Climate and State High Temperature Records – Where's the Beef?


Guest post by Steve Goreham

The summer of 2012 will be remembered as a hot one by most Americans. Beginning with an unseasonably warm spring, the year continued with a prolonged heat wave into July and August in the Midwest and other locations. Temperatures exceeded triple digits for days in Colorado, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, and many other heartland states, producing the worst agricultural drought since the 1950s. Temperatures were described by the news media as “broiling,” “sizzling,” “scorching,” “frying,” and “unprecedented.”

The U.S. corn crop was heavily impacted. By September 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had designated over 2,000 counties in 32 states as natural disaster areas. The U.S. corn harvest totaled 10.7 billion bushels, down 13 percent from 2011. Soybean production finished at 2.9 billion bushels, down 8 percent from 2011.

Climate alarmism was as hot as the weather. Dr. James Overpeck of the University of Arizona told the Associated Press, “This is certainly what I and many other climate scientists have been warning about…This is what global warming looks like at the regional or personal level.” Articles in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and other publications blamed “human-induced climate change” for the heat wave. Proponents of Climatism, the belief that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are destroying Earth’s climate, proclaimed disaster from sea to shining sea.

The summer of 2012 is now over and all temperature data recorded. Guess how many states set new state high-temperature records in 2012? None! According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), not one of our 50 states set a new state high temperature record in 2012 (

When wildfires raged through Colorado in June, Dr. Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University told Reuters, “What we’re seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like…It looks like heat, it looks like fires, it looks like this kind of environmental disaster…” Temperatures in Denver did reach 105oF in June, but this was far below the state record-high temperature of 114oF, set jointly in 1933 and 1954. Were Colorado wildfires worse in 1933 and 1954?

It was hot in Arkansas, reaching 111oF in Little Rock. But this high was well below the all-time state-high record of 120oF set in 1936. Lansing, Michigan, reached 103oF, but also fell short of the state record of 112oF set in 1936.

In fact, only one state high-temperature record has been broken in the last fifteen years, that in Ft. Pierre, South Dakota in 2006. High-temperature records for 23 of our 50 states date back to the decade of the 1930s, during worst-ever U.S. droughts in the period termed the “dust bowl.” Two-thirds of state high-temperature records were set prior to 1960, countering claims that the recent decade was “the warmest ever.”

On the contrary, what we saw during the summer of 2012 was natural temperature variation in action, not the effects of CO2, a trace gas in our atmosphere. In our United States it gets hot in the summer and sometimes also dry.


Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the new book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania.

The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania


newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Hmm. 1994? I don’t really remember. I had graduated from HS that year and my fondest memories tend to be coldest weather episodes in Texas in the 1980s. Everybody in Texas just accept that hot weather during the summer. We only care about rainfall amount.

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead

So where on earth do all the smarmy rhetoricians get the ‘fact’ that this was the hottest summer EVER? I see them quoting the NCDC, NOAA, CRUTemp, yadda yadda, brazenly hollering that everything was shattered. Even the thirties. Crikey.

Jim S

I hope many can remember the cold winter that much of eastern Europe and Alaska experienced. Too, the Pacific North West had a very cool spring and summer. Any heat experienced in the Midwest was more than off-set by cooler temperatures in the West.
Hmmm, Cool in once place = warmer in another = a balanced system. Imagine that…..

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), not one of our 50 states set a new state high temperature record in 2012 (
It is early yet. Once NOAA reads this post the adjustments will start flying hot and heavy, and many new records will be set for 2012.

CRS, Dr.P.H.

Nicely done, Steve! Keep after those university profs, you’ll find your debate soon. Best, Chuck


You should also point out that the average date for all State record lows is in 1949 and for State record highs is in 1945. Therefore, the average of the dates for the State low records is more recent than the average of the dates for the State high records! This implies slight global cooling, not warming.

Pamela Gray

We are having an early snow season here in NE Oregon. Snow spit hit my windshield on the way to work at 6:45 this morning. Nothing like the skies hocking loogies at your windshield in October. Halloween appears to be shaping up as a snowy freaky evening of trick or treating.


