Record Warm Waters off Southern California

California has seen a range of natural extremes this summer, from heat waves to wildfires. The state can now add to the list record-warm ocean temperatures. On August 1, 2018, researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography observed water temperatures of 25.9 degrees Celsius (78.6 degrees Fahrenheit) along the coast at La Jolla, exceeding the previous record of 25.8°C (78.4°F) set in 1931.

The warm water stretched far beyond La Jolla. The map above shows sea surface temperature anomalies on August 2, 2018, as compiled by NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch, which blends observations from the Suomi NPP, MTSAT, Meteosat, and GOES satellites and computer models. Mapping the temperature anomaly allows you to see how much the surface layer was above or below the long-term average temperature for this time of year. The warmest sea surface temperatures (red) extend from Point Conception to the Baja California coast. According to Bill Patzert, retired NASA climatologist, temperatures along this part of the coastline were 5-10°F above normal.

“The primary driver of these warm ocean temperatures is the persistence of continental atmospheric high pressure that has dominated western weather,” Patzert said. He explained that normally, high pressure over the eastern Pacific Ocean drives winds from the north along the California coast. These winds push coastal surface waters offshore, allowing cool waters from below to “upwell” to the surface and keep coastal California cool.

This summer, however, a dome of high pressure over the continental west has dominated, causing coastal winds to blow from the south. This pattern has sustained a cap of warm ocean waters from San Diego to Santa Barbara, preventing cool water from rising up.

Warm water for beachgoers and for nearshore ecosystems is not the only consequence of the high-pressure system. “This pattern is also driving the month-long heat wave suffocating California and it is a major cause of the explosion of Western wildfires,” Patzert said. “The continuing Western drought, July heat waves, explosive fire season, and balmy ocean temperatures are all related.”

Via NASA Earth Observatory

However, what you don’t see is the bigger picture, with cooler than normal SST’s just to the north

169 thoughts on “Record Warm Waters off Southern California

      • Indeed, RS. Spot on.
        This seems to be a bit of a flap about a difference (over eighty-some years) of 0.2F.
        As you note, the accuracy of either temperature is not clearly established.
        Whilst I expect both observers [eighty years apart, so, surely different individuals!] tried their personful best to be accurate, it is not easy to record accurately to 0.1C, certainly using a mercury-in-glass thermometer.

        I have read elsewhere [an earlier post here on WUWT, perhaps, but a couple of nights ago!??], that the thermometer may have changed, possibly twice, during the intervening generations.
        Was there a [or more than one] documented transition between instruments?
        I have not seen that there was, but probably my laziness precludes me from searching – it’s almost the witching hour here.

        And even if these two readings – taken together – do indeed establish an instrumental-era record being broken, this appears to be only at one location.
        That location may have local effects – see other posts.

        Interesting, but not enough to destroy Western Civilisation over, I suggest – unless there are ulterior motives.


      • No way.
        Newton, Faraday and other similar folk did not have a clue about reading or calibrating thermometers.
        This is why our poor weather bureaux, NASA, universities and their ilk have to increase the old temperatures by 2 deg C.

    • 85+ years of global warming to catch up with global warming from the 1930’s –

  1. Does this mean we don’t need a wet suit to go in the water at these over-rated beaches now?

    • Only during the winter has a wet suit been needed if you spend extended times in the water, otherwise you don’t need one.

      • Not having the natural insulation of an elephant seal, I would always wear a wet suit when diving in the 70+ deg water of the rivers in the Mother Lode. Even then, I’d frequently haul out on a flat rock and warm up. Even with a wet suit, a 20+ degree difference between the water and my body would take a toll on my body temperature.

        • The water temp for competitive swimming (olympic pools, etc) is 77f to 81f. (

          • Most races are only two minutes long or less. My daughter swam USA and put in 1000 yards every morning before school. She complained that they kept the pool at 80 F for the senior citizen water aerobics and she would overheat and need a cold shower.

          • Pop and Robert – I swim recreationally – 1,000 is only 15-25 minutes – did you mean 3,000 yards? The pools with water aerobics for seniors is typically 86-87. Way too hot for swimming. 82-83 is normal for recreational – I am usually in the range of 2300 to 2600m per hour.

