Cold streak sets new record – Saskatoon experiences 24 consecutive days of -25 C or lower

For those of you that don’t know where Saskatoon is, I have it on my city temperature map:
Cold streak sets new record
Rod Nickel, The StarPhoenix

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Christina Weese takes a picture on the Traffic Bridge Sunday as the temperature dipped to -41 C
CREDIT: Gord Waldner, The StarPhoenix
Christina Weese takes a picture on the Traffic Bridge Sunday as the temperature dipped to -41 C

How’s this for cold comfort? Sask-atoon’s deep freeze is likely the longest streak of low temperatures below -25 C that has numbed this city since record-keeping began in 1892.

The 24-day streak started cruelly Dec. 13 after relatively mild temperatures and continued at least through Monday, said David Phillips, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist.

“That’s the thing that’s brutal,” Phillips said from Toronto, where he was enjoying a temperature of -4. “We can all handle a few (cold) days. It’s the long haul that wears you down.

“It’s really a shocker, the duration of the cold.”

Phillips said he couldn’t find a longer cold snap in Saskatoon’s recorded weather history during a look through the records Monday. Even during the infamous January of 1950, when temperatures hit -46 and -45 (not counting any wind chill), the cold streak of -25 or lower lasted “only” 21 days.

The first two mild weeks of December kept the month from being Saskatoon’s coldest ever. It still averaged -20.6, the sixth-coldest December on record and the most frigid since 1983.

Prince Albert was slightly colder in December, with an average temperature of -21.4, while Regina registered -18. Neither of those burgs have suffered a -25 streak approaching Saskatoon’s, Phillips said.

The normal average temperature for Saskatoon in December is -14.3.

The historic streak could end today. Environment Canada was forecasting a low of -23 for today, before another drop Wednesday.

There’s no good news on the horizon.

January is expected to be colder than its normal mean temperature of -17, said Environment Canada meteorologist Bob Cormier. The three-month period of January through March is also expected to be colder than normal, he said.

The frigid temperatures and the bad timing of the New Year’s Eve snowstorm has left city snow crews well behind schedule.

As of Monday, snowplows still hadn’t touched almost one-third of the priority streets, which range from arteries such as Circle Drive and Eighth Street to bus routes and minor collector streets. The major arteries have been cleared once, but may need a second pass, said Gaston Gourdeau, manager of the city’s public works branch.

Ninety per cent of bus routes are cleared, but many minor collector streets still haven’t seen a snowplow.

“We’re looking forward to warmer temperatures,” Gourdeau said. “It’s been tough for everybody.”

The New Year’s Eve storm was a double-whammy for snowplow operators.

Many city staff were on holidays. Hydraulic parts of heavy equipment respond more slowly, like everything else, in the cold, forcing crews to get less done than they normally would.

Gourdeau predicts snow crews will be in some neighbourhoods clearing out trouble spots by the end of the week.

He said he decided against implementing a street parking ban to speed up snow clearing for two reasons.

The city hasn’t had the staff to guarantee cleanup within 72 hours until this week.

In frigid weather, it’s also difficult to ask residents to move cars off the street to spots where plug-ins may be unavailable, he said.

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102 thoughts on “Cold streak sets new record – Saskatoon experiences 24 consecutive days of -25 C or lower

  1. The UK can report a similar extended cold snap. I wonder why the cold air is coming out of the Arctic in two opposing directions…?

    I note that the Ice Extent figures still appear to be pretty low, though.

  2. I live somewhat near by (9h drive away in Calgary). It was cold here for 23 days strait (not quite that cold, but still too cold). For the last few weeks, when global warming is mentioned, everyone laughs.

  3. “The UK can report a similar extended cold snap. I wonder why the cold air is coming out of the Arctic in two opposing directions…?

    I note that the Ice Extent figures still appear to be pretty low, though.”

    I guess this is because all the cold is beeing sent to inhabitit areas, making it not quite as cold in the high arctic.

  4. Yeah, right, super-interesting. In Sydney today, it’s 32 C, or 6 C above average for this time of the year. I find it as interesting as a clod streak in a small Canadian village in the winter.

    REPLY: Interesting or not, at least I manage to spell “cold” correctly. ;-) Has Sydney reached a similar streak of record warm days? – Anthony

  5. Ice extent things are interesting:

    Baring Strait appears much higher ice than normal. Round at Kamchatka and in the Barents sea less than normal. Newfoundland lagging slightly, but mouth of St Lawrence well ahead of schedule.

    Don’t understand the nsidc.org graphs at all. All this cold, but the daily trend now is EXACTLY the same as last year. EXACTLY. After a prolonged flat lining to bring it ‘into line’.

    Very suspicious.

    Or REALLY COINCIDENTAL.

    Any views on which it is?

  6. It’s all short term and 2009 will be the warmest on record! Get ready for the Hansen / Obama CO2 tax to lower coal and oil usage plan. Arctic ice will be gone forever, none, even in the winter if we continue to cause CO2 to be released. Cows need to be eliminated from the planet as well. Go green, eat green. (smile)

    Hum, if we have no CO2, I wonder how the plants will grow…oh, we can figure that one out latter. (smile)

    The sun, it’s not a factor. (smile)

  7. Concerning the ice extent: I’m also “surprised” it somehow ‘disappeared” from headlines here since the moment it reached the lowest values of these last years. After having a constant extent for more than a week, which is pretty rare. But I’m quite sure it will come back soon (say, when it will grow a little bit more rapidly).

    The same holds for global temperatures… What about the RSS results which showed increasing global temps?

    REPLY: Gosh, like Saskatoon’s cold streak, I must have missed thousands of things you are not interested in. RSS gets posted every month here. For example, I pointed out (in early December) for November that RSS went up.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/05/rss-for-november-is-out-up-slightly/

    And, if you’ll check this data:
    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_2.txt

    You’ll see that RSS for December is not out yet. As for the ice. There was a lot of speculation going on as to the cause, and if you’ll loom though comments you’ll find that I chose not to get involved in the speculation until the reason for the change was better understood.

