Temperature Forecasts, Cherry Blossoms and Covid-19

Reposted from The Cliff Mass Weather Blog

To start on a positive note, the Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom on the UW Campus, with the visual effect enhanced by the beautiful, sunny weather.  (I should note that the UW is not encouraging folks to visit the blosssoms in person).

There is a lot of interest in the temperature/coronavirus relationship and what the weather forecasts suggest.
During the past several weeks there have been several papers submitted (but not yet reviewed) suggesting that coronavirus flourishes for daily mean temperatures roughly from 32F to 55F.  Warmer than that, the virus has problems.
The temperature map for the past month suggests that the only area of the U.S. that has been at sufficiently warm (14C–57F or more) to slow up the virus was the southeast U.S. (see below).

20200318.30day.mean.C (1)

Unfortunately, the latest forecasts do not offer warm-temperature virus relief for much of the country during the next week.  Let me show that by presenting the 11 AM PDT temperatures for the next few days.  Look for the blue, yellow, orange and red colors for virus-poor conditions.
Saturday morning: SE U.S. is good.  Not so good for the NW and NE.

Monday–same thing,  but improved  (warm) condition in most of Texas.

By Wednesday, warmer temperatures are over the SE, the central plains, and up into the Carolinas.

Fast forwarding to next Sunday (March 29th), little improvement for the NW and NE.

The bottom line is that mother nature is not giving most of us the warm temperatures needed to suppress the virus    But April is not far away.
And if you want some good news, the coronavirus testing at the University of Washington (Med School’s Virology department) is now finding a stabilization in the number of positive evaluations (see graphic below).   Another good piece of news is that the overwhelming number of tests are negative (folks are getting sick from the flu and other illnesses).

UW Virology have been extreme heroes during this event, providing COVID-19 testing when CDC was failing, as well as revving up to do thousands of tests per day.  Makes one proud to be a husky.  Check out their web site—and consider providing a donation for their excellent work.

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78 thoughts on “Temperature Forecasts, Cherry Blossoms and Covid-19

  1. Embarrass MN was -12 F yesterday morning. Much of northern MN has at least 6” of snow left. They could use an old fashion warm up.

  2. Good posting of this article, Charles. I have read in several other reports that the previous corona virus outbreaks, four I think, were season reactive, as mentioned in the article from U Dub. CNN International is castigating President Trump for suggesting this possible relief, but they are also floundering around in spectacular Trump Derangement Syndrome, with everything from Trump caused the virus, to how stupid it is to suggest a malaria medicine shows promise against the virus, to notice how Russia does not have any of the virus (and this Shirley shows Trump is a Russian Agent)? Wait a minute, I live in the southern hemisphere and we are heading into winter and the temperatures the virus likes! I need a drink of that internal hand sanitizer.

  3. Here is an on-line epidemic caluculator; it has all sorts of knobs and dials. These have been developed over the years and I have praise for those attempting this.

    I think, though, it is an example of, what shall we call it, statistical arrrogance? The same problem that infests the global warming industry.

    A plausible mathematical model is developed and has variables filled with data that we just don’t know; and we accept the result as gospel without understanding , or deliberately ignoring, the model’s limitations and quality of the input data.

    http://gabgoh.github.io/COVID/index.html

    • Fascinating plaything.
      It is a model.
      I have no real idea of the inputs; I was able to hospitalise the entire UK population on this bit of modelling kit.
      It really is (much) worse than I thought!!

      Auto

      • I had a coworker who had a sign posted in his office,to wit, “All models are false , some are useful “.

    • “A plausible mathematical model is developed and has variables filled with data that we just don’t know; and we accept the result as gospel without understanding , or deliberately ignoring, the model’s limitations and quality of the input data.”

      when you are planning your retirement your financial planner will
      ask you all sorts of questions you don’t REALLY know the answer to.
      And so if you are smart you might do some sensitivity analysis.

      The whole point of modelling is to HIGHLIGHT what you don’t know and to quantify
      areas you need to narrow your uncertainty.

      So here is a practical question.

      Do you have enough ICU units to simply let the disease burn through the population?
      Saying “you don’t know” is just trivially true.
      If you do nothing you will find out, maybe too late.

      uncertainty is not your friend.

      • Yes but no pension model comes up with answers that vary between $250k and $19 million as the UK modeling of CV has done.

        Yes, all models rely on assumptions. Truvially true. But all useful models can limit those assumptions to a relatively narrow band. If they cannot, they are simply not useful. Basing decisions on such models is stupid. In the UK we modeled Mad Cow Disease and came up with 100,000 deaths and so slaughtered all livestock. 100 people died who would have died anyway, but at least 50 farmers committed suicide.