          • I used to train with a friend who was faster than me. We did 1 mile in every session. His time was 24-25 mins, mine 35. The pool was an ordinary recreational pool probably at 81-83F. My friend always complained of overheating (and even speculated that he was sweating underwater lol). I certainly felt very warm at the end of my swim but I wasn’t expending quite the same energy. If he dried off straight afterwards, he said he’d started sweating a little bit from the residual heat.

          • Swimming full out for a few minutes is quite different from splashing around in the water.

            I used to have a Rhodesian Ridgeback. A dog bred — you guessed it — in Rhodesia. She had very short hair. Despite that, she was comfortable running around in the snow. Indeed, she loved it! However, within a few minutes of getting back in the car, she would start shivering. I had to make her a polyester vest to put on her after we came out of the snow.

          • Swimmers at that level of ability generate a lot of heat, and so they need the cooling effect of those lower water temperatures. Even swimming athletically, I preferred water temperatures in the 81 and slightly above range, … and I was trim. These days, I wouldn’t stand a chance in cold water — I’d be one of the first to die in a cold-water mishap.

      • Anywhere north of Santa Barbara, surfers wear wet suits. Around Santa Cruz, staying in the water more than about 15 minutes risks hypothermia.

    • No it actually feels like tepid bath water. Easy to swim in. A wet suit would make you broil.

  2. “The primary driver of these warm ocean temperatures is the persistence of continental atmospheric high pressure … ”

    Is that a subtle misappropriation?

    The claim is that the atmospheric high pressure is impacting wind speed and direction which subsequently impacts the movement of the sea water. Warmer waters are moved by the wind and replaced with cooler waters. The atmospheric high pressure is ‘driving’ the movement (or stagnation) of the sea water, not the temperature of that same water.

      • High pressure systems sitting over land heat that land up, and the longer they sit over one location, the hotter it gets at that location. The same thing applies to high pressure systems sitting over the ocean.

        There was a “hotspot” in the ocean water off the coast of Calfornia a few years ago which turned out to be connected to a persistent high-pressure system.

        CO2 has nothing to do with where persistent high-pressure systems set up shop.

        • Weather patterns are becoming more stationary. The theory put forth for this is that the jet stream is weakening due to the warming of the Arctic. The theory is that this warming is driven by the increase in long-wave radiation that is trapped by atmospheric gases and re-radiated back to the surface. From what i gather, and i am no expert, is that the warmth at the poles, which is increasing, and the reduction in the gradient of both the heat and the height of the atmosphere between the poles and the equator are weakening the jet stream. The heating is more amplified at the north pole especially in Winter – and this is showing in the thinning and decreasing ice sheet. Anyway, that is my take on it. The climate has definitely changed in N. Calif – where I live = that is from my experience.

    • All other factors being equal:
      High atmosheric air pressure (or lower elevation) is associated with higher water temperatures & low atmospheric air pressure (or higher elevation) is associated with lower water temperatures. Evaporation causes cooling. The rate of evaporation increases at lower pressures.

    • What isn’t clear due to the scale of these charts is that the coastal flow off that area is somewhat dominated by the channel islands which form an off shore barrier and create a rather deep channel trench over 3000 ft (hence the name of the islands). These aren’t sandbar islands they are rocky, and Santa Catalina is quite big and tall (appx. 30 mi offshore). This channel often flows southerly. From the image it appears as though the flow has stagnated due to the wind patterns.
      Catalina Island is visible as the light colored point at the tip of the darkest red projection. This could account for the unusually SSTs and the higher than normal humidity we are experiencing.

      • When I dove Catalina on 7/05,.. it was still in the mid-50’s at 60’. Typically ‘cold-ish’. Must be a “surface temp” thing,…

        • Yes, the water in the Catalina Channel is at best unpleasantly cold. Generally not too far from 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Conventional wisdom among Southern California boaters is that if someone falls overboard, you have 30-45 minutes to recover them alive. That may be an exaggeration, but not much of one. Near shore waters are usually somewhat warmer — in Summer. That said, there is a warm countercurrent whose name I don’t recall that occasionally appears and brings tropical forms into the coastal waters as far North as Point Conception (Santa Barbara sort of). The way to check for that is to check fish landings at San Diego for Dorado (aka “dolphin, mahi-mahi). Many years there are none. But this year they are landing some, but it looks like they are going a long way (overnight) to get them. There is also a suspected (temperature controlled?) 60 to 80 year cycle in the dominant baitfish switching between anchovies and sardines.

