University of Nebraska claims record drought in the USA? Not so fast…

From the University of Nebraska-Lincoln  comes a news release about the 12 year old U.S. Drought Monitor dataset, proclaiming “record worst ever” as if this has some relevance in history. Sorry, I have to call BS on this. Take June 1934 for example:

Well over half of the USA then was in moderate to severe to extreme drought.NOAA wrote in 2002 describing the summer drought then:

The most extensive national drought coverage during the past 100 years (the period of instrumental record) occurred in July 1934 when 80 percent of the contiguous United States was in moderate to extreme drought.

Compare that to June 2012 where UNL claims 47 percent of the CONUS is experiencing “some level of drought”:

Color me unimpressed with the University of Nebraska’s PR fear mongering which can easily be dispelled in a few seconds of Internet search. Source: NCDC here. Now let’s see how many feckless reporters pick up this UNL press release  from Eurekalert and run with it as “worst ever” without bothering to check history.

US Drought Monitor shows record-breaking expanse of drought across US

Nearly 47 percent of nation experiencing some level of drought, officials say

More of the United States is in moderate drought or worse than at any other time in the 12-year history of the U.S. Drought Monitor, officials from the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said today.

Analysis of the latest drought monitor data revealed that 46.84 percent of the nation’s land area is in various stages of drought, up from 42.8 percent a week ago. Previous records were 45.87 percent in drought on Aug. 26, 2003, and 45.64 percent on Sept. 10, 2002.

Looking only at the 48 contiguous states, 55.96 percent of the country’s land area is in moderate drought or worse – also the highest percentage on record in that regard, officials said. The previous highs had been 54.79 percent on Aug. 26, 2003, and 54.63 percent on Sept. 10, 2002.

“The recent heat and dryness is catching up with us on a national scale,” said Michael J. Hayes, director of the National Drought Mitigation Center at UNL. “Now, we have a larger section of the country in these lesser categories of drought than we’ve previously experienced in the history of the Drought Monitor.”

The monitor uses a ranking system that begins at D0 (abnormal dryness) and moves through D1 (moderate drought), D2 (severe drought), D3 (extreme drought) and D4 (exceptional drought).

Moderate drought’s telltale signs are some damage to crops and pastures, with streams, reservoirs or wells getting low. At the other end of the scale, exceptional drought includes widespread crop and pasture losses, as well as shortages of water in reservoirs, streams and wells, creating water emergencies. So far, just 8.64 percent of the country is in either extreme or exceptional drought.

“During 2002 and 2003, there were several very significant droughts taking place that had a much greater areal coverage of the more severe and extreme drought categories,” Hayes said. “Right now we are seeing pockets of more severe drought, but it is spread out over different parts of the country.

“It’s early in the season, though. The potential development is something we will be watching.”

The U.S. Drought Monitor is a joint endeavor by the National Drought Mitigation Center at UNL, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and drought observers across the country.

###

To examine the monitor’s current and archived national, regional and state-by-state drought maps and conditions, go to http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu.

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80 Responses to University of Nebraska claims record drought in the USA? Not so fast…

  1. Steve says:

    We still need rain. Badly.

    [Moderator's Suggestion: Schedule a car wash, a concert or an outdoor water-color exhibit. -REP]

  2. I think this is the worst in 12 years, according to the press release. They couldn’t wait another 18 years to say something remotely connected to climate, as opposed to weather.

    REPLY:
    Yes, I referred to their 12 year long dataset…which means virtually nothing in the context of the US drought history. The problem is their headline and of course ignoring history without even a caveat. -Anthony

  3. tornadomark says:

    There are other past months/seasons that beat our our present conditions as well. August of 1936, for instance: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/drought/historical-palmers.php?index=pmdi&month%5B%5D=8&beg_year=1936&end_year=1936&submitted=Submit

  4. leftinbrooklyn says:

    Like some religious fanatics seeing a painting of the Virgin Mary cry tears of blood, or a potato in the shape of Jesus, the warmists are exulting in what they see as signs from their ‘god’.

  5. Bryan Hunt says:

    Apparently the new warmist weapon is timebase shortening.

  6. Mike Smith says:

    This isn’t the first time they’ve exaggerated a drought. Their funding depends on droughts. “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

  7. Do not look at the sinful maps my children! Shun the deniers!

  8. The phrase “12 year history” is a non-sequitor – there is NO history in a 12 year time period…

  9. SteveSadlov says:

    The 1974 – 1977 period was pretty bad in a good chunk of the US.

