having to replace the whole thing. Mine’s been in service since 2005, and I’ve only had to replace a couple parts on it: the thermometer chip and the UV sensor. They give you a discount if you call the service desk and ship back the non-working component. It’s not cheap, but worth the investment and maintainable.

    It’s survived some pretty heavy Florida storms here. We are on the line where they hit their peak and the lightning makes you doubt if you are safe inside your house. Fortunately the weather station is wireless and on a different band than 2.4GHz WiFi. One less way for lightning to get in your house, and no interference or missed readings.

    I also have the PC software to archive the data from the Davis, along with WSR-88D radar software from Gibson Ridge. The latter is awesome for radar, hands down.

    Take care…

    –Robert

  57. Mark Albright says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    This just came into my inbox from Rick Thoman with NOAA:

    THERE IS NO RECORD LOW AT JIM RIVER
    These temperatures are from a Davis Weather Station and the voltage from the lithium battery drops dramatically with temps below -50 and the result is bogus low temperatures. Davis makes no claims on temperatures below -40 and recent firmware changes keep the units from reporting colder than about -40F. The unit at Jim River has not had that firmware change installed.

    This is exactly the same problem as in Tok in January 2009.

    To repeat, the reported temperatures from Jim River are WRONG.

    Rick

    So, once this becomes standard equipment, there will never again be an official temperature recording lower than -40? Well, I suppose nobody at NOAA thought they’d be any likelihood of such temperatures happening again, what with runaway warming and polar amplification. How convenient…

  58. I was just a kid when we lived in central Alaska in the early 1960’s, but I think it reached minus 40 degrees and we still walked to school. At least that is the way I remember it. I also seem to remember something about it being a dry cold instead of a humid cold, so it was more bearable. And we wore lots of layers of clothing beneath our parka’s. Alaska was great, the most beautiful state I have ever lived in…

  59. Bernd Felsche says on January 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    So there appears to be a market opening for weather stations capable of recording and reporting down to -80°C — all winter long when the sun doesn’t shine at all for several months.

    Which won’t be easy at all because one must heat most electronics to a higher temperature to keep them working; which can compromise the sensor readings and significantly so at the very low temperatures unless extensive measures are taken to prevent

    No brainer; the solution is a small burial vault (assuming ground temperatures do not drop below -40 C, but, this raises the costs considerably, both of the equipment and the installation, provisions for water-proofing, drainage, etc)

    .

  60. Some of us can still recall the seventies it seems-

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2093264/Forget-global-warming–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html

    And while Big Oil fight a noble rearguard action it seems there is no stopping Colossal Climate with their windmills and solar panels from killing us all with good intentions. Up to 36 now and counting-

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/winter-cold-snap-kills-36-in-europe/story-e6frfku0-1226257859597

  61. Looks like technology development re LOW TEMP LCD displays,and Lithium batteries,has not progressed that much,since I retired. LCD,LOW TEMP displays,at -40 has an update rate measured in- Decades, and Lithium battery “HOLD” charge,is, what can one say,VERY temporary,at these temps. I KNOW! I had to try to keep instruments operating at these temps. Accuracy,if operating at all,maybe +/- 10% So DUMB. LCD – LIQUID Crystal Display. DUUHHH!
    P/S Peddlars/Mfgs came out with the NEW[as compared to -20F] Low temp LCD good to -40. WHAT a crock! Marketing can ALWAYS trump PHSYICS- FOR A TIME!

    REPLY:
    Your post is irrelevant because it misses the fact that the LCD display is indoors, and the ISS with all the sensors is outside – Anthony

  62. Ela : I live in a small cabin outside North Pole, Alaska

    There is NO WAY I could do that. Thank you for giving me permission to stay home. I’m not the least bit insulted. I know my limits even if I envy you yours.

    (but it would be really cool if you could post some pics!)

  63. This brings two questions to my mind:
    1. Is carbon dioxide less effective as a greenhouse gas at -79 F than at more normal temperatures due to its main absorption bands?
    2. Does the ground emit less of the appropriate radiation at -79 F, thus reducing the effectiveness of carbon dioxide this way?

    (The amount of water vapor would be virtually non-existent at this temperature.)

  64. Mark Albright says on January 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm:

    This just came into my inbox from Rick Thoman with NOAA:

    THERE IS NO RECORD LOW AT JIM RIVER
    These temperatures are from a Davis Weather Station and the voltage from the lithium battery drops dramatically with temps below -50 and the result is bogus low temperatures. Davis makes no claims on temperatures below -40 and recent firmware changes keep the units from reporting colder than about -40F. The unit at Jim River has not had that firmware change installed.

    This is exactly the same problem as in Tok in January 2009.

    To repeat, the reported temperatures from Jim River are WRONG.

    Rick

    REPLY: I made no record low claim, only that it was close. As I point out in the article, the Lithium battery is the weak link, and likely died at -79F, but I’ve also been in touch with Davis Instruments management today, and they made no mention of accuracy issues below -40F, but did agree with my assessment about the battery failure. I’ll look into this more tomorrow. – Anthony

    Anybody with access to a small Tenny temp chamber and a Davis Wx station that could run a short test at cold temperature for us?

    I would if I was still at C*sc*/WNBU and had access to the enviro-testing gear …

    .

  65. I’m with Sarah Silverman. Global warming will benefit humanity like hiking Mt. Everest in casual clothes and shorts would be great.

  66. Once upon a time at the the T.A.P.S. Prospect Creek Camp in 1971 near the Jim River there was a weather station with a coupla mercury thermometers in a standard weather box that were read at least twice a day. This was a time before Lithium batteries. So the camp manager would suit up in parka, overalls, and bunny boots a tromp out with a flashlight to have a look. Then back into the camp office to record the temp and time and report via single side band to Radio Fairbanks at the scheduled time. In December 1972 I was at Prospect Creek Camp and saw and read the same MERCURY thermometers. For the life of me, I could not find a place for batteries. BTW, in a five hour period we watched the temperature plummet from +34°F to -64°F. This noted both with calibrated thermisters and mercury thermometers. For what it’s worth.

  67. BrianP says on January 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm:

    Those things dont work too well when you mount them in a Radar beam. I know we tried it at work

    Was this in the lunchroom – in the microwave oven?

    Or out on the roof, in front of the RADAR penthouse ‘bays’ (bay windows bulging out from the wall of the building; TI had those installed in the penthouse on the “North Building” for Equipment Group/DSEG operations)?

    .

  68. “JRG says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm
    Bernd Felsche: That was a fascinating engineering solution you proposed. Might I suggest an alternative? Select a different battery chemistry, one that continues to function at adequate voltages to -80F or -100F. If that requires a larger battery because the power density is lower than lithium-ion, so be it. The mounting posts for weather stations are usually steel. They can handle the additional load. I suggest lithium/sulfur-dioxide.”

    I just read NOAA is no longer interested measuring temperatures lower than minus 40 degrees F

    See
    “Mark Albright says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm
    This just came into my inbox from Rick Thoman with NOAA:

    THERE IS NO RECORD LOW AT JIM RIVER
    These temperatures are from a Davis Weather Station and the voltage from the lithium battery drops dramatically with temps below -50 and the result is bogus low temperatures. Davis makes no claims on temperatures below -40 and recent firmware changes keep the units from reporting colder than about -40F. The unit at Jim River has not had that firmware change installed.

    This is exactly the same problem as in Tok in January 2009.

    To repeat, the reported temperatures from Jim River are WRONG.

    Rick”

    It looks like Alaska is going to remain it’s red color at NOAA’s temperature maps.

  69. Don’t forget the other day that solar storm and ejecta may have contributed to a reaction by out mother earth. She still has tremendous power and will live with or without us. Notice that barometer still dropping? WOW.

  70. The coldest I’ve ever experienced was in Ft McMurray. It was -40, C or F I don’t recall. I rememeber that Hertz couldn’t start the 4WD I had reserved.

    REPLY: At -40 the C and F scale meet numerically, there’s no difference. So, you are right either way – Anthony

  71. SarahSilverman [<--??] says:

    "I’m with Sarah Silverman. [<--??] Global warming will benefit humanity like hiking Mt. Everest in casual clothes and shorts would be great."

    Global warming is on balance a good thing. The planet has been much warmer in the past, with no problems. The biosphere thrived during those warmer periods.

    If the planet warmed two or three degrees, millions of acres of new farmland would be opened up in places like Siberia, Mongolia, Canada and Alaska. Warmer weather would increase evaporation, thus increasing rainfall. And with more [harmless, beneficial] CO2, plants would have more airborne fertilizer.

    The eco-zealot crowd has dishonestly demonized “carbon”. But the truth is that CO2 is a completely harmless trace gas, and it increases agricultural productivity.

  72. Look at the last 30 days global temperature anomaly map and it pretty clear how cold it has been in Alaska.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/rnl/sfctmpmer_30a.rnl.html

    It appears to be related to the break down of the north polar vortex and the sudden stratospheric warming event. A mini-polar vortex settled in over Alaska instead (and this is drawing the warm Pacific air straight across North America resulting in the southern two-thirds of the continent being above normal over most of the winter while normally, cold Arctic air periodically dips down to freeze our … off, not this winter so far). Alaska has taken the brunt of the winter. Asia has been very cold as well.

  73. Bettes Field, AK registered -60 on the 1/28/2011. How is it you are getting almost 20 degrees cooler in a similar spot? Are you taking the reading right? I’m skeptical of your equipment.

  74. Spent time in the army in AK and 40 below is *dangerous*. Try it without a bacalava or gloves and you will get frostbite in under an hour.

    http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/windchill/

    “37647347 says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm
    I was just a kid when we lived in central Alaska in the early 1960′s, but I think it reached minus 40 degrees and we still walked to school. At least that is the way I remember it. I also seem to remember something about it being a dry cold instead of a humid cold, so it was more bearable. And we wore lots of layers of clothing beneath our parka’s. Alaska was great, the most beautiful state I have ever lived in…”

  75. There really is only one type of battery that can easily operate at extremely low temperatures. They have the added benefit of lasting for a good 80 years with no maintenance or loss of energy. What’s the catch? They are made from Pu-238.

  76. Brimfrost 1989, 6th Light Infantry Division from Fort Freeze-at-Night (Wainwright) we had readings on ATC and other aviation gear of -83, -85 in the field where we camped outside… The dark red hoodies we had made up for participants had -83 lettered on the front. Good times. Its always cold up there, and who knows when it’ll be frosty or balmy from year to year. Better hope Global Warming doesn’t happen though, or all the 38 million in California will be moving up North! It sounds great to have Canada and Siberia warm up, but when Mexico looks like the Sahara where do you think all those people will go? China, Pakistan and India are already arguing over shrinking water sheds in Tibet. Russians in 50-100 years might have some problems. Meanwhile, Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes have something like 5% of all non-frozen fresh water so I’m not worried. Just wish the Canadians would quit peeing up-stream :) Just kidding.

  77. The NWS disavowed 2 nights in a row of Illinois state record ( -38) a few years ago. They couldnt seem to get it through their heads that temps bounce up and down several degrees around sunrise and are more likely to bounce more when cold than when its warm since the amount of energy it takes to move the temp a couple of degrees is much less when its intensely cold. It actually was a study in ignorance as they said the mid afternoon readings were fine, unwittingly admitting that the air was well mixed. It busted it the second night again, after they went out and checked it the previous afternoon and supposedly fixed it. My meteo 461 course at PSU ( instrumentation… I still have nightmares about it) and what it takes to build and maintain instruments, and especially thermometers which are much more prone to err on the warm, than cold side would immediately turn anyone into a skeptic. Unless on site, with several thermometers, they have no business making a judgement either way as to how accurate it was.

  78. I’ve got a simple question: If the thermal equilibrium of the earth without an atmosphere is -18C (or there abouts) Then what mechanism brings about -80C/F in alaska? Seems there is a major interaction between the atmosphere and cold space that allows part of the atmosphere to be chilled to -80C and then ‘settle’ to the surface. So a large portion of the atmosphere is involved in cooling the atmosphere and hence earth?

  79. These temperatures are from a Davis Weather Station and the voltage from the lithium battery drops dramatically with temps below -50 and the result is bogus low temperatures. Davis makes no claims on temperatures below -40 and recent firmware changes keep the units from reporting colder than about -40F. The unit at Jim River has not had that firmware change installed.

    This is exactly the same problem as in Tok in January 2009.
    ———————————————————————————-
    So that means that they ignore all readings below -40. What effect would that have on the “average” temperature?

  80. The Vantage Pro2 device was operating outside it’s stated operating range of -40 to 150F, so any reading below that would be suspect without a warming device for the battery and electronics.

    http://www.weathershop.com/Specs/6152-62-53-63_VP2Spec_C.pdf

    The usual temperature measuring device on these devices is a thermistor. Here’s the data for a typical thermistor, which has a resistance of 10,000 ohms at 25C (77F) and a resistance of 1,640,357.00 at -80F.

    http://www.ussensor.com/rt%20charts/KW103J2.htm

    Given the weak battery power available at such low temperatures, it’s highly likely that the recorded temperature is an instrument error. I thought you folks around here worry about bad temperature readings, after all the complaints posted on this web site.

    REPLY: Apparently you missed the part in the article where I noted and explained the low battery issue. I was also in contact with Davis Instruments management about this issue and while they agreed the battery failure likely caused the end of transmission. I’ll follow up again tomorrow. Not also the closest airport “official” station just 0.9 miles away also has failed. – Anthony

  81. JRG says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Bernd Felsche: That was a fascinating engineering solution you proposed. Might I suggest an alternative? Select a different battery chemistry, one that continues to function at adequate voltages to -80F or -100F
    ————————–
    That doesn’t solve the problem of the electronics and sensors continuing to operate within their specified temperature range. If the instrument is not certified at the temperatures being “measured”, then one cannot trust the results without additional, external validation.

    From MIL-STD-810F
    “Temperatures colder than -51°C (-60°F) occur no more than 20 percent of the hours in the coldest month of the coldest part of the area (northern Siberia) where temperatures as low as -68°C (-90°F) have been recorded. Because extremely low temperatures are not controlled by a daily solar cycle, they persist for a long enough period of time to cause materiel to reach equilibrium at extremely low temperatures.”

    Nor does a Li-SO2 battery cover an adequate range of temperatures which for the Arctic can be as low as -70°C (not uncommon). I’ve found only batteries of that type rated down to -60°C which falls somewhat short of being able to record “normal” arctic temperature extremes.

  82. Janice says on January 30, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    There really is only one type of battery that can easily operate at extremely low temperatures. They have the added benefit of lasting for a good 80 years with no maintenance or loss of energy. What’s the catch? They are made from Pu-238.

    One might be astonished to find out many ways there are to achieve a voltaic output from an ‘Atomic battery'; these ppl can do a better job on enumerating ‘the ways’ than I can:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_battery

    .

  83. Alaska and Canada have been suffering through some of the coldest temperatures on record during the last week.

    As noted, quite a major generalization. Southern Alberta has been well above average all week. The official high in Lethbridge today was 10°C (50°F). All sorts of warm records set in the past week or so across Alberta.

    Fun topic though. ☺

  84. Hmm that’s in the general area where the official low was recorded. Always nasty along the haul road during winter.

  85. So if the ground station stops reporting due to battery failure, are there satellite readings to determine if Jim River, AK broke the -80F record?

  86. On the other hand, record lows run prima facie against the theory; if all the manmade CO2 emitted this past century causes back radiation which in turn warms the atmosphere alternatively slows down the cooling, one would not expect to see any record lows.

    I tried to make that point on another blog a couple of years ago and had my comment deleted. If the projections for warming were to be believed going back to when they first started making such projections, it should be impossible to see a record low temperature today as the “global” atmosphere would now be radiating enough heat back to the surface to make it impossible. We should only see record high low temperatures.

    But didn’t someone recently publish something along the lines of colder temperature being consistent with warming temperatures, or some such poppycock?

  87. I was born, raised and have always lived in Interior Alaska, between Fairbanks and Anderson to be precise. I am 47 years old. I have not seen a long cold spell like this since the 70’s. Except one the early 90’s which doesn’t hold a candle to the one we are in now. We had -60 on all our thermometers yesterday morning (digital and traditional), it hasn’t been above 20 below for weeks, usually 30 to 40 below for HIGH temps, overnights of 45 to 50 below…

    I just paid $1526 for 344 gallons of heating fuel. We have burned 4 cords of wood this winter, which for us starts in October. Our electric last month was $410, serious lack of daylight this time of year…

    This is our second bad cold spell, also having one in November.

    I like my digital thermometer (Oregon Scientific), it keeps pace with 4 other traditional thermometers until about 50 below.

    Why do I stay? It’s home and I have a really good job, I can retire at 52 then be a snowbird and head south when it gets like this!

    As I post it has warmed up to -26 and it’s snowing. It feels so nice after 40, 50 and 60 below. Just thought I would give you a view from the north.

  88. Eric Barnes says:
    January 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm
    “Spent time in the army in AK and 40 below is *dangerous*. Try it without a bacalava or gloves and you will get frostbite in under an hour.”

    Reply: I am sure you are right. I was just a kid in the early 1960’s at Ft. Wainwright, but I thought it got as cold as minus 40 while we were there. I seem to remember people saying it was more bearable because it was a dry cold.

  89. The whole man-made global warming theory is a scam. Little global temperature fluctuations over decades are like the little temperature flutuations on any given day. Remember, even the pro-global warming scientists are touting a mere 0.8 K increase over 100 years, which is remarkable stable! It would be newsworthy if it DIDN’T change in 100 years.

  90. This has probably been happening a lot over the past few years– historic record cold destroying the measuring equipment before it causes the warming cultists any further embarrassment.

  91. THE TEMPERATURES ARE NOT CORRECT. THE WEATHER STATION IN USE AT THE JIM RIVER DOT CAMP IS A PERSONAL WEATHER STATION THAT IS NOT RATED FOR TEMPERATURE COLDER THAN 40 BELOW. THE UNREALISTICALLY LOW TEMPERATURES ARE BELIEVED TO BE A FUNCTION OF THE BATTERY FAILING AT VERY LOW TEMPERATURES.

    I do not share this belief. I have two of the original Davis models and have seen my share of batteries fail. The temperatures are quite believable during the low voltage conditions, the radio section is the first to go, and data simply stops arriving.

    When the sun comes up and the PV cell gets enough light to operate things, it resumes sending believable data.

    However, I have no experience with the temperature sensors at temperatures below -10°F or so. I would not be surprised if there are calibration issues below -40°

    If the NWS cared, they could test the Jim River unit. Anemometers that recorded the famous Mount Washington wind gust (and the lesser known Australian gust that is now #1) were examined, as were thermometers that recorded some of the state records.

    Henry Ruh says:
    January 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Another likely candidate is the brief solar day, not enough sun for the built in solar cells to keep the Li batt charged.

    The Davis units have “supercaps” (capacitors that are rated in farads instead of microfarads) and those are charged by the PV cell. The 123 Lithium battery used during cloudy stretches and after the supercaps fail is nonrechargable.