          It’s complicated.

    • Interestingly enough, The coldest (darkest blue) part directly North of the LA Warm Pool is where Diablo Canyon NPP is located. So much for waste heat warming the oceans

  3. You know…if that warm water was further south where it’s supposed to be
    …it wouldn’t be a warm anomaly at all

  4. It would appear that Anthropogenic Climate Change is cyclic with a periodic range of 87+X•Y years +/-13weeks.

      • I certainly do “Expect More Of This” WRT reports from the AGW camp claiming natural events are AGW caused until such time as the Cool Down begins (Unless Thomas Karl molests the data first)

    • Some areas get hotter than “normal”, some areas get cooler than “normal”, (seems to happen every year in DIFFERENT places !) ….. The Earth’s “climate” is not static…Change is what it has done (and will always do) for the last 4.3 billion years ! IMHO

      • The hotter areas are proof of global warming.
        The colder areas are just phantasms created by the global big oil conspiracy to confound the weak minded.

        • Err no. There is no proof. Proof is for math and logic.
          You can expect to see warmer areas continue to outnumber cooler areas.
          You can expect record highs to outnumber record lows.
          You can expect some areas will cool, but they will get smaller and smaller.

          because it is warming
          because the warming cannot be uniform.
          never has been uniform and no physical reason why it should be uniform.

          It is warming. this is what you can expect.

          A different question is WHY.

          but yes mark W there WAS a LIA, the climate changes, and is is warming
          so you can expect non uniform warming

      • Expect the warmer areas to out number the cooler areas.
        That is what Global warming IS.

    • The climate has always been changing and we can expect it to keep changing. If it should stop changing, then we have a problem.

      Claims of ‘records’ are exceptionally disingenuous considering that good enough data to have a sufficient baseline is not available given that there are significant known cyclical influences with periods ranging from 24 hours to 120K years as well as quasi-chaotic influences that can push local temperatures several degrees on either side of average for months at a time.

      • “The climate has always been changing and we can expect it to keep changing. If it should stop changing, then we have a problem.”

        Changing in an upward trend is not a problem? I think the bland word “change” has a lot of people confused. Of course temps change. It’s the trend that is important, and the rate of trend.

        • “What goes up. must come down”….
          Upward “Trend” is only relevant to your “Start Point” !
          If you start at the “Little Ice Age”, then yes, Temp goes up !!
          Your “Start Point” should be where Humans thrive !!
          Unless, of course. you WANT Humans to expire in a frozen world ?
          Come visit the far Canadian North and see how well you do without the benefit of “Fossil Fuels” !!
          No furs allowed ! ( Green Peace )
          Do you really want to live in a “Little Ice Age” scenario ?

          • Simon, no need for the smarmy antagonism. It is not only impolite, but also does not contribute anything of value.
            You, Mosher, Alley, and Chris are some of the worst offenders.
            You make think yourself clever, but you are all one trick ponies.. congrats. You are a foregone conclusion. Bravo.

          • So…. why are we warming? And unless you want me to label you a hypocrite, read some of MarkW’s posts. He sneers all day long.
            Back to my point. It’s no good saying the climate warms and cools. It does it for a reason. If we know the reason we can sort the problem. Actually we do know the reason. Here it is..

          • @Simon at August 8, 2018 10:22 pm I know I’m late to the party, but let me throw in my $0.02 worth… yes, we wonder why it is warming, and we have actually looked into the research reports. So we can tell you that it’s not from man-produced CO2. The temperature does not even follow the atmospheric CO2 level, if anything it’s the other way around. And the amount of man-produced CO2 in the air could be as low as 6% of the total CO2 in the air. All this has been discussed before and I won’t bother to look them up to link them because you clearly didn’t read them the first time they were discussed.

            And while we’re at it, although there has likely been warming, we really can’t tell from the heavily molested Surface Temperature Records. Which is just one more data point to reinforce the opinion of most of us around here, there’s not enough warming to worry about anyway.

            So, for Simon, Mosher, Alley and all the other drive-by trolls, stop insisting something that isn’t even true. Slow down and read the posted arguments. Some of them are hilarious!

          • Yawn..”The temperature does not even follow the atmospheric CO2 level, if anything it’s the other way around.”
            Did you check the pdf link above. When you, do come back with a sensible retort.

