The Flip Side of Cooler Weather

While we’ve had a number of unusual and anecdotal cold snaps in late summer in the northern latitudes, there are also warm events too. It will be interesting to see how this event is reported by newspapers and other media in the Bay Area. Perhaps we’ll get a firsthand report from Mosher. To watch the temperatures where I live, you can visit my webcam/weather station at – Anthony



328 AM PDT WED AUG 27 2008










h/t to Fred in comments

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Leon Brozyna
August 27, 2008 10:33 am

Nah. Warm/cool is of little concern this hurrican season. Media’s more concerned with drooling over every tropical wave. Now that Fay’s finally {thankfully} faded the attention’s now on Gustav and its effects on the oil platforms and the odds it’ll smash into New Orleans – again. You can just feel the anticipation building at Lord Gore’s castle as he waits to pounce on another disaster in the making as proof of global warming.

steven mosher
August 27, 2008 10:38 am

report from the bay area.
ah I’m running the AC unit full blast, heating the world
the best I know how.

Jim Arndt
August 27, 2008 10:48 am

Very good Mosh but did you properly separate you recyclables? You could be fined? LOL

Patrick Henry
August 27, 2008 10:48 am

I spent Labor Day in Carmel in 2004, and the temperature was in the upper 90s. We went on a whale watching trip out of Monterey, and it was pleasantly warm 10 miles out. Too bad they don’t have more nice days like that. Going in the water was actually enticing – for the first time I can ever remember.

steven mosher
August 27, 2008 11:00 am

well the second best way I know

Gary Hladik
August 27, 2008 11:00 am

Heat wave, big deal. We get ’em in the San Francisco Bay Area every year. On all but a very few nights the temp drops so fast that we just blow in some outside air to get a good night’s sleep.

steven mosher
August 27, 2008 11:02 am

jim they would have to find me to fine me.

Gavin Struthers
August 27, 2008 12:34 pm

Well, I live in San Jose and, having lived here for the past 35+ years, I’m used to this in the summer. We typically have very temperate summers where we have anywhere from 2-5 really hot spells of 3-5 days length (on average) and then our ‘natural’ air conditioner kicks in and the cool air from the Pacific gets sucked into the area and temperatures drop. Our summers are also usually rain-free save for 1 or 2 atypical days of shower activity (although the Sierra Nevada range gets a lot of thunderstorm activity in the summer). Amazingly enough, some of our hottest days occur from September to October (Indian summer). Our daughter was born in mid-September and the temperature was over 95 F when we took her home.
Let’s remember that the SF Bay area has a lot of temperature extremes in the summer. San Francisco and Oakland’s average summer temperatures are probably from the low 60’s to the mid 70’s while areas like Gilroy and Livermore are more typically hovering in the mid-80’s and can easily top 100 when the temperature starts to go up. Mark Twain said it best when he said, “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.”

Steve Sadlov
August 27, 2008 1:01 pm

It is a typical early October day here. And all which that implies.

August 27, 2008 1:26 pm

Well Fay ain’t done yet. Here in Richmond, VA, the last week of August, we won’t make 90. We won’t even make 80.
In fact it’s 4:30PM and we’re at 70.
FWIW. Not much I guess.

August 27, 2008 1:31 pm

Repeat after me: “When its unusually cool in one place, you can bet it’s unusually warm someplace else.” –Matt’s 1st rule of conservation of weather.

August 27, 2008 2:08 pm

Frankfurt, Gemany (Airport, FRA)
August average temperatures (°C)
1991 = 21.1
1992 = 20.9
1993 = 18.7
1994 = 19.6
1995 = 20.5
1996 = 18.8 (Minimum, SC22/SC23)
1997 = 21.9
1998 = 19.6
1999 = 19.2
2000 = 19.9
2001 = 20.5
2002 = 20.0
2003 = 23.7
2004 = 20.1
2005 = 18.0
2006 = 16.7
2007 = 18.3
2008 = 18.5 (so far, until 25th)

Steven Hill
August 27, 2008 2:32 pm

We are all doomed according to the AP…
On top of that, researchers were investigating “alarming” reports in the last few days of the release of methane from long frozen Arctic waters, possibly from the warming of the sea, said Greenpeace climate scientist Bill Hare, who was attending a climate conference in Ghana. Giant burps of methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas, is a long feared effect of warming in the Arctic that would accelerate warming even more, according to scientists.