    Flanagan, please check before you rant. Or is it the ranting that you truly enjoy?

    – Anthony

  8. The Weather Service office in Pendelton keeps saying NE Oregon is supposed to warm
    up and Rain-It is snowing and 29f at my house (approx3000ft.) in La Grande,Oregon.
    I have noted a Warmist bias here…

  9. Gary:

    Pine Beetles are probably spreading thanks to human activity, but not the way the greenies would have us believe (but I’m pretty sure you know this). Fire and Ice, that’s what does them in… and our forests are no longer allowed to burn. Not even a little. Not even a quick flash-through every few years. BC is not exactly known for its cold (well, this year they are, but hey, that’s just anecdotal).

    Although, cold as it may be in poor Saskatoon and P.A. (both places I spent far too many hours in last year), this is NOT outside the range of normal. I laugh at all the people I hear saying that our current cold snap (Calgary here, too) is somehow unusual, because it’s not. Winter 95-96 was truly brutal… and we had over 30 days below minus 30.

    Apparently our collective memories are short when it comes to weather.

  10. Global warming causes wars.

    There will be a mass exodus from the coastal cities to the higher ground of the mountains due to the rising sea levels.

    There will be intense fighting over view lots in the Himalayas in Asia and in the Andes in South America.

    I am preparing to occupy and defend a pre-selected, choice high-meadow in the Sierras. (:-)

    The AGW alarmists are the real deniers, in that they deny the reality of Nature and accept the fallacy of the AGW computer models..
    ————————————————————-
    Global Warming May Become the Instigator of World War IV

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/hot_war.php

    Global warming is the cause of a number of damaging effects to the earth and its inhabitants, such as climate change, glacier retreat, rising sea levels, and now we may have a new threat on the horizon… world war! According to the 2007 CNA Corporation report, there is clear indication that as the tensions of global warming continue to heat up, so may the possibilities of war… a Hot War!

    Crowding and Territorial Tensions
    “…the rising sea level will cover over parts of much of the land, minimizing usable farm area, fresh water, and cattle herds. In some cases, entire islands may become submerged.”

    Competition of Newly Habitable Lands
    “The opposite scenario of crowding may also occur as the open space around the Arctic regions becomes available due to the increased air temperatures. As these uninhabitable areas become habitable for the first time in history, competition from the various coastal countries and islands who have lost their native homeland will become fierce.”

    “The greatest danger however remains in the fact that many people still refuse to recognize its (global warming) presence in the world no matter how much proof they are shown.”

  11. VERY cold here in England. I live in the south, and it was -7c last night with a promise of -10 tonight. Funnily enough, February is usually colder here than January, so we’re not looking forward to that!

  12. I wonder if man can eat those bettles? We need to harvest them, they be all that’s left to eat. The planet is warming so fast, it’s most likly too late to do anything. Been nice knowing everyone here, we are doomed.

    Russia is doing it’s best to lower CO2..no heat for Europe

    The dispute, the second in three years, shows how Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are willing to use natural resources as a weapon to achieve political goals. European nations are burning more gas, the source of 24 percent of the world’s energy consumption last year, to reduce emissions linked to global warming.

  13. Our Met Office weather forecaster told us yesterday that for December, our part of England (the mild south-west) was more than 2degC colder than the average. And January has started off even colder, with no end of the “cold snap” in sight. My river is icing over.

  14. Its pretty chilly in Europe too. Berlin is forecast -18 Celsius tonight, Paris -9, Madrid -5 and London -6.

  15. The ice age is only “masking” Global Warming. In 11,000 years Global Warming will be back with a vengeance! :)

    We better not waste what’s left of this optimum, it might be a while before we get another.

  16. Flanagan said, and Anthony replied:

    I find it as interesting as a clod streak in a small Canadian village in the winter.

    REPLY: Interesting or not, at least I manage to spell “cold” correctly. ;-) Has Sydney reached a similar streak of record warm days? – Anthony

    No, I think he was being insulting. He was referring to clods streaking around in Canadian villages. He’s pretty parochial, really.

  17. alec “Global warming center” = We have to keep the charade up or there will be no “center” left …that is why.
    Flanagan: 99% Australians believe in AGW so they will never admit to any data thats why as well LOL

  18. Hmm, NCDC now has December 2008 in the database. Annual North American temperature since 1998 (11 years of data) is falling over the period at a rate of 0.78C/decade or 7.8C per century. At this rate we will be in an ice age within 5 decades. If you can get the graphic, the heavy black like is the average over the century 1901 to 2000.

    REPLY: Interesting. I’ve made a post out of this, since it is new information. Please share the choices of data and URL for the generator at the post now on the main page of WUWT – Thanks Anthony

  19. The way the jet stream’s running, it doesn’t look like there’s any relief coming any time soon. In fact, it looks like some of that cold air may be heading down into the lower 48 this weekend.

    All I’ve got to say is, is it Spring yet?

  20. Mike Bryant:

    “The ice age is only “masking” Global Warming. In 11,000 years Global Warming will be back with a vengeance! :)”

    Glacial periods last for 100,000+ years. The warmer interglacial periods last only around 10,000 to 15,000 years. The “normal” state for the past couple of million years is glacial condition.

  21. Bill is right, all these reports of cold….just isolated areas. I expect .35C increase on RSS. The ice levels are down and the globe is warming.

  22. Regarding Pine Beetles, The most often used phrase when commenting on the weather here in Edmonton, is “Well I hope that at least this cold snap kills those darn Pine Beetles”. We Western Canadians have to have something to feel positive about.

  23. With regard to the AMSR-E ice plot. There have been challenges (canards?) the the people doing the plot ing have been manipulating the data. I for one would like to know why the chart shows a small bump of a few 100,000 s km of ice every June of every year and then it goes away a week or so later. Sun glint fooling the sensors?

  24. Steven Hill,

    Ice levels are not down. Global ice extent is about normal. Greenland has had a net increase in ice (that would be amount not extent).