          • Simon,

            It’s fake warming arising from fake science reported in fake news that inspires this obsessive pondering. I prefer to let repeatable, unambiguous science guide me about whether or not warming itself is anything to worry about, regardless of cause. Repeatable and unambiguous science also tells me that CO2 isn’t powerful enough to have resulted in what little warming we’ve observed since the end of the LIA, much less the catastrophic future consequences required to justify the IPCC/UNFCCC.

            The simple fact is that there’s no evidence for catastrophic warming in the past. The only repeatable evidence supports the benefits of warming and CO2 to the planets biosphere, a far smaller effect from incremental CO2 then claimed and the extreme life saving benefits of fossil fuels.

            Any objective cost/benefit analysis favors doing nothing, even if the impossibly large ECS claimed by the IPCC magically became true.

          • Simon, what is it that you hope to accomplish by commenting on this site in the fashion you choose? I’m sincerely interested in learning that answer

          • I want honest debate. See my post above. Why are we warming? I merely hold a mirror up to MarkW who is the resident ankle biter here.

          • “Why are we warming?”

            My guess is we are warming for the same reason we warmed from 1910 to 1940: Mother Nature.

            Both periods, 1910 to 1940 and 1980 to the present warmed at the same magnitude so it would seem logical that whatever warmed the earlier period is perfectly capable of warming the current period.

          • “My guess is we are warming for the same reason we warmed from 1910 to 1940: Mother Nature.”
            Not good enough. That’s like saying we have daytime because when I get up it’s light. We are warming because the climate is being forced. I have read a lot written by skeptics, but no one has ever offered a convincing argument that tops the CO2 one. We know it’s no the sun. We know it is not aliens. So what is it?

          • Warming has been happening at approx. the same rate since around 1700 or so.
            So remind us again of the reason??

          • No it hasn’t. That is nonsense.

          • Nobody knows why it is warming. There have been 4 warming periods in the last 5000 years that were bigger, and they weren’t caused by CO2.
            So the claim that it must be because of CO2 is nonsense.
            Of course you latch onto to it because it helps you with your other goals.

            PS: I love it how you declare that only those who agree with you are thinking people. Next step will be declaring that those who disagree with government are insane and need to be locked up.

          • “Next step will be declaring that those who disagree with government are insane and need to be locked up.”
            That’s a Trump trick.

          • Anyone who thinks what I think is a thinker. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a stinker.

          • MarkW,

            IMO, we have an inkling what causes the natural warm and cool fluctuations of the Holocene and other interglacials, ie Bond cycles. It appears to be solar activity, plus atmospheric and oceanic circulations driven by it.


            How do you know it’s not the sun? It surely is.

            The Little Ice Age was associated with repeated solar minima, while the Medieval and Modern Warm Periods, for example, coincide with repeated solar maxima. The Medieval Maximum (AD 1100-1250) was preceded by a weak solar minimum, the Oort (c. 1040-80). But the century (at least) before the Oort was also part of the Medieval WP.

            Some paleoclimatologists assign the Wolf Minimum (1280-1350) to the end of the Medieval WP, while others recognize it as the start of the LIA, which definitely included the Spoerer (1460-1550), Maunder (1645-1715) and Dalton (1790-1830) Minima.

            By contrast, Earth enjoyed the Modern Maximum from c. 1950 to 2009. The oceans retain a lot of thermal inertia, so it takes time to move them from warmer to cooler after a series of solar maxima switch to minima, or vice versa.


          • Francois- do you not understand what the “depths” of something is?
            Please explain how a suspect ~1.5C degree warming (suspect because we don’t have reliable temperature history with any legitimate accuracy even today amidst all the raw data tampering, etc, as far as I have surmised) from the DEPTHS of a little ice age is something that I need to “wake up” to? Do you folks not understand the incredibly consistent and tame global climate we are experiencing, relative to history? We are extremely lucky to be alive right now and extremely lucky to have found oil and gas, as without it…you and I would likely not be able to communicate right now in climate controlled edifices.

            Are you sure it is we who need to “wake up”?

          • OK Francis, if CO2 is the cause of the current warming as you want to believe, then what started the warming out of the LIA? It can’t have been CO2, since mankind weren’t burning that in appreciable quantities yet.
            If it was something else, then how do you know that this something else still isn’t in control?

