NOAA reports on our cooler than normal spring

NOAA: U.S. Has 36th Coolest Spring on Record  

June 6, 2008
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
The March-May spring season was the 36th coolest on record for the contiguous United States, according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Separately, last month ended as the 34th coolest May for the contiguous United States, based on records dating back to 1895.
The average spring temperature of 51.4 degrees F was 0.5 degree F below the 20th century average. The average May temperature of 60.3 degrees F was 0.7 degree F below the 20th century mean, based on preliminary data.
U.S. Temperature Highlights
  • The March-May temperatures were cooler than average from the Northwest and extending throughout the central Plains and upper Mississippi Valley. In all, 19 states had a cooler-than-average spring.           
  • Twenty-five states were cooler than average for May. Pennsylvania was much cooler than average and ranked eighth coolest.
  • The unusually cool temperatures kept the nation’s overall temperature-related residential energy demand for May above average. Based on NOAA’s Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index, contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand was approximately 3.5 percent above average in May, but near average for the spring season.
  • Florida, Texas, and Washington were warmer than average for May.
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
U.S. Precipitation Highlights
  • For the spring, Missouri had its fourth wettest, Arkansas its sixth wettest, Indiana and Iowa their eighth wettest and Illinois its 10th wettest. For May, Arizona, Maryland, and Nebraska were much wetter than average, with Nebraska ranking fourth wettest and Maryland fifth wettest on record.
  • California had its driest spring on record, while Nevada and Utah had their 10th and 11th driest on record. For May, two states were much drier than average — New Hampshire had its ninth driest May on record and Florida its 10th driest.
  • Rainfall improved drought conditions across parts of the northern Rockies, but moderate-to-extreme drought continued throughout the Great Plains, Southeast, and Southwest. About 18 percent of the U.S. was classified in moderate-to-extreme drought at the end of May compared to 23 percent a month ago, based on the U.S. Drought Monitor.
  • Several strong weather systems dumped heavy rains across parts of the central Plains, Ohio Valley, and mid-Atlantic states. In some areas, this pattern has continued for the last six months, with Missouri and Illinois having the wettest December-May on record.  By the end of May, 24 percent of the contiguous U.S. was classified in moderate-to-extreme “wet spell” conditions compared to 16 percent six months ago, based on the Palmer Index.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the US. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.
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June 6, 2008 4:53 pm

comparison between Arctic ice in 2008 compared to 2007. Looking at the side-by-side comparison of images available at,
check time
also previous

June 6, 2008 4:57 pm

Mid-Troposphere data in
-0.29C may 08

June 6, 2008 4:58 pm

Also check 07 to 08 ice extent NH cryosphere does image actually show that trend?
refer to previous

Daryl Ritchison
June 6, 2008 5:15 pm

I’ve always been curious how these state averages are configured. In North Dakota, all major cities (except one) finished the Spring well below average, yet North Dakota comes up near average on the graphic. Same thing happened for the Winter season as well. So color North Dakota Blue as well. Where I am we are into now our 7th month with below average temperatures with no end in sight at the moment, here’s hoping for a pattern change toward the 2nd half of this month.

June 6, 2008 5:23 pm

The bad news just keeps coming. If these bozos report colder than normal – considering all the biases and UHI – then it was very cold. Say hello to stagflation, starvation and a global reversal of hundreds of years of progress.

June 6, 2008 5:40 pm

“Say hello to stagflation, starvation and a global reversal of hundreds of years of progress.” SteveSadlov
Maybe, but then what is Ron Paul for? The country might be ready for him by 2102.

June 6, 2008 5:41 pm

I have to say that a lot of people are not going to believe what the thermometer tells them; instead, they’re going to go with the hysterical newscasts about how hot it is regardless of temperature.

Tom in Florida
June 6, 2008 5:56 pm

I didn’t quite catch the time period used in averaging the precipitation, did I miss it or is it the same as with temperature, since 1895? I will once again make my objection to using “averages”. I will once again make my objection to the use of historically short periods of time. I will also note that data collection from the early part of this averaging period is probably not so accurate.

June 6, 2008 6:02 pm

On the one hand those who fear global warming should celebrate this report, as it implies the onset of disaster has been delayed somewhat.
On the other hand, cooler temperatures does mean folks are turning on the heat later in the year than normal. And when that happens, fossil fuels are burned and more CO2 is released into the atmosphere. Perhaps cooler temperatures will accelerate global warming.
So which is better? Warmer or cooler temperatures?

June 6, 2008 6:32 pm

“Better” depends on your point of view. If you want to cleanse Gaia of some of her excess humans, colder would be what you want.
If you are a farmer, you probably want warmer.
And if you want to sneak onto Ted Turner’s property for a righteous buffalo hunt in Montana, it might be easier to get away if there aren’t blizzard conditions. But I could be wrong about that.

Retired Engineer
June 6, 2008 6:52 pm

swampie: “Berlin is not in ruins. I order you not to believe it” A.H. 1945
“The world is not cooling. I order you not to believe it” A.G. 2008
Some folks will fall for anything.

June 6, 2008 6:58 pm

oops, if it takes till 2102 we are doomed. I meant 2012.

