Nighttime heat waves on the increase in Pacific NW

More examples of the nighttime heat sink effect of UHI. Asphalt, concrete, bricks and other infrastructure holds the energy from daytime solar insolation and releases it at night as LWIR. Anyone who has ever stood next to a sun illuminated brick wall after sunset can understand this. The authors talk about the temperature record at SeaTac (103 degrees at SeaTac), but look where the temperature is measured. More on that after the press release.- Anthony

From OSU: New study finds “nighttime heat waves” increasing in Pacific Northwest

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study has found that heat waves are increasing in the western portions of the Pacific Northwest, but not the kind most people envision, with scorching hot days of temperatures reaching triple digits.

These heat waves occur at night.

Researchers documented 15 examples of “nighttime heat waves” from 1901 through 2009 and 10 of those have occurred since 1990. Five of them took place during a four-year period from 2006-09. And since the study was accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, another nighttime heat wave took place at the end of this June, the authors point out.

“Most people are familiar with daytime heat waves, when the temperatures get into the 100s and stay there for a few days,” said Kathie Dello, deputy director of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University and a co-author on the study. “A nighttime heat wave relates to how high the minimum temperature remains overnight.

“Daytime events are usually influenced by downslope warming over the Cascade Mountains, while nighttime heat waves seem to be triggered by humidity,” said Dello, who is in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. “Elevated low-level moisture at night tends to trap the heat in.”

In their study, Dello and co-authors Karin Bumbaco and Nicholas Bond from the University of Washington defined heat waves as three consecutive days of temperatures at the warmest 1 percentile over the past century. Using that standard criterion, they documented 13 examples of daytime heat waves during the time period from 1901 to 2009. Only two of those occurred in the last 20 years.

In contrast, nighttime heat waves have been clustered over the past two decades, with what appears to be accelerating frequency. A warming climate suggests the problem may worsen, studies suggest.

“If you look at nighttime temperatures in Oregon and compared them to say the Midwest, people there would laugh at the concept of a Pacific Northwest heat wave,” Dello said. “However, people in the Midwest are acclimated to the heat while in the Northwest, they are not. People in other regions of the country may also be more likely to have air conditioning in their homes.

On occasion, daytime and nighttime heat waves coincide, Dello said, as happened in 2009 when temperatures in the Pacific Northwest set all-time records in Washington (including 103 degrees at SeaTac), and temperatures in Oregon surpassed 105 degrees in Portland, Eugene, Corvallis and Medford. It was the second most-intense daytime heat wave in the last century, but lasted only three days by the 1 percentile definition.

However, that same stretch of hot weather in 2009 results in a nighttime heat wave that extended eight days, by far the longest stretch since records were kept beginning in 1901.

The latest nighttime heat wave began in late June of this year, and continued into early July, Dello said.

“Like many nighttime heat waves, a large high-pressure ridge settled in over the Northwest, while at the same time, some monsoonal moisture was coming up from the Southwest,” she pointed out. “The high swept around and grabbed enough moisture to elevate the humidity and trap the warm air at night.”

Dello frequently provides weather facts and historical data via Twitter at: www.twitter.com/orclimatesvc.

The Oregon Climate Change Research Institute is supported by the state of Oregon, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, and other agencies.

===============================================================

The SeaTac ASOS, according to NCDC HOMR, is located below.

SeaTac_ASOS

SeaTac_ASOS_closeup

SeaTac is part of the GHCN network used for climate. But was it surrounded on three sides by heat holding asphalt in 1948 when the weather records began there?

Doubtful.


First Sea-Tac Airport Terminal, ca. 1946

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73 Responses to Nighttime heat waves on the increase in Pacific NW

  1. MiCro says:

    If I get a chance I’ll have to run the data on Washington State, see what it says, but I saw no real trend in nighttime cooling, nor a UHI effect. I think what is happening is that UHI changes slowly, and once added it mostly effects both day and night time temps about the same, so tomorrow mornings temp isn’t much different than today’s (other than the seasonal change in length of day).

  2. These heat waves occur at night.
    —————————————–
    Proof that the sun is not a major influence in global warming – it is the fault of nocturnal CO2 molecules.

  3. Chris @NJSnowFan says:

    I did not read anything about how Jet powered aircraft traffic has also increased at day and night or how Commercial Jet travel was not around before the 1970′s Prop powered aircraft put off way less heat.

    Jet engines are Giant blower heaters so having a temp gauge reading station anywhere near a runway will NEVER be accurate.

  4. brians356 says:

    Please consider SeaTac opened a 3rd runway in 2008, arguably increasing the paved area surrounding the GHCN station by more than 50%.