          • François
            Wake up, the depths of the Little Ice Age… that was two centuries ago.

            You are correct François
            the nadir of Little Ice A was more than two centuries ago, and it has been gradually warming ever since.

          • The depths of the LIA were c. AD 1690, during the Maunder Minimum. Earth has been warming since then.

            The late 20th century warming was no different from prior warm cycles. Indeed, it was rather wimpy, especially compared to the long and strong early 18th century warming cycle coming out of the Maunder Minimum. Counter-secular trend cycles during cool periods can be powerful.

        • Alley,

          Yes, it’s the trend that’s important and despite what you may think, there’s nothing unusual about the rate or direction of the current trend. In the DOMEC ice cores, we see monotonic warming and cooling for centuries at a time exhibiting an RMS change larger than what we are currently observing. If anything, the recent change is slow and small relative to the changes seen in the ice cores, moreover; ice cores represent change in long term averages while short the term variability in averages (< a few decades) will be far larger.

          What's not important to the rate and direction of any change is that CO2 emissions are coincidentally being increased by man's development of energy at the same time we are in a natural warming period. If there is any causative effect at all, it's that the warming coming out of the LIA freed up time and resources so that the Industrial Revolution could begin. Just like we see in the ice cores, changes in CO2 levels FOLLOW changes in temperature and mankind has further contributed to the causality by adding more CO2 to the environment as the climate warms.

          While there's a small additional warming to be expected from increased CO2, the IPCC and its self serving consensus demonstrably over-estimates the effect by at least a factor of 3 and as by much as a factor of 6. This arises due to confirmation bias and the failure to distinguish between coincidence and causation while presuming that all change is attributed to CO2 emissions. The difference is between an effect that might require minor preparations and an effect that has absolutely no down side.

          The fact that the trend is rising now, rather than falling (and even this is subject to debate) , is only a temporary anomaly. I can say with absolute certainty that at some time in the future there will a century or more downward trend and it's likely to be even larger than the relatively small trend we have observed since the end of the LIA. Moreover; no possible amount of atmospheric CO2 will change this reality.

          If the alarmists want to worry about something, the dangers of natural global cooling are far more likely and far more devastating. The evidence is unambiguously clear that this has happened many times in the past and that the Earth spends far more time in ice ages than in short periods of natural warmth. There's absolutely no historical evidence to support catastrophic warming of any kind and if anything, the evidence indicates that a warming climate has always been beneficial to the planets biomass and that low CO2 levels have always been harmful.

      • Yes, they’ve been giving us more of it since before the IPCC was created in 1988. The biggest change seems to have been a louder volume accompanied by an increasingly shrill pitch.

    • Mosher,
      Based on your comment, you are apparently assuming that the changes in land atmospheric temperatures should be reflected in ocean temperatures. Then why aren’t we seeing an average increase of about 1/4 deg C and can only point to a single match to a high temperature from 87 years ago? I know, the heat is hiding somewhere! When all else fails, resort to a claim of conspiracy. You might want to try using science.

      • If the heat is “hiding,” how did it get there in the first place? Oceans move the heat around, we all get that. The reason the land and oceans are heating is of concern.

        • It really is sad when acolytes don’t even know the recent history of their own religion.
          The claim that the heat is hiding in the deep oceans was an attempt by one or YOUR bishops to explain why the world wasn’t warming up as the sacred models said they should be.
          Since the models can’t be wrong, an excuse was needed to placate the masses.

          When you can explain why the Earth has been warmer for 95% of the last 10,000 years than it is today, then I will take you seriously.

          • The orbit changes from elliptical to circular and back over ~ 100,000 years, slowly tilts between 24.5 and 22.5 degrees over 41,000 years, and precesses over 23,000 years.

            When these 3 factors combine then the Earth could swing by around 100 W/m^2 impinging the Earth at 65 Deg N – where it is most sensitive to solar energy (most landmass and subject to swings in ice field in glacials -to melt in inter-glacials).
            This last 11,000 years there has been a reduction of ~ 50 W/m^2 and it has not yet bottomed out.

            That’s what explains why “the Earth has been warmer for 95% of the last 10,000 years than it is today”


          • The precession of perihelion is another important factor, given the asymmetry between hemispheres and its 22K year period. Today, perihelion aligns with the N hemisphere winter solstice, minimizing the relative difference between winter and summer in the N hemisphere and maximizing the difference in the S hemisphere. The difference between perihelion and aphelion is about 80 W/m^2, or about 20 W/m^2 averaged across night/day and from equator to pole.