  25. By all accounts this article appears to be another anti-AGW propaganda piece. I’m in possession of the November 20th NOAA Winter (DJF) climate outlook and although it doesn’t cover Canada, there is no indication that there would be negative anomalies close to the US border. I strongly believe that the Canada met stations are poorly sited, probably far removed from sewage treatment plants, funeral homes, and other stabilizing influences.
    If you check out the author of this piece you will most likely find an individual connected with the tar sands development projects and an unfriendly weather sensitive Canuck originally from South Ontario who had to move to Phoenix to get out of the cold.
    Global cooling – my hindquarter!

  26. Hey, Anthony, you do honour me with those personal answers. Sorry for the misspellings, next time we can talk french if you like. English must be stg like my 3d language so excuse me for the typos.

    My remark on RSS data was about the UAH results, which were quite high for Nov, and on which you simply put one line or so and promised us to analyze this “later”. I do understand you’re not obliged to do anything – I’m very grateful for all the info you concentrate in here. But I found it somewhat biased that this topic was “forgotten” and followed by a long series of anecdotes on the cold winter in US. This is because I prefer climate to weather, probably. Don’t take it personnally. And once again, thanks for the great job.

    REPLY: If you saw my travel and work load in December, you’d understand why I forgot to get back to it. When UAH comes out for Dec 08, I’ll cover November then. – Anthony

  27. I have to Agree with Steve Hill.” The dispute, the second in three years, shows how Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are willing to use natural resources as a weapon to achieve political goals. European nations are burning more gas, the source of 24 percent of the world’s energy consumption last year, to reduce emissions linked to global warming”
    The Russian are great at chess and they are playing a great chess game with the world. Using a natural resourse to gain an atvantage. When will the European Union realize that they need to wean them selves from anything Russian. Surely independence from Russian policies is more important than .001 degrees of warming

  28. “Cryosphere seems to be experiencing real problems.”

    They have a problem with their UI (user interface) in that when you attempt to do comparisons, 2009 (as we are in today) wraps around to 1979. Maybe they are trying to fix that. Also, the big story yesterday about ice being back to 1979 levels caused many sites to link to them and they appear to have been run over with traffic at times.

    “I’d expect RSS to show a .2-.3C increase in Dec. I think Jan will be a different story tho.”

    That increase in globals would probably be more due to Southern Hemisphere temperatures than Northern, I believe, considering some of the very cold temperatures across Siberia and Northern Canada in December.

  29. Rhys Jaggar (07:56:43) :
    Ice extent things are interesting:
    Don’t understand the nsidc.org graphs at all. All this cold, but the daily trend now is EXACTLY the same as last year. EXACTLY. After a prolonged flat lining to bring it ‘into line’.
    Very suspicious.
    Or REALLY COINCIDENTAL.
    Any views on which it is?

    Looks like another case for Mulder and Scully! Look’s like Jeez’s paranoia/conspirisis is catching…

  30. But, but, but, but –
    Pardon me if I sound like a motorboat.

    Yes, the Arctic Ice is likely to recover substantially in the summer of 2009. The sad thing is that all the dire predictions will hinder environmental goals when the disasters fail to materialize. But Chicken Littles of all stripes, left and right, have been part of the human landscape since the beginning of time. If I’m not damned by global warming, then I am because of the person I live with. It would be nice if the folks waiting for Armageddon would leave the rest of us alone.

  31. Richard North @ 08:20:23 :

    Saskatoon? Never ‘eard of it!

    And where’s this Cananda yer on about?

    It’s up North ‘ere, North :-)

    You, you, europhile you :-)
    Robert of Ottawa

  32. A friend in Fairbanks says it is so cold his corn flakes frosted themselves. At least it’s dry, unlike Annapolis where the temp and humidity are far higher. 30 below in AK hurt less than 30 above here.

    Going back to Colorado to warm up a bit.

  33. Bill,

    Your correct….I was being sarcastic. sorry

    As for Russia, they are playing the old USSR game. As for Europe, they never learn anything. The US is greedy and uses anything to gain money.

    So, there you have my opinion, you can’t believe anything anymore. I just go to church and praise God, his will be done in the end.

  34. Flanagan (07:55:16) :

    Yeah, right, super-interesting. In Sydney today, it’s 32 C, or 6 C above average for this time of the year. I find it as interesting as a clod streak in a small Canadian village in the winter.

    And an hour and a half or so later, the New South Wales government web site (http://www.nsw.gov.au/weather.asp) lists the current temperature in Sydney as 20.9 C.

    That’s one hell of a temperature drop. Expecting any tornados?

  35. Anthony
    The success of your site seems to attract those global warming cultists who apparently become threatened by scientific statements that somehow seem to erode their tenets thereby causing them unnecessary anxiety and a need to respond with demeaning comments.

  36. Temperature of -10C recorded in Oxfordshire last night coldest night in England for over 10 year it’s said to be the longest cold snap in the UK for possibly 20 years.

    The Russians cut the supply of gas by 20% today to “punish the Ukrainians” only it’s the UK who will probably suffer as we only have 12 days reserves unlike Germany and France who have 100 days +. So much for the UK’s energy policy :o(

  37. And where’s this Cananda yer on about?

    —————-

    you mean Northern Montana? It hasn’t been called Canada for years.

  38. TonyB2 (10:14:27) :

    Temperature of -10C recorded in Oxfordshire last night coldest night in England for over 10 year it’s said to be the longest cold snap in the UK for possibly 20 years.

    The Russians cut the supply of gas by 20% today to “punish the Ukrainians” only it’s the UK who will probably suffer as we only have 12 days reserves unlike Germany and France who have 100 days +. So much for the UK’s energy policy :o(

    I have to agree that these things really are meaningless. It’s just the planet going through what it always has, but for some reason we seem surprised by it.

  39. TonyB2

    So much for the UK’s energy policy :o(

    That’ll be the Energy policy that decided we should heat our homes and generate our electricity using the same source of fuel then? Pure genius if you ask me.