  5. John West says:

    Could they find anything less scary to be scared of? It’s like being worried about being attacked by stuffed animals.

  6. jim Steele says:

    Do they use homogenized data?

  7. jim Steele says:

    in 1967 Columbia, Maryland was a newly established, planned community designed to end racial and social segregation. Climate researchers following the city’s development found that over a period of just three years, a heat island of up to 8.1°F appeared as the land filled with 10,000 residents. Although Columbia would be classified as a rural town, that small population raised temperatures five times greater than a century’s worth of global warming. If we extrapolated that trend as so many climate studies do, growing populations in rural areas would cause a whopping warming trend of 26°F per decade.

    Erella, E., and Williamson, T, (2007) Intra-urban differences in canopy layer air temperature at amid-latitude city. Int. J. Climatol. 27: 1243–1255

  8. brians356 says:

    UHI effect will be payed grudging lip service (it cannot be discounted, as even the least savvy layman can easily grasp and accept it) but otherwise ignored or marginalized as long as it serves the warmists’ agenda. “We have adjusted the model to account for UHI. Trust us scientists. Move along, now.”

  9. Steven Mosher says:

    “n their study, Dello and co-authors Karin Bumbaco and Nicholas Bond from the University of Washington defined heat waves as three consecutive days of temperatures at the warmest 1 percentile over the past century. Using that standard criterion, they documented 13 examples of daytime heat waves during the time period from 1901 to 2009. Only two of those occurred in the last 20 years.”

    That is not a heat wave. the human body cares nothing about the “percentile” of the temperature.

  10. Sparks says:

    Sorry a bit OT: Is there any historical lightning data available online anywhere? I’d like to look at solar activity and Lightening storms, but I cant find any good publicly available data.

  11. TonyK says:

    Over here in the UK we are enjoying (?) a heat wave too, but guess where the max temperature was measured today? Yes, Heathrow airport – several square miles of concrete and tarmac blasted by jet exhausts almost 24/7! And they call this science?

  12. jim Steele says:

    ” Five of them took place during a four-year period from 2006-09.”

    Stalled weather systems and heat waves are caused by stationary blocking high pressures systems. As they acknowledged, ““Like many nighttime heat waves, a large high-pressure ridge settled in over the Northwest,”

    However as research has shown ocean oscillations are the major driver of such events. “The average number of blocked days during El Nino winters was 12, compared with 31.2 and 27 for neutral and La Nina winters, respectively.’1 That these researchers do not account for the effect of ocean surface temperatures caused by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and La NIna but instead simply offer “A warming climate suggests the problem may worsen, studies suggest” suggests they have a hidden political agenda and have failed to truly educate the public about the basic causes of climate change.

    1. Carerra, M. et al. (2004) Downstream Weather Impacts Associated with Atmospheric Blocking over the Northeast Pacific. Journal of Climate, vol. 17, p. 4823-4841.

  13. MJPenny says:

    Dello describes the 2009 weather event as “Like many nighttime heat waves, a large high-pressure ridge settled in over the Northwest, while at the same time, some monsoonal moisture was coming up from the Southwest,” she pointed out. “The high swept around and grabbed enough moisture to elevate the humidity and trap the warm air at night.” Now many of the other 14 “nighttime heat waves” had a similar weather pattern? How many times did this weather pattern develop but no “nighttime heat wave” occurred? Was there a similar grouping of “nighttime heat waves” in the past? I hope the study answers these questions.

  14. Matt Skaggs says:

    Dr. Cliff Mass just posted on this topic with his own hypothesis of why night warmth appears to be increasing, attributing it to changes in measuring instrumentation:

    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2013/07/are-nighttime-heat-waves-increasing-in.html

  15. NikFromNYC says:

    On the Phys.org press release regurgitation of this “study” I commented: Washington state has been rapidly cooling for a century. Well, that’s true if you only consider October, a month in which neither nearby heating or A/C use taint nearby thermometer stations:

    http://www.ncdc.n…mp;div=0

    This is devastatingly true for nearly all American states.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-07-nighttime-quadruple-pacific-northwest.html

  16. DarrylB says:

    This may be one of many effects of land usage which could have some regional effect on weather. (not climate) For instance in the midwest much of the land has been tiled and swamps and marshes drained, Thus there is no holding of water and therefore a likely anthropogenic cause of flooding. Alarmists might attribute an increase in flooding to climate change.— Doubtful, to any significant amount. However, there may be some synergy among land use changes, Some such as UHI alone are probably minor, but effects together may have some localized effects.
    Also, considering how GCM’s are made, local data could create a small bias in them
    These are just thoughts stimulated by flying at night and seeing human’s greatest contribution
    to our vision of earth – light – and with the light; concrete etc.