            In about 11K years, perihelion will align with the N hemisphere summer, seasonal variability will be larger and ice will start to accumulate since the orbit spends more of the year further away from the Sun than closer in. This also contributes to why Antarctic ice seems to be growing today. This effect is more dramatic in the N hemisphere, as the snow belt is mostly land in the N and mostly water in the S, allowing ice and snow to accumulate more rapidly. At the other extreme, the S hemisphere is more effective at retaining ice at the pole since the S pole is land, while the N pole is water.

            Some of the coldest periods during ice ages seem to occur when perihelion aligns with the N hemisphere summer and the Earth is at maximum tilt, further increasing the relative strengths of summer and winter.

          • The change now is obviously not due to Milankovich cycles, because as you say it is too slow.
            It, however, answers the “When you can explain why the Earth has been warmer for 95% of the last 10,000 years than it is today, then I will take you seriously.” question that I was answering.

        • Except that all the heat is in the surface waters and in plain view. If heat is hiding anywhere, it’s found a really good hiding spot.

          The reason the land and oceans are heating is the Sun and I don’t find that at all concerning. The fact that land and oceans cool when not in the Sun is of far more concern.

    • So a region that has forest fires every single year will have them again? What a bold statement.

    • Is that over-hyped headlines or varying water temperatures? Either way I’ll be on the lookout!

    • Parts of the US had record setting cold temperatures in January and again in April. Should we expect more of this as well?

      • Yes. Expect cold records to remain in the small minority or records, but do expect that cold record will continue to exist. Expect the 2:1 ration of warm to cold records to become 3:1 sometime soon.

        • What you’re referencing is proof of UHI, not of global warming. When you isolate rural stations, all the high temp records are older than all the low temperature records.

  5. “This pattern is also driving the month-long heat wave suffocating California and it is a major cause of the explosion of Western wildfires,”


    • I’m curious… the isolated pic of hot water anomalies is down around S. Cal. The wildfires are in N. Cal. And when you expand the view to include N. Cal. waters, you find below-normal anomalies. How do you explain that? What does that prove?

      • I would explain it like this: There was a high-pressure system that was sitting over California and covered part of the ocean near the California coast.

        The high-pressure system sat there long enough for extreme temperatures to build up beneath it and this included the ocean off the Calfornia coast.

        The persistent high-pressure system accounts for the higher than normal ocean temperatures.

        The high-pressure system’s northern most extension was along the California-Oregon border, so the ocean north of there did not accumlate the same amount of heat as the ocean located underneath the high-pressure system, so the water north of the high-pressure system was cooler than the water farther south.

    • I don’t see the point : Anthony Watt posts abour “Record Warm Waters off Southern California”, then writes about “the bigger picture”, a bit North, nothing about way down South, or up North (I have no idea). What is the conclusion?

  6. A Los Angeles Times shrill piece on Aug 5th headlined, California’s destructive summer brings blunt talk about climate change, began with this sentence:

    At Scripps Pier in San Diego, the surface water reached the highest temperature in 102 years of records, 78.8 degrees.

    I checked with Scripps – the temp was 78.6 (as reported on this page by Anthony), not 78.8. I sent a note to the two LAT’s staffers, and reader’s rep. No response – no correction. Needless to say, the article made no mention of the 1931 record of 78.4.

    The rest of the article was just as ridiculous and misleading. Recent similar articles shrilling about a single record hot day (blame it on the UHI effect) a few weeks back of 108 F for downtown Los Angeles, have made no mention of older heat wave records, such as these still standing records on the books:

    July 24, 1891 – 103
    July 25, 1891 – 109 – all time record high for the month of July.
    July 26, 1891 – 102

    Aug 17, 1885 – 104
    Aug 18, 1885 – 102
    Aug 19, 1885 – 106 – all time record high for the month of Aug.

    All with no UHI effect.

    Friend of mine here said the other day, ‘don’t you read the paper – we’ve never had heat like this around here before.’ Always handy to have the facts on your phone. hehe. I informed him, that this is what fake news is all about.