        Anyone can come up with “oh but its scary” stuff. Anybody can say “do you have enough [insert scary thing solution]. That doesn’t make it science or the right thing to do.

  4. So the take away here is that Global Warming is Good.

    I’m wondering what the Hair-On-Fire Contest between Godzilla of CoViD-19 and King Kong of the next major hurricane will look like.

  5. The challenge right now is that you can only be tested for live virus not the virus antibodies. So even if you are negative, it does not show that you may have had it already, suffered very little symptoms and are now well again. This will be a problem trying to truly understand how many people actually were infected until the anti body test is wide spread..

  6. Dr William Grace New York hospitals and colleagues are reported astounding success with hydroxychloroquine and azythromycin

  7. Well, the Gretas, the AOCs and the XRs and the liberals of the world have gotten their wish. No humans working. Obviously, good thing for them is this huge dent in human CO2 output will now LOWER Earth temperatures dramatically and we are likely facing a Summer without heat. Bravo for them! This will PROVE them correct in their assertion that human CO2 drives the planet’s temperature.
    Or not.

  8. According to WHO statistics only ten countries have death ratios above 1.5%. How WHO gets 4.3% for the globe is a mystery. Maybe a hockey stick got involved.

    For those countries below 1.5 % almost 95% of their known cases display no statistical symptoms.

    This entirely unnecessary social, political and economic shit storm was created by the lying, rabble-rousing, fact free, fake news mainstream media propaganda machine.

    Thanks a lot –

    • Nick Schroeder: “How WHO gets 4.3% for the globe is a mystery”

      WR: As soon as the Health System gets overwhelmed the fatality rate rises five to tenfold. Next week all regular ICU’s in the Netherlands will be in use and expected on basis of the past (!) growth in cases a further explosive rise in the number of people that need respirators (on ICU’s) is to expect. Actual official number of cases is only 4204. One percent of our population is 170,000.

      Good analysis: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca

      • Where has it risen tenfold?

        Yes, ICU can get overwhelmed, but the actual numbers remain really very small. That sounds callous, but if we have ten ICU beds, then 11 cases “overwhelms” us. Do we shut down the economy for that one? If we have 20 cases, we are “swamped” but its only ten more than we can deal with, perhaps five avoidable deaths.

        And to be more callous, if those ten extra deaths have serious underlying conditions, and a bout of flu would carry them off, again, do we put millions out of work?

        Italy has had 5,500 deaths so far. Allowing for false positives and non-CV deaths (testing positive but actually dying from something else) that might be actually 3,000. That’s terrible for those people and their families but it is the typical Excess Winter Deaths we see every year.

        • Italy had ~700 more deaths today, doubling in about 5 days so perhaps up to 10,000 by the weekend, (120,000 cases).

    • And it is summer, with higher temperatures.

      Look at the published outbreak maps and there are many cases in the (warm and humid) tropics and in the Southern Hemisphere. It may be wishful thinking that COVID-19 will end with warmer weather. But we can hope that is true, and that the tropical and SH cases are merely an anomaly.

  9. The go-to malaria drug in Africa back when was Aralen, a chloroquine phosphate. It was a prophylactic and suppressor of symptoms. It was very good to me when I contracted the bug (long story) and eventually had to go to the U of W tropical disease clinic for treatment (another long story).
    Regulations or not, if I had any on hand I would take it in a second. As a non-drinker, I can’t rely on a G & T, but I do have a few 2-liter bottles of quinine water handy…just in case.

    • Actually a sugar free tonic water with a splash of lemon or lemon concentrate-and splenda isn’t bad. I’ve been doing two c. a day with zinc. My Doc said that the Prophylactic effect might be worth it (he’s doing that too. )Quinine pills a a bit rough on the system.. Best reserved for symptoms.

    • Trump is going to have a news conference here in a few minutes. Maybe he will say something about the Hydroxychloroquine/Azithromycin combination.

  10. I am wondering why New Orleans and LA in general are having a large outbreak despite having temps in the warm range considered difficult for the CV-19 virus? It appears to counter the idea that higher temps will bring some relief.

