The NOAA/NCDC 2008 temperature map shows near normal USA in 2008

conus-jan-dec-2008

Click for source image

No red dots on this map. The map above appears to be representing Weather Service Forecast Office forecast zones, though I’m not absolutely sure since no reference is included with the map. If so, then each of these divisions is an area where a Zone Forecast is issued for. These are what we see as our regular daily forecasts on TV, Newspapers, and Radio. The map above is from NCDC’s research section and was brought to my attention by WUWT commenter “pearlandaggie”.

Update: It turns out they are “climate divisions” see here with thanks to Basil.

The public hasn’t been widely exposed to the map above. The map below is what was in the latest press release.

If we just look at the month of December, the USA still looks cooler than normal or near normal for the most part, with the southeast USA being the exception:

conus-stateranks-2008

Click for source image

NOAA says in the press release:

South Carolina and Georgia had their sixth and eighth, respectively, warmest December on record.

The first map was not part of the press release, the second one was.  I wonder why NOAA chose not to include a yearly map presentation like the first one above from their research section, but only chose to show one for December 2008 even though the title of the press release was:

NOAA: 2008 Temperature for U.S. Near Average, was Coldest Since 1997; Below Average for December

It would seem to me that if you run a press release about the entire year of 2008, you’d put in a map for 2008 also. It’s not like they didn’t have one available.

To their credit, they did include the time series, but as my years of television experience have told me, that isn’t often as easily interpreted by the general public.

Here is what the CONUS temperature time series looks like with 2008 added, as included in the press release:

conus-2008-timeseries

NOAA says in their press release:

For 2008, the average temperature of 53.0 degrees F was 0.2 degree above the 20th Century average.

In other words; near normal.

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Jon

Looks like Texas needs to be broken into about 4 more pieces. maybe more. The one ‘cooler’ part from Texarkana on the Arkansas border to outside Houston is a MASSIVE area covering swamps, forests, grasslands, and just about every other condition possible.

MC

Looks like the hockey stick went limp.

Tarnsman

Noted that Long Island is the only “Much Above Normal” section in the country. Maybe that has to do with the media’s hysteria over AGW??
Meanwhile, been praying to the weather gods that the mother of all blizzards hits DC next Tuesday. Not likely, but that would definately cause The One to strike any passages about the need to address Global Warming from his speech. ^_^

kim

Near, but below, normal. Waddya bet Long Island is one giant Urban Heat Island. Downwind as it is from the West.
======================================

Chris Schoneveld

And, quid pro quo, shows a warmer Siberia and a warmer Europe (except England, France and Spain). But that will be subject for another post, I presume.
REPLY: actually we covered that back in October…the Siberian anomaly is in question – Anthony

DaveE

Tarnsman (09:02:46) :
Meanwhile, been praying to the weather gods that the mother of all blizzards hits DC next Tuesday. Not likely, but that would definately cause The One to strike any passages about the need to address Global Warming from his speech. ^_^
Not a chance. It will be confirmation of the instability of the climate system caused by human emissions of CO2
DaveE.

A bit of discussion in the comments regarding this at Lucia’s blog here: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/giss-temp-jan-20010-dec-2008/

DaveE

See! I’m getting the hang of this AGW stuff. 😛
DaveE.

crosspatch

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON – The chairman of a key House committee says he wants to pass a climate change bill before Memorial Day.
California Rep. Henry Waxman said Thursday the environment and U.S. economy depend on congressional action to confront the threat of climate change.

What imbeciles. They actually believe they can regulate climate through legislation. Term limits, PLEASE!

This kind of behaviour about show how is climate and temperature is much better than in Spain.
The internet-newspaper most read in spanish: “el Mundo” has changed his strategy. Now global climate is not warming, …. is changing.
In this article in spanish
http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2009/01/09/clima/1231524398.html
they explain the cold winter with the previous warming:
” .. . When the Pole is hotter (ie, having gone from -30 C to -22 º C), with climate change, the polar jet, the air flowing river 11 kilometers high, is a few hundred kilometers to the North did so in 1960, for example. . so that meanders just come on stream when Spain are very deep, very deep and are sudden and intense.”
If climate is warmer, it’s because antropogenic global warming. If it’s colder, too.