    • There is, apparently, no audit trail of the actual protocol for sampling temperatures in 1931, including the time of day. There is no record of the calibration of the MIG thermometers. However, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that the 1931 temperatures were actually as accurate as today’s. The reported precision of 0.1 deg C implies that the temperature was probably 25.8 +/- 0.05 deg C, compared to the recent temperature of 25.9 +/- 0.05 deg C. That is, the temperature 87 years ago could have been as high as 25.85, and the recent reported temperature as low as 25.85. In a world known to be warming for the last 12 millennia, only acolytes of Gaia would make a claim that two virtually indistinguishable temperatures actually portend catastrophe. Anything and everything to try to scare laymen with non-news!

  7. It seems be affecting our weather this summer, all the way up into Alberta. The rest of this week up until Saturday is suppose to crazy hot and unusual for us. We like those high pressure areas over Idaho in the winter months, but not at this time of year.

    • I’m in Saskatchewan. It was hotter here in the ’60’s and throughout the 30’s. Enjoy it! Winter will show up soon enough and it usually lasts a lifetime or two.

      • Comfortable warm is one thing, but 32 to 34 which is what it’s suppose to be over the couple a days is something all together different. I like it around 18 or 19 C.

    • Enjoy it while you have it. Winter is not that far away. There is a mix of rain and snow up in the Northwest Territories.

  8. Right. Warm coastal waters during an El Nino cause heavy rainfall in Peru and Chile, but warm coastal waters at California cause drought? Discuss.

    • The coastal waters that cause the drought are in the northern 2/3 of California where temperatures are below normal.

    • Actually the “perma-drought” was 2011 and 2012, but no matter. Then Texas had the two wettest years on record in 2014 and 2015 (300% of normal and new record). Last year was very wet as well with Harvey dumping record totals. Three record or near record rainfall out of four years. Not too much of a “perma-drought”.

      When will these charlatans ever be held accountable for their complete incompetence and compulsive lying?

  9. So, a 0.1 degree C difference, eh? To claim a new record on that basis implies that both the past and current measurement are accurate to less than 0.1 degree C. While that is possible today (although I doubt they used such laboratory quality instruments that were recently calibrated for this measurement), does anybody really believe that such accuracy was possible in 1931? This is just sensationalist drivel masquerading as science. No better than a carnival barker. What a disgrace.

    • How long until NOAA updates their wishful forecast for El Nino this fall? My guess is sometime around January, 2019.

    • Thanks for the animation. The anomalies off Southern Cal and off the east coast of the U.S. are pretty striking. Of course, as Anthony said, there are cold anomalies also up and down the Calif. coast.

      Are the anomalies based off yearly averages during the earlier period or for a similar timeframe in mid-summer? I assume the latter.

      The discussion upthread about trapped water between San Diego and Santa Barbara would seem to validate NOAA’s thesis about southerly winds causing this effect.

  10. I was in Oceanside – a few miles north of La Jolla last weekend, and I can tell you it was nice. usually hate swimming because the ocean water is cold, but this was just perfect temperature. If this is global warming, I like it!

  11. The persistent absence of usual upwelling winds has been producing unusually warm SSTs throughout the SoCal bight this summer. This anomalous situation, however, does not extend beyond 10m in depth, where the temperatures are in the mid-50s, i.e., close to their August norm.

  12. So, what they are saying is that with warm water being allowed to spread out instead of being piled up somewhere, the ocean is losing heat instead of storing it.

    • It’s Hot, Dude! Big bong breakers, totally tubular pipelines, with latent heat lace curtains hosing your shoulder, Man!

  13. I have the impression that the North Pacific gyre is slowing, just as its Atlantic counterpart in poleward heat convection the AMOC / Gulf Stream, is also slowing down. This is consistent with the start of a climate cooling trend.

    This winter the same thing that is making it very hot now (meridionally looping jet stream caused by quiet sun) will make it very cold.

  14. I only wish it had been so warm when I was a kid surfing all those California beaches — I was skinny and the cold water, even in summer, often had me so chilled I had to head in and warm up in the sun on the beach — with all those pretty California Girls……

    • “California dreamin, on such a winter’s day”. And, “All the leaves are brown, leaves are brown, and the sky is grey”……Leaves were brown due to insufficient co2.

  15. How many measurements at how many locations were made in 1931? It is often easy to break previous “record” measurements by just sampling more intensively over a wider region. Seek and ye shall often find. An unsuspecting audience may never be told just how hard someone looked for the new “record”.