  17. Larry Hamlin says:

    Sounds like this is clearly linked to UHI effects for land based temperatures.

  18. Latitude says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    July 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm
    That is not a heat wave. the human body cares nothing about the “percentile” of the temperature.
    ====
    exactly Mosh….what are they calling a ‘Heat Wave’……….instead of freezing/it’s one degree above freezing?….they didn’t say

    …..I hate these weasels and their weasel words

  19. pat says:

    CIA to the rescue!

    21 July: UK Independent: Rob Williams: CIA backs $630,000 study into how to control global weather through geoengineering
    Study part-funded by the CIA to investigate national security implications of geoengineering
    According to US website ‘Mother Jones’ the CIA is helping fund a study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that will investigate whether humans could use geoengineering – which is defined as deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climatic system – to stop climate change…
    The cost of the project is reported to be $630,000, which NAS is splitting with the CIA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA reports say…
    A CIA spokesman refused to comment on the NAS study but told Mother Jones: “It’s natural that on a subject like climate change the Agency would work with scientists to better understand the phenomenon and its implications on national security.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/cia-backs-630000-study-into-how-to-control-global-weather-through-geoengineering-8724501.html

  20. jim Steele says:

    OT @Sparks “I’d like to look at solar activity and Lightening storms, but I cant find any good publicly available data.”

    I think it will be hard to tease apart solar contributions due to other confounding factors, however I have two PDF’s, one on correlations between El Nino and lightning and a 2013 paper “Suitable regions for assessing long term trends in lightning activity” Although that paper concludes “The efficiency and stability of global lightning data are not yet sufficient to provide accurate estimates
    of long term trends in lightning activity,” their comments cited literature may help your search. Send me your email address at landscapesandcycles@earthlink.net and I will email those two papers.

  21. John F. Hultquist says:

    The airport is located within an incorporated area called City of SeaTac with a land area of 10.21 square miles (and a small amount of water surface). Much of the land is airport, streets, service parking, and buildings. The wiki entry claims 40,000 employees and parks with paved walking trails, tennis courts, and a soccer field with synthetic turf.
    A street – S 156th Way – shows at the NW corner of the runways. Use Google Street View near the thick shadow extending onto this street. Pivot around and see the wall of the airport, the road, and the greenway on the west.
    Then see here:
    http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/watersheds/central-puget-sound/miller-walker-creeks/photo-tour-walker.aspx

  22. Glenn says:

    Chris @NJSnowFan says:
    July 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    “Jet engines are Giant blower heaters so having a temp gauge reading station anywhere near a runway will NEVER be accurate.”

    Aircraft rely on accurate temperature readings at airports. They are accurate, just not designed
    or suited for taking the Earth’s temperature.

  23. Berényi Péter says:

    Repeat with me “For our Sins each night a Black Sun is sent onto us, made of Carbon” until you can visualize its dark rays right behind your eyelids and feel the heat in your very bones.

  24. John Runberg says:

    Can’t believe no one has mentioned that airport temp. is taken near the runways because it is a critical safety factor for aircraft take-offs. When it is hot, there may not be enough runway length to get safely airborne or stop when there is an engine “loss” at a critical part of the take-off roll.
    Using airport temps. for climate is criminally stupid.
    Land use in the Willamette Valley has changed from farming to lots of subdivisions over the last 50 years. Same can be said for the SEA-TAC area, huge population growth. Land use was farm and forest up to early sixtys.

  25. Paul says:

    Third runway was built during the 2000′s, completed in 2008. all roads west of runway two are new simnce then.

  26. Southwest humidity transported northward sounds a plausible mechanism for night time heat waves, but they needed to include humidity data to support or not this hypothesis.

    In this work, 45 years (1961–2005) of hourly meteorological data in Taiwan, including temperature, humidity, and precipitation, have been analyzed with emphasis on their diurnal asymmetries. A long-term decreasing trend for relative humidity (RH) is found, and the trend is significantly greater in the nighttime than in the daytime, apparently resulting from a greater warming at night. The warming at night in three large urban centers is large enough to impact the average temperature trend in Taiwan significantly between 1910 and 2005. There is a decrease in the diurnal temperature range (DTR) that is largest in major urban areas, and it becomes smaller but does not disappear in smaller cities and offshore islands. The nighttime reduction in RH is likely the main cause of a significant reduction of fog events over Taiwan. The smaller but consistent reductions in DTR and RH in the three off-coast islands suggests that, in addition to local land use changes, a regional-scale process such as the indirect effect of anthropogenic aerosols may also contribute to these trends.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI2514.1

    UHI looks the likeliest reason.