Joel

Isn’t it funny how the perceieved warming trend over the last 25 – 30 years coincide with the beginning of satellite records for sea ice? It’s even more prevelent on NCDC’s global climate summary page. Look at the global mean temperature over land and ocean graph. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/2008/ann/global-jan-dec-error-bar-pg.gif
Is it possible that NASA and NOAA needed some kind of validity to warrent additional funding from the US government?

Julie L

I agree re: Texas… and when I look at the western states it looks to me like the divisions’ borders have more to do with population (coverage of weather datasets?) than geography.
Anthony, thanks so much for this website. Unlike Nicole (from the comments on other threads) I actually read stuff here and was EDUCATED. My dad has been an anti-AGW dude for a while, but I turned him on to WUWT – and now we have a great time dissing AGW.
I thought that this winter seemed more like what I remember here in Texas. Now I know… it is!

blcjr

The first map is broken down into “Climate Divisions.” A national map, with details, is here:
http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/USclimate/map.html
These are “climate” divisions used in the historical analysis of climate, not weather forecasting. An article on them is here:
http://www.climas.arizona.edu/forecasts/articles/climatedivisions_July07.pdf
These differ from the climate divisions used in forecasting, from what I see here:
http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/poe_index.php?lead=1&var=t
REPLY: Thanks Basil, I’m writing from home today, sick with a major ear infection, and I just didn’t have the energy to search for it. I’ll correct it. Often the climate zones and forecast zones are very similar.- Anthony

Jeff Alberts

Tarnsman (09:02:46) :
Meanwhile, been praying to the weather gods that the mother of all blizzards hits DC next Tuesday. Not likely, but that would definately cause The One to strike any passages about the need to address Global Warming from his speech. ^_^

It’s not unusual for the Northern VA, Maryland, Delaware area to hit the teens or single digits in January, so all they need is some precip… Of course, true to UHI, downtown DC is always 5-10 degrees warmer than the suburbs.

Rob

Because AGW is a global phenomenon, it would be more interesting to see similar graphs/maps for the whole planet. For example, check out
[snip]

REPLY:
The main point of that article is to denigrate, so until Tamino cleans up his act, such as learning some manners, or maybe discussing Ian Joliffe in more detail, I will not be linking to it. You are welcome to cite another reference to global maps that does not include such denigrating language. – Anthony

Jeff Alberts

crosspatch (09:27:32) :
From the Associated Press:
“WASHINGTON – The chairman of a key House committee says he wants to pass a climate change bill before Memorial Day.
California Rep. Henry Waxman said Thursday the environment and U.S. economy depend on congressional action to confront the threat of climate change. ”
What imbeciles. They actually believe they can regulate climate through legislation. Term limits, PLEASE!

No, they just want to get the legislation in place before more cooling comes, so they can get their taxes going. It’s always incredibly hard to repeal such things than it is to establish them.

rreindeer

The groupings are climate divisions used for many years by NWS and NCDC. They are supposed to represent terrain/macro climates. These were done well before urbanization and heat island came about.

Robert Bateman

Pass a climate change bill to do what? Blow off a couple dozen Pinatubos and El Chicon’s with nukes to cool the Earth? Use a thousand airtankers to seed the skies with sunlight reflecting something?

Jeff Alberts

The word “normal” has no meaning here. So it’s more accurate to say it’s near the arbitrary mean.

Leon Brozyna

I assume that the divergence from normal as shown on the maps is based on a 30-year average, while the graph shows each year’s temperature in relation to the 20th century mean.

Rob (09:49:21) :
What is it that we are supposed to see on that page you posted other than a ignorant man insulting people whose point of view he isn’t able to grasp?

Joseph

Anthony, since the major thrust of the press release seems to be how 2008 “stacks up” against the period 1895 to the present, perhaps NOAA/NCDC felt it was inappropriate to include the Jan-Dec 2008 departure from normal map because it is a comparison to just 1971-2000?

It is really instructive to go back to “in the beginning” and see what was predicted by the UN IPCC and what has been the reality.