  40. Flanagan (07:55:16) :

    Yeah, right, super-interesting. In Sydney today, it’s 32 C, or 6 C above average for this time of the year. I find it as interesting as a clod streak in a small Canadian village in the winter.

    Sydney Airport reported a high temperature of 29C for the 6th. Current temp is 21C.
    Flanagan must be getting his readings from the local sewage treatment plant.

  41. That Washington Post article about pine beetle infestations in Canada is another example of ignorant and biased reportage. I suspect that the sources of the story are ill-informed Canadian foresters who are pushing the AGW agenda. The reporter made gratuitous uninformed links about potential beetle destruction in the US.

    The pine beetle has already ravaged American forests from the Sierras to the Southeast. Anecdotal evidence of pine beetle damage includes the 700,000 acres of dead lodgepole pine that fueled the massive Yellowstone fire. Much of the areas burned in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado, South Dakota and elsewhere in the Rockies during the last few decades contained vast quantities of beetle killed trees.

    The Pacific coastal forests in Canada and the US suffer from another destructive bug, the spruce bud worm. It too is responsible for massive kills of Douglas fir, true firs, hemlock and spruce trees. The evidence is there to see unless wild fires have already burned the insect killed and dying trees.

    On our public lands, every time the Forest Service or BLM try to salvage these trees or reduce the fuel loads, our friends (the saviors of the environment) tie up the decision making process with appeals and lawsuits. Consequently, the fuel loads continue to increase. Our public forests, watersheds, and wildlife are in grave danger of destruction or irreparable damage as a result of radical environmentalists misguided activities. They continue to obstruct essential forest management notwithstanding that wildfires are the most efficient way to release all of the carbon stored in trees into the atmosphere.

    As noted by a commentator above, extreme winters are the most effective control of these insects. Canadian environmentalists ought to be praying for more cold weather rather than whining about about impacts from non-existent AGW.

  42. Saskatoon, a small Canadian village ? Hey , go easy on this city of over 200,000 , my old hometown. I remember well the winter of ’83 there. My dad’s car’s fuel line froze near the carb ( yes he had plenty of gas line anti freeze in ) and took him a couple of days with a hair dryer to thaw, wow never seen so much black smoke when she started up. It was – 45 C ( WITHOUT THE SISSY WINDCHILL FACTOR ) or a bit colder at night seemingly forever that winter. I’m sure this city has the most extreme range of temperature in a year on the planet. Near -50 C in the winter and + 40 C in the summer.

    Brent in Calgary

  43. “Milder and drier winter predicted”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7635513.stm

    “The forecast of another mild winter has been welcomed by Help the Aged.
    Dr James Goodwin, the charity’s head of research, said: “The onset of winter causes significant anxiety among many older people.”

    “This forecast will assist policy makers to adapt their strategies to ensure that the negative effects of winter weather are reduced as far as possible.”
    But he warned older people should still guard against sudden cold snaps this winter. ”

    “More elderly ‘could die of cold’ ”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7752213.stm

    computer models help policy makers???????

  44. Stand aside, Canadians and polar bears will begin migrating south soon. You don’t want to run into neither, as one is hungry, the other is probably really pissed off from all the cold.

  45. It gots to make ya wonder…

    How the h-e-c-k do you set COLD records in SASKA-frickin-TOON ??

    For that matter, how the h-e-c-k do you set SNOWFALL records in places like FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA and GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN, as we did last month ??

    This global warming is getting totally out of control. We MUST have passed another tipping point, or something.

  46. Flanagan
    BOM figures for Sydney’s Observatory Hill station for first 6 days of January, maximum temp in degC
    34.7
    22.7
    23.0
    24.6
    27.9
    28.1
    Temps are very slightly warmer if you take the obs from Sydney Airport.
    Doesn’t look too unusual to me. Is this a heatwave for you poor lot over there?

  47. tarpon (12:04:19) :

    Stand aside, Canadians and polar bears will begin migrating south soon. You don’t want to run into neither, as one is hungry, the other is probably really pissed off from all the cold.

    Canadians don’t get pissed off, they become comedians and game show hosts. ;)

  48. TonyB2, SandyInDerby,
    I just recently started going through the BBC “Yes, Minister” series and realized partway in what a education I’m getting on British politics :-}). That, along with “Keeping Up Appearances” and “Good Neighbors”, pretty much rounds out a doctoral study on the culture. Just hang in there…
    Will

  49. “This global warming is getting totally out of control. We MUST have passed another tipping point, or something.”

    How many times must this mistake be corrected – it’s climate *change*.
    Change means things will happen differently, like what the models model.
    It’s a consensus, and humans are to blame. Send money.

  50. Wow, Saskatoon is home for me. I can attest to the cold we have been experiencing here! It has indeed been many years since we have had a stretch of weather like this. Were all hoping for the January thaw. I would say that since about 2004 it has been steadily getting cooler and cooler. I think 3 August frosts in the last five years or so. I am not quite prepared yet to think of this as “climate” rather than “weather”, but a few more years of this….

  51. TonyB2. No, don’t worry, we only actually get about 3% of our gas from Russia. The UK has to worry about 5-10 years time – when we still haven’t made the plunge to go nuclear AND coal. Then the lights will go out.

  52. Brent Matich in Calgary 11:16:56

    Ottawa goes extreme to extreme, about -30C to +30C in six months. And we’re supposed to worry about 1C per century???

  53. Richard North @ 08:20:23 : Saskatoon? Never ‘eard of it! And where’s this Cananda yer on about?

    Robert Wood (09:35:24) :It’s up North ‘ere, North :-) You, you, europhile you :-)
    Robert of Ottawa

    But hey, under North’s name lay a little URL. GOLD, man, GOLD. Unless mine eyes deceive me. The first MSM front-page AGW-debunking headline.

  54. Flanagan (07:55:16) :

    Yeah, right, super-interesting. In Sydney today, it’s 32 C, or 6 C above average for this time of the year. I find it as interesting as a clod streak in a small Canadian village in the winter.