  92. Warm and cold records are getting set all the time. We’ve had some warm ones lately too.

    What anthropogenic climate change predicts is that warm records will increasingly outnumber the cold records, instead of being about 50-50. And increasingly outnumber they do (e.g. Meehle 2009).

  93. The Davis station temperature probe is most likely a platinum RTD which is quite stable and accurate in providing a temperature/resistance curve. The station itself which provides the operating voltage would not be housed outside. It is possible that the battery/voltage divider providing power dropped below the RTD voltage specification or the RTD experienced a mechanical failure…

  94. The last observation from Jim River AK was about 18:30 UTC, which is about 1 hour prior to sunrise. Given that the temperature was on a downward trend it seems quite plausible we would have seen a -80 F reading near or just after sunrise at 19:30 UTC on 28 Jan 2012.

    I have also heard there is a chance data is being recorded at Prospect Creek Airfield (PAPR) even though the data is not being transmitted in real-time.

  95. the global warming droids will tell you the record cold is because of global warming… with a straight face….

    Remember everyone.. the “science is settled” and anyone who says anything to the contrary is some kind of evil denier

    so don’t forget….. Pluto is a planet in our solar system….errrr..ummmm , well it was for over 100 yrs of “settled” science.

  96. I lived in the area of North Pole for 17 years. Being tough enough to make it during the winter is a big deal….when you’re young. Thankfully I got over it and now live in Arizona. LOL

  97. Who designs this stuff ? Semiconductor diodes can track Temperature down to very low Temperatures, and quite linear with absolute Temperature, compared to a lot of other methods. Band-gap Voltage references, also can be made stable down to such Temperatures. At least 40 years ago,semiconductor circuits were being built that had data sheet specs from -55 deg C to +125 deg C for military or space applications. That’s -67 F, and far from the limit. Semi devices often fail Temperature wise simply from catastrophic mechanical failure, such as plastic encapsulated devices pulling wire bonds off ith Temperature cycling. Well you wouldn’t use that sort of packaging for mil spec stuff anyway, it would be hermetic.

    I know that in 1966/7 we were dunking plastic encapsulated (epoxy) GaAsP red LEDs into liquid nitrogen to show people how bright they got at those Temperatures, and we did it live at trade shows, and I don’tever recall one of them failing, although for the life of me, I don’t know why, because they were pretty simple gold ball bonded devices; not at all high tech.

    All the analog circuit stuff, I ever did, was designed to be accurate over the entire possible range of supply Voltage, and on battery stuff, it would read correctly down to battery Voltages, that were so low, you had just enough juice to put your head down between your knees and kiss your A*** goodbye.

    Ell cheapo carbon zinc batteries that used to be used for flashlights; and torches too, could still put out power down to half of the new cell Voltage, from 1.50 Volts, down to 0.75 Volts. Modern LED flashlights have switching regulator circuits, that keep the light fully bright, way past the knee visibility point, so you think they never are going to die.

    Don’t know much about Lithium rechargeables; there seems to be so many chemistries. I know you generally can’t buy, or air ship rechargeable Lithium CELLS, such as AAs. You can only buy rechargeable Lithium BATTERIES of multiple cells, that are required to contain a fail safe current limiting fuse (definitely NOT a fuze) .

    I have a hard time believing that some thermometric gizmo, could be off by a factor of two and be left still functioning; it should have a low Voltage cutout that shuts the thing down before it reads rong.

  98. Makes me wonder, though, about the difficulty of marketing electric and hybrid-electric autos in certain areas. Do places that have generally low temperatures with occasional -40 days get exemptions for the CAFE standards? Tough environment for equipment of any sort at such low temps.

    Thanks for the post and the comments though – being warm and inside as I am.

  99. Here in New Hampshire, which over the years have had lower lows than Anchorage AK, I back up my weather station (which uses lithium AA batteries) with a Type “T” digital thermocouple thermometer which I calibrate using liquid nitrogen, the ice point for water, and boiling water. It is linear. I have a difficult time thinking a weather station doesn’t have very sound and scientific back-up.

  100. IN the 1920’s, scientists were touting warming of the globe. In the 70’s, we had the coming of the next ice age. In 90’s and present we get global climate change. If it rains, snows, sleet, hails….. Global climate change due to man. If it doesn’t rain, snow, sleet, hail… Global climate change….. All of life on our planet works in cycles. The planets orbit as a cycle… The eats crust is in constant movement, changing the landscape forever and we get ‘manmade global climate change’. We learned from the first landing on the moon that the distance between the earth and moon has been in a constant movement away from each other. The poles have been known to change polarity and move….. YET, we are to believe that man is causing greater strength and frequent Hurricanes, cyclones, tornados, droughts, floods, plagues, famines, etc.,….. We have recorded hi-tech readings for less than 150yrs of a billion yr old planet and a constantly changing and evolving planet, YET, man in less than 200 hundred years has plagued the planet? Never mind the hundreds of billions of dollars in grants and funds. Never mind the trillions of dollars in confiscated dollars to be given to friends and family of the officials who get to allocate. Never mind all of the power the officials gain from the suitors and rent-seekers who seek the money. It’s a sham… A scheme… A ploy…..

  101. TimO; I to survived the Blizzard of 78, -60F. was wind chill guesswork, it was cold; but, not that cold. Personally couldn’t go outside to check temp as the snow was deeper then my doors, didn’t want to either.

  102. If its a thermistor, Davis may be able to give you an estimated error range at that temperature. Given the effort to keep it cheap, I would bet its not an RTD.

    However, NOAA should not be using such devices for cold weather conditions. Private stations – sure, that’s OK. But an official US station should be properly spanned. If it costs more, pay for it. By using stations that “bottom out” they are artificially raising the lower bound of temperatures (vs the old intrepid volunteer who used to use a mercury thermometer.

    This is just like the NOAA. Half assed. Of course, NASA and DOD do it right…

    http://extenv.jpl.nasa.gov/presentations/Low_Temperature_Lithium_Batteries.pdf

    Anthony, you might suggest that they contact SAFT Batteries for special low temp operations. And span the damn thermistors correctly, or have a dual span if necessary.

  103. Ed H says:
    January 30, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Brimfrost 1989, 6th Light Infantry Division from Fort Freeze-at-Night (Wainwright) we had readings on ATC and other aviation gear of -83, -85 in the field where we camped outside… The dark red hoodies we had made up for participants had -83 lettered on the front. Good times.
    ==========================================================
    Ed, perhaps you missed it, though I can’t imagine anyone could. But, those “good times”, were marred by a tragic accident. Though, I can attest the temps were well below what “official” temp records stated. The deaths and the surreal effect the temps caused are just a few of the things that endures in the fields of my memory.

  104. @commieBob says:
    January 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm
    Our local weather guy says we are basking in balmy Southern Ontario because the jet stream is at its northern limit and is keeping the arctic air from coming south. Is that why it is so cold up north?

    As good a hypothesis as any. My wife tells me that it is unusually cold in Japan this year. It seems like tongues of cold break out of the arctic rather than a broad band of the jet stream, hence the “localized” cold in Alaska. It’s been unusual here in eastern Canada (southern NB), with temperatures down to -18°C at night and a couple of days later up to +6°C and better in the daytime. Up and down like a toilet seat, as my cousin said recently. (I usually refer to a whoxx’s drawers for the same comparison.)

    IanM

  105. Is it possible that this digital thermometer encountered the equivalent of #DIV/0! at -80 deg F?

    If it is only rated to -40 deg F, anything outside the range is suspect. But it is interesting that the NWS takes time to say -79 deg, “is not correct”, but doesn’t bother to stick its neck out and say what it probably is. Hey, we are scientists here… we can accept error bars.

    By their logic, 111 deg F in Las Vegas, NV is not correct, because it really was 111.5 deg F.

  106. I’ve been to Alaska once, in August, when the weather was as beautiful as this Californian could wish. I cannot imagine what it is like now, as even in my grad school days in Ohio it never got in the negative numbers. My blood is very thin and my hat’s off to you Alaskans who thrive there.

    Brrrr!

  107. @ Ian L. McQueen,

    I grew up in Fredericton and remember school being cancelled one day at lunch time as the temperatures were just too cold. It was either ’69 or ’71. As I was just a little girl, I don’t recall the exact temperature that led to this decision, but I do recall the tears freezing to my face as I trudged a mile (uphill, of course) to my home – tears from the pain of the cold and not being adequately bundled. Any idea what the policy is on freezing temperatures and school cancellations?

    Of course, in those days the temperatures were in Fahrenheit, which adds to my inability to remember the precise circumstances. I’m glad some Alaskans apparently like this weather, but anything below -15 C is not really my cup of tea.

  108. In the for-what-it’s-worth category, I’ve been up in that area trapping and seen mercury thermometer temps in the -60’s F back in the mid-1980’s. That God-forsaken place Jim River is way down in a hole and the cold just runs like a river down into it. Last week I was on the Yukon River and it was only in the -40’s, but the wind was howling something fierce; doesn’t count for low recordable temp records, I know, but just as brutal on the body. Hawaii anyone?

  109. I was stationed at Ft. Wainwright in Fairbanks in 1974 until 1976…

    I was fighting the cold war way back then…

    I apologize to everyone…

    I lost, it is still cold up there…

  110. Brendan says:
    January 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    However, NOAA should not be using such devices for cold weather conditions. Private stations – sure, that’s OK. But an official US station should be properly spanned.

    It’s not a NOAA station. It’s a DOT (Dept. of Transportation) station.

  111. There’s a reason it’s referred to as climate change instead of global warming these days. As some areas heat up, climate patterns change and other areas cool. For example, the lower the salinity in the Atlantic (as the ice caps melt), the more slower the movement of warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to the UK gets, and eventually it could stop, plunging the UK into an ice age.

  112. Great blog. People here in Fairbanks tell it was -74* a few times in the early 70’s; some of them have never lived anywhere else. This is over 120 miles south of Jim River.In 2004 my thermometer near Gold Stream read -61*. Is -79* implausiblle?

  113. Are there a lot of sites in Alaska using the Vantage Pro2?

    You would think that lots of places in Alaska get colder temps than -40 F.

  114. Rex says:
    January 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Why is it claimed that high temepratures are CAUSED by global (sic)
    warming (sic), when in fact they CONTRIBUTE TO global warming ?

    Well that’s just sic.

  115. …CLARIFICATION OF TEMPERATURES FROM JIM RIVER DOT CAMP…

    NWS HAS DETERMINED THAT THE THERMOMETER IN QUESTION WAS INCORRECTLY SITED TOO FAR FROM THE REQUIRED LOCAL AIR CONDITIONING UNIT … THIS RESULTED IN UNACCEPTABLY LOW TEMPERATURE READINGS AND FAILURE OF THE UNIT … HENCE IT HAS BEEN STRUCK FROM THE RECORD…

    /sarc off

  116. Yeah, I did a 3 year stint at Ft. Wainwright (Near Fairbanks, not Wainwright Alaska on the north coast). I experienced first hand more than a few -40F events,(they are important, because all sorts of interesting things start happening when that temperature threshold is reached/crossed) and I can’t help but observe that the last couple seem to be more protracted and occur with more frequency this year.

    I live in Hawaii, now. BTW, I am a weather forecaster, and I supervise the “Alaska Desk” here.

    The collected datasets for several of the locations in Alaska have shown a warming trend in the last 30 years when you take into account the extreme minimums for temperatures. (No -50F events for fairbanks since the 70s, then one occurred during my third year on station) It appears that this trend is abruptly reversing. Where am I going with all this? Maybe these events and trends are cyclical in nature. Until we have a (much) better understanding of the processes that determine our weather- and by extension, our climate- it is folly to speculate and scapegoat a cause, especially when actions taken upon those hastily drawn conclusions degrade the living conditions of those who live there by dramatically increasing the cost of heating their homes.

  117. Fact no doubt will encourage the global warming faithful to redouble their efforts, but for people who have questioned the gorite philosophy from the beginning and endured their insults, take a look at :
    “Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.”

  118. The web page referenced did not print in my remarks at 10:06 So try again:

    The address is http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2093264/Forget-global-warming–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html

    • Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years
    By David Rose
    Last updated at 5:38 AM on 29th January 2012
    The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.
    The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

  119. One thing strikes me, why install a thermometer that can not measure temperatures even close to what have been measured there?

  120. Mackenzie says:
    January 30, 2012 at 9:35 pm
    “There’s a reason it’s referred to as climate change instead of global warming these days. As some areas heat up, climate patterns change and other areas cool. For example, the lower the salinity in the Atlantic (as the ice caps melt), the more slower the movement of warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to the UK gets, and eventually it could stop, plunging the UK into an ice age.”

    Mackenzie, the IPCC is called the IPCC since 1990 or so; guess what the CC stands for? So much for your “these days”. And all those wild theories about some places warming, some places cooling because of an increased greenhouse effect make absolutely no sense whatsoever; the warmist scientists are just in frantic convulsions trying to correct their explanations a posteriori; which still does not give any of these explanations any predictive skill. So your “reason that some places cool and some heat up” still needs to be tested by comparing PREDICTIONS of the latest theory with future OBSERVATIONS; until then, it is UNVALIDATED CONJECTURE by the warmist scientists.

    And tell your warmist scientists that a prediction better not contain the word “could”.

  121. The more you understand about physics and the universe, the more convinced you’ll be that modern man is completely incapable of creating, starting, speeding up, slowing down, or stopping global warming or climate change.

    Our galaxy is rocketing through space at over 2 million MPH. We’re receiving more energy from the sun than 1,000 Hiroshima nuclear explosions, every second. But a cow farting in a pasture is going to bring Earth to its end?

  122. Jim River is a mile from Prospect Creek. From Wikipedia….
    “Prospect Creek is a very small settlement approximately 180 miles north of present day Fairbanks and 25 miles southeast of present day Bettles, Alaska. Years ago it was home to numerous mining expeditions and the camp for the building of the Alaskan pipeline. Today, it is mostly desolate with little activity since the completion of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in 1977. Prospect Creek is also home to the U.S. record for lowest temperature. In January 1971, the record low temperature of -80°F (-62°C) was recorded. … There are currently no people living in this area.
    …Prospect Creek Airport (IATA: PPC, ICAO: PAPR, FAA LID: PPC) is a state-owned public-use airport…For the 12-month period ending July 9, 2008, the airport had 498 aircraft operations.”
    … So, in the heyday of the pipeline construction Prospect Creek was a NWS co-op site, and recorded the US record low of -80. The station closed in 1980. Now, the “town” is uninhabited, and the airport – a landing strip, reallly – is unattended with less than one flight a day on average. The FAA says RECOMMEND VISUAL INSPECTION PRIOR TO USING, LIMITED SNOW REMOVAL, and BEACON ON ONLY WHEN THE ASO FACILITY IS MANNED AT PROSPECT CREEK.
    There hasn’t been a NWS station there in 32 years, and the automated stations at the Jim RIver DOT and the Prospect Creek Airport are only occasionally checked on and less frequently maintained. One can only guess how far off a non-NWS calibrated station that may be poorly located and may not have had new batteries in a year could be. Ten degrees? Twenty? We’ll never know. Glance through the personal weather stations on Weather Underground and you’ll see a scatter of 5 or 10 degrees under “normal” temperatures.
    So, what was the real low at Prospect Creek? Although the lack of a calibrated, inspected, and properly sited station makes the answer irrelevant to records, let’s speculated. The old Prospect Creek station used to run about 5 degrees (ranging from zero to 10) lower than nearby Bettles (25 miles to the NW and a few hundred feet lower) during extreme cold events, but sometimes Prospect Creek was warmer. When Prospect Creek recorded the all-time low of -80, Bettles came in 12 degrees warmer at -68. When Bettles had it’s low of -70, Prospect Creek was -58.
    This week Bettles recorded a record low of -60 for the date, but fell 10 degrees shy of its all-time low. I’d guess that a Prospect Creek co-op station might have recorded -65 or -70, or maybe even -72. 72 below would be second place, like the Phillies in the 2009 World Series. 79 below, almost 20 degrees colder than Bettles, seems quite unlikely.

  123. Norway’s record low temperature is -51.4C from 1886 in Karasjok, but in 1999 it looked like it was going to be broken. So journalists poured in and everybody wanted a look inside the stevenson screen. The lowest it got was -51.2C, but it has been speculated that if the journalists hadn’t all been poking their noses into the screen and thereby heating the instruments, the record would indeed have been broken.

    While it’s cold in Alaska, it’s been pretty warm on the Atlantic side of the arctic with heavy rain in Svalbard. While rain sometimes happens in January even as far north as 80N, what’s been really exceptional is the amount of rain. Ny-Ålesund at 79N recorded 98 mm in 24 hours yesterday and another 34 mm today. The average total for January is 27 mm. It’s been estimated that this only happens once in 200 years.

  124. Here in Canada one of our country wide news outlets is called Global News. They tend to be quite biased towards the warmer side. To day they reported the cold weather in Europe, then right after showed a moving graphic from NASA supposedly showing rising temperatures over many decades complete with bright burning colors. I thought it hilarious and so sad.

  125. Funny thing about the sun cycles is that the trend of increasing sun activity over the last couple hundred years directly correlates with the trend of the AGW propoganda. But, as usual, the AGW cult has a claim on hot, cold, sun maximum, sun minimum, etc. The latest techniques of AGW cultists are to claim that cold is caused by AGW, and/or that even though the sun cycle trends almost exactly with the supposed AGW temp increase data, they conveniently claim that there is an “additional” magnifier of human involvement…

    Even if we enter a full-scale ice age, with 2 mile deep glaciers covering all of Canada, all of northern Europe, AND the upper third of the U.S., AGW cultists will say that it is an anomaly.

  126. Richard Keen have you been there? Back in the mid 90s I was doing a bicycle race on the Yentna river and it was -30 at the riverbank cabins and I was told it was 10 degrees colder on the river a mere 50 feet away. I had no experience or frame of reference for telling the difference between the two but I could tell that when I cycled down the embankment to the river it got remarkably colder. Small elevation changes of 10 to 20 feet were very noticeable, almost like dipping in a pool.

  127. I’m surprised no one could see the solution to this problem. The reason the unit was on battery backup was that it was night time and the solar cells were not working. The obvious solution to this would have been to install a 100 watt flood lamp pointing at the solar cell to ensure there would be enough photons striking the cell to run the unit. I think an 18 inch (45 cm for our metric cousins) space from the unit would suffice…. This would also solve the question of the obviously false unofficial record low reported from the station..

    Technology solving modern problems, I love it….

  128. Thought YOU and your some of YOUR colleagues in the climate community

    might enjoy

    reading POLAR CITY RED

    . a new sci-fi cli-fi NOVEL set in a climate-rocked Alaska of 2080

    A.D. not so far away as all that, and yet far enough away

    as to be pure fiction. I can send you a free e-book of POLAR CITY RED

    by Okalhoma author Jim Laughter (his real name) if you want one.

  129. RE:K.M. Southwood says:
    January 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks for the first-hand account. One report from the scene is worth fifty comments from afar.

    You mentioned you had both modern and traditional thermometers. Have you noticed much difference at extremely low temperatures?

    Thanks for keeping the cold up there, this winter.