Ed Scott

Hansen’s ideology makes him ‘no longer qualified to be the keeper of the global temperature data’
http://www.icecap.us/
Icecap Note: I assure you Craig represents a large percentage of real meteorologosts and climatologists within or no longer members of the AMS. Hansen has become a charicature of himself and has done more harm to the science and through that the world’s people than any other single individual allegedly in the field with the possible exception of Michael Mann. Actually there are others, whose names could fill this page who deserve dishonorable mention but that is a story for another day. Look for a story coming today addressing Gavin Schmidt’s (Hansen’s GISS pitbull) on Real Climate (should be renamed Reinventing Climate) disappointment that the Tuesday Lou Dobbs show dared to feature skeptics and specifically on his criticisms of my comments on global temperature assessments which I will show why I stand fully by.

jae

The map for the year doesn’t look “normal” to me, at all and doesn’t seem to comport with 0.2 C above average. It looks quite green (cool) overall; whereas, “normal” would have a lot more white. ??

blcjr

Hope you get well soon, Anthony. My wife’s suffering through a tooth ache, trying to get the infection down prior to a root canal. Tooth aches; ear aches. Usually nothing “seriously” wrong, but boy do they hurt!
I’ve become very familiar with these sources in my work on utility rate case “weather normalization.”

Phil B.

Anthony, thanks for doing such a wonderful job with your website in keeping the public aware of what the real science is saying regarding climate change and climate data. Could you do me a favor and review the West Point Military Academy and Central Park Temperature plot at the following web link:
http://www.john-daly.com/stations/WestPoint-NY.gif
I would like to know your comments on the linked temperature plot – seems to me it is very supportive of urban heat island concept.
To me this plot is very important because it shows side by side over a period of about 180 years the temperature data for West Point, NY (located about 30 miles north of NYC) and Central Park right in the middle of New York City . You will see that there is basically no temperature rise at West Point over the entire 180 year period and West Point has remained a relatively rural area up to today. On the other hand, the Central Park data follows West Point until about 1880 and then it suddenly deviates and begins rising for the rest of the record up to the present. What the history of NYC tells me is that 1880 is just about the time that “urbanization” of Manhattan Island reached what is today now Central Park (recall that Manhattan grew northwards starting at the southern end of the island in the 1600s and filling out to the north end of the island by the early 20th century). Prior to 1880 the Central Park area was composed of woods and farm fields. Clearly urbanization arrived near Central Park right about the time the temperature started rising on the plot.
I’m asking your opinion on this and thought this might make a good topic for you to discuss in detail on your website. Isn’t this just a fantastic example of urban heat island effect and doesn’t it show just how much we really need to learn about how heat islands are corrupting the temperature data?

MarkW

This seems odd, the part of Arizona that was red (above normal) in the previous map, is blue (below normal) here.

Ed Scott

Stanford professor solves the alternative energy problem.
———————————————————————————————-
Professor Mark Jacobson discusses alternative energy sources
http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2009/january7/videos/407_flash.html
The US could replace all its cars and trucks with electric cars powered by wind turbines taking up less than 3 square kilometres – in theory, at least. That’s the conclusion of a detailed study ranking 11 types of non-fossil fuels according to their total ecological footprint and their benefit to human health.
REPLY: “wind turbines taking up less than 3 square kilometres”? Doubtful…we have that much area of wind turbines in California alone already.- Anthony

John Galt

The key to understanding AGW is to understand that everything supports the theory. Everything is consistent with the models and if the data doesn’t match, just adjust the data accordingly.

Bill Marsh

Hmm. What’s the deal with Georgia? (The State, not the country)
Top map shows it below normal to much below normal (and some record colder) while the bottom one says it was the 107th warmest on record. Somehow the two don’t jive for me.

Bill Marsh

Oh, never mind. The bottom is Dec, top Jan-Dec. (I need to read better).

Dell Hunt, Jackson, Michigan

Comparing this to the recently released GISS stats for 2008 at:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/
and close up of the graphic
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/Fig1.pdf
First of all, when comparing the US 2008 map here, to the US portion of the GISS 2008 map, why does GISS show that the US was predominately slightly above average light yellow, with a very small portion in upper great plains slightly below average, and the NOAA data showing the US is predominatly below average, with just a slight amount of above average in Southern Pacific coast, gulf coast, and mid Atlantic coast.
I realize that the two sets use a different base period, but does that explain for the full amount of the obvious discrepancy?

blcjr

Leon Brozyna (10:00:07) :
I assume that the divergence from normal as shown on the maps is based on a 30-year average, while the graph shows each year’s temperature in relation to the 20th century mean.