“The U.S. corn crop was heavily impacted.”
No just affected, but actually impacted.

So, how come if CO2 is pushing up temps, why are there not new records being set every year in the US? Could it be that climate science is completely wrong about CO2 and it has no net forcing?
Otherwise it makes no sense. Even in the forcing is much less that predicted, given the rise in CO2 we should be seeing large numbers of records every year. The fact that we are not suggests to me that CO2 has an insignificant role in climate.


in the UK, after their dismal summer, now this:
24Oct: Daily Mail: Get ready for an Arctic blast! Cold winds to blow snow showers in from the north as temperatures dive by more than 10C
By Martin Robinson and Simon Tomlinson
Gritters are being readied to cope with a widespread cold-snap, with most of the UK expected to have frosts and Scotland and northern England told to prepare for snow…
But over the coming days forecasters predict daytime highs of just 4C in the north and 8C in the south, falling to -2C in places at night…
‘For most of us, it will be the end of the week before the sunshine returns and when it does the weather will be far from warm,’ a spokesman for the Met Office said..


The data used in the article must be have been RAW DATA that is why the “unprecedented warming” and subsequent effects are not noted. Please redo the analysis after the data has been smoothed and adjusted to conform to the current scientific research funding trend.


Great job Steve Goreham. Now the rest of us have ammunition to fire back at the crazies. By the way, we have 15 cm of snow on the ground here in Fort McMurray, Alberta even as I write. We are expecting four more days of snow starting tomorrow. That is very early for snow to stay on the ground for us. Thank God it wasn’t Toronto, Ontario otherwise there would be a national panic in Canada.


Oct. 15–19, 1994: Extreme amounts of rainfall, up to 28.90 inches over a 4-day period, fell throughout southeastern part of the state. Seventeen lives were lost, most of them victims of flash flooding. Many rivers reached record flood levels. Houston was cut off from many other parts of the state, as numerous roads, including Interstate 10, were under water. Damage was estimated to be near $700 million; 26 counties were declared disaster areas.
Was the year Belton Lake almost overflowed. That is quite an accomplishment.


facts are not enough to stop the CAGW juggernaut:
25 Oct: Sky News: Australia a major greenhouse player- UN
Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said there was a misconception among many Australians that their nation was acting alone in combating the problem.
‘Nothing could be further from reality,’ she said in a speech at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney on Wednesday.
‘Every one of Australia’s top trading partners has something already in place.’ …
***She said nations wanted to be competitive in ‘the low-carbon economy that’s coming down the pipe’…
Ms Figueres said if climate change was allowed to go on unchecked it could wipe out all the development that had taken place over the past 25 years.
‘There’s no plan B because we don’t have a planet B,’ she said.


“According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), not one of our 50 states set a new state high temperature record in 2012”.
But,but,but. What about the other 7 states?
Seriously,just when are the sheeple going to wake up to the fact they are being fleeced? I expect a major panic here in Edmonton,Alberta (260 miles SW of Ft.Mcmurray) this month,as it is shaping up to be the first halloween in 8 years WITHOUT snow on the ground! Quick.Let Mann know we are dying from the heat here.

Canadian wheat harvest up 5.8 % from 2011.
Hurricane Wilma hit B.C. in 1962, no hurricane since.

G. E. Pease

Steve Gorham:
I cannot find your “Year and Decade of Highest U.S. State Temperature Records” data in the
reference cited, and you do not indicate the publication date for this data. Please provide a link to the NOAA data ostensibly used for your diagram.

Dr. Deanster

We’re not seeing any new “high” records … because, as has been detailed on this site before, “daily average temps” are not increasing due to increased high temps, but because the “low temps” for the day are not as cool.
WUWT, has posted several studies in print addressing such, including changes in irrigation, the effects of structures, etc.
So .. the real “CAGW” theory is not that temperatures will get warmer … but that the low temperatures won’t be as cold. That is the smoke and mirrors of the CAGW cabal.