    REPLY: Interesting or not, at least I manage to spell “cold” correctly. ;-) Has Sydney reached a similar streak of record warm days? – Anthony

    Melbourne has been cool to mild (apart from a couple of warm days) all summer.

    Normally we have 2 or 3 hot blasts above 40 degrees C over the whole summer. Nothing has been seen yet.

  55. anonymous (08:48:08) :

    alec “Global warming center” = We have to keep the charade up or there will be no “center” left …that is why.
    Flanagan: 99% Australians believe in AGW so they will never admit to any data thats why as well LOL

    That must put me in the radical, anarchist, dissenting, rabble-rousing, non-conformist, 1%…

  56. On behalf of all civilised Aussies I wish to deliver an apology for Flanagan. We’re not all boorish fools who believe in AGW. Many of us have brains which we exercise frequently by looking at real data and looking out the window to observe. For the record, the western suburbs of Sydney (where I am) reached a maximum of around 38-41C yesterday. I’m expecting about 38C here today and a bit further out west to the base of the Blue Mountains (the suburb of Penrith) it will be 40C if the forecasters are correct. Those temperatures aren’t abnormal for this time of year. I remember a spell where the temperature didn’t go under 20C for 2 weeks. At one point it was 28C at 0400 due to the sea breezes dying off and the westerly winds coming in bringing heat from the inland. Now that spell was misery!

    Now Flanagan, if you could nip down to your favourite supermarket and buy yourself a kilo of manners and civility I’m sure it would be appreciated. Cheers.

  57. Quick scan around the Sydney Metropolitan area Tuesday 6th Jan 2009 – the top temps C

    Sydney – Observatory Hill (as reported an island in an Urban Heat Island) 06/02:00pm 26.7

    Badgerys Creek (out west toward the Blue Mountains) 06/03:30pm 38.5

    Bellambi (Illawarra region, near the coast south of Sydney) 06/02:00pm 24.4

    Canterbury (about 20 km west-south-west of Sydney CBD) 06/02:30pm 31.7

    Richmond (Hawkesbury – Northwest Metropolitan area) 06/03:30pm 38.1

    Terrey Hills – (Northern Suburbs about 20km due north CBD) 06/02:00pm 30.7

    Penrith – (Western Sydney Metro area – Gateway to the Blue Mountains) 06/04:30pm 41.6

    These high western metro area temps are ‘normal’ that’s why few people in the past dared venture to live in these areas. Now with the urban sprawl and the few years of relatively cooler temps the younger set (who have no historical knowledge of these temps) are moving to these ‘cheaper’ areas.

    What a marvellous place! Every day is magic on this planet. Every day is a new day… with no memory of what happened the day before… nor any thought to what will happen tomorrow. People are ready to believe whatever makes their day more enjoyable… no matter how absurd.

    http://www.dailyreckoning.co.uk/economic-forecasts/2009-bear-market-delusion-53541.html

    BTW today is forecast to be warmer :-)

    The data above came from the links here – Latest Weather Observations for the Sydney Area

  58. Steve Berry (13:58:10) :

    TonyB2. No, don’t worry, we only actually get about 3% of our gas from Russia. The UK has to worry about 5-10 years time – when we still haven’t made the plunge to go nuclear AND coal. Then the lights will go out.

    That will also be when Chicken Little comes home to roost – I would expect a massive public backlash by the UK public vs anyone who happens to be an available target.

    What are the options if the UK domestic power supply is inadequate by 2013+, – run lines from France? What happens to UK industry/economy if the power supply is intermittent?

  59. Melbourne has been cooler, while Perth and to a lesser extant Sydney have been warmer.
    Dec 08 mean for Mel 23.3 Long term mean 25.2 9 (ie -0.9`C)
    Jan 09 mean (so far) 23.9 Long term mean 25.9 (ie -2.0`C)
    Todays only 24 and tomorrow’s 19 and nothing over 30ish in the 7 day forecast.

    Flanagan, I think this is an issue of perception. Every slight upward blip is proclaimed in the media as the beginning of the end of the world. Every story about cooler weather is generally buried on page 40 or so. A site like this can at least bring balance to the reporting of weather by pointing out some of the meteorological events that due to not being part of current popular meme don’t get attention.

    People here are generally aware that weather events are not always significant in terms of climate, however given the one sided nature of media reporting on this issue, I think this site perfoms a good service in providing some semblance of balance to the reporting of what is occuring with our weather/climate.

  60. The most recent monthly climate summary for Sydney (December 08) shows:

    – Close to average rainfall along coast, above average rainfall in the west;
    – Wettest December in western Sydney since 1992;
    – Slightly above average maximum temperatures;
    – Above average minimum temperatures along coast, below average in the west;
    – Close to average sunshine.

    “Sydney Observatory Hill [in the midst of the heat island] recorded an average maximum of 25.9 °C, which is 0.7 °C above the historical average of 25.2 °C. However, Richmond’s average maximum of 27.1°C was 1.6°C below the historic average. Increased cloud and rain in western suburbs contributed to the lower average temperatures in the west.”

    Not much to skite about in that lot Mr Flanagan.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/nsw/sydney.shtml

    Around Australia it was much the same, with December temperatures below average in all States except Queensland.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/aus/summary.shtml

  61. Lucy Skywalker @ 14:07:15

    I was having a little fun with Richard, of EUeferendunm. Well worth seeing the link.