I believe the 30 year average is the current 1971-2000 period used by NOAA for climate normals. E.g., whenever you see “above normal” or “below normal,” et al., on a NOAA map, presume “normal” are the NOAA “normals” for 1971-2000.
You can play around with this yourself, choosing different base periods, here:
http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/USclimate/USclimdivs.html
For instance, using 1971-2000 for a base period, I get:
http://i41.tinypic.com/352onsx.jpg
Using 1998-2007 as the base, I get:
http://i39.tinypic.com/2508igg.jpg
There is only a limited set of base periods, but they are pretty representative of the periods most people use, or would be interested in. A nice thing about this interactive page is the ability to set the dates in such a way as to get seasons. So, for instance, last winter, versus the 1971-2000 base period:
http://i39.tinypic.com/29prllk.jpg
This is the tool Joe D’Aleo used to create an “analog forecast” for this winter:
http://icecap.us/images/uploads/DECMARUS.jpg
Fun tool!
Now, if I’ve had enough coffee to think straight, if 2008 was “below” or “much below” the 1971-2000 “normal” (for much of the US midsection) then it was even more below temps since 2000, since it was presumably warming 2001-2008 than 1971-2000.

james griffin

Did someone say it shows a warmer Europe……..look here mate we have’nt had a bloody BBQ in about three years.
Warm it aint!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have deniers desease over here… Not deniers of AGW b ut deniers of a proper debate,
Even the BBC’s top political journo Jeremy Paxman has said that.
However today has been very funny as HM Gov ernmebt has declared that Heathrow will get a third runway.
Let me make it perfectly clear that I feel very sorry for the people living under the flightpath but the reaction from the greens has beeb typically hilarious.
Cue Emma Thompson the actress (Oscar nominee or winner at some stage) losing hre rag about emissions and the hypocritial government blah blah blah.
My mid wandered….I started imagining how many time she had flown in the last 12 monyths through work and pleasure…holiday home southern europ>???
Perhaps.
And now the acid test…Emma, you have been nomiated for a Golden Globe, and you have been nominated for an Oscar…..
I will Be right there darling.
(Agent rings)..”booked thye flkights Emma”..thanks darling.
Wins…yippee…..I would like to thank everyone and everyone…and British Airways for bringing me here.
On the flight back home she reads a copy of the Gaurdian…an article on AGW and makes a vow to campaign for less emissions.

james griffin

PS sorry for all the spelling mistakes…pressed the wrong button…but you know what I meant.

RICH

GISS is prophecizing global temperature records in 2 years. This is quite a bold statement. Consider that we had a cool 2008 and that SC 24 will most likely have fewer sun spots than SC 23.
But then again, the entire north polar ice cap being gone in 5 years is even more bold (if not delusional) a statement.
Dr. James Hansen of GISS, also stated that there was “a good chance” for a “super El Nino” during the winter of 2007. A super El Nino did not happen.
Anyway, the sciene against carbon is science achieved through carbon. So in all fairness and in order to slow the progression of science, we are going to impose a world wide carbon tax. Please add this upcoming tax to your short list.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cellular Phone Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline At x (44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Sales Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal,
State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
Some bloggers here claim that capitalism has destroyed our country. I respectfully disagree. We are becoming a socialist nation…
“One society under dogs, indivisible, with promiscuity and welfare for all.”
-RICH

Mike86

Now of a little OT weather comment. It’s stinking cold in Iowa. Unofficial temp at 1:20 PM (my car isn’t NIST tracable) was -9F. Windchills predicted to be something like -40F or lower. They’re talking the wind changing and snow blowing for tonight, so I’m really looking forward to blowing the driveway in the early AM. Local paper has story about recording coldest temperatures in 15 yeaers. Just weather, but it’s still cold.
We’ve got a few square miles of wind turbines just to the East of here. They aren’t powering this low population, very rural state, so I don’t see them running a ton of electric cars etc.

