More on the 2012 US heat wave – not so hot if you look around at other locations

From Joe D’Aleo via email:

It will be remembered for the heat wave and dryness in a large area, but some facts may surprise you.

June actually ended up cooler than the normal in BOS (Boston) (-1.25F) and even NYC (Central Park -0.4F) and southeast despite the heat blast the end of the month (-2.0F in Jacksonville). Dulles despite the late month heat wave was SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL (-0.6F) while DCA nearer the White House and Congress was (+1.1F) and Atlanta despite the all time record was just +0.1F.

In the west, predictably with the cold PDO eastern Pacific, it was another cool start to summer. Seattle ended up -2.6F, Portland -2.4F, Spokane -2.5F.

The preliminary Climate Prediction Center temperature analysis for the month showed the core of the heat was over the central Rockies with +7.6F in Denver. The heat nosed in a few plumes to the east most notable relative to normal over the Great Lakes (Green Bay +5.8F and ORD (Chicago O’Hare) +5F).


Looking at the CPC map above, you can clearly see this as a regional weather event, one driven by a pattern shift. There’s no “climate change” component to this just as there was not any in the 2010 Russian Heat Wave, where the media also went crazy trying to tie it to “global warming”. Readers may recal last summer, where the same sort of pattern set up in the USA: Blocking highs contribute to unusually hot July in the Great Plains – Anthony


newest oldest most voted
Notify of
George E. Smith;

When you have an extensive La Nina event, doesn’t that automatically lead to USA drought conditions ?


Thanks for bringing sanity to my life! I do not completely understand all the technical information, but I do and can understand the concepts, and apply them backwards to understand even more. Keep on keepin on!

Patrick Davis

This is being spun out of all proportion here in Aus as proof positive of AGW. Then following newscasts claim the current cold/wet full dams cycle will be replaced with predicted dry/hot empty dams when the El Nino/La Nina cycle changes in the summer in line with AGW.

Steve C

And it’s raining! (much of the UK.) Definitely local.

weather patterns are probably irrelevant, but we are having a mild, not so warm summer in Greece… So, AGW exists in the US, but not in the Eastern Med.


I live in Western Australia but am in the UK at the moment where it has been cold and miserable since the end of March with the wettest June on record having just ended. But why was March so warm and the next 3 months so cold and wet? Surely climate change isn’t so variable. Is it? Or is it just weather. However in South West Australia the climate has changed to be hotter and drier, a change that began in around 1976. But that start time isn’t really in line with the increase in CO2 or the onset of global warming. There’s a lot of simplistic talk from the proponents of CAGW that doesn’t really address anomalies


and very gold in Australia the carbon tax is the causing the cold conditions


Washington and part of Oregon have been stuck on the cold and wet side of the jet stream until today. We’ve reached 80 degrees only 3 times, and might finally bump 90 next week.
NOAA has a beautiful map showing the sharpness and persistence of the stuck jet:

matt v.

Joe ,
The same pattern last year.? Joe , you are absolutely right there . Here in Central Ontario we had 16 days of above 30C in the month of July 2011.The monthly average was over 30C. Tim Ball is also right on about the changing pattern in the Rossby waves in the Circumpolar jet stream switching from zonal type of pattern to Meridional pattern which seem to lock in for a longer periods giving the false impression that this all caused by global warming .This creates regions of wet and cold weather like the North American west coast and UK and right beside it extra warm regions like Central US and Canada.Gardening in some parts of BC is running 2-3 weeks behind . In Ontario it is about the same amount ahead.So these are all regional changes caused by natural climate patterns that shift periodically. I see no global pattern to the warming if this was caused by CO2

One nice thing about New England in June is we sometimes get “backdoor cold fronts”, sort of a sea breeze that means business, that undercuts hot air and brings chilly and damp air from the Atlantic for a day or two. Not the nicest of weather, but my Swedish genes much prefer the cool to any heat wave.
We started out with some cool weather, and our mid-month heat wave was bracketed with some cool weather too. The warm finish tipped expectations to thinking it was a warm month.
I don’t see graphs for Boston, but the year is summarized nicely at
Local data (good weather station, lousy CRN rating site, next to house trees, and driveway):

mysql> select dt, lo_temp, hi_temp, (lo_temp + hi_temp)/2 from daily where dt >= '2012-6-1';
| dt         | lo_temp | hi_temp | (lo_temp + hi_temp)/2 |
| 2012-06-01 |    48.9 |    73.2 |              61.05000 |
| 2012-06-02 |    52.6 |    58.0 |              55.30000 |
| 2012-06-03 |    53.3 |    60.9 |              57.10000 |
| 2012-06-04 |    49.8 |    54.2 |              52.00000 |
| 2012-06-05 |    49.5 |    61.3 |              55.40000 |
| 2012-06-06 |    50.2 |    68.3 |              59.25000 |
| 2012-06-07 |    51.6 |    72.7 |              62.15000 |
| 2012-06-08 |    52.5 |    79.2 |              65.85000 |
| 2012-06-18 |    51.3 |    67.8 |              59.55000 |
| 2012-06-19 |    57.0 |    79.6 |              68.30000 |
| 2012-06-20 |    62.3 |    95.9 |              79.10000 |
| 2012-06-21 |    68.9 |    94.7 |              81.80000 |
| 2012-06-22 |    66.0 |    92.1 |              79.05000 |
| 2012-06-23 |    60.1 |    88.2 |              74.15000 |
| 2012-06-24 |    54.7 |    84.9 |              69.80000 |
| 2012-06-25 |    58.7 |    69.8 |              64.25000 |
| 2012-06-26 |    55.1 |    69.3 |              62.20000 |
| 2012-06-27 |    59.3 |    71.6 |              65.45000 |
| 2012-06-28 |    56.5 |    84.0 |              70.25000 |
| 2012-06-28 |    56.5 |    84.0 |              70.25000 |
| 2012-06-29 |    57.8 |    91.4 |              74.60000 |
| 2012-06-30 |    57.0 |    88.0 |              72.50000 |