Werner Brozek

How often have we heard that the last decade was the warmest? With the Hadcrut4 anomaly for August at 0.526, the average for the first eight months of the year is (0.288 + 0.209 + 0.339 + 0.514 + 0.516 + 0.501 + 0.469 + 0.526)/8 = 0.420. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 11th. 2010 was the warmest at 0.54. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in January of 2007 when it reached 0.818. With the 2011 anomaly at 0.399 in 12th place and the 2008 anomaly of 0.383 in 14th place, if things stay as they are, then 3 of the last 5 years are not even in the top 10 in Hadcrut4.

It is curious that we humans spend astronomical resources chasing mythological fantasies, such as AGW and a pittance on seeking the truth of anything.


The problem is that people with an agenda always have their agenda even when and after they are discredited. If it gets cooler now, that is still global climate change AND it is always caused by us because we are evil in our very existence. Not them of course but you. Here in western Oregon we didn’t have a single day in 2011 over 100 F. Three years of late spring, cool weather and early fall. 2012 was warmer. Late spring normal fall, cooler than normal summer. My father, who went to the 8th grade, used to say, “it’s the usual unusual weather”. Hell, I remember when they blamed it all on nuclear bombs going off in the 50’s.
Weather changes. Climate changes and thank God that, Mihigan (well, maybe Wisconson) isn’t under a mile of ice. Better now, eh?
And, if it is us, how do you expect to fix it with 7 billion people and most with a great desire to not use a hole in the ground for a toilet and to have things like lights and heat.

Ferd, a couple answers to your comments.
First, the NOAA state extreme data base uses data from raw thermometer measurements. Therefore, all measurements are in for 2012. I have checked with NOAA and there were no state high temperature records set this last year.
Second, the reason that the state extreme data base conflicts with other NOAA data is that many other NOAA databases are based on adjusted data. NOAA adds an adjustment which is on average about 0.5 degrees fahrenheit (biased to higher temperatures) to the raw thermometer data. From these adjusted numbers, claims are made that this summer was the hottest ever. But the raw themometer numbers do not reflect this.

Gunga Din

This isn’t for the whole state of Ohio but the all time record high for Columbus was 106*F set on July 21, 1934 and tied July 14, 1936.
The all time record low was -22*F set January 19, 1994.


Be careful not to give the Warmists ammunition here : It is possible to
have lower maxima coexisting with higher means … “Dr Deanster” implied
this in his(?) post above.

Oakden Wolf

From July 2011: “NOAA released the July “State of the Climate” update for the U.S., and, no surprise, reported blistering heat torched large parts of the country. The average temperature of 77 was the fourth warmest since 1895. Amazingly, Oklahoma’s average July temperature was 88.9 degrees – the warmest to occur in any state during any month on record.
But July was not only scorching hot. July’s Climate Extremes Index, which examines the percentage of the U.S. impacted by a full range of extreme weather conditions, was the highest on record for the month (since 1910). Thirty seven percent of the country contended with extreme weather. The extreme July – for all extreme weather classifications – follows the most extreme spring for precipitation .”
That was pretty hot, too.

anna v

G. E. Pease says:
October 24, 2012 at 7:24 pm
I cannot find your “Year and Decade of Highest U.S. State Temperature Records” data in the
I found a table which is consistent with the map in the blog at the link . When I first clicked there was an information page only but then the table came up. It must be a glitch in the html programming of the page.

I wonder what the temperatures would be if the thermometers were not situated in heat islands ie on airport runways and next to air-conditioning outlets?


G. E. Pease says: October 24, 2012 at 7:24 pm
I cannot find your “Year and Decade of Highest U.S. State Temperature Records” data in the
Essentially the same information is found in ”The World Almanac and Book of Facts”, p.311, World Almanac Education (2010).

Mark and two Cats

G. E. Pease said:
October 24, 2012 at 7:24 pm
Steve Gorham:
I cannot find your “Year and Decade of Highest U.S. State Temperature Records” data in the
Maybe Hansen made them take it down.


Climate change only exists in statistical graphs and tables,
that is why no one can find it in reality!
Fantastic post here Steve. Says it all.