  130. This is only balmy Alaska. What does the weather station at Freezyer Ballzov, Siberia, show?

  131. I thought about going to Alaska to visit sometime. To see some moose. But I thought better of it. And now even the poor moose are freezing up there. Brrrrrr!!

  132. Previously stated:
    WOW! Drudge link! You have made it Anthony!!! …..
    [Reply: Site traffic just jumped 40%. ~dbs, mod.]…….
    Wait till the West coast gets home. ;)……..
    [Now it's up over 100%. ~dbs]
    ……..

    Anthony, what will this link do for your Google search ranking? Last I heard WUWT was page 35 of a AGW search (I forget the exact search phrase) on google…

    Huzzah’s for Anthony and WUWT!!.

  133. I am an actual Alaskan and have experienced temperatures of minus 60 on many occasions although not recently. There is a considerable distance between temperatures in the minus 50 range and those which might reach minus 70 or even lower. In Interior Alaska, for example Fairbanks, Delta, Tok, Northway and other areas along the Tanana River, minus 50 is fairly commonplace. Fort Yukon at the junction of the Yukon and Porcupine Rivers can be a bit lower still. Jim River and Prospect Creek lie to the west of Fort Yukon and are in the cooler category. Another scary place is on the Alaska Highway near the Canadian border, which includes Snag and Beaver Creek.

    Unless temperatures in places like Fairbanks, Fort Yukon or Tok are reaching the minus 60 category I would be suspicious of claims of temperatures of minus 70 or lower in the region. I would fully expect the Jim River report to NOT be accurate.

    With that said, the stories of Ed H, above regarding local lows in the Interior are worth thinking about. Contrary to some suggestions in the comments above, the temperature will drop and keep dropping in the absence of significant disturbance in the air. Some individuals living southeast of Fairbanks have reported temperatures below minus 70 and even lower in that area and I would believe those reports. In Delta in February 1975 I saw a thermometer at minus 80 and another a short distance away at minus 73. There was no doubt in my mind that it was pretty cold.

    As severe as that seems, it is my understanding that temperatures in Siberia are routinely colder — in the minus 80 range. And I have a friend who wintered at the South Pole with temperatures of more than minus 100.

    Here in Anchorage, it is warming up to 10 F for a few days, although I think it will probably head back down below zero by the weekend. God help the lower forty eight states if this cold air mass releases all at once and heads south in February.

  134. Jerry says: Richard Keen have you been there?
    ….ummm, I’ve been around Alaska quite a bit, have spent the better part of a year on assorted glaciers, and live in Colorado where cold air also likes to pool in large and small valleys. I’ve even biked through these cold and warm pools, with a thermometer mounted on the handlebars. And I’m a co-op observer who has made forty thousand or so max and min temperature readings. But my personal experience is immaterial, since I’m comparing actual observed records at two locations, one of them the spot where the record low was approached. It’s the observed and documented readings that count, not how cold your or my knuckles feel as we ride our bikes.

  135. I have done some extensive research, personally funded , no big oil $$ :-(..
    Doing a Google search:
    “climate change”, WUWT is page 32
    “global warming”, WUWT is page 31 (getting better)
    and searching for AGW on Google reports WUWT on page………….

    Wait for it………..

    Almost there!!!!!

    Page 2 of the Google search results!!!!!!!
    (confetti flying everywhere!! Noise makers and streamers abound!!!)

    Congratulation to all involved with the running of WUWT and especially to Anthony for creating it and putting up with all of us “Armchair Scientists”……

  136. Addendum to my previous post..
    Now it would be nice if we could get the “climate change” and “global warming” ranked the same as AGW on Google…

  137. > Alaska and Canada have been suffering through some of the coldest temperatures on record during the last week…

    True, yet crap. Anthony, if you check a map you’ll notice that Canada is a pretty large country.

    Here in Southern Ontario we have had the mildest winter in memory. We got 3 cm of snow today, more than we’ve had — in total — all winter. On the second-last day of January!

    But wait! Weather isn’t climate!

    Unless…it’s really cold. Then it’s climate! If it’s really mild then it’s just weather, which isn’t climate.

    “Reality is that which, once you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” — P. Dick

  138. Old Nanook says:
    Unless temperatures in places like Fairbanks, Fort Yukon or Tok are reaching the minus 60 category I would be suspicious of claims of temperatures of minus 70 or lower in the region. I would fully expect the Jim River report to NOT be accurate.
    … well, the Fort Yukon co-op station checked in with a -66 yesterday, Jan. 30. So we may have some other coop station sending in a -70 at the end of the month (not all coop stations report daily). There’s still the outside chance of some lucky station getting to -80. But probably not Jim River, which was also “only” -66 yesterday (did someone go out there and change the battery?).

  139. George E. Smith; says: January 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm
    … You can only buy rechargeable Lithium BATTERIES of multiple cells, that are required to contain a fail safe current limiting fuse (definitely NOT a fuze) .

    That may have been the problem with the Chevy Volt battery, George. The bureaucrats at Govt Motors just might have installed fuzes.

  140. Is it still possible to buy accurate equipment capable of streaming temperature measurements in Fahrenheit?

    For calculation purposes you would have to convert these reading into Celsius prior to further use.

  141. Jerker Andersson says:
    January 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    One thing strikes me, why install a thermometer that can not measure temperatures even close to what have been measured there?
    —————
    Perhaps because their motivation for monitoring conditions isn’t to accurately record the weather, but to determine if the conditions are appropriate to operate. The weather station only then has to be reliable over a range of conditions slightly wider than the operational limits of physical equipment/people.

    So if it gets too cold/hot to measure, it’s outside of the range of temperatures that one would operate – for any number of reasons; but usually safety.

  142. Extreme temperatures in any one location in any one year really do prove nothing either for or against the AGW hypothesis. I have posted elsewhere about the need to analyse at least 100 years of data before you start to be able to take out the effect of shorter ENSO and 60 year cycles and get down to the underlying ~1000 year cyclic trend.

    I’m no warmist, but I am the first to confirm that the underlying long-term trend is still increasing due entirely to natural causes at a rate of about 0.05 degree C per decade, but such rate is decreasing and should be down to zero (ie a maximum temperature) within the next 150 to 250 years, after which about 500 years of cooling is expected. The trend is indeed expected to keep rising even beyond the year 2100 when it could well be 0.4 degrees above the current level. (See my other posts about the above 0.05C/decade calculation.)

    Folks, the world is still warming. It only defeats our cause to try to prove it isn’t, because the 60 year cycle will turn back upwards after about 2028, so it’s best to be honest and tell them that’s what we expect. Let’s archive that prediction, as indeed I have a few months ago on my initial site http://earth-climate.com .

    If you want to rubbish AGW you can do so using physics, on the basis that …

    (1) Their assumptions relating to that -18C figure are not based on established physics, so all their sensitivity calculations are totally wrong, even if backradiation did warm anything. (See my posts on other threads for more detail, or my site http://climate-change-theory.com .)

    (2) Backradiation actually does not exist to anywhere near the extent they suggest and they are not measuring it. (Their instruments measure frequency and convert it to temperature. Any further conversation to radiative flux is invalid.) They can show no warming from it (for example, show it warming a metal plate or melting frost) and that would be the only way to prove it had any effect such as what they say it has on the Earth’s surface. After all, they claim its intensity is about a quarter as much as the Sun at noon. It ought to melt frost in the course of 8 hours or so, but it doesn’t. The reason is, as Prof Claes Johnson proves, its frequency is below the cut-off frequency for which any warming could occur. And anything that does come down as LW radiation is probably just coming from a few “hot spots” in the atmosphere that were not necessarily warmed by carbon dioxide and its colleagues.

    In summary, I would rather see this WUWT site place less emphasis on articles and news like this, and more emphasis on the physics of the situation. The warmists can’t argue that their physics is right about that -18C figure because they would just expose their ignorance if they still tried to support it. The Earth’s surface is far from insulated and so it is far from being a blackbody and really only radiates less than about 25 W/m^2. You cannot convert whatever it radiates to a “temperature” using the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, because so much other energy escapes by diffusion, conduction, convection, evaporation and chemical processes, leaving a lot less to radiate. What does still radiate carries no indication of ambient temperature and would in fact gives very cold values if stuck into that equation.

  143. Richard Verney says
    down the cooling, one would not expect to see any record lows.
    ———
    No. The frequency of record highs will go up and the frequency of record lows will go down. It is still possible to have record lows.

  144. Jim River is very close where I was training in the army 32 years ago in February. It was about a hundred miles north of Fairbanks. We were there for a month in the 101st division. I wouldn’t want to be there today. We were lucky and had a record heat wave of up to 50 F above zero on several days. It hardly ever got below zero except for a few days. We were practicing protecting the pipeline from the Soviet Union. Our tent had a stove and ours looked like a jet engine with after burners with flames coming out the top. We weren’t cold.

  145. Climate change means ‘extremes’ at both ends of the spectrum (extreme cold, extreme heat), because the hydrological cycle is disrupted (globally). Record lows then become expected, and the same for record highs. These readings are actually proof that climate change is in fact occurring, quite rapidly now. Those that doubt this are basically idiots, ill-informed and opinionated without evidence or proof to back up their claims. In addition to Alaska, extremes are occurring in many other places of the world, including torrential rains (India, Pakistan, Australia, Vietnam) all part of the hydrological cycle. Other extremes are also occurring too, killer tornadoes in Indonesia, and Mozambique with killer storms. Bulgaria just experienced deadly blizzards, China massive snowfalls. There are climate extremes now occurring non-stop around the world.

  146. Alan Statham says:
    January 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm
    It’s cold in Alaska in the winter, and therefore global warming isn’t happening. A most elegant proof. Well done.

    REPLY: Only in your mind Alan (RW), and I don’t appreciate you putting words in my mouth not said. Take some time off in the troll bin. 48 hours should do it. – Anthony

    They weren’t the only one to draw the inference, but they were the only one sent to the troll bin:

    richard verney says:
    January 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm
    Record highs do not confirm global warming but are, of course, consistent with the theory.

    On the other hand, record lows run prima facie against the theory; if all the manmade CO2 emitted this past century causes back radiation which in turn warms the atmosphere alternatively slows down the cooling, one would not expect to see any record lows. Of course, the odd one or two could be outliers but to still be setting record lows some 100 years after manmade emissions raises questions marks as to whether the AGW theory is correct, alternatively whether CO2 is as effective a temperature driver as AGW warmists would have one believe.

    dscott says:
    January 30, 2012 at 3:54 pm
    Since AGW is supposed to show up as higher temps in the upper latitudes, numerous record lows below that of industrial time period are proof of the theory’s failure. AGW is supposed to affect the upper latitudes most of all.

    A warming world does not preclude record low temperatures, it simply means that record lows will represent a smaller percentage of all temperature records. If you were true skeptics, rather than dogmatists and ideologues, you would know this and if Anthony was less of a hypocrite he would’ve offered you the same short shrift he offered Alan.

  147. This is why they should be using the wired version! Interesting that they don’t have a old style backup.

  148. So much for man made global warming? Even if there were global warming would you tree huggers explain to me how raising my power bill, raising my taxes and electing left wing Loon Democrats is going to lower the earth’s temperature? So Minus -80 degrees in Alaska is still
    to Warm for ya?
    Perhaps if Congress & Obama were not burning through $3 Trillion bucks in 3 years it might lower the Earths temperature, it would at least lower the tax payers & voters temperature!
    VOTE THE BUM’S OUT NOV 2012!

  149. Wow, the polar bears must be breeding like flies. Get set for the big reversal. No warming over the past 15 years…..ready for it….ready for it……Man Made Global Cooling!

    We were all wrong before…we finally have it right…….global cooling taxes will fix the problem….the results of our taxes will warm the planet 100 years from now….you’ll see.

  150. [ John says:
    January 31, 2012 at 3:51 am
    Climate change means ‘extremes’ at both ends of the spectrum (extreme cold, extreme heat), because the hydrological cycle is disrupted (globally). Record lows then become expected, and the same for record highs. These readings are actually proof that climate change is in fact occurring, quite rapidly now. ]

    Why don’t you help us all out here and put a date on an earthly period when “climate change” didn’t occur. Then suggest a period in the past when record lows or record highs didn’t occur. Then determine a period on earth since life began when those record lows or highs caused mass extinction. Then determine if the highs ever did, or if the ice ages were the only time.

  151. John says:
    January 31, 2012 at 3:51 am
    Climate change means ‘extremes’ at both ends of the spectrum (extreme cold, extreme heat).

    That does not support the idea of a “greenhouse effect” …. my greenhouse doesn’t get colder if I add another layer of plastic … even in winter!

  152. L. says:
    January 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    “It’s cold in Alaska in the winter, and therefore global warming isn’t happening. A most elegant proof. Well done.”

    But when it’s hot in Australia in summer, AGW people say it is proof… Talk about wanting your cake and eating it as well…
    ==================
    cake in 42c?
    its too hot to eat on days like that
    it melted
    and the bread went mouldy in 2 days:-(
    left the butter out and it slid off the table…
    but its cooler now:-)
    actually its gone from damn hot to nippy again.

  153. Well, here in Washington D.C. it’s supposed to be in the balmy mid-sixties today. I’m waiting to see the Washington Post tell us that’s more proof of global warming! But then you have the extreme cold weather in Alaska (in the winter, go figure) and I’m supposed to believe it’s global cooling!? I’m so confused!! Oh! I forgot…”Climate Change” is the new mantra. I understand now. Then I guess it’s ok to raise my taxes and the govenment will somehow moderate the earths temperature. This is what Obama’s selling…any takers?

  154. I’m sure Al gores concocting a new scheme, like man made global cooling to win another nobel prize and to make billions.

  155. George E. Smith; says on January 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm:

    Who designs this stuff ? Semiconductor diodes can track Temperature down to very low Temperatures, and quite linear with …

    The ‘equipment’ is designed for (albeit) high-end domestic consumer market, not the military; “over-design” and your competitive advantage goes away and you get ‘eaten’ by your _competition_ …

    … At least 40 years ago,semiconductor circuits were being built that had data sheet specs from -55 deg C to +125 deg C for military or space applications. That’s -67 F, and far from the limit.

    And we used to ‘cold-soak’ product (a dual-mode nose-mounted aircraft RADAR for the Panavia Tornado aircraft) at -55 deg C in the anticipated application of a high-altitude (cold!) transiting flights (in silent mode w/power off!) to target area followed by some nap-of-the-earth flying (via the TFR or Terrain Following RADAR) and land feature identification (during less-than-ideal-weather; this was the European Theater after all and the Russian/Soviet bear was still an active ‘threat’) via the GMR or Ground Mapping RADAR for ‘payload’ delivery to target (e.g. runway demolition during The Gulf War.)

    … Modern LED flashlights have switching regulator circuits, that keep the light fully bright, way past the knee visibility point, so you think they never are going to die.

    Which ones? The $2 spun-aluminum (or even plastic) cheapies? The cheapies run three cells in series (Zinc-carbon as bought, Alkaline which I use as replacements for longevity, and I’ve used NiCd and NiMH successfully too, and all three types of batteries ‘dim’ when nearing end-of-life), NO current limit (save whatever an individual LEDs may present insofar as bulk resistivity.)

    I have a hard time believing that some thermometric gizmo, could be off by a factor of two and be left still functioning; it should have a low Voltage cutout that shuts the thing down before it reads rong.

    When said “thermometric gizmo” (albeit) high-end domestic consumer market is operated significantly below specification?

    C’mon George,we both know you and I would love for you to be building my equipment (including weather stations!) for me and the rest of the world, but a) what would the time-to-market be and 2) could we afford it, even in quantity?

    Remember too, it’s not enough to simply build it, you have to test it as well, during the development cycle (of course), as well as during the manufacturing cycle (at the minimum a sampling of product if you’re just shipping to the public and 100% if NOAA or various DOTs or govts are your customer!)

    .

  156. Alaska can keep the cold weather. Because of the jetstream, when it is way below freezing in Fairbanks in January it is balmy here in the mid atlantic.

  157. So now in Alaska the thermometer missed the -80 or so (battery went into hypothermia). In fact there are statements that say the instrument is good only to -40. So possibly an error of -40 degrees. Alaska is a pretty big state (country?) with very low temperatures across its land. We say we know the temperatures to .xx or so. How can that be.

  158. Anthony, the battery problem could easily produce an incorrect low temperature reading. Measuring the resistance of a thermistor is critical, as the temperature is calculated from the measured resistance. Measuring resistance requires accurate measurement of current, assuming a constant voltage, however, if the voltage also changes, the problem becomes more difficult. Using my previous thermistor example, applying 3 volts to the thermistor with a resistance of 1,640,357 ohms (the value corresponding to -80F) would produce a current of 1.83 microamps, a very small current. But, if the applied voltage were reduced to 2.4 volts, that current would require to a resistance of only 1,312,286 ohms. Comparing this value with the thermistor shows that the corresponding temperature would have been -75F. When you correspond with the manufacturer, you might ask them at what voltage the transmitter quits, information which could be used to correct the reading for the low battery output.

  159. Wait wait wait…its the “extremes” don’t you see, so when you get both record lows and record highs in the very same year its “climate disruption” don’t you see. Oh wait, that was 1934 the year of record breaking “extremes” (except extreme climate BS – that occurred in 2008)

  160. Por favor, a do-over mods .. I muffed formatting on the prev. post … TNX

    John says on January 31, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Climate change means ‘extremes’ at both ends of the spectrum (extreme cold, extreme heat), because the hydrological cycle is disrupted (globally). Record lows then become expected, and the same for record highs.

    Sounds plausible when delivered in rhetoric, but, does the record to date even come close to bearing this out?

    And – do we have ‘instrument complications’ (e.g. the case of the Davis wx station as presented in the head post of this thread) because mercury-filled indicating devices are no longer being used, and the use of “modern devices” can be seen to potentially ‘limit’ the accurate measuring and recording of cold weather, and therefore cold climate, events?

    I would ask the sharp-tongued -er- penned Mary Turner the same thing; can you back your rhetoric up with any data or studies which support the rhetoric?

    How do you make the case where your instrumentation is presenting a major handicap in obtaining hard, cold, factual data upon which to base assertions, make projections, perform extrapolations of ‘climate’ into the future?

    .

  161. Mary Turner says:
    January 31, 2012 at 4:07 am

    “A warming world does not preclude record low temperatures…”

    Please explain the physics and thermodynamics behind this assertion. Remember, the earth has been “warming” for over 100 years…

  162. Regarding the official statement, there’s a fine difference between saying temperatures from a personal station operating way out of its spec are unreliable and between saying they’re not correct. If they said they’re unreliable I’d definitely agree with them. But if they say they’re incorrect then I start wondering how much incorrect may them be. Maybe they could make the airport people fix their National Weather Service Standard-compliant equipment to allow some cross-callibration while it’s still chilly there?

  163. Will someone please find a warmer temperature within 1200 miles and average them so we produce a much more appealing scenario.