  27. jai mitchell says:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50243/full

    Annual mean diurnal temperature range (DTR) for surface air over land decreased during the period 1950–2004 by 0.07°C per decade due to a greater rate of increase in daily minimum temperatures (0.20°C per decade) compared to daily maximum temperatures (0.14°C per decade) [Vose et al., 2005; Trenberth et al., 2007]. Detrended variations in global DTR are weakly correlated with detrended variations in global mean temperature [Braganza et al., 2004]. The forcings and feedbacks responsible for the trend in DTR may, therefore, differ from those for global mean temperature. Indeed, simulated trends in surface shortwave (SW) radiation, surface downwelling longwave (LW) radiation, and DTR for surface air over land for the period 1950–1999 [Zhou et al., 2010] showed changes in DTR were correlated with the changes in net SW radiation while changes in LW radiation were correlated with the warming of annual mean temperature.

    Feedbacks associated with a CO2-induced warmer, wetter climate have been identified as more influential in reducing DTR [e.g., Stenchikov and Robuck, 1995]. The impact of water vapor feedback on DTR, with enhanced near-infrared absorption of solar radiation in the atmosphere, was found to be approximately seven times stronger than the reduction in DTR caused by CO2 alone [Cao et al., 1992; Watterson, 1997]. The observed reduction in DTR in synoptic weather reports during the period 1980–1991 over a wide land area was linked to observed increases in daytime cloud cover that reduced maximum temperatures [Dai et al., 1999]. Stone and Weaver [2003] found that, in addition to the influence of the radiative effects of clouds on maximum temperatures, the heat capacity of soil, which is very sensitive to moisture content, exerts a controlling influence on minimum temperatures. Surface shortwave radiation is sensitive to changes in cloud cover and aerosol concentrations, factors that have also been linked to trends in surface air DTR. Dimming and subsequent brightening of surface shortwave radiation has been correlated with global trends in surface air DTR [Wild et al., 2007]. These studies point to complex causes of surface air DTR trends driven by diurnal variations in multiple forcings and associated feedback.

    so, yeah, increased water vapor, decreased shortwave, increased longwave, a simple function of AGW induced feedbacks, according to standard model predictions. . . so what else is new???

  28. Mark Johnson says:

    When you look closely at individual stations, the increase in night “heat waves” coincides very well with NOAA switching to MMTS temperature sensors during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

  29. Pedantic old Fart says:

    @John West
    I saw a stuffed Bengal tiger in the Melbourne museum. It was so life-like, I was nervous the whole time I was in the building, especially when it was out of sight!

  30. UHI, including the effect of reduced urban aerosols, looks the likeliest reason.

  31. BillD says:

    Night time warming is more than day time warning and this is happening just about every where, not just in developed areas. When we see night time warming in the Mountains, deserts, forest and arctic, this is likely to be due to green house gases, not a urban heating effect.

  32. rogerknights says:

    NikFromNYC says:
    July 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    On the Phys.org press release regurgitation of this “study” I commented: Washington state has been rapidly cooling for a century. Well, that’s true if you only consider October, a month in which neither nearby heating or A/C use taint nearby thermometer stations:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/time-series/index.php?parameter=tmp&month=10&year=2012&filter=1&state=45&div=0

    This is devastatingly true for nearly all American states.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-07-nighttime-quadruple-pacific-northwest.html

    Fascinating. Does April show a similar cooling trend?
    And are the months with the hottest trends January and July?

  33. MiCro says:

    @BillD, follow the link in the first post, and explain how greenhouse gases warm the planet, when there’s zero trace of a loss of nightly cooling in the temp record.

  34. Gerry Parker says:

    I’m wondering how they found a clear enough day to take that image…
    Gerry

  35. Danby says:

    I grew up with a view of the runways at Sea-Tac. When I was a kid, in the early 1960′s, the airport had a rather conventional “crosswind” layout with one N/S, and one E/W which crossed the S end of the N/S runway, approximately where the 2nd runway ends. It may even be the taxiway visible in the photo above. There were 2 more runways run at diagonals which crossed each other just W of the N/S runway near the center of the field, directly in front of the terminal. In the 1960s, the N/S runway was extended S past 188th and by 1970, was extended again and joined by the 2nd N/S runway. At that time the non N/S runways were torn up and portions were converted to taxiways. The asphalt next to the weather station is a taxiway that was added for the 3rd runway in the 2004-2008 timeframe.

    The 3rd runway was opened in 2008. The airport bought out an entire neighborhood, built a retaining wall 70-130 feet high in places, and dumped 16 million yards of dirt in order to bring the surface up to grade. The wall begins at the freeway exit on the W side of the airport, and wraps around the N end of the field. Just hauling in the dirt took a fleet of trucks 4 years.