25 Oct: JoanneNova: Where did that El Nino go? Wiped out by unprecedented cool shift?
The Australian weather bureau has never seen anything quite like it. The El Nino that was predicted for this summer down-under seems to be gone suddenly.
“Forecasters surprised by El Nino turnaround” [ABC]
The chief climate forecaster says it is the biggest turnaround in weather patterns since records began…

Kurt in Switzerland

This is important. “Raw data shows that maximum temperature across the continental USA was higher in the 1930s than today. Is the noise about Global Warming just hype?”
Get this out to the mainstream media far & wide.
Kurt in Switzerland

Kurt in Switzerland

Errata: make that the entire USA. Perhaps someone could compare data for Provinces in Canada, too. For that matter, what do the records show for Europe & Australia?
Kurt in Switzerland


Seventh highest ever corn crop in the worst drought since 1956, 56 years


The summer of 2012 is now over and all temperature data recorded. Guess how many states set new state high-temperature records in 2012? None! According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), not one of our 50 states set a new state high temperature record in 2012 (

So after all the gnashing and grinding and wailing there’s nothing to see here. I kept pushing at Warmists telling them it’s just the weather and not the climate and according to the NOAA I was right.

Anna v @ October 24, at 9:11 pm
When I clicked on that link I couldn’t find the table that popped up for you after a delay but was highly entertained by the following. After discussing a couple of committees they went on to say, incorporating yet other authorities; my bold:

…When a potential record meteorological value has been observed, it will be brought to the attention of the local National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office or the state’s State Climatologist. If, after reviewing the observation, the WFO or State Climatologist feels it is legitimate, they will convene the SCEC for a review and vote on the value.

Is it not true that that strange beast the Camel was designed by a committee?

G. E. Pease

Thanks anna v,
Trying again, I was able to bring up the large (10 page) State Climate Extremes Committee table showing
State: All States, Element: All Elements.
The element of current interest for each state is Maximum Temperature. Additional elements are Minimum Temperatures, 24-Hour Precipitation, 24-hour snowfall, and Snow Depth and the exact date, location, and station ID for each element. I printed out the entire table, since it seems to be a useful reference for comparisons and further investigations.

George Lawson

Are record high temperatures alone really pertinent to the argument? Surely it is the length of time that generally high temperatures and droughts prevail that is important not a record high in isolation that might occur over just a few days. Whilst record high temperatures are of interest, comparisons of historical temperature records should also embrace the the duration of prevailing high temperatures and droughts in order to make sense of the comparisons. In other words, three months of drought at 100% is more significant than three days at a record 115% which might be followed by normal temperatures.
As a 100 per cent sceptic, I make the point in order be sure that our arguments against the warmists can always stand up to scrutiny.


Dr. Deanster says:
“We’re not seeing any new “high” records … because the “low temps” for the day are not as cool.
…That is the smoke and mirrors of the CAGW cabal.”
Perhaps so – but how would we know ? You do realize that over 70% of such values (1840 – 1960’s) are generally represented by ONE minimum and ONE maximum recorded observation per day with liquid in glass thermometers. The variance and standard error of ONE observation is ∞ and the limit of observation for liquid in glass instruments is plus or minus point 5 to 1 degree C as reported by their manufacturers. [temp +- .5 + ∞ ] As such, observations prior to the use of modern recording instruments are statistically useless but employed by pseudo-scientist just the same. There are other more esoteric statistical deficiencies as well…..
Garbage IN = Garbage OUT

Brian H

Your book cover art unfairly smears P-Bears. Far from promoting Warmist scares and nonsense, they just wanna be left alone to hunt seals and raid garbage dumps.


Brian H says:
Your book cover art unfairly smears P-Bears. Far from promoting Warmist scares and nonsense, they just wanna be left alone to hunt seals and raid garbage dumps.
Yes, but, they still need transportation! Ice and snow are hard on the paws.