  10. Pamela Gray says:

    That reminds me of the hoopla over the record number of record temperatures being set. If the current sensors are filled with new sensors, of course we will have a record number of records.

  11. DesertYote says:

    leftinbrooklyn
    July 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm
    ###

    A spud in the shape of Jesus is at least a curiosity, but one deliberately carved is not even that.

    The church of gore worships a clumsily hacked man-made thing that needs constant repair and maintenance.

  12. DesertYote says:

    SteveSadlov
    July 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    The 1974 – 1977 period was pretty bad in a good chunk of the US.
    ###

    I think it was in 74; I was riding with my dad, returning from a fishing trip, when it started to rain. The guy on the radio stated that it was the first rain in AZ in 168 days!

  13. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    I work near Beaufort, SC and routinely travel between there and Charlotte, NC. While the Palmer Drought Severity Index shows this area to be under moderate drought conditions, lake and stream levels are normal and there is no evidence of stressed vegetation anywhere. Rainfall may be slightly lower than average, but I’m at a loss to understand how anyone could call this a drought.

  14. DesertYote says:

    Steve
    July 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    We still need rain. Badly.

    [Moderator's Suggestion: Schedule a car wash, a concert or an outdoor water-color exhibit. -REP]
    ####

    Taking a Cub Scout Troop on a camping trip as only one of two adults always worked for me!

    [REPLY: Oh Yeah. Scouting. Just one hour a week. Bwaa-haa-haa-ha! -REP]

  15. polistra says:

    Unfortunately, the mental gestalt of ‘warming’ has become part of the unconscious mind, like the idea that Nixon started the Vietnam War, or the idea that Three Mile Island killed lots of Americans.

    When a notion goes unconscious, it’s impossible to dislodge it with mere facts. It would take a complete turnaround of the whole propaganda apparatus (by which I mean TV). All TV shows, from drama to comedy to “news”, would have to subtly and casually refer to the correct facts for about 20 years, every millisecond of every day, to undo the damage done by 20 years of universal and subtle references to the lie in all TV shows every millisecond of every day.

  16. BarryW says:

    Another example of lying while telling the truth.

  17. timetochooseagain says:

    As always I take great interest in my little outpost in that tiny little strip on the southern east coast of Florida. Interestingly, as one might expect for coming out of La Nina (association not necessarily causation) there has been a lot of rain in Miami and above average rain in West Palm Beach (closer to where I am) Fort Lauderdale has me scratching my head a bit, Naples too (my precip plots for ENSO have wet conditions pretty much everywhere for El Nino, dry for La Nina). This all roughly matches up with the above map for June, when you keep in mind that we have come out of pretty bad moisture deficit from last year.

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mfl/?n=cliplot

  18. beng says:

    I believe the summer drought of 1930 was worse east of the Mississippi than 1934.

  19. Ron Dean says:

    So I’ve been following the drought monitor as well as rainfall based on intellicast.com estimates. Frankly, the drought monitor is not making sense to me. For example, in this week’s totals, which are totaled Tuesday through Monday, includes rains in South West Georgia from tropical storm Debby. Yet, South East Georgia is unchanged from the previous week. That just does not make sense.

  20. KTWO says:

    The 1930s steadily become cooler. Maybe the 1930s drought will ease too.

  21. Robert Monical says:

    If you look at the UNL historical data, it starts at Jan 4, 2000. An interesting variation of the Y2K problem.

  22. pat says:

    For the life of me, i can’t understand why they do this. It simply makes skeptics think Warmists are idiots and the proof of the same is there for all to see.

  23. Theo Barker says:

    Left a comment letting them know that their headline is too “tabloid” for a university, and an embarrassment to me as an alumnus. Reminds me why I quit subscribing to the local paper: according to their weather page we’ve been in a perpetual drought for the last 10 years despite 3 consecutive years of full reservoirs. They report the YTD precipitation for a single station, but the “normal” YTD value is for the entire water district, including mountain stations that consistently receive almost double that single station!

  24. AlaskaHound says:

    Indeed, the worst in history.
    I’m betting man’s evil CO2 will squelch the next glacial period too:)

  25. The article said the U.S. Drought Monitor only started 12 years ago. How did you find one from 1934?

  26. otsar says:

    I wonder how many friends and relatives invested in grain futures prior to the announcement?