    When the weather station was installed, that point was well away from the runways and the terminals, on grass and relatively isolated on the edge of the hill. Now it’s next to a taxiway, with jet turbines washing over it continually. Sea-Tac handles almost 1000 flights per day.

  36. Janice Moore says:

    More hot air from the hot air factory. I live about an hour due north of Seattle. I was here all of June through today. While we did have a few days around the end of June where our usual evening onshore flow (Westerlies) failed us and it was disgustingly like Virginia (humid and hot), it was in NO WAY a “heat wave.” Not even for one night. The End.

    Just another LOAD OF BALONEY to keep the Envirostalinist controllers in businesses.

    “UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS” [preview of next doomsday movie]

    Liar of the Day: Oooo, yes, boys and girls, the heat waves happen at night! So that’s how we know…..???

    The Gullibles: ……. uuuh……… Oh, yeah!! Thaaaat’s how the heat gets into the OCEANs. It’s sneakin’ in there during the middle of the night. Mm, hm!

    LOTD: [greasy smile]

    *********************************

    On the other hand….. I heard (via the WUWT gossip on a thread awhile back) that Mr. Jai Mitchell runs a little business in Seattle. Perhaps, the heat down there WAS horrendous. SOMETHING is affecting that poor man!

  37. Wyguy says:

    BillD says:

    Do you have data to backup your comment, if so please provide it so we can all be enlightened.

  38. Latitude says:

    “If you look at nighttime temperatures in Oregon and compared them to say the Midwest, people there would laugh at the concept of a Pacific Northwest heat wave,” Dello said.
    ===
    well yeah…..average nightime temps for Portland are from 30′s to 50′s
    what’s a night time “heat wave”?….55F?

  39. Janice Moore says:

    And regarding the above article’s authors’ “monsoon” theory for the source of the humidity — I think that’s ridiculous. We had a LOT of rain in March and April and May and…. well, most of the year! When it started to warm up, all the water in the mountains, hills, and valleys EVAPORATED. We have such beautiful cumulous clouds around here. It looks like a story book. The humidity rose this June/July only because of the lack of our usual light winds for a few days. Then, things freshened up and, now, it’s great again!
    ****************

    I second Wy Guy, Mr. D.

  40. Latitude says:

    BillD says:
    July 22, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Night time warming is more than day time warning and this is happening just about every where, not just in developed areas. When we see night time warming in the Mountains, deserts, forest and arctic, this is likely to be due to green house gases, not a urban heating effect.
    ====
    and yet….when you average them in
    ….temperatures are still falling

  41. Janice Moore says:

    Good one, Latitude (at 6:13PM)! LOL.

    And, BTW, Portland, being much farther inland, is MUCH warmer on average than the greater Seattle area. Anywhere east of the Cascade Mountains, is MUCH warmer than most of the area west of the Cascades (but not as warm as that crazy mal-functioning temp. gauge in Kettle Falls (?) said it was about 4 weeks ago!).

    Reminds me of the Helsinki, Finland ruse. “Oh, my! Loook hoooow HOT it is in Helsinki!!” (hence the now annual place for Seth Borenstein and his lot to gather each year). “How could it be THAT hot in FINLAND?!!” Portland = Helsinki (by analogy, I mean).

  42. MiCro says:

    @jai, like I told BillD, the data shows no loss of nightly cooling.

  43. Janice Moore says:

    MiCro,

    How in the world did you even figure out what Jai was trying to say?

    With admiration for your genius,

    Janice

  44. Caleb says:

    Think of a jet engine as a giant hair drier. Some jets have two giant hair driers on the tail, and some have four giant hair driers on their wings.

    Now imagine a rural weather station with nothing around it but a bunch of bored-looking cows. Occasionally they produce hot gas, but not much. Then, around 1970, you suddenly have these huge ladies running around the weather station all day and all night with giant hair driers. Could anyone ignore the obvious change in the situation surrounding the stations thermometer and effecting the environment the thermometer records?

    Yes indeed, as amazing as it sounds, some people can. They ignore because they are payed for ignorance. They believe ignorance is bliss, because they get to ruffle lots of dollar bills and throw them in the air like confetti and yowl, “Whoopie!”

    However, in the end, ignorance isn’t bliss. Ignorance means you are ignorant. It means you don’t know and haven’t a clue. Often, by the time you wake up and look around, and face what reality has to show you, it is too late. Serious damage has been done, not only to others (who ignorant people don’t always care a hoot about,) but also to the self, (which ignorant people, being selfish, do care deeply about.)