  11. The first pandemic wave in the UK in 1918 (Spanish flu) was in July, one of the warmest months of the year:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9a/1918_spanish_flu_waves.gif

    What we need to do instead of ‘waiting’ for a lucky development is controling the virus in the way South Korea controls. That will give us time to wait for a vaccine. As I understand there is NO shut down of the economy in South Korea. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/18/the-danger-of-making-coronavirus-decisions-without-reliable-data/#comment-2942379

    • because of some nutcase churches who refuse to stop mass assembly we are going to do
      15 days of social distancing because cases continue at about 100 per day. 15% of that
      is imported. We wont do travel bans, we follow WHO guidance which argues that
      BANS lead to complacency. ( eg Trump thought his ban would keep you safe, hence no plan for the worse case)

      whats social distance mean?
      only essential travel outside the home, work, food shopping.
      we will also protect the elderly and stop visits to old folks homes.
      Sports events and music concerts.. etc. posponed

      No company dinners. Company dinner is a regular thing. every day after work.

      work goes on.

      These are all suggestions. Since community spirit is high and the population is vastly
      over educated they will comply. Policy is all based on science. Politics are sidelined.
      President Moon does not showboat every day. Daily briefings are run by Civil Defense experts
      When you live in the shadow of a nut case to your North, you plan.

      this virus is a sneaky bastard.. wackamole ahead.

      not out of the woods

      USA needs a plan. been telling you all this since Jan 24 when I left china

        • The US is faced with impossible choices because they

          1. believed that travel bans were a panacea
          2. refused to take notice of china data properly.
          3. made foolish comparisons to flu deaths and auto wrecks

          Didn’t need to get to this with a little common sense.

          China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, HK, all knew what these little beasties can do.
          Jan 21 I was handed a mask by my hotel.
          2+2=4

          • Steven Mosher
            March 23, 2020 at 6:07 am

            China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, HK, all knew what these little beasties can do.
            ———–

            And all this shit hole countries will keep claiming as always, that they are better
            than USA, or that not only they are better but always been better than USA.

            You supposedly happen to be a USA citizen.
            Do you really believe that such shit holes there can even compare to your country,
            the USA?

            Am just asking you, a supposed USA citizen, when I am not as such.
            Please do show me about the beauty of shit holes claims against the achievement of the people of your country… and your country, and the beauty and success of your own country and your own people.

            That technically stands as not yet as possibly replicated by the rest of shit holes there, all over the place… all over the world.

            You compare Italy to your country the USA,
            you really think that can be any where in the means of comparison as acceptable!!??
            (please make my day and answer “yes”…)

            Steven, are you or are you not a USA citizen, that is the question!

            thanks.

            cheers

          • I’m reminded of the battle between the FAA and Skully regarding his miraculous landing in/on the Hudson. The FAA thought he could have made a better choice, landed at a nearby airport and avoided a wet landing. They put pilots in a simulator, told them the specifics of the incident and asked them to react. They did! Right away, by golly! And, guess what? They made it to the airport, but just barely.

            Then Skully mentioned that those simulator pilots knew the issue beforehand, knew exactly what to do the reach the nearest airport and did not have to spend one second recognizing, assessing and then responding to an unforeseen action.

            So, the FAA, realizing that they were not being realistic, allowed a few seconds, less than a minute really, and guess what? They could not make the airport and crashed which likely would have killed or injured many passengers/crew instead of what Skully accomplished, all and passengers and crew saved.

            You, Steven Mosher, are the FAA. Great at looking after the fact and saying what should have been done but not recognizing the facts surrounding decision-making. The US is NOT the like the countries you mentioned. We have a different governmental structure, different culture and our economy is much bigger and more complicated. The President acted fairly quickly and limited travel from China, then Europe, and then other countries, which, no doubt, slowed the progress of the disease in the US.

            I have read the reports, based on modeling, about “Do Nothing” and various mitigation and suppression strategies and estimates up to 10 million US dead. The “Do Nothing” option was negated back in February when the President instituted travel restrictions. Make no mistake, COVID-19 is a pandemic and there will be a significant number of people who will be sick, and some die.

            But, warm/humid weather is approaching which should act on this virus in the same way as other respiratory viruses as that action is a physical process. Therapies are in the pipeline and New York will begin a large trial this Tuesday on the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin combination. And, the US industrial base is moving ever more quickly to engage in the war on COVID-19.

            The world does not pivot on the word of any single individual, even Steven Mosher.

          • “And all this shit hole countries will keep claiming as always, that they are better
            than USA, or that not only they are better but always been better than USA.”

            Taiwan? Signapore? Korea? Hong Kong shit holes?

            ‘You supposedly happen to be a USA citizen.
            Do you really believe that such shit holes there can even compare to your country,
            the USA?”

            That’s a silly question.

            The simple fact is these countries learned a painful lesson with SARS and MERS.
            I am a us citizen. When I saw what China was doing to control the virus
            when I saw what Korea was doing, I knew we would not learn from the experience
            “show me state” and all that shit.