  27. pinetree3 says:

    Ok, never mind. They said this is the worst drought in the last 12 years.

  28. courtdom says:

    Wow, was not 1934-5 the previous temp record holder till recent modification of such?

    It was interesting to see that date on the graph for some reason with respect to the subject matter of the post….

    Perhaps memory is failing me?

  29. Keith Pearson, formerly bikermailman, Anonymous no longer says:

    These multi-culti, moral (and scientific) relativistic *fools* put this tripe out there, *knowing* what the facts are. Zero credibility for their honesty. Not stupid people, therefore, their integrity is…in doubt. Anthony among many others in science, government, online, and normal schlubs such as I, are educating the masses to their willful dishonest pictures of facts.

  30. pyeatte says:

    Why would the University of Nebraska be so stupid? was it some idiot grad student?

  31. Tom in Texas says:

    Damned 1934

  32. Mark T says:

    Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” comes to mind.

    Mark

  33. otsar says:

    Whenever I run across strange laws, strange rules, fact free announcements that affect markets, I get a whiff of rot and the smell of money. There was a nice ~$.40 jump today in the wheat and corn futures market.

  34. The map shows “extreme drought” where we live, in South Colorado. Yes, it has been dry for a month or so (though not as dry as several years ago, when most of the wells went bust). However, last three or four days we had strong refreshing rains every evening. Drought has stopped. Birds, rabbits, and deer rejoice.

  35. Marcos says:

    the current map at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ for July 3 looks to be not as dire as that June one in the article

  36. HankHenry says:

    A drought is a short term categorization. Look at fluctuations in the levels of lakes and prairie potholes in the Dakotas and the wet and dry cycles take on a different look. Devils Lake in ND was almost dry in the mid 1930′s now after decades of just slightly wetter weather it’s 60 feet deep almost overflowing. There is a natural mistake people make expecting a stable kind of normal for the climate.
    http://nd.water.usgs.gov/devilslake/data/dlelevation.html

  37. Michael Tremblay says:

    Disaster!!!!

    It’s also the hottest day in history since I started recording temperatures yesterday!!!

    As is the case with most of these modern AGW disaster mongers they refuse to recognize that their sample size is ridiculously small and go on trumpeting that they are seeing the worst of this or the worst of that in an effort to spread their gospel.

  38. timetochooseagain says:

    Richard Carlson says: “The article said the U.S. Drought Monitor only started 12 years ago. How did you find one from 1934?”

    Heh, kinda tricky, but the plots above are not drought monitor data, they are Palmer Drought data. Different metrics of drought. But since the “Drought Monitor” only goes back twelve years, if we want to compare past droughts, we need an index that goes back that far. The Palmer Drought Severity Index from NOAA goes back to 1895 I believe and is based off temperature and precipitation data. Many analyses have been done which suggest that if there are climate trends in drought in the US, they are mostly decreases, due to widespread increases in precipitation over time.

  39. Frank Kotler says:

    Q: What do you call an area that is experiencing neither drought nor floods?

    A: Lucky!

  40. Eric Simpson says:

    @polistra. “When a notion goes unconscious, it’s impossible to dislodge it with mere facts. It would take a complete turnaround of the whole propaganda apparatus (by which I mean TV). All TV shows, from drama to comedy to “news”, would have to subtly and casually refer to the correct facts for about 20 years…”
    Yes, that would be ideal, but that’s asking for a bit much. My thinking is that a television advertising campaign, supported by $100 million or so (a good campaign could be self-supporting, though, as conservatives [freshly energized by this issue, no kidding!!] would be willing to give mega-$ to an effective campaign), would change the equation dramatically. With our effective TV ad campaign, public opinion could move in significant ways, and this change in opinion would “rub off” on how the MSM covers global warming.

    A tv & web ad campaign should be backed by a meticulously constructed reference website that will have extensive rebuttal resistant backing for all the claims made. My thinking, the ad campaign covers subsidiary points in individual ads, like the self-admitted dishonesty of the warmists, their ideological motivations (global govt & redistribution of $ & de-industrialization as dreamed of by the leftist econuts), bullshit on sea level and ice melt, etc. And the two main points, though, as I see it, are 1) nothing is wrong with the climate (yes, the hockey stick fabrication by leftist Berkeley graduate Michael Mann has been debunked, and that means that current temps are not unusual in any way), and 2) CO2 has not been credibly demonstrated to be a cause of climate scale temperature change (see this three minute video, which calls out algor for repeating the ipcc deceptions on CO2, for excerpting the foundation of point # 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg).