    In fact the phrase “ignorance is bliss” comes from the next to last line of Thomas Gray’s, “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eaton College,” written nearly 250 years ago. The ignorance it refers to is that of a young student just entering college, who knows he is ignorant but is eager to learn, and who is full of hope about the wonderful things learning may enable him to achieve. In other words, the reason ignorance is bliss is because the blissful student believes ignorance is about to end.

    It is quite a different thing to perpetuate ignorance, (blandly and stupidly if it is only because it is “politically correct,” or willfully and deviously if it is “for the money.”) In essence such willful ignorance is to give up on Truth. One is surrendering hope in a better future, (even if one says “we are saving the earth,”) and curses the prospects our children face, (even if one says “it is for the children.”)

    At some point or another even the most evasive of us have to decide whether we are on the side of Truth or the side of ignorance. The consequences are as different as day and night. Therefore I’d advise all to not “ignore,” especially not to ignore huge hair driers around thermometers collecting temperature records.

  45. AnonyMoose says:

    A description of one runway is in a 1947 crash report. Number of runways not mentioned, but hints elsewhere of intersecting runways at 45 degrees.
    http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19471130-0

    Here’s an aerial view of the terminal on 1949 opening day, but no clear photo of the runway.
    http://content.lib.washington.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/imlsmohai&CISOPTR=6520&CISOBOX=1&REC=6

    Map of runways in 1956:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/12530375@N08/8038012911/sizes/l

    As other have noted, the westmost of the triple runways was built 2000-2008.

  46. Janice Moore says:
    July 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm
    And regarding the above article’s authors’ “monsoon” theory for the source of the humidity — I think that’s ridiculous.

    I’m afraid you are wrong. We get the outer limits of the monsoon here in Perth when temperatures rise by perhaps 5C in the daytime and 7C or 8C at night. No only do we not get rain, we have horizon to horizon blue skies.

    The reason is, monsoon humidity is transported close to the ground and takes perhaps a couple of months to accumulate in a location to the point precipitation occurs. That never happens here, and will never happen in the Pacific northwest.

  47. Jim S says:

    lol, I live in downtown Portland and am still sleeping under a blanket at night.

    Pure statistic shineola.

  48. MiCro says:

    Janice, it was by the smell.

  49. Caleb says:

    Reblogged this on Sunrise's Swansong and commented:
    This is a reblog of a Watts Up With That post about a study that finds airports are warmer in the pacific Northwest than they used to be.

    I am a poet and not a scientist, and there are times I should be quiet, because I got bad grades in Math. However when I glanced over the study I couldn’t see any sign they recognized the fact, (not all that scientific, and indeed something even a History major could notice,) that in the old days airports were full of prop-driven planes, which were replaced by jet-engine driven planes. As jets produce more heat, it seemed obvious they should mention this little fact, while discussing why airports got hotter.

    Therefore I didn’t keep my big mouth shut, and wrote the following comment. I’m sort of proud of the way I snuck poetry into a scientific discussion:
    ” Think of a jet engine as a giant hair drier. Some jets have two giant hair driers on the tail, and some have four giant hair driers on their wings.

    Now imagine a rural weather station with nothing around it but a bunch of bored-looking cows. Occasionally they produce hot gas, but not much. Then, around 1970, you suddenly have these huge ladies running around the weather station all day and all night with giant hair driers. Could anyone ignore the obvious change in the situation surrounding the stations thermometer and effecting the environment the thermometer records?

    Yes indeed, as amazing as it sounds, some people can. They ignore because they are payed for ignorance. They believe ignorance is bliss, because they get to ruffle lots of dollar bills and throw them in the air like confetti and yowl, “Whoopie!”

    However, in the end, ignorance isn’t bliss. Ignorance means you are ignorant. It means you don’t know and haven’t a clue. Often, by the time you wake up and look around, and face what reality has to show you, it is too late. Serious damage has been done, not only to others (who ignorant people don’t always care a hoot about,) but also to the self, (which ignorant people, being selfish, do care deeply about.)

    In fact the phrase “ignorance is bliss” comes from the next to last line of Thomas Gray’s, “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eaton College,” written nearly 250 years ago. The ignorance it refers to is that of a young student just entering college, who knows he is ignorant but is eager to learn, and who is full of hope about the wonderful things learning may enable him to achieve. In other words, the reason ignorance is bliss is because the blissful student believes ignorance is about to end.

    It is quite a different thing to perpetuate ignorance, (blandly and stupidly if it is only because it is “politically correct,” or willfully and deviously if it is “for the money.”) In essence such willful ignorance is to give up on Truth. One is surrendering hope in a better future, (even if one says “we are saving the earth,”) and curses the prospects our children face, (even if one says “it is for the children.”)