    • Same location.

      Here is a clue. the world is getting warmer. There WAS AN LIA

      1. Borehole measurements tell us this
      2. reduction in glaciers tell us this
      3. Rising sea levels tell us this
      4. Changing blossoming time tell us this
      5. Changing plant ranges tell us this
      6. Changing ice out dates tell us these.
      and yes
      7 Temperature records tell us this

      The warming is not uniform. Not spatially uniform, not temporally uniform,
      so in 1-7 you will always be able to pick a cool cherry. But generally all signs
      point to WARMING SINCE THE LIA, not cooling.

      Such that if you pick a random location that was measured in, say 1900, chances are that location will be warmer today than it was in 1900 or 1850 or 1700.

      Since the world is generally warming you will, you must see new records set. Even at places where the measurements were shitty. In a warming world expect more records .

      will everyplace set a record? NOPE. but in general or on average all places wil get warmer.
      Some will warm more, some will warm less.

      If you want to mak a SMART argument you might want to talk about the CAUSE of the warming. But attacking new records will not last as a tactic.

      • I am aware of those points, though if my mathematics was stronger I suspect a better argument could be made based on Niquist sampling theory. Certainly others have done so.

        However, that was not really my main point. I have never disputed that the world has probably warmed. It is simply an issue of trust, and the ease of faking records, and some of the means by which it can be done. Especially when the reader may not be aware of, or have access to, all the measurements. Most of the people making claims of new records lost my trust some years ago.

        • For instance, in the UK we tend to be regaled with temperature records from the Met Office at Heathrow Airport. I have never heard either the BBC or a Met Office spokesman mention all the extra runways, tarmac, and aircraft that has been added to the location over the years, and that this might effect temperature records.

          Never. Not once.

        • Since you brought up the subject of SMART arguments, I’ll mention a few you seem to have conveniently overlooked, but are probably well aware of.
          The global mean temperature is disproportionately affected by large increases in Polar, winter, and night time temperatures. But most people will never experience, never mind care about, Arctic temperatures that rise from, say, -40 Celsius to -20 Celsius, or even if their local winter and/or night time temperatures rise modestly. The highest temperatures being the ones that show the smallest or non existent increases is politically problematic for people who appear make a living out of global warming. Alarmist politicians, activists, and media want dramatic recent increases in LOCAL maximum temperatures. And by golly, they’ve got a lot of ways to get what they want without significantly distorting a global mean.

      • The CAUSE of the warming is the nut of it, right? No doubt some is agw, some is natural variation. The IPCC statement that almost all of it is agw is not proven and contradicts their own evidence. Statements here and elsewhere that the temperature record has been erroneously adjusted are not proven either. I’ve read the arguments supporting adjustment and those defending the adjustments, and I’m not smart enough to make up my own mind. The arguments are statistical in nature and I’m not very good with statistics.

        So neither proposition is proven, in my mind. What I’m left with is that the world continues to warm and we’re not sure why or what the relative contributions are.

        I read this stuff every day and I’m comfortable with uncertainty.

  16. Lucky people with warmer water. When it gets up to 30 that is the time to go swimming in comfort – no need to wear wet suits.

  17. Is this just the start of another warm blob. Just like the one that was off the coast of Washington a few years ago. If yes it might make El Nino/ La Nina cycles more interesting.

    • The “Warm Blob” of a few years ago was caused by a persistent high-pressure system sitting off the California coast.

      At one time it was speculated that the Warm Blob was being caused by underwater volcanic activity, but it was finally determined that the hot water only went down a few meters in depth so volcanic activity was ruled out.

      If a high-pressure system just sits over one spot, the area underneath it will get hotter and hotter as long as it sits there, and it works this way over land and water.

  18. a huuuuge point one of a degree
    shock horror!
    and not since the 30s?
    tsk tsk
    naff all suvs and industry( as now) back then either

    • So warming is not warming. Records are not records. Sounds like a good way to sleep better without looking at the global situation.

  19. California just isn’t irtue signaling nearly hard enough. Maybe they should outlaw vehicles and air conditioners.

  20. “However, what you don’t see is the bigger picture, with cooler than normal SST’s just to the north” And? What does this mean for CA temps, precipitation and wildfire?

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