  164. John says:
    January 31, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Climate change means ‘extremes’ at both ends of the spectrum (extreme cold, extreme heat), because the hydrological cycle is disrupted (globally). Record lows then become expected, and the same for record highs. These readings are actually proof that climate change is in fact occurring, quite rapidly now. Those that doubt this are basically idiots, ill-informed and opinionated without evidence or proof to back up their claims.

    Isn’t is amazing that temperatures have been much warmer during our own little Interglacial (Holocene) without destroying civilization. Maybe you need to take off the blinders and find out what’s really happening. Hang around and you’ll get an education.

    In addition to Alaska, extremes are occurring in many other places of the world, including torrential rains (India, Pakistan, Australia, Vietnam) all part of the hydrological cycle. Other extremes are also occurring too, killer tornadoes in Indonesia, and Mozambique with killer storms. Bulgaria just experienced deadly blizzards, China massive snowfalls. There are climate extremes now occurring non-stop around the world.

    Yes, weather happens. Always has and always will. It is no different today and trends in violent weather have not changed. You really need to get away from all the doom and gloom sites and learn the truth.

  165. What the hell do all of you do when you aren’t on here?????? Where do you find time to disprove each other on weather facts???? Go…go outside…go talk to another human being. Come up out of your parents basement and venture out into society. Geeze……..

  166. John said:
    Climate change means ‘extremes’ at both ends of the spectrum (extreme cold, extreme heat), because the hydrological cycle is disrupted (globally)

    No one here is stating that the climate doesn’t change, it’s just the question on mans’ influence thru the introduction of CO2. Part of the main observation is that the models that predicted Global Warming, I mean Climate Change, I mean Global Climate Disruption, those models didn’t predict these extremes. Only afterwards are they tailoring their models to include these.

    On the comments that these are Climate Extremes, shouldn’t we classify these as Weather Extremes? It’s been well debated that there is a difference between Weather and Climate. Single instances, even a season or two does not make climate. It may be a terrible burden on the populations living in those areas, but whether the weather was influenced by CO2 in the atmosphere, thus changing the hydrological cycle, has not been proven. And to dictate to countries how they should conduct their affairs inside their borders, based on flawed science, is ludicrous.

    The earth is ‘alive’, so to speak. It is a dynamic system that we try to measure, model and predict. But when people state “see, there are floods here, or droughts there, AGW and CO2 are to blame” the science just doesn’t prove it.

    With the population of the earth growing, more and more people are living in ever more crowded and deplorable conditions. You throw in heavy rain storms and high winds, casualties start increasing. Then with instant access news, it’s all over the world.

    Not all starvation in Africa is occurring because of droughts brought on by weather/climate.. Warlords fighting each other, keeping supplies of food, medicine and hardware from reaching the people most affected. Governmental (i.e. the U.N.) interference in countries developing their own energy infrastructure are keeping their people in poverty.. Places in Africa are sitting on huge deposits of coal. They could use that to help lift their people out of poverty.. But the U.N. keep insisting these countries follow a Green path.. Doctors have to select whether to use their solar power for illumination to see patients, or to run the refrigerator with the medicine. Choices that are imposed by bureaucrats, living comfortable lives in comfortable homes…

    One could trace back a lot of the social and economic problems back to bureaucratic interference, regulation and their ‘good intentions’ based on unsound information. Let’s not make a mistake with CO2 and our energy future.. (Go Thorium!!)

  167. Andrew30 says:
    January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm
    MaxL says: January 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Your from Canada? You must know Bob Franklin, he lives there too, near the beer store :-)

    All the time, many people just do not grasp the size of this country.
    ————————————————————
    Plus the fact that there are four beer stores and two Bob Franklins. How are supposed to know how to contact him and let him know he made the Internet?

  168. It’s been an unusually warm winter where I am in the northeast US. Could wind up being our warmest winter ever.
    But every time there is a record low, it proves global warming wrong.

  169. @TimO says:
    January 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm
    “-80??? Been through -60 during the Blizzard of ’78 in Ohio and that was bloody cold. [...]“

    -60F in Ohio didn’t happen unless that was wind chill. The record cold reading for Ohio is -39F if my google-fu is good. Yup. I was in that blizzard too.

  170. Ric Werme says: (in response to me…)
    January 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    >It’s not a NOAA station. It’s a DOT (Dept. of Transportation) station.

    True… But I did preface it by stating my uncertainty as to who owned it. I also stated “…an official US station should be properly spanned.” That is still true. You don’t use measuring instruments where you expect them to go near or above (or below) their ranges. Its just bad science. I would have savagely beaten with broccoli undergraduates who used measurements outside the range of the measurement devices.

    Thermistors use a curve fit to interpolate voltage to temperature. Dependent upon the equation (and there are a few standard ones – wiki has a good discussion of it) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermistor. Due to the log function, it may go out of linearity 50 c below its lowest temperature. But the good folks at Davis should be able to back calculate how badly its doing at that point (they have the constants for their thermistor, after all, and know how it works). After all, they have sold a device that is good to within +/- x degree. They just won’t stand behind something outside that range. I’m sure Anthony will report what that is.

    As for our friends at DOT/NOAA (and even Davis). I mentioned the low temp lithium batteries that they should use. Since their temperature sensor is a plug in (and replaceable) they should make a low temperature spanned version. You don’t need to replace the entire unit. Just replace the plug in and do a software update. They should not be just tweaking the software to give a N/A when it gets below -40. They know they have a problem and their solution is to ignore it? Dumb.

  171. Frank K. says:
    January 31, 2012 at 5:37 am
    Mary Turner says:
    January 31, 2012 at 4:07 am

    “A warming world does not preclude record low temperatures…”

    Please explain the physics and thermodynamics behind this assertion. Remember, the earth has been “warming” for over 100 years…

    …by <a href="http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1850/trend"0.8°C.

    I’m not sure why you think outliers in a chaotic system should be constrained if we add energy to it, but lets assume its true. The lowest temperature recorded on earth is -89.2°C, the temperature rise seen since then, 0.45°C, would still allow lows of -88.75°C without falsifying claims of global warming.

  172. John, you are the one appearing to site a metric without also including proofs or links. So how do you measure the hydrological cycle? What parameters of weather (since extremes are properly referred to as weather, not climate, according to AGW-speak) would you look at to determine baseline hydrological cycles and the anomalies you say are occuring? I have news for you but I will keep quiet for now. Please go ahead and state your case for a disrupted cycle and provide links.

  173. I’ve stated before that one can’t trust Colonel Sanders to look after our chickens. I think it is prudent and good science to have “referee thermometers” widely scattered.

  174. Here is the actual station data: http://ow.ly/8MCgL With official station Bettles dropping to -60 http://ow.ly/8MCyF I think the -70s are plausible – we’ve seen this kind of large local difference before with slight changes in snow cover or elevation (when IL broke their record) BUT there’s no way to prove it unless somebody drives out there this morning to check the temperature at Jim River (which is -70 again Tuesday morning)

  175. Ooops,
    On my last post I have misread the scale on the data (C for F).

    Maybe I have a future in climate science after all :-)

    Actually, interesting post. There is an ancient work of science fiction — still one of my all time favorites — by Murray Leinster titled “The Planet Explorer”. Sadly, although a lot of Leinster’s early vintage SF is out of copyright, this one is not and there are only some 10 or 11 copies available used on Amazon for the uber-sf-fan.

    One of the four novellas in this work is about an planet that is settled while it is in the throes of an ice age — and it turns out that the pre-colonial survey was inadequate and the star it circles is a long term variable star (perhaps not unlike our own, BTW). The solar constant drops, and looks like it is going to stay down for 100 years or so, kicking the planet from cold but “borderline habitable” over to “deep freeze”. The protagonist is a problem-solving troubleshooter for the colonial survey, and as the planet’s night time temperature at the coldest points creeps over towards the freezing point for CO_2, he sweats bullets.

    At that point, you see, the CO_2 falls out of the atmosphere is dry ice snow, the greenhouse effect goes away, and nitrogen and oxygen fall out as rain a short while later. Everybody dies, even if dayside temperatures remain warm enough to re-boil the nightly rain of liquid air. Whether this is precisely reasonable as a consequence — the CO_2 might become unstable, but in a very dilute solution actually nucleating into dry ice snow seems a bit of a stretch — is beside the point, of course — it is science fiction — but it is certainly in the range of plausibility, where suspended disbelief makes the story enjoyable, at least if you aren’t one of the (IMO silly) humans that deny that CO_2 is in any way responsible for warming the planet “at all”.

    FWIW, the protagonist solves the problem by crafting “bombs” of easily ionized metal gases and lofting them into orbit, spreading a “comet’s tail” of plasma that pumps the planet’s ionosphere and stimulates the aurora and ultimately warms the planet by making the night-time sky block outgoing IR even more efficiently than CO_2 (similar proposals have been made for dealing with AGW in the other direction — putting up a visible light veil between the Earth and the Sun that effectively downshifts the Earth’s albedo — although personally I think of such proposals as batshit crazy playing with fire, given our general lack of understanding of the chaotic system and the lurking ice-age attractor that is very probably just a tiny shift of unknown conditions away from being emergent.

    Fortunately, our planet is more or less proven against runaway feedback from any sort of low-side or high side excursion by simple history. It has been way, way colder than the present without the CO_2 freezing out and the air falling as rain (although CO_2 levels dropped dangerously close to the critical partial pressure as far as plant respiration is concerned during the last ice age). It has been far warmer than it is now — I mean 5-10C warmer, warm enough that Antarctica had mild winters — without catastrophe and boiling oceans. Clearly there are numerous negative feedbacks that so far shield the planet from the “catastrophic” extremes, provided that you don’t count an ice age itself as a prima facie catastrophe (I personally would — that’s the real “climate change” catastrophic risk, not the hyperbolic and absurd Boiling Oceans of Hansen).

    We have indeed had a generally mild winter in NC. It started out with some spectacular and early cold, but then we’ve had prevailing winds that more often carry warm, wet air up from the subtropics (e.g. the Gulf) rather than the bitterly cold Canadian Highs that can drop the temperature here to single digits. Currently we’re very dry, and during the day it warms to the low to mid 50s while still dropping into the high 20s — not a lot of “heat trapping” by the CO_2 part of the greenhouse effect with 30-40F temperature swings mediated purely by nighttime radiative loss. Swing just a bit of moisture in, though, and we get an extra 10F on both ends — today through Thursday we are predicted to make it up to the high 60s daytime and low 50s nighttime, which is really pretty warm for the start of February although 70 weather in January or February is far from unknown over the 40 odd years I’ve lived in Durham.

    As the top article suggests, I’m guessing that our warmth is tightly coupled to Alaska’s cold. The PDO has changed phase, and instead of mixing (cooling the mid-latitudes and warming the poles) the polar circulation is much less mixed, and hence is cooling right down. The more “usual” pattern, from what I remember from 40 years ago, when the PDO was just starting to shift FROM the phase it just entered — is for the air up there to build up and get very cold indeed and then to periodically sweep down over us in NC in waves, waves that I can recall dropping the daytime temperature from mid-50s to around 15 F over around six hours in the middle of the day one memorable year around 30 years ago — I started doing the brakes of my car in the 50s without gloves or a jacket and my fingers were freezing off of my hands when I finished in the teens with the thickest coat I didn’t mind getting dirty on my body — and did I mention the wind?

    So the poster above who worries about what will happen when all of the supercold air up there is destabilized by the advent of spring has the right to be concerned. I suppose it could all just stay up there, and the northern latitudes could have a very long, very cold spring where the winter ice takes forever to melt and we don’t get much of the cold air, but I think it is rather more likely that we’ll get a few really impressive blasts of very, very cold air as the coming of spring spawns turbulent rolls that peel off of the pool of cold air and are deflected southeast — or even south, into CA, freezing out a season’s worth of crops and killing the citrus in one of the prime vegetable and fruit growing regions of the US.

    I’m a bit worried about what I like to call “lying spring” syndrome in NC. A mild winter and early spring are fine here, as well, as long as we don’t have a blast of arctic air that causes late frost on top of it! Frost in March is good — it keeps the fruit trees from blooming. Frost in May is bad — it kills all of the peaches and actually kills azaleas that are winter hardy enough, but really hate to be hard-frosted once their spring sap starts to move and the bloom. We lost almost all of our azaleas around 15 years ago in just such a lying spring, with a mid-20’s hard frost around May 4th (after an otherwise, mild but unremarkable spring). Sounds like there is a world of hurt building up in Canada and Alaska, all set to come rolling down over NC in April or even May, if it doesn’t start spilling over and coming our way in time to delay “spring” otherwise.

    rgb

  176. For the ideologues who trot out the Global warming creates extremes meme, recall that those extremes are not supposed to occur in the Arctic – its supposed to be geting amplified warmth. Also, the charade of calling the theory anything other than global warming is pure dishonesty. If it is climate disrupton, why are we talking about the melting of the ice, the creeping of warm country species towards the poles, calatous rises in sea level to come. This would only happen with global warming. Useful idiots are numerous but not so numerous as to buy this baloney in bulk.

  177. Do these Lithium batteries even work at -79 degrees F ?

    My brief exposure to oil hole logging gave me an appreciation of extreme temperatures. Sensor probes at a depth of 18,000 ft undergo temperatures above 180 degrees C. This is well beyond the “mil spec” rated (120C) electronic parts.

    I’m pretty sure that that poor lithium battery may not work too well when it gets that cold.

  178. @John:
    If climate change killed the dinosaurs, then it helped us thrive. Our warm-blooded bodies typically maintain a temperature of 98.6 deg F. Much of today’s warm-blooded species developed as the result of climate change — our bodies regulate temperature rather than rely on an external source of warmth (i.e., the sun, water vapor, ideal climate!).

    Legacy empirical data, and our ability to apply our knowledge of chemistry, make it clear that and abundance of atmospheric carbon dioxide is not a harbinger of warmth, but a follower. Carbon dioxide is heavy, dude!

  179. Michael Vaughmit says:
    January 31, 2012 at 1:26 am
    >Here in Southern Ontario we have had the mildest winter in memory. We got 3 cm of snow today, >more than we’ve had — in total — all winter. On the second-last day of January!

    I don’t know how long you’ve been living here Michael, but I’ve been living here all my life. But this sure isn’t “mildest in memory.” And I can tell you that I can remember winters much warmer than this. And winters much colder than this. Last winter was bad, really bad. Nearly as bad as when my grandparents were kids back in the 20’s, and told us about the squalls boxing in cities and getting out of the 2nd story windows of their houses. We had nearly 5m of snow in a 1.5wk period where I live. That didn’t hold true for the entire province, but I don’t live in a traditional snowbelt area, and they lived up near ottawa when that happened. But even areas in the london-KW belt got 1-2m of snow, and areas in the london-windsor area got 3-5m of snow. Without even getting into the heavy squall zones which got more. And boy was it cold.

    As for warm, back about hmm 5 years ago, it was warmer than this. It was canadian shirtsleeves weather, with golfing in january and the start of green grass. Not quite shorts weather. The winter we’ve been having so far here in Southern Ontario, is defiantly light jacket weather though.

  180. Can anyone explain to me why the average high and low temps in the far north (Barrow) have a 12 degree difference in the middle of winter. The sun doesn’t rise, so what causes the change in temp.

  181. Isopropyl alcohol is listed as having a freezing point of -90C. I tried to find a water-isopropyl phase diagram but couldn’t. If someone on WUWT can find a phase diagram, a person on the ground in AK can mix graded solutions of isopropyl & distilled water to make thermometer that will accurately measure -80C.

    Just put a series of solutions (probably ~0-15% water in isopropyl) in sealed tubes outside. Then, photograph which solutions freeze. Don’t forget to shake tubes before imaging to prevent supercooling. It will be like Mythbusters. The only battery that need work will be in the camera.

  182. Usually equipment like this has a battery monitor and will shut itself down if the battery voltage drops too low. The whole idea is that if you get a reading you can trust it. Operating out of spec is a different story but Davis should be able to confirm if they have a low battery monitor and shutdown function.

  183. Mary Turner says:
    January 31, 2012 at 6:42 am

    “Im not sure why you think outliers in a chaotic system should be constrained if we add energy to it, but lets assume its true. The lowest temperature recorded on earth is -89.2C, the temperature rise seen since then, 0.45C, would still allow lows of -88.75C without falsifying claims of global warming.”

    Re: 0.45C “temperature rise”. Can you please explain which “temperature” you’re referring to? Is this the “temperature of the earth”? An average? How was it derived? Where? 2m above the ground? 5m above the ground? Does it matter? What about the sea surface temperatures? They are mixed up in the 0.45C “temperature” rise. Do they matter?

    “The lowest temperature recorded on earth is -89.2C, the temperature rise seen since then, 0.45C, would still allow lows of -88.75C without falsifying claims of global warming.”

    This is pretty silly argument. So just add 0.45 C to the all time record low temperature (that is known) in one location, and that means any location on Earth can possibly reach this “all time” low as an “outlier” to the chaos that is climate – HEH!!

  184. Thom says: I just can’t wait for the Hansen January map showing Alaska or Europe basking in red.

    Thom, for skeptic and nonskeptic alike, there is no need to wait: monthly summaries are available here.

    And yes, during 2011 our planet was bathed in red.

    Like the navigator says in Kubrik’s Dr. Strangelove:

    “I’m sorry sir. Those ARE the numbers.

    And surely, rational skepticism isn’t afraid to look at the numbers, eh?

    REPLY: Oh please. Some days I wonder if you aren’t just mendacious without substance. What you posted is *not* GISS, as we know, GISS takes the NOAA data and sends the NOAA data through the sausage grinder to pop out a new specially adjusted data set of their own with no care to looking at the need for adjustment. So much for your “rational” contribution when you can’t even compare data sets correctly.

    We’ll wait for the January GISS report, until then please just hold your commentary because your contributions like this are just noise. If you reply to criticize me directly, then you’ll be putting your name to it per your recent acknowledgement of the importance of that. Otherwise it is the bit bucket.

    – Anthony

  185. I found the following link really informative – a pretty good explanation of ice ages, warming, cooling. Humans are just along for the ride. Don’t like the weather/climate? Just wait (maybe a few k-yrs); it will change…

    icecap.us/…/the_sky_is_falling_or_revising_the_nine_times_rule/

  186. Currently the Bettles Field (PABT) temp of -60F appears to be another daily low record. Having been to Bettles, I know that it is just within the the Arctic Circle and part of interior AK. Bettles is a jumping off place for access to Gateway of Arctic National Park,
    In regards to daily polar temperature swings at Barrow, look at surface pressure gradients.

  187. As for the temp variance from site to site – it really comes down to how much ice fog one gets. Some areas never get ice fog and sit in a low area so the cold air could pool, others got ice fog or a slight breeze.

    Russ’ question about daily temp ranges vs no solar insolation can be answered. Its because the sun is insolating south of barrow and the heat propagates via radiation northwards in the atmosphere. Radiation does radiate outwards from the surface but also sideways through the atmosphere.

  188. Russ in Houston says on January 31, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Can anyone explain to me why the average high and low temps in the far north (Barrow) have a 12 degree difference in the middle of winter. The sun doesn’t rise, so what causes the change in temp.