  41. wws says:

    something funny with that 2012 palmer index. I’m in East Texas, in that chart showing “severe drought”. Now last year we had a heck of a drought here, but now we have had a good spring and it seems plenty wet here, nothing like last year.

  42. ossqss says:

    1934?

    Interesting, none the less..

  43. Colonial says:

    DesertYote wrote (July 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm):

    [Moderator's Suggestion: Schedule a car wash, a concert or an outdoor water-color exhibit. -REP]
    ####
    Taking a Cub Scout Troop on a camping trip as only one of two adults always worked for me!

    Cub Scout Pack! Boy Scouts are in troops. Cub Scouts are in packs.

    (Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt for myself and my sons.)

  44. otsar says:

    It gets curioser and curioser. The Producers net short contracts outnumber the sum of both the Swap Dealers and the Managed Money net long contracts, according to the weekly soybean chart. Head fake anyone? This story seem to have been put out there to give legs to the drought means short crops buzz. As harvest time approaches it will be interesting to watch the drought and harvest stories.

  45. G. Karst says:

    Whenever they say “worst ever”, they are really addressing the naive student, who hasn’t lived long enough to experience climate ie 30+ yrs. Assuming, of course, if one accepts the 30yr climatic period paradigm. Everyone else has experienced a fuller dynamic range of both mid-summer heat/drought, as well as midwinter blizzards and cold.

    O how they do labor. GK

  46. Great post…and great points.

    Hopefully, at least there will be some relief in CO…and even some rain in the TX panhandle in the next week. Those areas in GA in extreme drought should get some relief too.

    Not enough to really make a dent in some places…but every bit helps.

    ~Chris
    Norfolk, VA

  47. sharkhearted says:

    My post disappeared. Mods…it may have gone to spam. Haven’t posted on WUWT that much in a long time…but I used to post a lot. Thanks for checking.

    ~Chris
    Norfolk, VA

    [REPLY: Chris, of course we know you. Patience is a virtue... but you knew that. -REP]

  48. DesertYote says:

    Colonial
    July 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    DesertYote wrote (July 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm):
    ###

    It started out as Boy Scout (15 boys on a trip that was rain all weekend) but after I wrote it, I recalled the trip I did a few years before when my son was a Cub Scout( 10 boys first night monsoon fury! but the next day was nice) and edited my comment. Didn’t reread because I was leaving work.

  49. ScottD says:

    I’m kinda shocked that MSNBC, one of the bigger cheerleaders for Climate change, actually got it right. They even made it a point that the data was only for the last 12 years. And not one, let me repeat Not One, reference to “Climate Change”.

    <quote.Drought conditions are present in 56 percent of the continental U.S., according to the weekly Drought Monitor.

    That's the most in the 12 years that the data have been compiled, topping the previous record of 55 percent set on Aug. 26, 2003. It's also up five percentage points from the previous week.

    The drought hasn't been long enough to rank up there with the 1930s Dust Bowl or a bad stretch in the 1950s, David Miskus, a meteorologist at the weather service's Climate Prediction Center, told msnbc.com.

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/05/12579687-drought-hits-56-percent-of-continental-us-significant-toll-on-crops?lite

  50. kwg1947 says:

    Scheduling my car wash now! What a great way to begin after that first remark. I love it. Still laughing.

  51. beesaman says:

    Here in the UK we’ve had the worst drought ever and the most rain, go figure!
    Those cherries look ripe for picking though…

  52. max says:

    The past dozen years have seen the 12 honest summers, and the 11 coldest winters of this millennium. The 11 strongest hurricane & tornado seasons of this millennium have all occurred in the past 12 years. We’re just doomed, abandon all hope.

  53. James Bull says:

    Many have commented on how it doesn’t look like a drought in their area of the US you should come to the UK to see a proper drought ! It is raining again this morning and the grass in the garden is growing tall and I can’t get out to cut it. The only patch of dry for our cat to sit in is in a tray of compost in the greenhouse or the log pile under the tree house.
    James Bull

  54. Merovign says:

    There’s a big dam near here.

    Every year, no matter the rainfall, they let a large amount of water go for fear of floods.

    A few months later, we have a drought.