    At some point or another even the most evasive of us have to decide whether we are on the side of Truth or the side of ignorance. The consequences are as different as day and night. Therefore I’d advise all to not “ignore,” especially not to ignore huge hair driers around thermometers collecting temperature records.”

  50. A look at Wikipedia’s history of SeaTac (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle%E2%80%93Tacoma_International_Airport#History) shows that it has been continually expanded since it was constructed in 1944, that is any local heat island effect has been increasing continually over time.

  51. Jim S says:

    I’ve worked with dozens of Structural Engineers and Construction Managers from OSU. What I’ve seen being published by the OSU Church of Climatology (lol, Climatology passed spell check!) is nothing short of disgraceful.

  52. Janice Moore says:

    Ahem! Mr. Bradley, hm. I think we are talking about two different continents. My dear esteemed colleague, here is the quote from the “above article” that elicited my ridicule:

    “some monsoonal moisture was coming up from the Southwest,” she pointed out.”

    I THINK she was talking, in the article in general, about the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Your comment was full of interesting information. I wasn’t commenting on your comment, however.

    *************************************

    @ MiCro — Oh. The smell of panic, eh? “Haylp! Haaaaaaaaylp! We’re burnin’ up in Seattle!”

    ***************************

    Dear Caleb,

    LOL, fun and clever analogy. Thanks for brightening my evening with your highly creative writing. Heh, heh, I’ll bet those United Air Lines and Alaska Air Lines (and other lines) pilots would chuckle at the thought of their 757′s, 747′s and 727′s (all Boeing — OF COURSE) being likened to a pair of giant fat ladies lumbering around the tarmac. LAUGH — OUT — LOUD. Well, it’s not over until they sing…. heh, heh.

    AND THEY NEVER WILL! America and freedom for—- EVER! (all the rest of the world, once it throws off socialism, TOO!)

    Keep trying to get your writing published. It’s good.

    Janice

    *****************************

    Hey, Jim S, hope all is well this lovely evening, down in Portland. LOL, I’ve been AMAZED to discover that not only is “climatology” recognized as a real word, the pseudo-scientists of Climate Science regularly CALL THEMSELVES that! Amazing. Freudian? At some level, they KNOW it’s a cult (to the true believers — not to the Envirostalinists and not to the cynical profiteers).

  53. Thanks, Anthony.
    Just another reason not to trust misplaced thermometers in airports or such locations.

  54. Danby says:

    Here’s a page of old photos from the port of Seattle: http://www.portseattle100.org/properties/runways As near as I can tell, the weather station would be near the corner of the dashed line runway labelled NW-SW Secondary at the bottom (west) of the top photo. The dashed lines were proposed runways, but the diagonal ones were never built. The 3rd runway would be about co-linear with the street at the bottom left of the photo. That’s 10th Ave So. My wife’s first boyfriend lived on that street.

  55. tty says:

    Chris @NJSnowFan says:

    “Commercial Jet travel was not around before the 1970′s”

    DH Comet started commercial operations in 1952, Boeing 707 in 1958.

  56. “some monsoonal moisture was coming up from the Southwest,” she pointed out.”

    I THINK she was talking, in the article in general, about the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Your comment was full of interesting information. I wasn’t commenting on your comment, however.

    The monsoon processes are basically the same everywhere. Ref Hadley Cells.

  57. johnmarshall says:

    Humidity does not ”trap” heat. As the water vapour condenses latent heat is released which reduces the night time cooling effect.

  58. ferd berple says:

    Pacific Northwest Heat Wave. Translation: It stopped raining.

    150 years ago the Pacific Northwest was rain forest with few people. It is still rain forest but lots of the forest has been cut down to make way for people. Anyone that has walked in the forests of the Pacific Northwest knows the temperature and humidity is nothing like the city. Nothing like.

    Why not study the temperature differences between Sea-Tac and the surrounding forests? That would show true climate change. But of course the researchers would need to get out from behind their computers.

    Why are weather stations in the Pacific Northwest not located exclusively in the rain forests? That would show if there is any UHI independent climate change happening. Why are they located almost exclusively in artificial city and airport environments?

    Why are researchers looking for warming signals in the artificial environments? Why no comparison to the surrounding natural environments?

  59. MiCro says:

    ferd berple says:
    July 23, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Why no comparison to the surrounding natural environments?

    Because as anyone who has travel in the open (bicycle, motorcycle, convertible) it’s obvious when you travel past large trees outside of a city or entire a forest, the you can feel 5-10 degrees of temp change.

  60. David Sanger says:

    The authors previously noted that their study comprised 43 stations in Western WA and OR. These were from the United States Historical Climate Network (USHCN). They also added SeaTac and Portland Airport and removed high elevation stations.