June in the UK was not only very wet, it was also one of the coldest on record since 1910.

John Gault

June was super-mild down here in Jacksonville Florida.


If we had any honest climate researchers, they’d see this decade as a unique opportunity to answer the question “What moves the weather?”… because this is an especially unmoved period.
We know that the problem is stuck jet streams, and we know it’s happened before, and we think the current trough in the cycle is stronger than the previous trough in the 1930s. Should be an ideal opportunity for measurement and experimentation, in the same way that an eclipse or transit is an ideal opportunity to measure details of the solar surface.

M Courtney

Here’s a hypothesis to shoot down.
AGW is real and critically urgent but sulphates are keeping the world cool.
The US has switched to shale gas reducing sulphate emissions.
Therefore the US is frying while the rest of the world is fine.
Of course, the green answer is to switch to coal with suplhate scrubbers that can be turned on and off as required.
Actually I just had “AGW is real and critically urgent but sulphates are keeping the world cool” put to me by people on the Guardian website; one of whom thought that more CO2 would expand the pathlength for absorption so Beer Lambert’s Law didn’t apply. It’s a tricky thing the differnece between liquids and gases.

Bill Yarber

I moved to a suburb of Atlanta in June of ’87 and we had several days (possibly two straight weeks) of 100F temps. August was always uncomfortable due to high heat and humidity, but the evenings were bearable. That happened every year until 1996, when Atlanta hosted the Olympics. It was the first time in nearly 20 years that Atlanta did not experience at least one 100F day. The Atlanta Olympic committee had convinced the AOC that Atlanta had a moderate climate by showing the average temperature of 76-82F. They took the daytime highs and nighttime lows and averaged them. Everyone was surprised how “cool” it was during the Olympics. It was fantastic meeting and talking to people from all over the world. The savings in AC costs almost paid for our tickets to the games [ not quite 🙂 ].
I moved to FL in June ’03 and Atlanta had not had a 100F day since ’95. I made a point to track the reported highs each year since we had experienced 9 straight years of 100F days during the summer but none after ’95. It is only recently that they started having 100+F days again. Cycles within cycles within cycles, that’s what weather is. However, with the way Hansen has manipulated the US climate record, who knows what the “official” data says now.

The simple statistics that puts the lie to global warming:
“U.S. mortality rates peak in December and January and are at their lowest points from mid-July to mid-August.”
If global warming is a bad thing for the US, explain this graph. Why is the death rate highest in winter and lowest in summer? If warming is bad, it should be the reverse.

U.S. Deaths by Month, 1995-2002
Total Deaths Avg. per Day
January 1,824,419 7,356.53
February 1,600,464 7,081.70
March 1,694,060 6,830.89
April 1,553,365 6,472.35
May 1,544,836 6,229.18
June 1,461,902 6,091.26
July 1,495,354 6,029.65
August 1,479,771 5,966.82
September 1,452,281 6,051.17
October 1,563,801 6,305.65
November 1,560,398 6,501.66
December 1,729,926 6,975.51
1995-2002 Total 18,960,577 6,488.90
Calculated from National Center for Health Statistics data

Across the developed world, death rates are highest in winter and lowest in summer. Contrary to what so called “scientists” would have us believe, warmth is obviously a good thing for people.


Without having written records, that’s what I would’ve guessed for west MD. Some hot, some cool weather. There was a bunch of mornings down to 40-45F in mid-June. Precip (3.69″) was right on average (but less to the east).

Sigvaldi Ásgeirsson

Thank you for the information. Here in Iceland, we have had a warm June and the driest one ever (for 165 years of measurement). But we have had a warmer June 7 times. This goes for western Iceland. On the eastern side however, June was colder than average, not very sunny, but drier than average. I guess you can´t really blame local heatwaves on climate change with any certainty, nor can you blame cold spells in local areas on a cooling climate. Climate is the sum of weather events for years and years. I guess one must measure average temperatures over a long time span in every corner of the planet and use those measurements to find out, which way the average temperature of the surface of the planet has been moving over a long time interval, in order to find out whether the heat is on or not. Then there are some natural causes for fluctuations in average temperature. Whether a warmer climate during the last 10 years, warmer than at any other 10 years´ period since the start of measurements, can be ascribed to climate change effectuated by the human race must then be assessed, since natural causes must be ruled out. I believe this last part is what is debated – not that the last 10 years were the hottest 10 years´ period since measurements started. Living as I do, close to the arctic cirle and being active in afforestation in a country almost void of trees/forests, I can´t help welcoming a warmer climate. But then should predictions of a 2°C heating of the atmosphere in the coming decades come true, I must also be ready to see droves of climate change refugees from countries such as Bangladesh, to name but one, migrating to my country. As it is, we are a big island with a small population. A doubling of the population would be beneficial, since it is costly to finance a modern communications’ system in a sparsely populated country. But not all are so lucky. I can imagine, that a country as crowded as England, would not become a better place, should its population be doubled within the 21st century.