    Well, there is that ‘backscatter’ (actually, re-radiation in all directions at the molecular level) thing; the suns ray’s impinge on the atmosphere at ever ‘increasing heights’ starting at ground level somewhere much further south then as ome proceeds north the rays are steadily ‘blocked’ by the earth as one proceeds on that trek north this time of year …

    How much if a contributing effect? Not a very big influence I would say but …

    Ever see a morning with an ‘early dawn’, where high clouds overhead catch the light from the sun (and reflect it!) before the sun has really risen above the locally unobscured (by-clouds) horizon yet? Kinda that effect, but with IR active molecules (you know who they are!) instead.

    .

  189. Well, here in Washington D.C. it’s supposed to be in the balmy mid-sixties today. I’m waiting to see the Washington Post tell us that’s more proof of global warming! But then you have the extreme cold weather in Alaska (in the winter, go figure) and I’m supposed to believe it’s global cooling!? I’m so confused!! Oh! I forgot…”Climate Change” is the new mantra. I understand now. Then I guess it’s ok to raise my taxes and the govenment will somehow moderate the earths temperature. This is what Obama’s selling…any takers?

    Y’know, people keep saying this, but I don’t see Obama investing a whole lot of rhetoric and no hard action at all in CAGW. Sometimes he gives a speech to appease his hard-environmentalist block where he talks about how much he loves wildlife and is worried about climate change and so on, but in practice he more or less completely ignores it. The republicans have historically done the same thing — talk about how much they think prayer in schools would be just the thing for our heathen country and how happy it would make jesus, but when push comes to shove done nothing about it in office, or do something only if they know that what they are trying won’t actually work, e.g. pass legislation that they know the supreme court will just “veto”. That way they keep the votes of the extremists for “trying” without actually doing anything.

    If I had to choose, I’d say republicans do a lot more pandering to the tea party extremists than democrats do to tree party extremists, but both are guilty of “lip service” of the most obscene kind compared to the moderate middle of the road that represents halfway decent governance for the country. Personally, I abhor the entire practice at both ends of the political spectrum and would rather see politicians that openly slam both the tree and the tea party as being completely out of touch with reality and inappropriate to use as the basis for a reasoned public policy for the US, but that’s just me.

    Personally, I think Obama is a smart man. Smart people are generally cynical and not easily taken in by scams. I very much doubt that Obama is, himself, convinced that CAGW is a true hypothesis, and he can see the political problems with the IPCC and carbon trading as well as the next non-idiot human. The cap-and-trade bill had no chance of getting through the Senate when it was passed in the house, and has no chance of passing in the Senate today. Hell, it wouldn’t pass in the House (again) today — Cap-and-Trade is a demonstrated global flop anyway, and Obama would lose a lot of his moderate support if he allowed himself to be distracted. Just as the republican candidate of your choice will get tea party support (what’s the alternative, Obama?) Obama is going to get tree party support (what’s the alternative, Ginrich? — oh wait, Ginrich has actually said, back in 2007:

    I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there’s a package there that’s very, very good. And frank:ly, it’s something I would strongly support.

    So Ginrich can actually double down on both sides of the issue, although I don’t think he will. A lot of people who might have been convinced three years ago are a lot less convinced today. Remember, Climategate really has had an impact — it revealed that certain scientists were systematically lying to politicians to accomplish political ends, and politicians hate that. Boy that cried wolf syndrome has hit, and now they take the pronouncements of Hansen and Mann with a grain of salt. You’ll still see some lip service being paid by Obama and Ginrich during a campaign (if it comes down that way, as I’m thinking it probably will) but in truth both of them are smart enough to wait and see and not invest a whole lot of energy doing anything about cap-and-trade or CAGW either way.

    WUWT can claim a fair bit of the credit for that, IMO. While it can get a bit shrill in opposition and isn’t always totally defensible in its “alternative physics” scenarios (nothing really wrong with that, BTW, as long as there is a lot of strong feedback that strips away the junk science in favor of the real deal, and usually there is) it and Climate Audit have been the voice of reason (sometimes crying in the wilderness, but with its hit-record, it’s a pretty populous wilderness), and I am quite certain that it/they have impacted policy makers in many ways direct and indirect.

    Personally I think it would be a lot wiser not to bash Obama but to educate him. He’s easily smart enough to be educable, and wasn’t born yesterday — he can see a vested interest for what it is, and his rhetoric on the issue is nowhere near that of e.g. Gore’s. Even his support for e.g. Solyndra is defensible — trying to keep the building of solar cells in the US instead of in China is hardly a bad thing to try, and ultimately it is solar cell technology and manufacturing capacity that will make the entire issue moot, long before any possible “catastrophe” looms and without carbon trading at all. My main regret is that he didn’t do more for solar technology, and do it more intelligently, INSTEAD of wasting political capital on obvious crap like cap and trade.

    But remember, back in 2008 the Warmists were close to their peak in strength and influence, and Obama may well have sincerely believed his scientific advisors, and not realized that their “advice” was predicated on a long and complicated deliberate misrepresentation of the science that concealed all of the problems with it while amplifying and cherrypicking all of the data. Newt Ginrich is hardly a “liberal”, and he was taken in by it. Lots of republicans were. Who could seriously believe that scientists would conspire to “hide the decline”, to prevent people from being able to see the raw data and what they did to it to support their assertion of warming? The non-warming baseline post 1998 was still short enough that it hadn’t become an increasingly glaring “problem” to the warmists. The fundamental problem is that damn few politicians are themselves competent in science. They have little choice but to be advised on it by those that are, and are thus inevitably vulnerable to the sort of general conspiracy that Climategate I revealed.

    Right now there is advantage in neither money nor votes at stake with regard to CAGW in the upcoming election. The important issues are “the economy (stupid)”, “energy production only insofar as they have bearing on the economy (stupid)”, “The problem of a nuclear-armed Iran (primarily insofar as it affects energy production and hence the economy — stupid — although it gets honorable mention as an actual threat)”, and “North Korea as an actual threat”. Expect to see lots of lip service paid to tea/tree party members, but even so the level of active pandering is likely to be the lowest in years — both Romney and Ginrich are pragmatists, and the True Believers (Paul and Santorum) have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the nomination, and on the other side Obama is primarily a pragmatist himself. He’s already been burned by Solyndra — it will be an albatross around his neck no matter what, and Cap and Trade may be as well — and I expect his rhetoric to be something like “we need to do something about CO_2, but Cap and Trade isn’t it” — followed quite probably with the platform suggestion that pushing solar is still a good idea, that while we do need to continue developing local fossil fuel resources to keep prices down and help the economy (stupid), a great way to do it is by massive investment in solar research and pilot project infrastructure, ideally done in such a way as to create jobs and new wealth.

    Whether or not you buy this argument or think that we should just crank up drilling and production of oil makes little difference to the fact that Carbon Trading is dead and IMO won’t come back to zombie life — it is permanently dead. The IPCC is dead, they just don’t know it yet. The scientific rhetoric coming out in the latest climate reports is starting to be a bit muted as more and more climate scientists are noting that global temperatures really aren’t following Hansen’s and the GCM predictions (in spite of a fair bit of scrambling to “extract” a “warming signal” out of the downturn and to continue to cook the actual temperature record up to boldly create warming where none actually exists. Most scientists aren’t fools and aren’t actually malicious or venal, and when somebody suddenly makes Iceland absurdly warmer than its actual contemporary thermometry indicates, well… the UHI corrections to the actual temperature record are supposed to be negative, and people sooner or later notice that sort of thing.

    In the end, it is stuff like the UAH satellite reconstructions of the true global average temperatures in the troposphere that are convincing. Proxy reconstructions have big problems even when they aren’t deliberately hiding declines or trying to “erase” the MWP or LIA, both deliberate goals revealed in climategate communications. The satellite record, OTOH, is difficult to fudge — it’s all openly available data, and the transformations of the data are straightforward and openly published as well. There is damn-all warming visible over the satellite era — perhaps 0.2C over more than 30 years. The straight-up maximum ignorance extrapolation is thus 0.6-0.8C over the next 100 years, far short of a catastrophe in anybody’s book. And there are “disturbing” indications that the 0.2C is “high”, largely spurred by two El Nino episodes and that temperature may actually be falling post 1998 since the latest El Nino barely matched the peak value of the previous one and otherwise exhibited strong regression towards the 30 year mean.

    If January temperature do indeed exhibit their promised “plunge” (see WUWT in an article from earlier this month) and end up negative compared to the 30 year baseline, that would — naturally — continue to heat away at the 0.2C warming trend in the data.

    Things really are changing in the climate system. Stratospheric H_2O is dropping — down by some 10% or more from its long term average over the last 30+ years. That directly modulates the GHE as stratospheric water vapour is, of course, a major GHG. As far as I know, nobody knows why it is dropping. Long term oscillations are changing phase, some of them in relatively rare coincidence. The sun has finally come out of the 9000-year Grand Maximum that dominated the latter part of the 20th century, and is now rapidly approaching levels of (low) activity not seen for 100 years or more. Volcanic activity — relatively quiet during the last 40 years, in spite of a few spectacular exceptions — may be globally increasing. Countries that were nearly pre-industrial have dramatically industrialized over the decades since the Cold War ended, completely altering the profile of many atmospheric aerosols. The oceans are slowly being better understood, although they are still a huge unknown in the climate equation.

    The one truly sad thing about the CAGW “scientists” is that the political blinders that they have assumed are preventing them from seeing just how exciting all of this is. The “unadjusted” proxy record of global temperatures makes it completely clear that the temperatures we have today are neither “unprecedented” or all that extreme (even over the last 2000 years let alone the Holocene), and we do not understand most of the actual drivers of the natural variation of the global climate. We do not, in particular, know what the temperature outside “should” be, what it would be if global CO_2 were still 280 ppm but everything else was the same. We don’t even know what global CO_2 “should” be, since at least part of the increase in atmospheric CO_2 is non-anthropogenic in origin, CO_2 driven out of the oceans in positive feedback response to post LIA warming that would have happened without human industrial contribution at all! There is 60-100x as much CO_2 in solution in the oceans as there is in the entire atmosphere, and even small changes in the depth of the thermocline can make big changes in the ocean-atmosphere equilibrium as the ocean SLOWLY SLOWLY warms in response to century-scale modulation of e.g. the solar constant, clouds and albedo, and so on.

    Yet there they are, stuck without opposable thumbs (Gary Larson cartoon, sorry:-) with all of this rich data and network of interconnected causality in an openly chaotic system, trying to reduce it all to a single controlling knob. It’s as hilarious (in a tragic sort of way) as the notion that the Fed can control the world economy by adjusting the single knob of the prime lending rate, or that we could regulate the speed of a car as we drive around curves and up and down hills only with a single accelerator pedal. One hammer, so everything is a nail. This is the primary error made in all sorts of modelling applications, where one tries to reduce everything in a high-dimensional problem to a single variable logistic curve so you can use logistic regression and make statements your average idiot corporate vice president can understand, if you make more widgets you will make more money, or consumer can understand, if you eat more oatmeal, you’re less likely to have a heart attack.

    But honey badger just don’t care. The world is not one dimensional (or linear, or logistic), and there may well come a point where making more widgets makes you less money, where eating more oatmeal makes you fatter and increases your risk of a heart attack, and there may be entire vast seas of corporate practice or population variability where altering widget production or varying the amount of oatmeal consumed has no effect whatsoever. So it is with the climate. If every human on Earth were to disappear overnight, it would probably have some impact on the climate — simple changes in land use brought about by humans, cutting forests and planting crops instead have probably had a measurable impact, and CO_2 and water concentrations and distributions may have had an impact as well — but who can sensibly think that the climate would stop varying, significantly, on a secular scale of decades to centuries? Only an idiot.

    Without a complete understanding — a predictive understanding — of the climate over the last several thousand years, we cannot even extract the “warming signal” from the “noise” of natural variability. To do that, we’d have to know what the climate outside “should” be, and we don’t. Until we get over the CO_2 is all that matters one-knob approach, we aren’t going to figure it out, either.

    rgb

      • You are confused because you are reading all the gibberish from the “scientists” who think every incident of extreme weather is because of co2. It isn’t always complex. Right this moment it is warm in most of the US because the jet stream is running to the north. It has nothing to do with climate change. Regardless of whether global warming exists or not, we are still influenced by the jet stream. Even if the earth warms up considerably there will still be places and times when it will be sub zero, and even if the earth doesn’t warm up there will still be places and times of incredible heat. The climate is far too complex for us to understand it completely at this point. We are decades or more from doing that. That is why the rush to accept global warming is so foolish.

  190. Frank K. says:
    January 31, 2012 at 7:56 am
    Mary Turner says:
    January 31, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Re: 0.45C “temperature rise”. Can you please explain which “temperature” you’re referring to? Is this the “temperature of the earth”? An average? How was it derived? Where? 2m above the ground? 5m above the ground? Does it matter? What about the sea surface temperatures? They are mixed up in the 0.45C “temperature” rise. Do they matter?

    The link is in my previous post.

    This is pretty silly argument. So just add 0.45 C to the all time record low temperature (that is known) in one location, and that means any location on Earth can possibly reach this “all time” low as an “outlier” to the chaos that is climate – HEH!!

    All I’m showing is that the temperature extremes being discussed are not particularly exceptional at far northern and southern latitudes.

  191. glenp says:
    January 31, 2012 at 8:08 am

    They’re iced in at Nome and can’t get out to see the ice disappearing! Bawhahaha!!!

  192. is the biased LEFTIST MEDIA going to suffer since there won’t be anymore POLAR BEARS on MELTING DRIFTS to take pics of?

    btw there is a POLAR BEAR OVERPOPULATION crisis

  193. Austin and Jim
    I like Anthony’s explanation better. If you look at the chart that he provided, the temp only changes when the wind blows. North wind = colder, South wind = warmer

  194. Anthony: If the no-atmosphere temperature of the Earth is supposed to be -18C, how does the temperature drop to -60 C so quickly? At that latitude, is the low temperature expected? Grey body radiation averages to -18 c? Ulaanbaatar hit -50 C a few days ago and it is not all that far north. Seems to me it gets colder than the no-atmosphere condition. Clouds in the day, clear sky at night combining to create below-pure-vacuum temps??

  195. The only thing close to Jim River camp IS the DOT camp and just down the road is Pump Station 5 on the Alaska pipeline. At those temps you have to have special permissions to travel, and unless it involved heading back to town no one is going to try.

  196. @ Brendan 6:40AM

    “You don’t use measuring instruments where you expect them to go near or above (or below) their ranges. Its just bad science. I would have savagely beaten with broccoli undergraduates who used measurements outside the range of the measurement devices.”

    The MMTS system from NOAA is used in Alaska and well as CONUS, and it only goes down to -55F See: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/dad/coop/specs-1.html

    See some Alaskan MMTS deployments here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/27/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-49-alaskas-coop-stations/

    Of course when they put them that close to heated buildings, there’s no worries about getting to -55F

  197. BRING IN NEWSWEEK AND THE OTHER ECO-TERRORISTS! I remember in the 1970’s when Newsweek and the other eco-terrorists were telling us that ANOTHER ICE AGE IS UPON US! They demanded that Congress pass a law to have the military fill up planes with volcanic ash from the Pacific islands, cover the North and South Poles, melt the glaciers, AND SAVE ALL OF MANKIND!!! Get the crazed sex poodle Al “Never Give a Sucker an Even Break” Gorgasm involved as a consultant for good measure. Surf Alaska in no time!

  198. Sprinkle some crushed dry ice on the ground around those record low areas…
    per the CO2 warming theory…
    the sublimating dry ice should bring the temperatures back up to a nice toasty level….
    Let me know how it works out for you for anyone who tries it..!!!

    Maybe Gore and company can try that experiment in Antarctica if they get too cold down there on their discovery cruise…

  199. During the winter of 2009 an identical Davis Vantage Pro II weather station at the Tetlin Wildlife preserve in Tok, Alaska recorded a -80F.

  200. Thom, for skeptic and nonskeptic alike, there is no need to wait: monthly summaries are available here.

    And yes, during 2011 our planet was bathed in red.

    Like the navigator says in Kubrik’s Dr. Strangelove:

    “I’m sorry sir. Those ARE the numbers.

    By the way, I should point out one very important thing even for this scary red and blue graph. Rectangular global maps are close to as as misleading as it is possible to be, because they leave out, well, the Jacobean, don’t they? See that big, blue pacific? The area of that is much, much, larger than all of those really rather tiny patches of big red dots up to the far north. So “bathed in red” is more than a bit of an exaggeration.

    Half of the surface area of the Earth is within 30 degrees of the equator. In this band, I eyeball blue beating red. There is almost no anomaly at all in the southern non-tropics — temperatures are unremarkable and fairly well balanced. In the nothern hemisphere the most interesting thing is that temperatures exhibit much larger extremes — BIG blue and BIG red dots, but then, this was the beginning of fall, the beginning of negative oscillation in major NH climate cycles, and hence one expects maximum variation in that season. Overall, sure, it looks a bit more red than blue, but remember there is a lot less area here than the map suggests, almost NONE in that big stretch across the top.

    That’s why this graph is as close to a lie as it is possible to make it. Note that the dots are in a rectangular grid! Holy shit, Batman! Count all of those red vs blue dots across the latitude of Alaska compared to those wussy little dots down on the equator, where things are warm, close to neutral except for the big slice of medium-sized blue dots across the eastern pacific. Oh no! Lots of warming!

    Now, think for a minute about what the distance is in between those equatorial dots vs those Alaskan dots. Would that be 0.4x? It would. A dot at the equator is 2.5 times the weight of a dot in mid-Alaska or comparable latitudes. A dot north of that is even more weakly (correctly) weighted. Points well inside the Arctic circle — the top few rows of this grid — have more like 1/4 of the weight of an equatorial point.

    I’m sorry sir, that is the geometry.

    We could then discuss the difference between weather and climate. But why bother? The UAH lower troposphere result for November 2011 is already available. On roughly the same baseline, it shows a global 30+ year anomaly of around 0.1C. Knock yourself out.

    Look, my Physicist friend, as you say, skeptic and non-skeptic alike should look at, and pay attention to, the numbers, but that means not being taken in by elementary areal legerdemain, wouldn’t you say? For example, that one BIG red dot at the VERY northernmost point in the map is precisely — meaningless. If you scale the dot with its actual area, it isn’t “5C”, it is more like “1C” compared to a dot on the equator. The size of the dot SHOULD be weighted not with the size of the anomaly (as the graph does, clearly stated in the legend but who reads legends or understands the spherical Jacobean), but with the product of the size of the anomaly and the area of the Earth’s surface associated with the dot.

    But that picture wouldn’t be quite so red, would it?

    I should offer a course: “How to lie with numbers and graphs and charts”. This one would make a great poster child example of a lie.

    rgb

    • The problem with the whole thing is that the data is weak. Lousy placement of measuring devices (on asphalt, concrete, in the direct path of jet exhaust) skewed the data. Then they don’t even use the same locations for a period of time. They eliminated the ones that didn’t give them the results they wanted. The Russians raised hell about the total elimination of thousands of measurements they provided. To get an accurate measure the proper sites must be used and it must be over a period of decades. You cannot possibly get anything right until there is consistency. Using formulas to adjust the data and manipulating the model to get the desired results has totally invalidated all the work done previously.