August 27, 2008 2:49 pm

due to a location change in 1990, and a change in measurement (24h instead of 3 times/day) the older datas for Frankfurt/Germany are not easily comparable
to the datas since 1991, but I predict a pretty cold December/January here.
We (nearly) allways had a good downspike at/or +-1yr of solar minimum.
2008 so far (and prediction):
JAN 2nd warmest since 1991
FEB 1.3 °C above average (1991-2008)
MAR 0.4 °C below average (1991-2008)
APR 1.2 below average (1991-2008)
MAY warmest since 1991
JUN 1.8 °C above average (1991-2008)
JUL 1.0 °C above average (1991-2008)
AUG 0.3 °C below average (1991-2008)
SEP predicted: (1.4 °C below average)
OCT predicted: (0.5 °C above average)
NOV predicted: (0.3 °C above average)
DEC predicted: (2.9 °C below average)
ANN_08 predicted:
(0.3 °C above average (1991-2007),
3rd coldest (1991-2007)

August 27, 2008 3:08 pm

I’ve mentioned that Australia will have an abnormally cool August. The reason is that we have had weather patterns typical of summer – large, slow moving high pressure systems in the Bight, which results in southerly winds over the east and dry easterly winds over the center and west.
It’s somewhat paradoxical that a summer weather pattern in winter results in abnormally, and possibly record, cold.
A related phenomena is that the hottest places cool the Earth the most. You can clearly see this on the outgoing longwave radiation images. Most heat is lost to space from the deserts of N. Africa and the Middle East, the hottest places in the world.

August 27, 2008 3:19 pm

Steven Mosher and Gavin Struthers,
I live 2 blocks south of Golden Gate Park on the beach. What is this “summer” you refer to??

Scott Walker
August 27, 2008 6:01 pm

Please, could we have a little of that heat wave in NW Oregon? My tomatoes and peppers would thank you. Seriously, it feels like the end of September here. If the clouds would clear, I would see new snow on Mt. Hood, only about a thousand feet above Timberline Lodge. The forecast for the next week is running about ten degrees below seasonal norms. But hey, I know that weather isn’t climate. Unless it’s hot weather.

August 27, 2008 7:48 pm

I picked Steve up in Santa Clara around 1 pm and drove him up 280 to my apt in SOMA. Do not claim that SF was cold today.

August 27, 2008 8:13 pm

Out of Curiosity I checked to see how San Francisco was doing for the month. Used Accuweather “past weather data” tab.
Findings: Up to the 27th, “San Francisco” was +.2 of normal, however “San Francisco (city)” was -2.5, as of the 26th.
There are two San Francisco’s?

F Rasmin
August 27, 2008 8:28 pm

The forecast for Baghdad today 28th August is 51 degrees celsius (123.8 F)!
REPLY: I hear the Quizno’s there simply puts sandwiches on the window sill for 1 minute. 😉

Pamela Gray
August 27, 2008 8:47 pm

Warmer temperatures are what every NW farmer hopes for. The growth of diverse agriculture in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho rode in on the coattails of the last 30 years of warming. We panic when cooling weather begins to dominate. Why? Because millions of dollars have been invested in planting warm climate crops, not cold climate crops. Only recently have we spent any money at all on investigating how to graft a cold weather grape onto a warm weather vine. Not much success, since the woody stems of the vine itself freezes and dies quicker than the devil on a visit to the North Pole.
Reports of warmer weather keeps us happily busy in the field doing our jobs. Reports of colder weather sends us to church and the bank, hat in hand, in that order.