    This is known, of course, as “bad luck.”

    They can never seem to manage to keep near “high” lake levels even after a wet spring, not for many years now.

  55. Jimbo says:

    What does the worst (weather) drought in 12 years tell me about climate which is at least 30 years? What does it tell me about US drought over the past 1,000 years? What did the ‘permanent’ drought of Australia tell me about the following Biblical floods?

    Nothing! It’s just the weather and not the climate.

    Monsoon and Megadrought variability in climate history.
    http://www.theresilientearth.com/?q=content/monsoons-megadroughts

  56. RichieP says:

    “Steve says:
    July 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    We still need rain. Badly.”

    Please, have some of ours.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2169586/UK-weather-Severe-flood-warning-issued-forecasters-say-months-rain-fall-24-hours.html

  57. RichieP says:

    @max

    Brilliant!

  58. Ian Blanchard says:

    beesa
    I was going to offer the US some of our rain – falling steadily again this morning on us (half way between London and Cambridge). But of course you are right, we are still under water-use restrictions despite the wettest April and June on record (and obviously as a result the wettest AMJ sequence – May was a bit worse than average). To be fair to our local water company, we are one of the regions that relies most on ground water rather than surface storage, and that takes a lot longer to recharge, especially in spring and summer when a lot is intercepted for plant growth.

    An irony that should appeal to the WUWT readership – I have seen one person flouting the ban on hosepipe use. They were using it to clear debris from their drive and garden caused by minor flooding.

  59. Jimbo says:

    Imagine if the following were to occur today. Warmist would come out of the woodwork and blame ‘climate change’ caused by C02. This is just one of the many, many bitter droughts in recorded history.

    Great Drought of 1876-78 – up to 30 million people killed in India, China, and Indonesia
    http://news.discovery.com/earth/tracking-the-asian-monsoon.html

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2515990?uid=3738096&uid=2&uid=4&sid=00000000000000
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/328/5977/486.short
    http://www.ranker.com/list/the-worst-droughts-and-famines-in-history/drake-bird

  60. John Doe says:

    The 2012 drought map has some suspicious looking reporting on it. Look around Florida/Georgia where and extreme wet border touches an extreme dry border. Or up by northeast Virginia with a tiny patch of extreme drought surrounded by normal conditions.

    I would bet dollars against donuts that the two regions I pointed out have some fraud going on in order to get relief money or aid of some sort. Nature doesn’t have political borders like that map does nor stark instant transitions between extremes.

  61. ShrNfr says:

    Given the 70 or so years of AMO since 1934, I decided that I would Google drought of 1864 as an experiment. Yep, there was one: http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/up_and_down_california/5-1.html at least in CA. Obviously, the infrastructure was not sufficiently developed to get the data to compare that one with the Dust Bowl or the present ENSO/AMO event, but to one bit of accuracy, you get a severe drought every ~70 years.

  62. michaelozanneMike Ozanne says:

    “We still need rain. Badly.

    [Moderator's Suggestion: Schedule a car wash, a concert or an outdoor water-color exhibit. -REP]

    You Yankee Doodles should learn to play Cricket.. We had a drought here, some government flunky mentioned the drought at the start of the Cricket Season, it hasn’t stopped raining since……

  63. Craig Loehle says:

    People act like they have alzheimers–everything is surprising. Look, its hot outside! Unprecedented! Oh, it is summer? Nevermind. And yet the historical data are available. It is just too funny that the IPCC extreme events report came out and they couldn’t find much of anything to report in terms of trends of extremes.

  64. JJ says:

    Crowing “Record Breaking” about a climate parameter, against a 12 year long “record” ???

    Really??

    It takes widespread, institutionalized bias for this sort of thing to occur, let alone go unchallenged by the academic community. That bias is the basis of the “consensus”. Groupthink.

  65. SC-SlyWolf says:

    Will this years stunted tree rings indicate a cool period in a 2100 Dendrochronology?

  66. Kermit says:

    I think this is an appropriate time to consider why the university football team has a big “N” on their helmets. Of course, it stands for “Nowledge.”