  201. THE WEATHER STATION IN USE AT THE JIM RIVER DOT CAMP IS A PERSONAL WEATHER STATION THAT IS NOT RATED FOR TEMPERATURE COLDER THAN 40 BELOW.

    The first clause still annoys me, the claim about PERSONAL WEATHER STATION. I bought my first Davis VP station from one of the best TV meteorologists in Boston – it was his “personal” station at home, he was upgrading to the unit with the aspirated temperature sensor.

    I read the Santa Rosa, CA Press Democrat Newspaper has one, see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/07/09/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-19/

    Anthony used one to help document errors at Carefree, AZ, see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/12/carefree-record-high-temperatures-in-arizona/

    Of course, these have nothing to do with accuracy at -79°F, but neither does the NWS comments about “personal weather stations” that can out perform their crap under normal conditions. See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/16/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-88-honolulus-official-temperature-2/ Even if I had my own ASOS station, I’d want a Vantage Pro to keep an eye on it.

    REPLY: Rick see update #2 above – Anthony

  202. No, the record cold and record heat was NOT consistent with the AGW crowd, not until they realized they had a problem and started the process of making it so that they could claim global warming was to blame no matter which way it went. The reason it is warm in most of the US is that the jet stream is staying north. If it dips low we will get the full force. The Pacific Ocean flipped from warm to cool five years ago and the Atlantic is predicted to flip from warm to cool in the next three years. They run on a sixty year cycle. When they are both in cool mode and the solar output is in a weak cycle, as it is going to be for the next five to seven decades, we will then get a vicious taste of bitter cold that lasts for a very long time, just as it has cyclically in the past. Go to the UK Guardian for a good treatment on this.

  203. “The link is in my previous post.”

    Please use this link then to answer the questions I posed. I don’t see that information specifically at your link. You can take your time…

    “All Im showing is that the temperature extremes being discussed are not particularly exceptional at far northern and southern latitudes.”

    Can you demonstrate using the available data that -80F is not exceptional in Alaska? Certainly this is the case at Vostok, Antarctica. Thanks.

    In any case, it’s a warming world!! No more cold records! The seas will evaporate and the poles will melt off! All because of CO2 – a harmless gas! I believe! I believe! \sarc

  204. “Mary Turner says:
    January 31, 2012 at 6:42 am
    All I’m showing is that the temperature extremes being discussed are not particularly exceptional at far northern and southern latitudes.”

    All I’m saying is that various high temperature records and ~.45C of alledged warming that sends the media and others into histrionics are not particularly exceptional at the location they are taken.

    • They don’t have to be exceptional. They only have to be normal to prove that there isn’t a change (warming). The Anglican University VERY quietly released data this week that shows NO warming for the last fifteen years.

  205. Dante’s seventh level of hell is intense cold. One could say that Alaska just experienced that level of hell.

  206. How many other Alaskan/Yukon indeed arctic stations are not able to measure temperatures below -40 degrees C? With a station like this “we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty we can’t.” Didn’t somebody already say this, they must be a sceptic.

  207. How convenient for GW koolaide drinkers that high temps support GW but low temps don’t refute it. I wish my job had those same rules for my productivity levels.

  208. One comment stated that record low temperatures at the higher latitudes are not necessarily exceptional. They should not be confused with temperature trends at the mid-latitudes. I agree.

    Record lows at the poles indicate that the atmospheric conditions are conducive to radiational cooling. The conditions for high cooling rates are; still air movement, very low atmospheric moisture, and low atmospheric pollutants such as dust, smoke, methane, and excessive CO2. For the most part the atmosphere is “saturated” with CO2 respecting the influence of its presence and IR absorption. More CO2 does not cause higher absorption of IR radiation. At the wavelengths CO2 absorbs, the percent transmission through the atmosphere is already nearly zero.

    The heat of the Earth (roughly 300K) under ideal radiational cooling conditions, is radiated into space (nearly 0K) causing very low temperatures.

  209. Tim Clark says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:26 am

    “All Im saying is that various high temperature records and ~.45C of alleged warming that sends the media and others into histrionics are not particularly exceptional at the location they are taken.”

    This brings up another question about the “exceptionalism” in temperature records. Suppose that the high temperature tomorrow at Niceville, Iowa exceeds the record by 0.5 F. So a new “record” temperature is set at that location! The old one was set in 1910. Is the new record temperature “exceptionally” different than the old temperature record of 1910? Lets say the old record was 50 F and the new one is 50.5 F. Are they really different, or perhaps, in reality, essentially the same, especially given the fact that they were obtained from entirely different measurement systems, with measurement errors probably far exceeding 0.5 F?

  210. Robert Brown says:
    “Y’know, people keep saying this, but I don’t see Obama investing a whole lot of rhetoric and no hard action at all in CAGW. …I’d say republicans do a lot more pandering to the tea party extremists than democrats do to tree party extremists”
    Like rejecting the Keystone pipeline, that would create thousands of real jobs in a string of states that had the poor judgement to not vote for Obama? Try overlaying the pipeline http://www.state.gov/img/11/45257/keystone_map_400_1.JPG on the 2008 electoral map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ElectoralCollege2008.svg

  211. Jan 1989.
    US Army Field Exercise Brim Frost
    Temperatures hit -75 F.
    And we were out in the middle of it,….in TENTS!
    Thank God for Yukon Stoves!

  212. LOVE the global warming NUTBALLS saying “See, that record low proves it’s warming, that’s what we’ve said ALL ALONG…..”

    [snip - just a bit over the top- AW mod]

  213. A physicist says: Thom, for skeptic and nonskeptic alike, there is no need to wait: monthly summaries are available [from NASA].

    And yes, during 2011 our planet was bathed in red.

    Like the navigator says in Kubrik’s Dr. Strangelove:

    “I’m sorry sir. Those ARE the numbers.

    Robert Brown replies: “Rectangular global maps are close to as as misleading as it is possible to be … “bathed in red” is more than a bit of an exaggeration … this graph is as close to a lie as it is possible to make it. … Holy shit, Batman! … I should offer a course: ‘How to lie with numbers and graphs and charts’. This one would make a great poster child example of a lie.”

    Robert, perhaps it will sooth your irritation to notice that NASA’s web site offers a polar-plot option for climate data.

    And yes, polar plots too show that during 2011 our planet was bathed in red.

    With regard to broader issues of climate prediction, here is an exercise that I find soothing.

    When a jet airplane is on final approach, and the landing gear are lowered, we hear a loud “whooshing” noise as turbulent air flows over the wheels. It is then that I ask myself two questions:

    (1) Do scientists and engineers understand that turbulence in-detail? The answer is “no”.

    (2) Do scientists and engineers understand that turbulence well enough to predict what the pilots must do, to land the plane safely? The answer is “yes.”

    So the question is not whether we understand the climate in-detail (answer: we never will). The question is whether there is any realistic possibility that our planet is headed for a “crash.”

    Elevator Summaries: (1) NASA stands willing-and-able to help folks plot climate data any way they like. (2) Regarding the hypothesis “AGW is no problem”, both theory and data provide ample grounds for rational skepticism about that hypothesis.

    • Why is that in direct contradiction to the latest from Anglican University? And surely you have heard that NASA had problems with grossly malperforming sensors. And it is purely subjective because you must have a long term data bank to so as to have comparisons. None of it adds up.

  214. Anthony Watts says:
    “The MMTS system from NOAA is used in Alaska and well as CONUS, and it only goes down to -55F See: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/dad/coop/specs-1.html
    But the same link links to the MMTS display specs, http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/dad/coop/nimbus-spec.pdf which gives an accuracy of 0.5F down to -75F. So NOAA posts two different limits to the MMTS.
    My coop station in Colorado got a MMTS in 2004, but I’ve kept reading the liquid-in-glass thermometer for comparison and backup. Frankly, I think the MMTS is pretty good and its indoor display is certainly a lot easier to read on nights when there’s 4 feet of fresh snow. The readings are always compatible with the glass thermometers and several others I keep out in the box.
    The MMTS has a “precision” of 0.1F compared to its “accuracy” of 0.3F to 0.5F. For comparison, the Jim River Davis thermometer appears to have a “resolution”, i.e. precision, of 2 to 3 degrees F at very low temperatures, implying that its accuracy is even larger (5F or more, maybe?).
    As I type this, the link Anthony provided above:

    http://weather.gladstonefamily.net/cgi-bin/wxobservations.pl?site=JMTA2&days=7

    shows that Jim River bottomed out at -75 in the past hour (keeping in mind the likely accuracy of that reading). The lowest I’ve read off my MMTS in Colorado was a relatively mild -29.4, a year ago this week.

  215. OMG OMG OMG! It’s Global cooling, and it’s people’s fault. No, wait. OMG OMG OMG! It’s Global Warming and it’s people’s fault. No, no. I mean, OMG OMG OMG! It’s … ah, it’s Climate Change — yeah, that’s the ticket! — and it’s people’s fault! Hold on! OMG OMG OMG! It IS Global cooling, and it’s people’s fault. Now some leftist alarmist control-freak loonies may think I’m ridiculing them. Some probably think that I think these leftist alarmist control-freak loonies are a claque of greentards with their panties in a wad. Well, if you think that. You’re right. I do.

    • Meanwhile, as we speak, the continents continue to drift, plate tectonics are changing the planet far beneath us, volcanic activity is creating and destroying land mass. The glacial melt that provides all the fresh water continues as it has for thousands of years. The Great Lakes are slowly but surely draining. The moon is gradually escaping the gravitational pull of the earth. Earth is a constant state of change. And it is the REAL change we can believe in, because there is nothing we can do about it.

  216. “”””” _Jim says:
    January 31, 2012 at 5:17 am
    George E. Smith; says on January 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm:
    Who designs this stuff ? Semiconductor diodes can track Temperature down to very low Temperatures, and quite linear with …
    Jim’s comment:- “””””
    The ‘equipment’ is designed for (albeit) high-end domestic consumer market, not the military; “over-design” and your competitive advantage goes away and you get ‘eaten’ by your _competition_ …”””””

    Well Jim, this equipment was being USED for high end domestic market; NOT military, and IT FAILED. I would say it had NO competitive advantage.<<>> And 56 years ago, available CONSUMER grade semiconductor components (even ICs) were no different from MILITARY grade components; they were simply tested to more extreme specs: To be more specific, FAIRCHILD RTL ICs , used in the Minuteman program, and the newer Motorola MECL-I ICs were ALL packaged in HERMETIC 8, and 10 lead (mostly 8) T08 style metal can packages. The 0 deg C to 55 deg C commercial units, were absolutely identical in every way, to the -55 deg C to +125 deg C Military units, only the specs and testing and documentation, were different (and the price). The now very common DUAL IN-LINE package, in both plastic and ceramic, didn’t exist; well to be more accurate, it was just being introduced , right around 1966; too late for me to use them in the COMMERCIAL instrument I designed, Christmas 1965. That instrument, the Monsanto Model 1000 general purpose Counter-Timer, was, as far as is known, the VERY FIRST COMMERCIAL piece of instrumentation to be built essentially entirely of commercially available ICs, those fairchild RTLs, and Motorola MECL ICs. The MECL ICs were emitter coupled logic gates; but I used them as high speed linear signal amplifiers (push-pull output). The digital readouts, Burroughs end view Nixie Tubes, were driven by discrete high Voltage “Nixie driver” transistors, as there were no high Voltage ICs.<<>> You buy $2 cheapies; and you get $2 cheap; so I don’t do that; you can buy REAL flashlights from C. Crane Co, in Fortuna, California; ask for Bob Crane. LED currents aren’t limited by “bulk resistivity” in flashlights; they are semiconductor diodes, whose operating Voltage depends on the logarithm of the current; unlike the global mean Temperature dependency on CO2 abundance; which does not.

    Well Jim, you ARE determined to jump off that cliff. The affore mentioned Counter-Timer instrument, went from conception, and “do it” edict; last week of November, to a manufactured, and manufacturing ready instrument delivered to the Director of Central Research (at Monsanto) on New Year’s day. My boss had promised it by Christmas day, so we were a week late, and got egg all over our face for not meeting the deadline. It was publicly shown and available for sale at the New York IEEE Convention in March.
    But that was one of my longer projects. I believe the world record for fastest delivery from FIRST CONCEPTION; as in a Xerox copy of a paper hand sketch, of a totally non-existing device, that was nothing more than a wild idea in an engineer’s head (not mine), faxed to a prospective customer; who had been quoted 12 weeks delivery for 200 prototyping examples, of an existing fully production catalogued competitive device; to a prototype order for 200 of “our” gleam in that engineer’s eye, to be delivered in less than that 12 weeks for an off the shelf catalogue product; until that customer (to be un-named) had our 200 units in hand, still stands and is unlikely to ever be challenged. We got the production volume order too, and it went into a very high end el primo test instrument product.
    Oh ! I almost forgot, the time from faxing copy of non-existant idea for a product to 200 units delivered to customer; EIGHT DAYS.
    The product was a 1/4 inch seven segment LED digital display digit, in a lead frame and plastic encapsulated configuration. NOTHING existed. There was NO lead frame or design for one. There was NO plastic package, or design for one. There was NO LED diode segment chip, or design for one. There were no fab masks existing for any such chip or design for one. There was no tooling to separate the separate digits from the common lead frame they were fabricated on; nor a design for any such tooling. There was NO plastic shipping package to deliver the units in, or a design for one. There was no tester for the product or a design for one.
    All that stuff was designed and fabricated/bought/obtained/ tested.packed and shipped to the customer eleven weeks before he could get delivery of a “shovel ready” catalog and very non-competitive product. Ours had a long and successful product life. It did undergo some minor package modifications, in between delivery of tested prototypes to first deliveries of the production volumes; OUR customer was a few months away from HIS production release; but needed to show the full working product earlier.<<<

    So now Jim, you are free to go ahead and jump.

    Remember too, it’s not enough to simply build it, you have to test it as well, during the development cycle (of course), as well as during the manufacturing cycle (at the minimum a sampling of product if you’re just shipping to the public and 100% if NOAA or various DOTs or govts are your customer!)

  217. Richard Keen says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Richard – my observation is that our climate elites do NOT care a whit about destroying the economy (and actively seeking to eliminate jobs they don’t like, such as those in the oil and gas industries) just as long as they get their Climate Ca$h(tm).

    For those who haven’t seen this, PLEASE READ THIS DOCUMENT ON THE PROPOSED 2012 BUDGET FOR CLIMATE “RESEARCH”:

    Understanding and Responding to Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Global Change Research Program in the 2012 Budget.

    Please note the HUGE double digit budget increases being given to our friends at NASA, NOAA, NSF, and DOE. This is over and above the massive increases they’ve seen up to now, AND the gobs of money they received in “stimulus” funds. Did you get your stimulus cash? NO? Guess who got it first ???

    AND…PLEASE, remember all of this in November! Vote to eliminate the wasteful and often redundant/unnecessary funding of global warming / climate change “research”…

  218. Doug Cotton: “I would rather see this WUWT site place less emphasis on articles and news like this, and more emphasis on the physics of the situation. ”

    I agree that “short term weather is not long term climate” news articles invite shallower discussion, and encourage a less informed type of skepticism that’s probably not as helpful in the long run. But even these discussions can be quite interesting and entertaining, at times.

    I suppose we could try to persuade Anthony to label topics categorically so that they can more easily be skipped, or the quality of comments more accurately judged without needing to wade in and read them. For example, he might have titled this post “From ‘The Weather Isn’t Climate’ Dept: Bitter cold, low temp records broken across Alaska.” But I peruse most of the articles anyway, and I think most people can quickly figure out what’s what. Besides, asking even more of Anthony won’t stop people from jumping into the political end of the debate, blindly advocating, or making snarky quips. So I say, leave him alone, and let each person be his own editor.

    BW, I really enjoyed reading your web sites. They’re very well written even for lay people. I highly recommend them. I don’t really know what protocols need to be followed, but have you ever made a guest posting here?

    Doug Cotton sites

    http://earth-climate.com/

    http://climate-change-theory.com/

  219. I think the coldest I ever experienced was probably somewhere in the -20s. Once the moisture from your breath starts freezing to your face and you no longer can feel anything on your exposed skin I am not sure if colder means anything. Anyway nice site, nice to see someone who tries to follow the facts not the hype.

  220. Anthony Watts says: “So, given the official equipment there at Prospect Creek, it seems NOAA has either purposely or unintentionally created an impossibility of the Prospect Creek record of ever having been broken there again.”
    I must disagree, and do not see any nefarious activity by NOAA or the NWS here. The airport is owned by the State of Alaska, and I’d guess the state installed the AWOS for aircraft operations (even one a day!) and not for climate. Such stations are also operated by Highway Departments, Forest Services, FAA, weather reseach mesonets, and so on, and NOAA simply taps into and archives the data stream. Other agencies like the Western Regional Climate Center (wrcc.dri.edu) also archive the data from these RAWS (Remote Automated Weather Stations).
    I just completed a climate study of central Alaska for the National Park Service, and found the RAWS stations useful for comparing averages between different elevations within the parks. However, there’s enough data dropouts and just plain squirrely data (like 150 degree min tempertures) that these stations are not useful for “climate change” analyses. For “climate change”, you need to look at the long term humanized coop stations.
    Since no one lives at Jim River or Prospect Creek (or so says Wikipedia), we’re stuck with low-budget and sometimes flaky automated stations.
    Now, all this is not to say that some folks at NCDC in Asheville and up in the Seinfeld buiiding in NYC don’t intentially Jimmy (River/Hansen) the data before issuing their “warmest year since the big bang” reports.

    • When a government or even a business entity commissions to study anything there is an expectation. When the subject is global warming, there is a built in assumption and pre-conclusion that warming will be found. Then we add the money factor. “Scientists” get paid (by the government), so there is a vested interest in confirming a conclusion. So the problems begin. Place the measuring devices in just a little bit more likely spot to get a warmer result, consciously or subconsciously do the rounding up just a bit. The models don’t work, adjust them to make sure they produce the expected result. Maybe it isn’t deliberate, but it happens.

  221. Robert Brown: “Personally I think it would be a lot wiser not to bash Obama but to educate him.”

    This is a laudable thought, but Obama has probably hundreds, if not tens of thousands, of supporters who truly believe AGW is real or who really need for it to be real so they don’t lose their shirt. This AGW “thing” along with “cap-and-tax” have a really huge inertia attached to them. Don’t expect it to ever to publicly repudiated in your lifetime .. there is simply too much”face” to save.

    • You are never going to “educate” Obama. He is too arrogant for that to ever happen, and the facts aren’t important to them. AGW was merely a tool in the arsenal to attack capitalism and consumption. The hatred of oil by the left made it very easy to sell AGW because it meshed perfectly with their already established world views. AGW was perfect for their needs and wants. They want to tax energy and control people. What better way to do that than convince people that their very lifestyle was going to destroy the planet? You can’t convince them of the fact that we are living on a singly ply thickness of tissue on the surface of the planet. We can’t make any permanent impact on the earth because no matter what we do it is going to re-glaciate in the future and scour every trace of us away. We can make messes and make ourselves uncomfortable, but we can’t change the planet irrevocably.