  62. My favorite Saskatoon weather story is when I was a going to school at the University of Saskatchewan. If I remember correctly, it was late February or March and when I went out side in the morning it was raining. A rare for Saskatoon chinook had blown in from the west and the temperature was about 5 deg. C with the roads a slushy mess. By about 5 PM when lectures were done the temperature outside was -35 deg. C. A drop of 40 degrees C in 9 hours with a cold wind from the north.
    My room mate at the time had an old Honda Accord hatchback and he offered me a ride home. The locks on the doors were frozen solid from the rain and cold and we did not have any lock deicer. My room mate tried the lock on the hatch back and it work so we crawled into the car from there. Upon getting in the car the hatch closed and the doors would not open from the inside, nor would the windows roll down. Not only that, but the manual release for the hatchback was broken long before my room mate owned the car. We were trapped in the car, but luckily the car started so we sat there while the car warmed up. After about 1/2 hour the car was warm on the inside but the doors refused to budge. We then proceeded to drive down to 8th street to a mall with underground parking and parked the car under a radiant heater until the doors un-thawed. It was a wild weather day and getting trapped in a car in the middle of the city makes it memorable.

  63. I was born in Saskatoon. I now live in Winnipeg, which I believe is the coldest city of its size in the world. Our December and January so far have been brutally cold. Right now in Winnipeg we have as much snow on the ground as we usually get in a whole winter, and we can get snowfalls right up to May. I wish we were experiencing a warming trend!

  64. Grahame. What we actually need is a little scare to show the UK people how close we are to the lights going out. If say two stations went down because of coincidence then people might see what we’re facing. The future is a connection to Iceland for electric from their new geothermal stations – but it’s a major project, and there’s always the risk that Iceland could be partially wiped off the map by some volcanic event – leaving us light (!) yet again. The only true answer is for us to go nuclear (unfortunately) right now AND coal. But long term we need to be independent. There’s geothermal holes being drilled in Cornwall right now as testing. It’s the only safe/endless/unbroken form of easy power generation. Future voltaic cells might promise something, but not if the sun isn’t shining! Wind is unreliable and ugly. Tidal is possible, but expensive. Like I said, people need to be shown that we’re on a knife edge here. If global cooling is real then we are in trouble.

  65. Steve Berry

    As a Brit in the normally balmy South West of England I try to put over this ‘energy on a knife edge’ business in our local media, but there is hysteria from the greens when you mention Coal, nuclear and rubbish incineration. I think they genuinely believe that renewables such as wind and solar can be used as the base source of power instead of recognising it as a ‘top up’ which even then is highly dependent on the weather. Its very cold AND still in the south west today and not a watt of power would be generated. Personally I would like to see much more done with tidal/wave-the sea is a few hundred yards away and its awesome power totally eclipses other renewables (that are realstic in UK circumstances) and of course its regular as clockwork.

    I suspect the lights will have to go out before people start taking notice.

    TonyB

  66. I’ve been living in Saskatoon for about 8 years now, and believe it or not, one of the things that keeps me here is that it’s warmer than my home town. For those of you who have never heard of it, here’s our general tourism shot. A little something that might be worth keeping an eye on is if the birth rate goes up come August / September, as we Saskatoonians get a bit frisky during these cold snaps ; )

  67. Steve Berry – re waking people up with a power outage.

    Hope you Brits do better than we did in California a few summers ago after our blackouts. The geniuses who control such things mandated that our power shall be 20 percent renewable by 2010, and 33 percent by 2020. From their website:

    “The RPS program requires electric corporations to increase procurement from eligible renewable energy resources by at least 1% of their retail sales annually, until they reach 20% by 2010.”

    source: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc/energy/electric/renewableenergy/

    California at least has the sunshine, and some wind in certain areas, plus a bit of geothermal. We also have serious waves near the coast, but that will never fly with our enviro-whackos…

    California also purchases hydroelectric power from our neighbors Washington and Nevada, nuclear power from Arizona, and natural gas from Texas.

    I agree with you that wave-power and coal are the way to go for the U.K., but even wave-power is out when the ice gets thick!

    Roger E. Sowell
    Marina del Rey, California

  68. A little fun we’re having in the Great State. (Cook Inlet extends south from Anchorage.)

    …JANUARY YEAR GROUP ANALYSIS AND OUTLOOK…

    ICE EDGE LOCATIONS IN THE BERING SEA ARE 30 TO 40 PERCENT ABOVE
    NORMAL. ACTUAL ICE EDGE POSITIONS THIS YEAR ARE 60 TO 100 NM SOUTH OF
    THE SAME TIME LAST YEAR. ICE IN COOK INLET IS 25 TO 35 PERCENT ABOVE
    NORMAL AND EVEN GREATER IN KACHEMAK BAY.

    THE YEAR GROUP FOR JANUARY IS 1975 FOLLOWED BY 2000. BOTH OF THESE
    YEARS WERE DURING LONG PERIODS OF LA NINA CONDITIONS IN THE PACIFIC.
    THIS YEAR WE ARE ALSO IN A LA NINA THAT IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE INTO
    THE SPRING. LA NINA WINTERS ARE USUALLY COLDER THAN NORMAL IN ALASKA.
    SEA ICE CONDITIONS IN JANUARY 2000 WERE SLIGHTLY MORE SEVERE THAN IN
    2009 AND SLIGHTLY LESS ADVANCED IN THE BERING DURING 1975.

    THE BERING SEA AND COOK INLET WILL HAVE EXTREME ICE SEASONS THIS YEAR
    WITH MUCH GREATER THAN NORMAL ICE AREAS. EXPECT THE ICE EDGE TO REACH
    POSITIONS NEAR AND BEYOND THE BERING SHELF SEVERAL TIMES THROUGH
    FEBRUARY AND INTO EARLY MARCH. ICE WILL MOVE IN AND OUT OF SAINT PAUL
    WITH PASSING WEATHER SYSTEMS. ICE WILL SURROUND SAINT GEORGE AT
    TIMES FROM LATE JANUARY THROUGH FEBRUARY. ICE WILL ALSO DEVELOP AND
    RETREAT THEN RE-DEVELOP ALONG THE BERING SIDE OF THE ALASKA PENINSULA
    THROUGH EARLY FEBRUARY.