Bill in Vigo
June 6, 2008 7:03 pm

Here in Alabama it has been a cool spring especially as compared to 2007. June thus far is quite warm but is still a few degrees less than last year. I just have an idea that June may be a more average month than the first 5 of the year but will likely be cooler than the 30 year average. Just have to wait and see. One thing is we have surface moisture this year and more clouds than last.
Just thinking,
Bill Derryberry

Evan Jones
June 6, 2008 7:09 pm

You are probably correct as far as the temperatures are concerned. And yes, bozos are, and remain, bozos.
But there is no freakin’ way that hundreds of years of progress is going anywhere.
There will be growth. Lower growth, yes, But growth. There is an incredible power at work. We are at the “economic tipping point” at the gateway ro “runaway wealth”. The only way that could be stopped is by asinine politics. It is very probably beyond the power of mother nature alone.
You seem to buy into the notion that modern tech is less relsilient than the simplicity of the past. It ain’t so. Ireland starved for decades on account of a cooling and the wrong sort of potato. That could never happen in this day and age. Our adaptive power is awesome. And unappreciated!
Sheesh! You make my off-center quotes on the solar threads seem optimistic!

Tom in Texas
June 6, 2008 7:42 pm

“Perhaps cooler temperatures will accelerate global warming.”
Then we get even cooler temps still. This global warming feedback will send us into the LIA, or over a tipping point into a real ice age.

June 6, 2008 8:38 pm

We’ve had like two days of warm weather this year in Sacramento Cal. The rest has averaged 10 degrees below normal.
And NOAA calls that neutral. The bozos are definitely running the show.

June 6, 2008 8:39 pm

Evan Jones (19:09): “But there is no freakin’ way that hundreds of years of progress is going anywhere.”
Sweet, Evan! Great line (you’ll make “Rev” yet…).

Steve H
June 7, 2008 3:34 am

“But there is no freakin’ way that hundreds of years of progress is going anywhere.”
I nominate this as the quote of the day!

M White
June 7, 2008 3:56 am

I’d just like to inform everyone that the BBC has become a priest in Church of Global Warming.
Last year it reported on the results of an experiment to predict the future impact of “Global Warming” using distributed computing. Full details of this experiment can be seen at
Given that the BBC is one of the worlds most respected news organisations it doesn’t seem to present an unbiased view, you’d be hard pressed to find an alternate view on what drives the worlds climate.

Steve in SC
June 7, 2008 5:26 am

Down here in SC May was very comfy.
In June it is like somebody threw a switch. For the last week we have been within reach of record highs. No rain for the last 6 weeks either. The temperature will be what it will be but if anybody has any spare rain, send it my way.

June 7, 2008 8:32 am

papertiger wrote: “We’ve had like two days of warm weather this year in Sacramento Cal. The rest has averaged 10 degrees below normal. And NOAA calls that neutral.”
As I viewed the report ealier, I was dwelling along those same lines: what are these “near normal” and “neutral” things? What range do they cover? And as far as that goes, what makes an average temp fall in certain range anyhow? What are the parameters… or is it simply a “fudge” factor devised by the Pogies to morph one set of figures into a “box” so it doesn’t make their agenda look so bad?
Jack Koenig, Editor
The Mycterious Climate Project

June 7, 2008 9:27 am

It wasn’t the 34th coolest, it was the 79th warmest on record (2008-1895-34). See how easy it is to warm things up?

June 7, 2008 7:16 pm

That Texas average of above normal for May, dunno about that here in the Panhandle. We were below normal in may until the last week or so. Big state, funny how they get an average for it that is reliable for the individual area.

June 8, 2008 6:48 am

[…] Watts Up With That? reports on the cooler then usual spring […]

Pamela Gray
June 8, 2008 9:28 am

I would have rather seen temps based on geographic ecosystem areas: Mountains, plains, valleys, high desert, low desert, temperate forest, etc.

Alex Cull
June 10, 2008 1:36 am

M White wrote: “I’d just like to inform everyone that the BBC has become a priest in Church of Global Warming.”
This is something I have noticed too – the BBC does put a great deal of pro-AGW spin in their reports; no way are they even attempting to be objective. And when data emerges that contradicts the “emerging truth” of global warming – they don’t tend to report it. Look on the BBC news website for anything to do with the Argo system of buoys, which recently reported oceanic cooling since 2003, and I don’t think you will find any coverage for the last few years. Or how about the German Polarstern expedition, which recently discovered that the deep ocean around Antarctica is cooling? Nope, nothing about that either. Yet if you look in the Science/Nature section now, you will find an article about the New Zealand government urging the citizens to kick the “carbon habit”. Yes, that will be reported because it’s on-message. I like the BBC in other ways, as they often make decent TV programmes, and I watch the BBC morning news, but when it comes to anything to do with climate, the environment etc., it’s well to be aware that they have a very obvious bias.

June 17, 2008 11:04 am

[…] record snowfall, an unseasonably cool spring and predictions for increased hurricanes this season encourage discussion about climate change, […]

June 22, 2008 8:33 am

Are you saying that when it comes to climate change BBC is like the slanted FOX NEWS NETWORK when it comes to politics?

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