Rob S

I am probably being dense …. but … each state has a number next to it that seems to indicate a range of coldest “1” to Warmest “114”. What does that related to ?.
REPLY: Years in the record, which is back to 1895. 2009-1895=114
So one with a 7 such as Minnesota, is the 7th coldest on record.
“South Carolina and Georgia had their sixth and eighth, respectively, warmest December on record.”
Which is why they are 106 and 109 respectively.
-Anthony

Paddy

The National Continuous Temperature graph shows that 1998 and 2004 or 05 were warmer than 1934. As I recall Steve McIntyre forced GISS to correct their data to reflect that 1934 was the hottest year in the history of the US. Your comment please.

Now the global temperature is changing….

Retired Engineer

Obviously anecdotal, but a friend in Annapolis (east of DC) tells me it is colder than {snip} (saving the moderator the trouble). Of course, that’s just weather. Little chance of snow on Tuesday, but we can dream.
Not sure I agree with ‘near normal’ as the map shows a lot more blue than red.

Mike M

How to spin a 21st century cooling trend into more proof of global warming in one easy step (and I’ve seen this in recent reports).
2008 is slightly higher than the 20th century average? Well in that case say is that 2008 is one of the warmest years on record.

Rich: “Some bloggers here claim that capitalism has destroyed our country. I respectfully disagree. We are becoming a socialist nation…”
“You are right: GISS and all the other are bureaucratic entities owned by the goverment. We have already lived that in south america.
A good example of the contrary were the “X” prize winners that managed to send a ship to the space with just 20 million dollars.

MarkW

REPLY: “wind turbines taking up less than 3 square kilometres”? Doubtful…we have that much area of wind turbines in California alone already.- Anthony
—————
He is probably talking about the footprint of the tower, not the area needed between the towers.

MarkW

Some bloggers here claim that capitalism has destroyed our country. I respectfully disagree. We are becoming a socialist nation…
————–
To some people, anything short of pure communism is some form of capitalism.
While the US is not as regulated as Europe, we haven’t had capitalism here for well over a century.

crosspatch

Seems Europe is reconsidering nuclear power in the wake of the latest gas problems.

Robert Bateman (09:53:48) :
“Pass a climate change bill to do what? Blow off a couple dozen Pinatubos and El Chicon’s with nukes to cool the Earth? Use a thousand airtankers to seed the skies with sunlight reflecting something?”
U.S. Senators Warner and Lieberman tried to get a climate change bill passed last session, it failed. Senator Boxer now is working with them to draft a bill that Obama would sign.
Obama is on record (made a video statement) that he wants a federal climate change law virtually identical to what California passed in 2006. The requirement is to reduce GHG by 2020 to the level emitted in 1990 — that is approximately 30 percent below business-as-usual. Further, reduce GHG by 2050 to 80 percent below the level emitted in 1990. That is approximately 87 percent below the business-as-usual case.
These are draconian measures. For some perspective, the Kyoto signers were required to reduce GHG to just a few percent below 1990 levels (depends on the country, not consistent for all) by the period 2008 – 2012. It has not happened. Costs were too high to comply.
These GHG, save-the-planet laws require such things as renewable fuels, renewable energy production (no GHG allowed), massive energy conservation projects such as replacing electric motors with very high-efficiency motors, cap-and-trade on carbon emissions, high-density housing, and a bunch of others. Basically, changing the way everyone lives.
For more information on the California law, see
http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/cc.htm
Roger E. Sowell
Marina del Rey, California

An Inquirer

An interesting anecdote from the thermometer on my car: When my car was parked next to my garage (25 feet from my heated house), the thermometer read 3 degrees above zero. 150 feet from the house, the reading was 0. When I got on the highway, the temperature was 9 below.
I recall that MMTS thermometers are located closer to buildings than previous thermometers, and now I wonder how much influence there is from heat escaping from a building.

Jon

Tarnsman, the simplistic beauty of ‘Climate Change’ is that no matter what happens you can blame America for having Air Conditioning, Cell Phones, SUV’s, whatever else you want to blame. Logic need not be a factor.