            During my daily chats with friends in China I would tell them American will never put up with this kind of stuff. They will die first.

            Asking me to compare Korea and the US is like asking me to compare Bowling and Football. And it’s really beside the point.

          • “Jan 21 I was handed a mask by my hotel.
            2+2=4”

            Well, I think Jan 21 was around the time the World Health Organization, in consultation with the Chinese leadership, said there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the Wuhan Virus. It might have been Jan 24. I can’t remember off the top of my head. So your clerk is a pretty good analyst of the situation. Better than the WHO and the Chinese leadership. And I can see how that could happen since the WHO and the Chinese leadership were lying about the situation, and the clerk and you knew the true situation. Trump established the travel ban Jan. 31.

            As for the travel ban being a panacea, noone has ever made that claim but you, as far as I know. The goal of a travel ban is to slow the infection enough so that our hospitals are not overwhelmed with victims like is happening in Italy. Of course, you knew that, didn’t you, but we have to state it for those who don’t. We wouldn’t want anyone to be misinformed.

          • Steven Mosher
            March 23, 2020 at 11:44 am
            ———-

            Steven,
            I really wish you understand the proposition of your own shit.

            cheers

          • Steven Mosher
            March 23, 2020 at 11:44 am

            During my daily chats with friends in China I would tell them American will never put up with this kind of stuff. They will die first.
            ————-

            I do not think you really understand this,
            as for consideration of your point made….

            The rest of shit holes there have less chances of understanding this simple thing there…especially when guys like you fail horribly in understanding such as simplicity… of nature and natural order there, mister USA citizen!!!

            cheers

          • Steven Mosher
            March 23, 2020 at 11:44 am

            Taiwan? Signapore? Korea? Hong Kong shit holes?
            ———
            Of course they are,
            this countries are 100 carat shit holes when compared to USA , that is beyond question here.
            Only Lenins ad Hitlers or Stalins will claim other wise.

            Where do you stand within all this shit, Steven?!?

            cheers

  12. This is funny. Mass thinks forecasting in the US needs to be greatly improved, then he goes to show forecasts a week out. No, that’s not funny, that’s effing HILARIOUS.

    The forecast for the next day is automatically suspect as it is.

  13. SARS-Cov-2 has a membrane, which if it dries out, likely disrupts entry into the cell. High temperature with high humidity may not diminish infectivity as rapidly as high temperature and low humidity. Northern India may have fewer COVID-19 cases per capita in the end than southern India. Just a WAG. Modi is doing a good job keeping people together.

    The above is consistent with reports SARS-CoV-2 is spread by large droplets and surfaces, not aerosols. Consequently, cooping people up together at home is the best way to spread the disease to the older folks.

    Newsom here in California has shut down schools and work for many people, making them stay together at home. Great way to make sure all family members get sick if one gets COVID-19.

    Cumulative mortality during the 2019-2020 flu season

    It is important to put the deaths due to COVID-19 in context with deaths due to influenza, pneumonia, and all causes. Americans are dying from many causes, and we can compare rates from the figure above (or click the link). Deaths due to pneumonia – rising to about 4000 per week, are a small but significant fraction of total deaths – holding at about 50,000 per week. Starting in January, influenza mortality rose to about 400 per week, mostly H1N1.

    The risk factors regarding COVID-19 mortality are the same with H1N1. Thousands of older Americans with preexisting medical conditions are dying now from H1N1. A major difference is there are hundreds of deaths among children infected with H1N1, but almost none with COVID-19.

    We would not shut down states because of H1N1, but we are with COVID-19 that has so far so little mortality it doesn’t even show up as a positive on the chart above. COVID-19 deaths are contributing only a very tiny fraction to mortality.

    Fighting COVID-19 does not require destroying our economy. Democrat governors are doing their part to change their failing party’s political fortunes at our great expense. Children should be in school, and people should be working.

    If someone is sick, they should stay home. We should practice good hygiene and social distancing. Large droplets carry SARS-CoV-2 from infected persons, but aerosols do not. It is not an airborne disease. Disinfect surfaces and avoid putting your unwashed hands in your mouth or rubbing eyes, etc.

  14. Thailand is an interesting case. They were first country outside China to have a case and have lots of Chinese tourists. They have 442 cases and only recently put in social distancing. Many cases come from people coming from outside the country.

    Texas has cases but not too bad given their population. Many cases come from outside the state with travel.

    Seems weather has an effect but doesn’t totally stop the spread.

  15. … there have been several papers submitted (but not yet reviewed) suggesting that coronavirus flourishes for daily mean temperatures roughly from 32F to 55F. Warmer than that, the virus has problems.