    They also note “The discontinuities identified by the National Climatic Data Center’s pairwise algorithm (Menne et al., 2009) in the monthly USHCN version 2 data were applied to the daily data. This ensured that the instrument change from liquid-in-glass thermometers to maximum-minimum temperature sensors (MMTS) as well as any urban heat island effect was taken into account before we calculated trends.”

    http://cses.washington.edu/cig/outreach/pnwscienceconf2011/posters/Bumbaco.pdf

    see also http://cses.washington.edu/cig/outreach/workshopfiles/vancouver2010/bumbaco.pdf

  61. Jeff Alberts says:

    I live about 70 miles north of Seattle, on Whidbey Island. Fairly rural area. No nighttime heatwaves here. For the last few years (since 2008) we’ve barely had a summer. This is the first year since then that I’ve been able to mow my lawn without having to wear a jacket or sweatshirt. But at night it’s nice and cool, in the 50sF.

    On a side note. I was back on Orcas Island a couple weeks ago. I decided to stop by the Olga, WA MMTS again to see if anything had changed since the last time in 2009. The sensor wasn’t there any more. I couldn’t locate it from the road. It’s possible that the vegetation has overgrown it, and I didn’t want to enter the property without permission.

    I also can’t figure out how to find the station history and temp history any more. The USHCN site seems to have changed since the last time I was there.

  62. higley7 says:

    ““Elevated low-level moisture at night tends to trap the heat in.”
    Not well stated at all. Water vapor “traps” nothing. It retards cooling by intercepting and redirecting LWIR while converting some of it to heat, but it traps nothing.

  63. richardM says:

    “However, people in the Midwest are acclimated to the heat while in the Northwest, they are not. People in other regions of the country may also be more likely to have air conditioning in their homes.” What a sweeping generalization, but gives a clue to how local their thinking is. I live north of Spokane, WA and summer is quite warm, almost everyone I know has AC and we are quite used to the heat.
    Mostly I take exception to the ability of someone who is supposed to be a scientist and ignore UHI, or use terminology in describing weather that seems devoid of science.

  64. Janice Moore says:

    Dear Mr. Bradley,

    Forgive me for thinking you were mistaken about which continent the article was discussing. You ignored, however, my assertion that the author’s monsoon theory was, in THIS case, mistaken. What do you think of my theory that the humidity was overwhelmingly due to evaporation (given our local climate)? I am not disputing monsoon theory per se. I am asserting that it did not apply to any significant degree in this case.

    Take care. Hope winter isn’t too cold for you down there, this year.

    Your ally in the battle for Truth in Science,

    Janice

  65. Chris R. says:

    To ferd berple:

    You wrote:

    Why not study the temperature differences between Sea-Tac and the surrounding forests? That would show true climate change. …

    Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr., has been banging that drum for years. His war cry is
    “Land use is a first-order climate forcing!” He has been attempting to interest
    other members of the climatology profession in this effect for multiple years,
    but to no avail.

  66. Jeff Alberts says:

    richardM says:
    July 23, 2013 at 9:02 am

    “However, people in the Midwest are acclimated to the heat while in the Northwest, they are not. People in other regions of the country may also be more likely to have air conditioning in their homes.” What a sweeping generalization, but gives a clue to how local their thinking is. I live north of Spokane, WA and summer is quite warm, almost everyone I know has AC and we are quite used to the heat.
    Mostly I take exception to the ability of someone who is supposed to be a scientist and ignore UHI, or use terminology in describing weather that seems devoid of science.

    They’re referring to regions west of the Cascades, most likely. I live on Whidbey Island, and while I do have AC, I rarely use it. A lot of the older homes around here don’t have AC. But, I grew up in Virginia, where it gets much hotter in the summer, and much colder in the winter.

  67. Brian H says:

    NikFromNYC says:
    July 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    On the Phys.org press release regurgitation of this “study” I commented: Washington state has been rapidly cooling for a century. Well, that’s true if you only consider October, a month in which neither nearby heating or A/C use taint nearby thermometer stations:

    Fantastic! A new baseline. Hump Month: October, the pregnant pause between A/C and heated interiors!

  68. Brian H says:

    Land-use is definitely a first-order climate measurement forcing. Climate forcing, maybe a second-order at most.

  69. Paul Vaughan says:

    Sorry for the delay — this thread motivated me to reorder priorities to finish this:
    http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/1659/oiio.png

    That’s what’s governing (centrally limiting) Pacific Northwest North America climate.

    Supplementary:
    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/scd_sst_q.png
    http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/6451/1xx.gif (2-slide animation)

    See Marcia Wyatt’s “stadium wave” work for background clarifying why the differential equation works.

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