  67. jonnie says:

    All ready spent, WAY TOO MUCH of OUR MONEY on this nonsense to BACK DOWN now.
    remember the ”Maginot Line” and the consequences of ”REFUSING to SEE”,:- ”CATASTROPHE”

  68. Steve Keohane says:

    I can say from where I am in W. Colorado that this year isn’t as dry as 2002. I noticed last week while hiking at 10K feet that things are not as dry as they are a few thousand feet lower. Flowers are in bloom, and I saw only one spot along a dirt rad that appeared stressed by lack of moisture. We were told to expect a rash of bear encounters at lower elevations due to lack of berries higher up, but the berries seemed plentiful, and we have had no bruin encounters around our house, nor our neighbors. The monsoon flow has apparently started, some three weeks early, as came spring. Knowing the hummingbirds left early the past two years, I would guess we are in for another early winter. We went sub-zero a good three weeks early last year. The .27″ of H2O we received in the past two days more than doubled the precip we’ve had since May 25th.

  69. Ferd says:

    In other news, I am more hungry than I have ever been in the history of my monitoring my hunger over the last 25 minutes.

  70. Austin says:

    1998 and 2006 were bad in TX, but according to the old guys, the 1950s, 1930s, and 1917 were worse. If this year were as bad as the 30s, you would see a huge drop in farm production. That is not the case.

  71. random1618 says:

    Those who forget history are doomed to repeat “It is the worst ever.”

  72. Kforestcat says:

    I’m sure most of us are now aware that as NOAA shifts from the from the Traditional Climate Division Dataset (TCDD) to the Gridded Divisional Dataset (GrDD) that NOAA’s historical estimates for average State temperatures show a distantly downward trend in the earlier years (driving up the apparent trend to “increasing” temperatures)… Thanks to Anthony’s article “NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center Caught Cooling the Past – Modern Processed Records Don’t Match Paper Records” (June 06, 2012).

    However, it doesn’t appear that most are aware that the changes also impact NOAA’s dataset for: Precipitation, the Palmer Drought Severity Index, the Palmer Hydrological Drought Index, the Modified Palmer Drought Index, the Palmer Z index; the Standard Precipitation Indexes for 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 24 months.

    Consequently, I expect to see more of these the “climate is getting worse” stories as NOAA’s rewrites the United State’s climate “history”.

    Here’s a taste of things to come – using 1885-2009 data for the Southeast (where I live):

    – The GrDD data significantly lowers the southeast’s estimated
    average air temperatures from 1895 thru roughly 1985.
    This changes the air temperature trend from decreasing with
    time to increasing with time… by slightly over 0.5 F
    from 1985-2009.

    - The GrDD data also shows the Southeast getting roughly
    3.5 inches/year less rain from 1895 to 2009 than the
    TDCC data does (by eye-ball method). This changes
    the trend from an increasing rate of annual precipitation
    over time to a stagnate rate of precipitation from 1895-2009.
    The mean annual rainfall in the Southeast is
    50.2 inches/year according to TDCC data. So this is a
    significant change. (Personally, I question the GrDD
    precipitation estimates; given NOAA’s GrDD figures would
    lead one to believe the Southeast’s rainfall wasn’t never
    accurately measured from 1885 to 2009. Due to flooding/river
    management concerns State and Federal Agencies
    tend to track precipitation quite closely in the Southeast).

    – The GrDD data also alters the Southeast’s Palmer Drought
    Severity Index. From a trend showing less drought
    (an increasing index) to more drought… the total change is
    roughly full decrease of slightly over 1 Palmer Drought
    Index (by eye-ball method).

    For confirmation of the above see NOAA’s comparisons of the TCDD and GrDD datasets found at: http://nidis1.ncdc.noaa.gov/GHCNViewer/ (Don’t forget to check the regression line box).

    Here’s the short version: Where the historical data was showing that the Southeast was experiencing slightly decreasing temperatures, increasing precipitation, and decreasing drought. NOAA’s revised “history” paints a region plagued with increasing temperatures, stagnate precipitation, and a trend towards slightly increased drought.

    Given the above, I expect this revised “history” will be used to justify more than one “the world is coming to an end” claim.

    Incidentally… many thanks to Paul Homewood for directing us to the NOAA site above. It’s not likely I would have found the site had Paul not provided the reference. And it was only thru this reference that I was able to determine if the historical State temperature/precipitation data NOAA presents on line (see http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/time-series/) was TCDD or GrDD data… much less anticipate what changes to prepare for.

    [See Paul Homewood’s June 11, 2012 at 8:47 am comment to Anthony’s article “NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center caught cooling the past – modern processed records don’t match paper records”. (June 11, 2012)].