    ICE WILL CONTINUE IN LOWER COOK INLET INTO APRIL AND UPPER COOK INLET
    THROUGH APRIL. ICE THICKNESS IN COOK INLET WILL GROW UP TO 30 TO 36
    INCHES FOR AREAS NORTH OF KALGIN ISLAND BY EARLY FEBRUARY.

    http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/marfcst.php?fcst=FZAK80PAFC

  69. ehoxes,
    OT, but I thought I’d brag a bit, since I was the guy responsible for the compositing work on that Saskatoon Shines promo shot you posted. :)

  70. Flanagan

    I particularly like seeing Saskatoon referred to as a small canadian Village. How many “Villages” in all of Australia are larger? 3? 4? Makes you sound a bit provincial. :)

    It still looks to me like the winter pattern we see in a La Nina year in North America. Perhaps not quite as dramatic but the snow storms have tracked mighty far south across the midwest.

    Is a La nina developing or not?

  71. OT. The world appears to have had a meltdown in the last three days, NOAA just published the 1/8/09 SST. The entire Arctic and Antarctic ice caps appear to have melted since 1/5/09 along with any ice on the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and around Greenland.

    I work near DC and, looking out the window, I don’t see 5 feet of water lapping at the doors of my building, so I’m thinking this is an error of some kind.

  72. The UK is having it’s coldest spell in 10 years, the sea is frozen off the south coast for an offshore distance of half a mile, for the first tim e since1966.

  73. Uh oh…there may be warming, after all.

    Los Angeles’ forecast is for 70 F temperatures over the weekend. Windy, too, so we will probably get more wildfires.

  74. Steve Berry (13:58:10) :
    What are the options if the UK domestic power supply is inadequate by 2013+, – run lines from France? What happens to UK industry/economy if the power supply is intermittent?

    LNG Tankers? TGP Teekay Gas Partners… nice dividend, uptrend off a low price… hmmm… Does England have LNG offloading facilities? (I think I’m going to buy some TGP…)

  75. Jeff Alberts (12:31:57) :
    tarpon (12:04:19) :
    Stand aside, Canadians and polar bears will begin migrating south soon. You don’t want to run into neither, as one is hungry, the other is probably really pissed off from all the cold.
    Canadians don’t get pissed off, they become comedians and game show hosts. ;)

    Don’t some of them become overacting star ship captains and blast everything that doesn’t wear a too tight skirt?

    But I’m not worried, how many flapjacks can a hungry Canadian eat anyway? It’s that pissed off polar bear that has me worried… have to turn on the pool heater and put out the oversized pool chairs!

  76. Steve Berry (01:40:34) :
    The only true answer is for us to go nuclear (unfortunately) right now AND coal. But long term we need to be independent. There’s geothermal holes being drilled in Cornwall right now as testing. It’s the only safe/endless/unbroken form of easy power generation.[…]Tidal is possible, but expensive.

    There is also wave power. Waves are always present, are not as ugly as tidal nor as expensive, are just as ‘renewable’ as geothermal and very safe. It’s also easily distributed about an island… no single point of failure cable to Iceland. Small modular sizes for isolated towns and rocks ;-)

    See: http://www.oceanpowertechnologies.com/

    Ticker is Nasdaq: OPTT or London AIM: OPT (a volatile start up phase company. On a fairly clear bottom and with reasonable prospects as a gamble, but very volatile… $14 to $4 in 1 year, then up to $10 and back to $6 in one month…) I’d like to buy some as a statement, but don’t know if I could live with the bouncy bouncy…

    They make a ‘power buoy’ that ought to also work well for floating research systems, oil rigs, maybe even ships at sea ;-) The U.S. Navy is putting a field of these in off of Hawaii (these are not toys…) and they claim up to 100’s of megawatt fields are available / possible.

    I think it’s a neat technology, but I’m not so sure as a stock. There are other similar companies, but this is the only traded one that I know of. One has a snake like floating thing and is putting a field in off of Portugal, I think, and IIRC it was also a UK company.

    A field of these about 100 miles by 1 mile would supposedly power all of California. I think I saw a claim that 100 x 100 miles would power all of Great Britain. (About 150 km x 150 km) Basically, you have far more wave power available than needed and only a small part of the ocean needs to be planted with the buoys. And unlike windmills they don’t macerate birds and most of the device is below the water so unseen.

    I’d rate it better than coal, nuke, wind, solar et. al. for someone with lots of ocean… though I’d sleep better with some nuke or coal base load too…

  77. E.M.Smith (00:28:18) :

    “Does England have LNG offloading facilities?”

    Milford Haven (a fjord and one of the deepest natural harbours in the world as well as one of the busiest by tonnage) in Pembrokeshire (“the little England beyond Wales”) is near to completing the largest LNG terminal in Europe. The constructors, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, are also riding the crest of the alternative wave with their recent windmill tech aquisitions.

    All puns intended.

  78. by E.M.Smith

    Don’t some of them become overacting star ship captains and blast everything that doesn’t wear a too tight skirt?

    I think that’s the same as a comedian, perhaps unintentionally so.

  79. E M Smith

    I am constantly championing wave/tidal for the UK with the arguement that its predictable, limitless, doesn’t create ugly scars on our most beautiful landscapes, and no part of our country is further than 70 miles from the sea.

    Unfortunately the windmill and solar power companies have got the ear of the Govt. Both sources would have been totally useless here for much of the winter what with cloudy skies and little wind at times. Does anyone here remember the Salter Duck from the seventies (obviously I’M not old enough but someone else told me about it…)

    I would gladly invest in some sensible wave co but there are very few credible ones out there-astonishing when you think 70% of the planet consists of their raw material

    TonyB

  80. There’s a professor in England who’s been championing deep geothermal and made a good case for it when I read his article about three or four years ago.

  81. Roger Knights

    I understand that even ten foot down the temperature is a constant 10C. That is a great resource when the temperature is -5C but less useful when the external temperature is 12C! I have some friends in Switzerland whose village taps into a geo thermal source and his total energy bill is around 150$ Contrast that with our silly energy prices. I would love to generate my own but its not practical- far too costly for any return and doesnt provide the power when its most needed-in the winter.