August 27, 2008 9:18 pm

[…] The Flip Side of Cooler Weather 26 August, 2008 “Somewhere in the universe there may be a planet where natural gas is considered an alternative form of energy, but on this one it’s still considered a fossil fuel.” […]

F Rasmin
August 28, 2008 4:35 am

I know this sounds petty, but what are ‘warmer’ and ‘cooler’ temperatures? (Here in Australia, I stand at the supermarket checkout bemused at being informed that ‘This checkout is for twelve items or less!’). Also, what is a ‘Quizno?’

August 28, 2008 8:29 am

‘what is a ‘Quizno?’
One of the joys of living in the States. A fast food chain that makes some very tasty sandwiches. Made better by toasting the buns/bread.
Meanwhile, down here in So Cal (Southern California for you non-Californians) we are experiencing our June gloom weather in August: Summer temperatures have been cooler than normal.

Steve Sadlov
August 28, 2008 11:51 am

I am loving it. Right now, I don’t have to go inland to experience that summer feeling during summer, or having to wait for late September, or early October and the God awful low sun angle. Nothing worse than a heat wave with dark conditions and long shadows.
No fog, no sea breeze – I was walking outside with T-shirt and shorts at midnight.

Steve Sadlov
August 28, 2008 11:56 am

RE: Caleb (20:13:45) :
SF City is a location in SF proper.
“San Francisco” (aka SFO) is San Francisco Int’l Airport, which is not in SF at all, it is in a suburban community – San Bruno.
Interestingly, under “normal” summer circumstances, SFO tends to run slightly cooler than SF City, due to its location downwind from the major fog / seabreeze gap between San Bruno Mountain and the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Mary Hinge
August 28, 2008 3:36 pm

Steven Hill (14:32:35) :
Why the sarcasm? This is a real worry and if this part of the globalwarming scenario is playing out then yes, we should all be worried. The arctic ice extent is now at its 2nd lowest point and is now on course to beat last years record ice melt
If this causes, as it seems it may be starting to do, rapid relaeases of atmospheric methane, then we could potentially be facing a mass extinction event. In case you think I’m being sensationalistic bear in mind that large relases of methane are the most probable cause of the Permian extinction event 250,000,000 years ago which wiped out approx. 90% of land and marine life. Just google ‘Permian extinction methane’ to get a feel of the subject.

August 28, 2008 11:54 pm

@ mary
the melt this and last year is unrelated to temperature, but has everything to do wind a change in wind direction, very strong northern winds push the ice south, thats why there`s also more ice around the island jan mayen.
Wetter models didnt predict it, well because they are wrong!
besides a eath without polar ice isnt unique at all, in its 4.5 billion years life time it has been iceless over 99 % of the time
So the methane doom exticion you are talking about is just complete nonsense, (there was no ice 250 million years ago) not even on antactica
We are in a iceage now thats has been getting colder and colder over the past 3 million years..

Mary Hinge
August 29, 2008 11:45 am

rutger (23:54:10) :
Please stop using untruths to try and justify your view, they are deliberately misleading and, to be honest, made up junk.
Why do you always use absolutes? The melt is known to be a combination of factors INCLUDING temperature, to say it is unrelated is frankly obsurd.
Your statement about the earth being without ice 99% of the time is also a lie, there have been ice caps for about 15% of the time, and ice on high altitudes for considerably more time.
Another lie when you say there was no ice 250 million years ago, this marks the end point of one of the major ice ages in earth history, the Karoo ice age (350-250 MYA). Immediately after this was a particularly rapid globalwarming event. There also may not have been ice on Antarctica as it was connected to Pangea at this time on the southern tip. The main reason why Antarctica is so cold now is because it is isolated at the south pole surrounded by the circumpolar currents.
I don’t know how you can say that it’s been getting colder and colder over the last 3 million years. We are either at the end of these cycles or at in interglacial period but the temperature during these cycles has been pretty similar at the top and bottom ends of the range.
Given the fact you have just made up virtually all that you said how can you present to the world your assertion that the methane doom extinction,as you put it, is complete nonsense?

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