  222. MaxL says:
    January 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Yes, I know him well. We go hunting polar bears and moose together regularly. :-)

    I’m not hard to find, but I hope you find some bears easily.

    It is silly for the weather service to define standards for the lower 48 states and ignore the needs of the more extreme weather stations. Or are there other classes of allowed equipment? Not that volunteers could afford many mil-spec environmental sensors.

    • Isn’t it a problem that “volunteers” are using widely disparate equipment and that you must depend on their reliability and integrity to take measurements that going to be used to formulate policies that have great impact on billions of people?

  223. Richard Keen says, “…But my personal experience is immaterial, since I’m comparing actual observed records at two locations, one of them the spot where the record low was approached. It’s the observed and documented readings that count, not how cold your or my knuckles feel as we ride our bikes.”

    The problem is that directors of our government agencies and polliticians can “feel” global warming as they jet across the world. This tells you where their intelligence is.

    • And you are depending on volunteers to properly place the devices, and accurately record the results, when many of them desperately want to believe in AGW. That is a problem, is it not?

  224. @Richard Keen

    My point stands, with the equipment on hand at Prospect Creek, that all-time record at that location can never be broken at that location, because the current equipment there is not rated down to that -80F record temperature.

    Whether that is by accident or design, we’ll probably never know. I tend to think it is design without thought to the consequences, much like the problems I’ve seen throughout the CONUS COOP network.

    With the advent of MMTS, ASOS, and AWOS deployment through much of Alaska, such extreme cold records will likely become fewer because the only thing NOAA has that works at those temperatures below -55F is the LIG thermometers from the original Stevenson Screens, and those are disappearing with increased automation.

  225. Re: Russ answer: While the sun doesn’t rise in Barrow for weeks, the sun is still not that far below the horizon, and there is enough daylight to influence temperatures. Think of it as twilight more then always being dark. Today for example (Jan 31), the sun rises at 11:46AM local time but civil twilight begins at 10:02 AM. You can pretty much do any outdoor activity during civil twilight.

  226. I’m surprised that no one appears to have commented on the solar weather which accompanies this near record low. When a coronal mass ejection or radiation storm from the sun hits the upper atmosphere, it causes it to warm. It consequently expands. As the radiation storm subsides and the CME passes, the expanded atmosphere looses heat fairly quickly. This is simple gas-law physics. So while carbon dioxide may play some role in the global climate as a whole, this freakish weather is almost nearly a direct result of the solar maximum which we will continue to approach through 2013. But don’t take my word for it. Look at the auroras over Arizona.

    • Oh, don’t go throwing that into the mix. They don’t want to hear anything like truth. We could talk about the cyclical ocean temps which switch every sixty years. The Pacific flipped from warm to cold in 2008, the Atlantic will probably flip to cold in the next three years. Add the solar cycle to that and we will probably get extended cold climate over the next half century. Poor Al Gore, what will he do then?

  227. [snip - you get to make that criticism of me when you put your name on it, per your own words here:

    "Should you ever observe that I (or for that matter any WUWT poster) am mainly criticizing persons, rather than opinions, then it would be fully appropriate to require that personal criticism to appear under my own name, or not at all."

    I'm happy to address your criticism, once you step up. - Anthony]

  228. Has anyone considered that Earth temperatures are not stable ?

    Earth has experienced much warmer climates in the past … as well as much cooler climates. Other planets in our solar system have shown similar warming / cooling patterns in the past half century (though I don’t think Ford sells cars in Neptune or Uranus).

    35 years ago the media thought we were heading into a new ice age. Then the opposite … global warming was all the rage ( and made Gore quite a rich man ) … but then global temps DROPPED from 2000 to 2010 … and dozens of hurricanes never materialized ( must be Bush’s fault ) … the world’s top 2 hurricane predictors called it quits last year …

    Climate is always CHANGING.

  229. Frank K. says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Please use this link then to answer the questions I posed. I don’t see that information specifically at your link. You can take your time…

    Do your own research, woodfortrees clearly explains its methodology and links to all sources. If you have a problem with temperature records state it and cite your evidence, if you fail to do so I will take it that you agree the world has exhibited a warming trend for the period in question. Please note, I am not here implying anything about the cause of that warming.

    Frank K. says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Can you demonstrate using the available data that -80F is not exceptional in Alaska? Certainly this is the case at Vostok, Antarctica. Thanks.

    It’s the record low in Alaska, so of course it is exceptional, but not unheard of and nothing close to so unlikely that its explanation would require a revision of the laws of physics which is what your initial inquiry seemed to imply. The world has been warming for over a hundred years, even if they disagree on the causes, most people agree on this (it is what all the evidence tells us, if you believe different please cite your own evidence) and throughout this period low temperature records have been set without anyone believing it called the instrumental record into question (and why would they, weather is chaotic, if it didn’t throw out surprises it would be easy to predict). What’s changed?

    Tim Clark says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:26 am
    “Mary Turner says:
    January 31, 2012 at 6:42 am
    All I’m showing is that the temperature extremes being discussed are not particularly exceptional at far northern and southern latitudes.”

    All I’m saying is that various high temperature records and ~.45C of alledged warming that sends the media and others into histrionics are not particularly exceptional at the location they are taken.

    Any information garnered from the media is likely wrong, or simplified/distorted so badly it might as well be, as far as the science is concerned the problem is the proportional shift between low temperature and high temperature records.

  230. Anthony Watts says:
    January 31, 2012 at 8:53 am
    @ Brendan 6:40AM

    I laughed hard when I saw that. Excellent! Excellent! Your govt at work!

    My former advisor is a great fan of your website. He’s an incredible mathematician and a great experimentalist, and I know he is a constant reader, and has dug deep into the models. He doesn’t like them, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear.

  231. Hmm, can’t call it a record low since the thermometer broke but it can be called a record high even if the thermometer was broke (the record high at the Hawaii airport a few years back…)

  232. Anthony Watts says:
    …the current equipment there is not rated down to that -80F record temperature.
    This has been a problem throughout history. Coop stations come and go, and the Prospect Creek station lasted only ten years back when the town was inhabited. It is no longer a station published in the NCDC climatological data, and the current instruments are not intended as a continuation of the climate station.
    My experience with the NWS guys is that they try their best to properly locate stations and find conscientious long-term observers, but are limited by the shortage of people out there who want the responsibility. They obviously couldn’t find someone to carry on the Prospect Creek station when the pipeline was finished and everyone left.
    The next best thing to millions of good observers is automated stations, and, well, it is definitely next best! But if they are going to do the automated route, they need instruments that work under all circumstances.
    I appreciate your work on the flaws in our climate observing network (and I share your concerns, as an observer and a climatologist), and hopefully it’s getting some noses to the grindstone.

  233. Donald asked (January 31, 2012 at 6:59 am):

    Will the mosquitoes survive this?

    Alas, Donald, sadly they will. They’re back every summer (sometimes not so bad; other times crazy), and they’re BIG up here, too. It’s not for no reason that the mosquito is called Alaska’s state bird.

  234. TimO of Ohio, the -60 F. was wind chill guesswork, not temperature, I survived that blizzard also, it was very cold, but not that cold. Couldn’t personally go out to see for sure as doors were all covered with snow.

  235. I was in the aptly named hamlet of Cold Foot AK (along the Dalton Highway between Fairbanks and Deadhorse on the south side of the Brooks Range east of Jim Creek) in June, 2007 and recall seeing a billboard there proclaiming the coldest temperature ever recorded in North America at -79F in February sometime in the late 1990s. The bill board further noted that -79F was the lower limit of the temperature measuring equipment at this locality and that the actual low was likely a few degrees below that level. So it appears that if we are to accurately measure the coldest temperatures ever recorded in Alaska or NA, thermometers at several key stations will need to be upgraded (if that is the correct term for increasing their lower range) in the next few days so that they can accurately capture what is likely to be an even colder February.

  236. A cold snap reflects the variability of weather, nothing more. However, it is interesting that the mean annual near-surface temperature for Fairbanks slightly decreases since 1977. From 1947 to 1976 there was a slight increase, but the mean temperatures for that period was still lower than that for the period 1917 – 1946 exhibiting no trend and also lower than that for the current period starting in 1977. For these periods the PDO-index was mainly positive (1917-1946), mainly negative (1947-1976), and, again, mainly positive (since 1977). The change of the PDO-index from mainly negative to mainly positive and vice versa was accompanied by a sudden change in the mean annual near-surface temperature.

    Other areas in Alaska exhibit similar pattern, except the Arctic north of the Brooks Range (see Hartmann & Wendler, 2005, Journal of Climate, Vol 18, 4824-4839; http://climate.gi.alaska.edu/ResearchProjects/Hartmann%20and%20Wendler%202005.pdf). In this case there is also a slight increase in the mean annual temperature since 1977.

  237. Richard Keen:

    I appreciate your enthusiasm but still doubt that Jim Creek hit minus 79. As previously stated, there is a gap between temperatures in the minus 65 range and minus 79. If we had some additional reports in the minus 70 range, I would reconsider. Don’t get me wrong — I hope you are right; as I stated in my original post, the localized reports of extreme temperatures are quite interesting. Perhaps some physicist could weigh in, but in my mind, unless there is some disturbance, it is possible for a local temperature to continue to drop to extreme levels in Interior Alaska. I lived in Fairbanks in the incredible winter of 1971 – when the official record was apparently set – and in Delta during the winter of 1975. The winter of 1989 was another doozy. I would love to let Hansen, Mann and Trenberth out of my car out on Badger Road near Fairbanks during one of these events. It would be fun to watch. Hopefully Hansen would be wearing his hat.

  238. Your point is valid, Anthony, and I thank you for it.

    Here is a scrupulously impersonal post that is stimulated by recent scientific findings:

    Earth Atmospheric Land Surface Temperature
    and Station Quality in the United States

    “70% of the USHCN temperature stations are ranked in NOAA classification 4 or 5, indicating a temperature uncertainties greater than 2C or 5C, respectively. …”

    “From [our] analysis we conclude that the difference in temperature rate of rise between poor stations and OK stations is –0.014 ± 0.028 C per century. …”

    “The absence of a statistically significant difference between the two sets suggests that networks of stations can reliably discern temperature trends even when individual stations have large absolute uncertainties.”

    Given that the BEST Project’s climate scientists have diligently addressed skeptical concerns regarding station quality — concerns that are entirely legitimate and justified — perhaps rational skeptics might in turn might focus skeptical attention upon concerns — that similarly are legitimate and justified — regarding unfounded and weakly-founded claims in the media that “AGW is no problem.”

    • As you may or may not know, BEST scientists are divided over the issue. The recent press release from BEST was done by a single man who acted without the consent of the entire panel, which vigorously disagreed with his statement. You are misrepresenting what happened.

  239. That is not an official weather station. It is a fancy toy more or less. -79 not practical.

    The rest of the world continues to show signs of a warming climate. The lower 48 is having one if it’s warmest Winter’s ever recorded. Canada also has been mild compared to the average.

  240. Is Al Gore visiting there? It seems like every time he visits someplace, it gets unseasonably colder there. It’s happened the last two times he came to Ohio. :-)

  241. Old Nanook says:
    …I appreciate your enthusiasm but still doubt that Jim Creek hit minus 79.
    No, no, you got me wrong!!! I would love to see a new records – I LOVE records, especially cold and snow – but I also just don’t think Jim Creek did it last week. I’m hoping some remote coop observer got 81 below, but I doubt it, based on the reported lows from Fort Yukon, Bettles, etc. Fort Yukon used to have the state’s low before 1971, and their 66 below yesterday was ten degrees shy of their record. Perhaps someone might come in with an “official” 70 below or so.
    BTW, this thread appears to have struck Anthony’s, mine, yours, and many others’ “funny bones” on a topic we get excited about – quality weather records!

  242. Old Nanook says:
    …. I would love to let Hansen, Mann and Trenberth out of my car out on Badger Road near Fairbanks during one of these events. It would be fun to watch. Hopefully Hansen would be wearing his hat.
    The last time any of those guys touched a thermometer was when they bent over at their doctor’s office. They wouldn’t know an accurate – or innacurate – temperature reading if it stuck them in the…..

  243. Joe2012 wrote: “The rest of the world continues to show signs of a warming climate. The lower 48 is having one if it’s warmest Winter’s ever recorded. Canada also has been mild compared to the average.”

    Funny you weren’t saying that LAST winter, Joe, when the Lower 48 (and Europe, too…a dozen years after it was proclaimed that it would probably not see snow, anymore) was having a miserable cold and snowy time of it. It’s like whenever it gets all cold and snowy, you global-warmers crawl under a rock, or go into hibernation or something, or otherwise just go away and disappear for a while — but heaven forbid a MILD winter shows up, and you’re right there again, instantly proclaiming the world is overheating.

    Btw SOUTHERN Canada has been milder than normal, THIS winter. Not so for the north.

    IT’s called WEATHER, Joe…and it’s been fluctuationg for all time. ..it’s too bad the man-made global warmers have become the very thing that free thinkers loathed, not so many centuries ago: the dictatorial Roman Church, with no dissent allowed.

  244. Joe2012 says:
    ….The rest of the world continues to show signs of a warming climate.
    Rest of the world? Here in Colorado, where the IPCC predicts 7 degrees of warming over the next century, it has COOLED 2 degrees since 1998. And those are carefully measured and un-homogenized actual real-life thermometer reading.
    IPCC says it should have warmed 1 degree in the same period.
    There’s many “Rest of the world” places where it’s not warming.

  245. In one of Solzhenitsyns books while in the Gulag if it went to -76 the convicts didn’t have to go to work.
    There were many days close to them temps.

  246. Mary Turner says:
    January 31, 2012 at 11:54 am

    “Do your own research, woodfortrees clearly explains its methodology and links to all sources. If you have a problem with temperature records state it and cite your evidence, if you fail to do so I will take it that you agree the world has exhibited a warming trend for the period in question. Please note, I am not here implying anything about the cause of that warming.”

    You could have still answered my questions about methodology if you knew, but you apparently don’t – and that’s OK. It is, after all, a very convoluted enterprise…

    “The world has been warming for over a hundred years, even if they disagree on the causes, most people agree on this (it is what all the evidence tells us, if you believe different please cite your own evidence) and throughout this period low temperature records have been set without anyone believing it called the instrumental record into question (and why would they, weather is chaotic, if it didnt throw out surprises it would be easy to predict). Whats changed?”

    My question for you is – What do you mean by “warming”? If the earth’s surface-averaged static temperature at the present time is close to what is was in 1980 (and it is), has the Earth warmed since 1980? By analogy, if you pour water in a pot take it’s temperature (room temperature), then heat it up, let it cool back down to room temperature, has the water heated up? Now, you seemed to imply that you could just willy-nilly add the 0.8C increase in the mean earth temperature to imply something about the temperature records, and I don’t think that is correct at all. So, again, I urge you to rethink the whole concept of the earth’s “temperature” and what it really means thermodynamically, especially in light of the averaging operations, infilling techniques, and corrections that are applied to the data.

    Now has the mean “temperature” index as defined by the various averaging techniques shown an increase over the past 100 years. Yes it has, and I don’t dispute that (though the rate of increase has reduced considerably over the past decade). Is it dangerous or portend catastrophe? Of course not! Can we do anything about it? No. Can we control the earth’s atmosphere using “geo-engineering”? That’s also pretty absurd. Can we reliably predict the climate? Well, about as well as we can predict the weather ;^)

  247. But we have to think about the polar bears! You know, with all the ice melting and their habitat being……..wait……what!?

  248. Joe2012 says:

    The rest of the world continues to show signs of a warming climate. The lower 48 is having one if it’s warmest Winter’s ever recorded. Canada also has been mild compared to the average.

    Tell the 30 people who have died in the Ukraine from hypothermia that, or the 12 in Poland, or the people of Korea experiencing a deep-freeze. All of Europe is experiencing a very cold winter. Some locations will hit -10C in the United Kingdom by Friday. The west coast of the US has experienced a very bitter winter thus far. So if you wish to use the lower 48 as an example also consider revealing the entire picture. And in case you missed it, the rest of the world has shown no warming for 15 years now, and that is just not my opinion (see UK Met).

  249. thermistor vs. platinum resistance thermometer (PRT): Thermistors are great within their range, but output becomes nonlinear (more so, with greater departure from -40 limit). I’ve done some experimental work with liquid Nitrogen, and a PRT is needed for accurate results. More $, but you get what you pay for. That said, here’s a shout out to my friends at FYU, where I spent 2 glorious summers doing rawinsondes. -61 F is still a record. The only warmth there is from cabin fever now…

  250. I need to interupt this string because of non-Political Correctness. There is no more “Global Warming” terminology. It is now “Global Climate Change”. Ergo: to warm- it’s human causes, to cold- it’s human causes, No change, it’s human causes…….. whatever we do…we affect the climate in an adverse way!! Can’t win at a fixed game.

    BTW all you folks in Alaska, I do not envy you at this time. It is way to cold up there in the 49th!

  251. if the NWS don’t accept readings from recording equipment operating outside its specified range, then the whole historical temperature record everywhere is in question.

    • They are anyway. It is has been shown that the old mercury thermometers were woefully inaccurate and the digital ones can be just as bad. Garbage in, garbage out.

  252. This morning (31 Jan 2012) Prospect Creek Airfield (PAPR) has resumed reporting and their temperature of -50 to -55 F is about 20 deg F warmer than Jim River DOT’s (JMTA2) -70 to -75 F reported over the same time period.

  253. A physicist says:
    January 31, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Elevator Summaries: (1) NASA stands willing-and-able to help folks plot climate data any way they like. (2) Regarding the hypothesis “AGW is no problem”, both theory and data provide ample grounds for rational skepticism about that hypothesis.

    [1] True: the mere fact of the long term persistence of Hansen’s “any way they like” plots certainly does prove NASA’s willingness and ability to help some folks in nearly any way possible – in Hansen’s mind, in order to prevent “the destruction of Creation!”

    2] Objectively False: taken as real science concerning the real world, “mainstream” Climate Science’s “CO2 = CAGW” theory and data do not provide any rational/scientific grounds for the suggestion that “AGW” will be a “problem”, or even that its “AGW” exists. The simple fact is that over its two decades+ of existence, the theory and data “science” of “CO2 = CAGW” have not produced even one relevant correct empirical prediction yet, including several “predictions” which would normally be disconfirming, according to the standards of real science.

    But if mainstream Climate Science truly does want to “provide ample grounds for rational skepticism about that hypothesis [AGW is no problem]” it has to start doing real science by relating its only apparently scientific verbiage to the real world, instead of merely preaching the same old verbiage of yet another Apocalyptic Religion – yes, we know – in order to prevent “the destruction of Creation!”

    Right, A physicist?