    TonyB

  82. When I worked in Germany in the 1980’s I found that home heating was from hot water generated at nearby industries. This was a form of cogeneration.

    The industrial source had a hot liquid that required cooling, and rather than build a cooling tower and waste the heat to the atmosphere, cooled the hot liquid against a closed loop of circulating warm water. The warm water became hotter, and was pumped into the town or city where it heated homes and businesses.

    Roger E. Sowell
    Marina del Rey, California

  83. Roger Sowell (12:40:51) :
    Hope you Brits do better than we did in California a few summers ago after our blackouts. The geniuses who control such things mandated that our power shall be 20 percent renewable by 2010, and 33 percent by 2020.

    Hmmm convert 10 percent of our power in 1 or so years. (About 10% is already hydro et. al.). It will be hard just to get the mandatory public hearings out of way in a year. Looks like power outages again. Sigh.

    Many of us still have our ‘preparation’ gear from the last time the government decided to screw around with the electric system. I have 2 generators and can always make my own electricity using gasoline. (One bought before the outages, the other bought during – a little Honda my wife could start.)

    Should gasoline become short, I also have a 1 Kw inverter that I bought at Costco for about $70 that can be hooked to my car battery and used to make survival power. The best low cost solution for emergency power, IMHO. My car is an old Mercedes Diesel that runs quite well on salad oil, kerosene, jet fuel, etc. unlike the newer finicky ones; so worst case is I go to the store and buy some salad oil. I don’t expect excess taxation of food.

    I agree with you that wave-power and coal are the way to go for the U.K., but even wave-power is out when the ice gets thick!

    Ouch! I hadn’t thought about the ocean freezing. We don’t do that in California.

    For anyone facing such potential power failures, my experience has been that Honda makes the best generators. They have a dandy little 1 kW unit about the size of an overnight suitcase. Easy to start and runs forever on a liter of gasoline. (well, about 6 to 8 hours depending on demand). It’s enough for lights, electronics, fridge, and basics. (I.e. no dishwasher and HVAC) They have nice larger ones up to a few kW.

    http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/products/Generators

    Honda’s are Very Quiet. 56 dba for my 1kW unit IIRC. Neighbors don’t even know when it’s running. My big generator sounds like someone paving streets… it is a Briggs & Stratton engine with nearly no muffler. We mostly just use the Honda now, unless we need to wash clothes and run the central HVAC at the same time as an emergency hits ;-) If we end up needing to go that route again, I’m going to sell it to a desperate person living well away from me and buy the Honda 3 kW unit.

    If power failures become common, I’m off to the car parts store to get some batteries and rig up the inverter as a UPS. When we have power I’ll charge the batteries and when we don’t we’ll still have basic lights and electronics with no action on our part. (i.e. the ‘basics’ will live off the inverter all the time with batteries float charged when we have power. A large scale UPS.) I’d started buying parts for this when we tossed out Governor Greyout Davis and the issue became moot… though maybe only for a while it seems…

    I often wonder if the folks pushing all this stuff down our throats realize that it’s not a good idea to force people to make electricity with a gasoline generator and put 200 lbs of lead and acid in their garage… no, they never see their unintended consequences, only their fantasies of what “ought” to be…

    You have no idea how much it galls me that I have to do this kind of stuff just to make sure I have reliable electricity. Lord save me from my government.

    At any rate, a small standby generator and a medium sized UPS works wonders, add in a wood insert to the fireplace & a camp stove and you’re all set. About $2,000 all told I’d guess. Best of luck to all my relatives in the UK dealing with this in years to come.

  84. FWIW, http://www.centralmainediesel.com has a nice list of generators.

    I’d gone off looking for the Honda 12kW Diesel (only to find it was now discontinued: http://www.hayesequipment.com/eb12d.htm ) and discovered this page.

    Two things I learned there:

    1) There are now lots of folks making 3 fuel generators, including my favorite Honda 1kW. I want a new one now! (Propane, Natural Gas, & Gasoline). It ought to run for days and days and days on a large propane bottle or ‘forever’ with a natural gas connection. Cost was a bit higher at about a kilobuck. One of these, or more likely it’s 3kW sibling, in the garage (vented outside!) next to the gas clothes drier and I’d be all set. Only thing missing is the co-generation water heater fitting!

    2) You can get Lister type Diesels already set up for vegetable oil! 3kW and 6kW. These are probably India origin (their Listers are good, but ought to be cleaned and inspected before first use… sometimes some casting sand or paint chips are left inside…) Listers are very ‘funny fuel’ tolerant and since they run ‘way slow’ they tend to last a few hundred years in continuous use ;-) Well, maybe not quite that long… AND it is already set up for a hose to the hot water heat exchanger! If I were on a farm somewhere I’d be placing my order for one of these today.

    Almost makes me wish I was living in the frozen north (or central or east) and suffering power outages so I’d have an excuse to buy one. Almost.

    I assume that they make 50Hz models for the EU / UK and there is someone selling them there. At any rate, if you have a couple of thousand $$, there is no reason to put up with power outages and it looks like you can have your choice of at least 5 fuels: Diesel, Gasoline, Vegetable Oil, Propane, and Natural Gas (sometimes in the same generator).

  85. 1) There are now lots of folks making 3 fuel generators, including my favorite Honda 1kW. I want a new one now! (Propane, Natural Gas, & Gasoline). It ought to run for days and days and days on a large propane bottle or ‘forever’ with a natural gas connection. Cost was a bit higher at about a kilobuck. One of these, or more likely it’s 3kW sibling, in the garage (vented outside!) next to the gas clothes drier and I’d be all set. Only thing missing is the co-generation water heater fitting!

    I’ve got a 4 cyl 10kw propane generator attached to my house. It’s fantastic! And a dedicated 120 gallon bottle means it will run for quite a long time. It’s got its own dedicated shed as well. Came with the house. One of the guys who services it twice a year says the City of Tacoma (WA) has an identical one used as a backup for their water treatment facilities. It’s definitely an industrial model.

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