    As Dr. Spencer notes there is an inverse correlation between coronavirus and malaria. As well, I have noted a correlation between national average IQ and coronavirus.

    It’s kind of like the inverse correlation between pirates and global warming. link

    When I was a pup, we were warned about confounding variables but my new favorite term is lurking variable. It brings up images of dirty old variables hiding in the shadows waiting for unwary youngsters.

  16. That link to UW Virology is interesting. They have tested patients of health care organizations
    http://depts.washington.edu/labmed/covid19/
    and found about 7% positive.

    What I would like to see is how a random sample of the “man on the street” would turn out.
    Anybody ignoring the crisis by being in public should be tested, or at least a random sample of them.
    If you really want to get serious, those found positive should be flagged and tagged.

  17. Start @ 10:22. Anthony Fauci, Director NIH, says so many Italian hypertension patients dying from the virus is a red flag, and data on their anti-hypertensive meds needs to be analyzed quickly to determine if they used ACE inhibitors.

    • I’m looking at data for Taiwan. Low incidences of illness (45) and death (1), despite being so close to mainland China with concomitant traffic.

      Also low usage of ACE inhibitors (ACEI) for hypertension (11%). Calcium Channel Blockers were the most commonly prescribed antihypertensive drugs, whereas diuretics and ACE inhibitors were the least prescribed. Multiple antihypertensive drugs were prescribed in 63% of patients, so if they received an ACEI, dose per patient was probably low.

      I’m wondering if this the pattern we’re going to see emerge? Low ACEI usage in countries with low illness/deaths, and vice versa.

  18. Well, *IF* warm weather stops the spread of the virus, we here in Texas are safe once out 3 weeks of Spring weather turn to Summer. 90+ (F) degree days for 5 months – HA! – Virus take THAT!

    I certainly do hope the Corona Virus (SARS-CoV-2) behaves like the common FLU strains and just peters out come summer. By the time it starts up again we may have a vaccine and at least some of the population will be immune, making the spread harder. Trouble is, for herd immunity to work we need a lot more resistant and immune people, especially if the R-Naught is really as high as 2.

    And I wonder how many other wonderful viruses like this are out there just on the verge of making a break out. It could be happening in small isolated villages in India and Africa for many years and as long as it doesn’t get out of the village area, we would never know about it. Maybe the same with distant small Chinese villages… We build enough roads, we will find out for sure.

    • I’m future I think as soon as new virus discovered that is spreading quickly all airline flights will be shutdown. Only goods will be allowed to go on planes.

      Governments likely underestimated this virus because SARS, MERS did not spread.

  19. In case anyone doesn’t believe that climate alarmists want us to go back to a much simpler lifestyle- just read https://www.vogue.com/article/coronavirus-response-why-we-cant-forget-climate-change-efforts which is the “editors’ pick of the week” on the skeptical science web site (which of course is NOT skeptical of climate science). I’ve always liked the writings of Henry David Thoreau who said we should “simplify, simplify” but he wrote that almost 2 centuries ago when simplifying wouldn’t be that big of a change- but to return to the nineteenth would be a catastrophic disruption- something I presume few alarmists will choose to do.

  20. Anecdotal: Late-march night temperatures at my studio in Sonoran Desert in California two hours east of Los Angeles have persisted low for several weeks, continue surprisingly chilly. In the high 40s.

    Off-topic: Cherry blossoms are wonderful, but here is one of the optimistic hopes for humanity, Alma Deutscher, in the apricot orchards of Vienna.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR3T9OjoxSM

    Alma is an important composer in this world, don’t let her age fool you. She has the true joy of life in her heart and mind.

  21. UW?
    More acronym speak that only makes sense to insiders?

    I have cherry trees that I planted on my property, both flowering and fruiting cherries; along with the choke cherries so common in Virginia.
    Most are protected from the prevailing wind.
    None of them have flowered.

    There is a bird seeded cherry tree across the street on top of a small hill that is fully exposed to all day sunlight.
    It has been flowering for two days now.

    It is all about the sunlight, not the temperature.

  22. Thanks Willis
    Interesting the increased testing is not revealing an numerically increasing rate of infection. I hope the ‘curve has been crushed’ for the sake of those people.
    Well done University of Washington for making the data available.

  23. We may need shutdown every couple of months for 2 weeks to keep virus in check. Let it grow then knock it down to lower levels and then repeat. We simply cannot shutdown economy forever or there will be mass unemployment, city budgets will fail as tax base dries up. There has to be determined a reasonable caseload that can be handled.

  24. Vitamin D can be taken in pill form no matter what the temp is.

    If the sun comes out go for a walk.

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