  254. Global warming is not caused by man. It is prideful to think that it is. The normal temperature cycles on the earth are impacted by solar events, or the lack thereof, earthly events such as wind currents and atmospheric pressure. The covers are being pulled back on the hoax that is “Man Made Global Warming” Refer to the following article for Climategate Part 2 information:

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/12/16/complicit-in-climategate-doe-under-fire/

    The global warming effort is a political agenda with the primary goal of implementing taxes on citizens. A global tax is the agenda of the UN. Their focus is to control energy resources and freedom.

  255. Jake says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Jan 1989.
    US Army Field Exercise Brim Frost
    Temperatures hit -75 F.
    And we were out in the middle of it,….in TENTS!
    Thank God for Yukon Stoves!
    ========================================================
    There have been a couple of comments made in reference to the winter of ’89 and specifically towards Brimfrost. I didn’t go out for the exercise. I stayed behind in medical support.

    Brimfrost ’89 can not be mentioned without an acknowledgment of the men who were called home early. http://www3.gendisasters.com/alaska/15706/fairbanks-ak-canadian-plane-crashes-jan-1989?page=0%2C0 It was the ice fog. …….

    We didn’t have IV warmers, then. All the troops to clear the wreckage were in the field, not that the equipment would have started. ……

    It was then that I came to realize the truth about Hell. Hell is cold. Hell is the absence of the Light. Alaska is as near to that as I can conceive. And I pray I don’t have to ever come close to that madness ever again.

  256. Mike says:
    January 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    How did that electric do at theses temps?
    =============================================
    Wires going outside are exceptionally brittle when temps are under -40. I lost a battery warmer/radiator circulator once in the maddening cold. I figure the wind broke the wire. Damn car sat there for a month before I could get it started again.

  257. 20 below is not cold. It IS where you have to be more careful about what you do outside.

    60 below is where stuff like changing tires or working with heavy machinery can be brutal due to the heat loss through gloves.

    You can survive at 60 below by knowing a few fundamental things about how to find shelter and stay warm.

    That said, every cold winter like this, there is always some long article about someone who ran out of fuel or food in the bush and then died.

  258. It’s cold during the winter … how shocking. This of course doesn’t prove climate change doesn’t exist, but it sure will get the Drudge crowd all twisted up in a knot.

    REPLY: It’s hot during the summer, how shocking. This of course doesn’t prove climate change exists, but it sure will get the HuffPo crowd all twisted up in a knot.

    [real cause of that heatwave is here - nothing to do with global warming aka climate change]

  259. A physicist says:
    January 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm
    perhaps rational skeptics might in turn might focus skeptical attention upon concerns — that similarly are legitimate and justified — regarding unfounded and weakly-founded claims in the media that “AGW is no problem.”
    —————————————————-

    Please provide an example or two of such claims, Just as important please articule what CAGW disasters have actually been realized. No projections, actual disasters please. And, to prove you are open minded, please articulate any realised benefits from the last 110 ppm increase in CO2.

    • 110 ppm. You should know that water vapor is a much more effective greenhouse gas than co2. You should also know that the climate models don’t work. They aren’t even close, and that is because everyone knows pretty much how much heat co2 traps, but the models overestimated by three hundred percent how much of that heat remained in the atmosphere. It turns out that the heat does not remain trapped, and especially over the seas it dissipates rather quickly. The predictions of future temperatures are badly skewed and I would hope you could admit to the flaws in your theory.

  260. Wow, what a childish reply, suppose that’s what the level of discourse is around here. A single location, or a single weekend of cold temps in the winter means nothing. But it seems to get you and the Drudge folks’s panties in a bunch, doesn’t it.

    Climate change is a process that happens over time and the world is getting warmer, reguardless of what happens in Alaska this week.

    REPLY: Ah the dish it out but can’t take it defense when the same phrase is repeated back with a couple of words changed pointing to the hypocrisy in Texas. LOL! Oh and Alaska has been like this for weeks.

    • Not any more childish than the constant chirping from you HuffPo clowns who crow about every warm summer day, or every unseasonal winter day as proof of global warming. You are every bit as infantile as those of us who are sick of your constant propaganda.

  261. “So, given the official equipment there at Prospect Creek, it seems NOAA has either purposely or unintentionally created an impossibility of the Prospect Creek record of ever having been broken there again.”

    This seem to be the prevalence state after abandoning analog, and there I say mercury, based equipments.

    No wonder everything has been warming since the introduction of digital equipments, inferior to analog and analog/digital equipments.

    What I don’t understand though, in the age of preservation and recycling, why, since the last decade and two, there’s no interest in keeping the old equipment running even though you can put a 19-th century made station online by a simple webcamera. Technological wise there has never been nothing that was sane about removing all the “old” stations, especially since maintenance cost apparently has come down in the last 130 years.

  262. JPeden says: If mainstream Climate Science truly does want to “provide ample grounds for rational skepticism about that hypothesis [AGW is no problem]” it has to start doing real science by relating its only apparently scientific verbiage to the real world, instead of merely preaching the same old verbiage of yet another Apocalyptic Religion – yes, we know – in order to prevent “the destruction of Creation!” Right, A physicist?

    With respect, JPeden, that is not quite correct.. The branch of modern science that preaches against the destruction of Creation is not climatology (because even lifeless planets have climate) but rather evolutionary biology.

    The “Hansen” role in evolutionary biology is filled by Ed Wilson, whose scientific views regarding the preservation of the Creation are summarized in a series of on-line conversations titled The Science of Survival.

    Wilson’s thoughtful and well-informed embrace of the Creation and its meaning — he is himself a Southern Baptist — is worthwhile for skeptic and nonskeptic alike.

  263. Jake says:
    Jan 1989. US Army Field Exercise Brim Frost Temperatures hit -75 F. And we were out in the middle of it,….in TENTS! Thank God for Yukon Stoves!
    So let’s way-back 19 years….
    Jan. 1970. US Army Jungle School, Panama. Temperatures hit +75 F. And we were out in the middle of it…..in TENTS! And RAIN! Thank God for mosquito nets!
    That was back when the Army had business in warm, wet places.
    I’ll take the cold.
    To keep on topic, a classic Alaskan High set a pressure record in Barrow (31.43 inches 1/3/1970) that month, then barrowed on down to the equator, freezing Fort Sherman on Panama’s Atlantic coast with a record low of 69 (above zero). Honduras had a “banana freeze”, where lows near 50F caused bananas to blacken.
    I was a Met Man down there, and all our thermometers worked in the 69-100 degree range. However, sometimes the rain gauges overflowed.

  264. Austin says:
    January 31, 2012 at 2:28 pm
    ………………………………………………….

    60 below is where stuff like changing tires or working with heavy machinery can be brutal due to the heat loss through gloves.
    ==============================================================
    Once, as my shift at the hospital was completed and I was going home, I spotted a young lady crying in the lobby. I asked her if I could be of any help. (I was hoping to be able to direct her to some service in the hospital.) She explained that she had a flat tire. It was Jan 1989 Ft. Wainwright AK. The temps were near 60 below. I went to change her tire. Many places in AK have outside outlets so you can plug your car in. (Battery blankets, oil pan warmers, etc….) The parking lot for the hospital did not have enough. She wasn’t plugged in. I grabbed the lug wrench…….. “ssnnaaaapppp!” There went the lug bolt. I looked at her and she at me. We both went back to the lobby and cried. Her husband was lower enlisted, as was I. He was in the field. A tow to a shop would cost $100 which neither of us had. The time it would spend outside without a warmer of some sort, it wasn’t going to start even if the tire could get changed. She had to get back to her baby. A neighbor was watching it.

    60 below, a person can feel it hurt even getting out of bed in a warm home. I never got over my stint in the north side of hell.

  265. I live in North Pole, AK. Moved here in ’84 from Minnesota.
    We just had -55 F. Worst thing with that is my clunker doesn’t want to go anywhere at that temp.

    I just wanted to say that I am not so much concerned with the temps, but with the increase of wind and humidity in the area over the last few years. YUCK! I want the relatively windless and dry cold back.

  266. What this really means is that Wallowa County will get more moose. Then all I have to do is make sure I can tell the difference between female moose and elk. But that is the least of my worries. If I kill either one, I have no idea how I am going to get it back to my car. I hear they are reallly, reallllyyyy big. I almost hit one once and all I saw were the legs. The rest of it stood above the hood of my car.

  267. So…

    What would be the impact on the Arctic fabricated temperature if all the ‘reference stations’ that are used in the homgenizing to fill in those non-temperature cells…. well, if they are all “pruned” of any temperature below -40 ? I mean, it’s got to have an impact on the averages…

  268. I often recall the story of the Canadian military aircraft crash in the arctic in 1991 and the ordeal of survival, and death, in the cold:
    “But in the 30 hours that it took for the first squad of military paramedics to arrive, five people, including the pilot, Capt. John Couch, a 32-year-old father of two, had frozen to death. The airlift of the survivors did not begin until 40 hours after the crash.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/05/world/after-a-plane-crash-30-deadly-hours-in-the-arctic.html

  269. Brutal cold snap in the Balkans too. A lot of snow and subsequently freezing temperatures (in some regions daily minimums lower than -30 °C, predictions for daily min tomorrow -38°C!). Some villages in eastern Bosnia, southern Serbia and Montenegro are snowed in and roads are blocked for weeks. People are dying too.

  270. Arctic temps have arrived in central Europe. Actually, Germany is facing night temps between 12 and 20 below zero (Centigrade) And the cold is going to stay.

    Please tell me again how much better cold is over warmth…

  271. For the new trolls:

    Mild temps in the US mid-Atlantic states around the end of Jan are (w/a few exceptions) an annual event — the January thaw (look it up). Typically, that is quickly replaced by cold temps. Back in late Jan 1974 there were two days in a row near 80F in western MD, followed by heavy snow & cold in early Feb. Roanoke, VA, recorded 87F in late Jan 1930.

  272. Excuse the OTness of this posting, but I have not received any posting on the main website since this Alaska cold story two days ago; however I see that comments to this story are being posted as of today, Feb 1. I had the problem of not receiving postings before even though WUWT HAD made new postings and now wonder if my computer and search engines are at fault or if there really has been no new WUWT posting. (I have searched using both google and yahoo with the same result.)
    I will monitor this comments section in the hopes of finding an answer.
    IanM

  273. The mild winter the lower 48 is experiencing is a direct result of the jet stream not dipping into the region the way it normally does. For this same reason the cold air locked in the upper northern regions not mixing with southern currents is causing extremely cold conditions. This still reflects a relatively avg norm across the board. If green house gasses were a cause for a mild winter in the lower 48 then an example of this would have the jet stream dipping down and not effecting the temp to become colder because of trapped heat and also causing the northern areas to warm more due to this trapped heat being carried there. The only model that is acceptable to prove green house gasses warming the planet would have to show trapped heat being effectively left in the total system and circulated around the planet effecting overall temp against factors other than jet stream and ocean currents.

  274. Mary Turner apparently doesn’t even understand the theory she advocates.

    As long as AGW cultists are claiming floods and droughts both prove AGW then pointing out increasing numbers of record lows that break temperatures records set before 1900 is countervailing proof of that every severe weather occurrence indicates AGW. You can’t have it both ways since the GAT is made of ALL the average temps in any one year, record lows pull down the average, just as record highs push up the average. GAT= Global AVERAGE Temperature. So yes new record lows disprove CO2 influencing temperature. IF AGW were true, then the numbers of record lows would be minimal and decreasing in occurrence, especially since those lows are set at night when temperatures are usually at their coldest. Remember, the AGW claim is that CO2, NOT the sun (whose influence is dismissed as never changing significantly) is pushing up temperatures overall. Therefore the AGW signal should be strongest seen in the ever decreasing low temperature record occurrence.

  275. “”””” RHO says:

    January 31, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    They are anyway. It is has been shown that the old mercury thermometers were woefully inaccurate and the digital ones can be just as bad. Garbage in, garbage out. “””””

    I hesitate to say:- “There is no such thing as a digital thermometer.” but it is very likely that is true.

    Since the very concept of Temperature relates to the statistical properties of a large assemblage of “particles”, then Temperature is essentially non digital. I doubt that quantum mechanics provides us with any sort of digital Temperature or Thermometer. (But I stand fully ready to learn of any such quantum Temperature sensor.)

    So Temperature is inherently analog, and measuring it, relies on sensing, and measuring any one of a vast array of Temperature dependent variables. Well it is easier to find a Temperature dependent physical variable, than it is to find a non-Temperature dependent physical variable. Good luck on that one.

    So what we may have is digital readout thermometers, which not only require accurate analog sensing of Temperature, but then also accurate, and hopefully non-Temperature dependent analog to digital conversion; and that is an art form in itself.

    So don’t kid yourselves that didgital thermometry means accurate determination of Temperature.

    It’s just that some people find it hard to read where the hands are on a clock; or understand semaphore signalling.

    If you signal a message:- “Send us reinforcements; we are going to advance.” and it gets read incorrectly as:- “Send us three and fourpence, we are going to a dance.” (British joke), it doesn’t matter whether you sent the message by didgeridoo or by Texting on the Apple iPhone 5.

    • Okay, so we have settled that the equipment is inherently inconsistent. We also know that the people taking the measurements are “volunteers”, using a very wide array of equipment that may be extremely inaccurate or obsolete. We also know that the positioning of the measuring devices is critical, and we know that many of them are poorly positioned. Many have been found over concrete, asphalt, in the direct line of reflected sun, on top of metal roofing. Some have even been found to be located in the direct path of jet engine exhaust. And we also know that they eliminate measuring stations, move measuring stations, and change the overall number of stations and their locations. So just how is it that anyone thinks that the data is has any value whatsoever? And to top it all off, the Anglican researcher who crunched the numbers didn’t even keep the original data so the results could be verified. Now who with any common sense whatsoever would believe any conclusion reached with that kind of shoddy approach?

  276. Anthony says;

    “This station at weather station in Jim River, AK was recording temperatures in conditions way out of its design spec, it only goes to –40 F”

    I do seem to remember a certain soild fuel rocket booster that was also “operating way out of it’s design spec”, for a little while at least…….

    In electrical engineering we have a saying (OK, lots of them in fact); “every transistor is a HIGH power transistor, it’s only a question of how long it lasts”, microseconds or decades, your choice.

    When, Oh, When are folks going to trust engineers when we say “It’s not specified to do that”, as much as folks trust “climate scientists” when they say; “We are all going to DIE” ?

    Cheers, Kevin.

  277. George E. Smith says;

    ”So don’t kid yourselves that digital thermometry means accurate determination of Temperature.”

    Yes indeed, as an “old hand” I do in fact remember the classes about how to properly read the indications of a “meter”. You know, that little sliver of metal that moved above a graduated scale behind it. We were carefully instructed about how to properly interpret what that little sliver of metal told us.

    I do get a big kick out of folks that assume that a new modern digital display with lots of digits is inherently more accurate. It’s funny but once lots of digits became “cheap”, starting with the NIXIE tube and then advancing to the LED display with lots of “cheap” digits the whole understanding of precision and accuracy when to Hades in a hand basket. Nowadays everybody assumes that more digits necessarily yields more accuracy.

    I have seen commercial instrumentation that boasts 5-6-7 digits of “accuracy” without any traceability to any standard (i.e. like NIST). So you get lots of meaningless digits, and averaging them together still makes them meaningless……(but less noisy)….

    Cheers, Kevin.

  278. Feb 01, 2012 6:26 PM CST
    From ABC News
    WASHINGTON — Many states in America are experiencing the warmest winter on record for over 40 years.

    Blossoms in the nation’s capital are blooming and snow has not been seen across the majority of the U.S this winter. Yesterday, most states were experiencing temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

    In Washington, D.C., where temperatures neared 70 degrees Fahrenheit, cherry trees are budding weeks early and the scene on the National Mall looked as though it could have been early May.

    Though some admit to being concerned about global warming, they admit they’re enjoying it.

    “I think it’s fabulous. I am enjoying it so much. It’s just, I don’t know, part of me is like, is this real?” said Diana from Washington, D.C., who was out taking a walk on the National Mall at lunch time on Wednesday.

    Callie Friesen, a tourist from California, actually thought she’d end the day with a suntan.

    “It’s amazing. I had a wool coat and a scarf and a sweatshirt. And now I’m in a tank top,” Friesen said.

    In the state of Ohio, unseasonable weather is bringing golfers and hikers out in greater numbers, attracting more visitors to zoos and allowing the operator of a Lake Erie ferry to run for the first time in six winters.

    From December through January, average temperatures in Columbus, Ohio were the 10th highest on record — a welcome change for those who want to play golf all year around.

    While Mike Raby, a professional golfer, is enjoying the unseasonable winter- he admitted not everybody is happy about the warm weather.

    “You know, normally, this time of year the golf course is open for cross country skiing, not golf…. So, the cross country skiers aren’t a big fan of this weather but the golfers are sure enjoying it,” Raby said.

    For a large portion of the United States, January 2012 delivered the third least amount of snow on record for a month, which goes back to 1967, according to the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University.

    Bismarck, North Dakota, typically covered by deep snow in early February, has had one-fifth of its normal amount, Boston only a third.

    • And last year was one of the coldest and snowiest on record. It doesn’t confirm global warming. It confirms the jet stream is running farther north, pushing the brutally cold weather all the way into Europe.

  279. “”””” I have seen commercial instrumentation that boasts 5-6-7 digits of “accuracy” without any traceability to any standard (i.e. like NIST). So you get lots of meaningless digits, and averaging them together still makes them meaningless……(but less noisy)….

    Cheers, Kevin. “””””

    Kevin there are times when 5-6-7 or more “digits” make sense, and they don’t have to be “accurate” to any traceable standard; local resolution is all that matters.

    The obvious example is “digital sound recording” Early CDs used 16 bit A-D conversion techniques, and those techniques were not necessarily good at that LSB level.

    Well 16 bits is 96dB of total signal range, and a world standard Symphony Orchestra, can easily dish out a 96dB dynamic range; No not on your baroque flute sonata on KDFC; but put on some good German/Austrian romantic symphonic music, and you can really rattle the walls, as well as present the clean ppp passages.

    So the soft passages on those CDs might have one or two bits of resolution at the most; and it sounds like crap compared to a good 1960s era LP recording.

    But now there are A-D conversion methodologies that can resolve 24 bits or more at any frequency of interest to audio buffs, but they aren’t necessarily accurate to any more than 0.1%. Plenty good enough.
    But the last thing anyone wants is to “average” that kind of data; that just gets you JP Rampall, or the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and there you get what you deserve.

    • That’s a very interesting point and some mathematicians ridicule the concept of an “average” temperature of the earth. Just how do you arrive at such a conclusion? Would you set a number of measuring points and record them diligently and then take an average? You can average the temperature for a specific point, but how do you do it for thousands? And wouldn’t it be obvious that you must use the exact same points over a fairly long period of time? The AGW crowd eliminates and adds points constantly. It is shoddy.

  280. Sounds like a normal winter for the North Country of New York State–
    Temperatures similar to the Adirondacks\\–
    Snow fall similar to the Tug Hill Region at the east end of Lake Ontario–

  281. I was stationed at a military installation deep in Alaska in the mid 1960’s and we had -94f (-70C) one day. No one went out needless to say. It kinds of burns your skin at first, then the cold hits.

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