    Regards,
    Kforestcat

  73. Bob Rogers says:

    I live in that bright red part of South Carolina. We got 3 to 5 inches of rain in the last 30 days. Yeah, maybe there’s some sort of cumulative deficiency, but it’s definitely not a drought.

  74. noloctd says:

    I just started keeping weather data today and we’ve already set a bunch of records. It’s the coldest, hottest, wettest, driest, sunniest, cloudiest, windiest, calmest day in history! The drought index is the highest and lowest it’s ever been as are both sea levels and Arctic ice extent. It warmed up rapidly throughout the day. If this trend continues we’ll all burn up in a few days! Can I have a grant?

  75. Sunspot says:

    Aaaahhh, you got to keep that man made global warming dream alive otherwise you miss out on funding, getting your name up in lights or selling papers.

  76. polistra says:

    Public radio Marketplace is running a feature on the current heat wave, mentioning one earlier heat wave in 1995, but carefully skipping all the other much bigger ones.

    “We need to prepare ourselves for a world in which these events will be happening more and more often.”

    Idiots.

    I remembered that 1887 had a big blizzard, so I assumed it would also be a stuck-jet year. Sure enough, there was a long and serious heat wave in the East, accompanied by deadly straight-line winds. Hmm. Sounds familiar.

    It’s reported here in an archived 1933 paper, which was looking back at 1887 to remind people that 1933 wasn’t so bad! Of course the journalists of 1933 weren’t hopelessly stupefied and lobotomized by today’s infinite pile of fashionable toxic ratpoop, so the article is written in a lively and objective way. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had sane journalists today?

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1876&dat=19330730&id=mj4sAAAAIBAJ&sjid=pMoEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6839,4290783

  77. Jesse says:

    Anthony,

    This post is overreaction and misrepresentation. The press release was clearly about the history of the relatively new drought monitor they have. The focus of which is monitoring drought as it is ongoing. The release does not contain the phrase “record worse ever” which you place in quotes. By this you misrepresent the press release and the University of Nebraska. I expect better from you.

    You are correct. Feckless reporters may well take this and misrepresent it for The Cause. This is important. However, that is not the university’s fault. They clearly made an effort, however slight of saying “history of the U.S. Drought Monitor” NOT of history in general. Yeah, journalists for The Cause are wont to go there, there’s no need for you to do it.

    This post could be about how UNL may become used by feckless reporters. Or how they should be more careful to prevent being misused.

  78. waclimate says:

    I wonder if the authorities should browse through a few old newspapers to get a better idea about hot weather, droughts and climate change. It’s pretty easy to look at a few stories dating back to the 19th century in Australian newspapers. Follow the links below and you won’t stop laughing …

    Sydney Morning Herald – Glaciers, Icebergs Melt As World Gets Warmer (29 Sep 1951)
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/18233023

    Sydney Morning Herald – The Earth is Getting Warmer (24 Sep 1949)
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/18131092

    The Daily News – Climate – Evidence of Change – Interesting Speculations (14 Mar 1927)
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/83047235

    West Gippsland Gazette – Change in Climate (19 Mar 1912)
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/68657631

    The Daily News – The North Pole – Causes of Change of Climate Change (16 Apr 1923)
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/77891667

    Cairns Post – Temperate Arctic (3 Mar 1923)
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/40174175

    Examiner – Is the Earth Getting Warmer? (26 May 1906)
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/38087689

    Worker – Heat Wave in America (10 Jul 1913)
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/70826226

    Clarence and Richmond Examiner – Record Heat Wave (24 Aug 1911)
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/61615246

    The North Queensland Register – Heat Wave in America (30 Sep 1896)
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/85420248

    The Daily News – Heat Wave Abated (10 Jun 1925)
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/84060564

    The North Queensland Register – The Heat Wave in America (8 Jul 1901)
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/84911725

    etc, etc.

    In the 1940s, it seems that Greenland and the glaciers were all melting, sea levels were rising, temperatures had climbed for a hundred years, the mercury was up 2C over the past 40 years, species had migrated hundreds of kilometres, Kilimanjaro ice was disappearing, etc, yet our grandparents cared so little for us they didn’t introduce a CO2 tax.

  79. Ilma630 says:

    Just do as we did in the UK, and declare. Hosepipe ban. We then had the wettest June for a long time. And who says Gid doesn’t have a sense of humour :)

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