We had record-breaking heat this summer here in Colorado Springs, which helped keep the fires going on the western edge of the city. Think the heat has ended — yesterday, the monsoonal flow coming up from Mexico has kicked in, and the NWS is now predicting thunderstorms every day (50% chance today). Had 1/2 inch of rain in the fire area yesterday, which should have helped quite a bit. Highs in the latter part of the 7-day forecast are predicted to be in the low 80s.
Personally, I’d rather have 100 degree weather than freezing cold — I HATE the cold.

Still a comparatively cool damp Summer up here in the Pacific North West. This Colorado hot spell looks more like last years Russian heat wave.

John Tofflemire

NOAA’s average GTA (of the 12-month moving average) over the past 15 years is .5255 degrees Celsius. The average of the 12-month moving average for the past six months (December to May) is .5070 degrees Celsius. In other words, the record breaking warmth in the US has been more than equaled by cool temperatures in the rest of the world. Here in Japan we have had, for the most part, unusually cool weather since January of this year. The tsuyu monsoon rains this year have been less than usual however, in spite of the relatively sunny and dry weather, the temperatures are at present just slightly above average. If we get the typical rains we usually get in early July then temperatures here will definitely be below normal.

Gerald Machnee

Well, has anyone noticed the Seth Borenstein article where he quotes the usual supects such as Trenberth suggesting this is the predicted effects of global warming?


If I understand this article, what Joe is saying is that just because it’s getting warmer globally it doesn’t mean it’s global warming.

Jim S

We’re still wearing jacket well into the afternoon and in the evenings/night time here in Portland, OR. Still sleeping under blankets…..

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Gerald Machnee said on July 4, 2012 at 9:40 am:

Well, has anyone noticed the Seth Borenstein article where he quotes the usual supects such as Trenberth suggesting this is the predicted effects of global warming?



Sou, since Joe clearly doesn’t say or even infer in the article that it’s getting warmer globally, we are forced by your own stated condition to conclude that you didn’t understand the article. Try reading it again; it’s short and clearly presented. Maybe your mom can help you with it.

Eve Stevens

That is the stupid part about the “the face of global warming” articles. This is not global. First, half the planet is in the winter season and it is cold. Of the northern hemisphere, the UK, Europe, and half of North America are colder than ususal. The fact that half of North America is warmer than usual does not equal global warming. Maybe they are confused by the global part.
Did I mention how lovely it was to be in the Bahamas until the end of May and not Canada? I will not see a winter in Canada again. That helps health, it does not hurt it.

Gerald Machnee says:
July 4, 2012 at 9:40 am

Well, has anyone noticed the Seth Borenstein article where he quotes the usual supects such as Trenberth suggesting this is the predicted effects of global warming?

Well, several of us regulars have. Check out
Note the date – 07/03….

Remember folks, AGW is presupposed – and therefore EVERY weather event in every locale (cold here, hot there, dry in one place, damp in another, more snow in this place, less snow in that) is evidence of human-induced climate change.

Jeff Alberts

George E. Smith; says:
July 4, 2012 at 12:36 am
When you have an extensive La Nina event, doesn’t that automatically lead to USA drought conditions ?

If you want to over-generalize, sure, but not really.

Most of the southern corn belt is turning blonde-ish with little tassellings. Lots of barely waist high stalks too. The earliest planted corn did better but the green is getting a bit pale. I just traveled much of it. Am told the bottom of the northern corn belt is much the same.
We need some good soaking rains, and in the next few critical days.


In the UK, June averaged out at just 13.5 deg C. The hottest since 1659 was 1846, at 18.2 C, followed by 1676 at 18 C, followed by 1826 at 17.3, followed by 1822 at 17.1. In the top ten hottest June’s, 1970 just creeps in at 16.4 C. In the hottest 20 June temps, 1940, 1950, 1960 and 2003 get a look in. So June in the UK is 4.7 deg C colder than it was 206 years ago and this is global warming?


Sorry, 166 years, but you get the drift.

Silver Ralph

And its been f-f-freezing in NW Europe too. Not to mention the wettest summer on record.

Brian H

John Gault says:
July 4, 2012 at 5:52 am
June was super-mild down here in Jacksonville Florida.

???? What does super-mild mean? In my language (English) it means moderate, slightly warmer than too cool. So “super-moderate”?? Sounds like “extremely average”. “Excessively usual”.

It’s almost like weather doesn’t equal climate.