As Pat notes: While JoNova points out how the Oz BoM are now flummoxed by the disappearing El Nino, you really shouldn’t miss these wonderful epistles of love for it’s coming back in April, that are ‘so dear to all our hearts’-
‘Professor Andy Pitman, the director of the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of New South Wales, says the link is uncertain.’
“We can’t formally attribute the drying to global warming, that does not mean it’s not caused by global warming, it means we can’t say it with scientific certainty at this time,” Professor Pitman said.
“Each year that you get an ongoing drying trend it gives you a little bit more data that gives you a little more statistical certainty around the drying trend.
“My suspicion is that as more high quality science comes to the table, we will become increasingly convinced that the drying trend is caused in part at least by global warming.
“Climate science is as complex a problem as any in the natural sciences and it takes a hell of a long time to make definitive statements about issues that are close to our heart. Doesn’t mean to say that we don’t think it’s caused by global warming, it’s that we can’t with certainty prove that it is.”


Even you hardened men and women of science really must feel for that all that unrequited love, Holocaust deniers exempted of course.

Chris Wright

A bit OT:
Another item for the ‘everything is caused by global warming’ department. A report in today’s printed Daily Telegraph says that the melting of a runway in Antarctica was caused by global warming.
I just fired this email off to the Telegraph, though I doubt they’ll print it:
Your reported claim that a runway built just four years ago has melted due to global warming is obvious nonsense. Even if global warming continued today, no significant change could occur in four years. And if these ‘researchers’ are such experts on global warming, why did they build the runway in the first place?
Data from the Met Office, and other similar organisations around the world, show that there has been no global warming for well over ten years. This alone shows the claim to be nonsense. But it gets better. Unlike the Arctic, Antarctic ice has been steadily growing for many years and a new record was recently set. Perhaps the experts overlooked a simple fact: that, even in the Arctic and Antarctic, huge amounts of ice routinely melt in the summer, only to refreeze when winter returns. Finally, here’s a quote from the Telegraph online report: “Despite the melting runway, an Australian supply ship, the Aurora Australis, is currently stuck in Antarctica because there is too much ice.” You couldn’t make this up.
According to the ‘experts’, everything is the fault of global warming. But the facts show this to be nonsense. The melting runway could not have been caused by global warming, as there hasn’t been any since the last century. Most likely it was caused by incompetence. And a strange phenomenon commonly known as ‘summer’.

Climate Depot’s new A-Z report reveals that the great man-made global warming
catastrophe that was predicted – has been cancelled.
Special Report: A-Z Climate Reality Check
The scientific reality is that on virtually every claim — from A-Z — the claims of the
promoters of man-made climate fears are failing, and in many instances the claims are
moving in the opposite direction. The global warming movement is suffering the scientific
death of a thousand cuts. This Climate Depot special report categorizes and indexes the full
range of climate developments in a handy A-Z reference guide. The A-Z report includes
key facts, peer-reviewed studies and the latest data and developments with links for further
reading, on an exhaustive range of man-made global warming claims.

Response to G E Pease: The NOAA website is The last update is listed as July 23, 2012, but I have talked with Deke Arndt, Chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch at NOAA. NOAA has a committee that looks at measurements and determines whether any records are broken. He informs me that no new high temperature records for 2012 remain to be added to the data.


For George Lawson–Yes duration and continuity are important factors in looking at annual temperatures versus records. I follow the Kansas City temperatures through NWS, and note that fully one third of all high temperature records were set in the 1930s most in 1934 and 1936. That is true even considering that in tabular form, where a record is tied, the later date is inserted as the date of the record. Kansas City has a record that spans 124 years now (1888-2012). I expect that in looking at individual locations, the 1930s records will hold up most places, unless they are tampered with.

Hinheckle Jones

The 1913 year for California reminded me, and Dr. Google, my research assistant, confirms:
“… San Diego. To me, anytime it goes below freezing at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s cold! … The coldest was back in 1913 when it hit 25 degrees. The cold … ”
1913 hot and cold for California.


Well, that’s comforting. The highest temp here could reach ~110F, and it wouldn’t be unprecedented.
BTW, in 9 summers here (in a rural spot) the highest temp has been 99F, despite several purported “unprecedented” summers.

Notice that no state had a record high in the 1940s? I’ll bet that if you normalized, homogenized and averaged, you would find the 40s a decade of “unprecedented” cold.
The declining temps of the 1940s should be an embarrassment to the warmists. But when today’s science is special, one gets a pass.