Heatwaves in the Northwest: Are Extreme Heat Events Increasing Rapidly?

From the Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Cliff Mass

My Friday podcast on extreme heat events in the Northwest stirred up a lot of comments and some controversy, so perhaps I need a detailed blog that puts the details in front of you.

My basic point is that the peak temperature, duration, and frequency of extreme heat events are not rapidly rising in the Northwest.

And that mean/average temperatures or minimum temperatures are rising faster than the extremes.

Let me explain.

First, you have to be careful to use reliable observing sites

The Seattle Times and some climate activists like to look at temperatures at Seattle Tacoma Airport, but SeaTac is the LAST station you want to use for climate studies.  Why?  Because of the profound growth of the airport, with the addition of a third runway, many additional buildings, and lots more concrete.  Plus, massive urbanization around the airport.  Plus, the observing record only goes back to the late 1940s and the sensor location has been moved.

SeaTac Airport.  The weather sensors are at the black dotBased on the recommendation of Mr. Mark Albright, past Washington State Climatologist, let’s consider Olympia Airport instead. No additional runways, a much less developed environment (see below) and the record goes back to 1941.

Below is a plot of the highest temperatures in July and August for the entire record at Olympia.  

Do you see much of a trend in the extreme high temperatures?  I don’t.

There are more very cool years in the earliest part of the record, so if you calculate a linear trend line, you get a slight upward tilt (about 1.2F over the period).  Again this is not driven by the temperature extemes but by more unusually cool years early in the record.

Now let’s look at the trend in the daily average temperatures for those months.  This is the average of the daily highs and lows.   There is more of an upward trend: about 2F over the entire period.

Next, let’s examine a different site…in this case Lind 3NE, which is found in a totally rural area in eastern Washington (see a picture of the surroundings below).  This station goes back to 1931. No urbanization here.  An area of natural conditions or dryland farming.

Here is a plot of the annual maximum temperatures at Lind.  Mama Mia!  The extreme highs are GOING DOWN.  Many of the warmest years are early in the record.

On the other hand, the daily average temperature is going up (by 2.4F over the entire period)

Other well-exposed, mainly rural, observing sites show similar behavior.  In contrast, highly urbanized or disturbed sites (like SeaTac), particularly those with sensor exposure issues, show much more of an upward temperature trend. Obviously, these observations are not suggesting an existential threat…just a small upward trend of mean temperatures and less upward trend in extreme warmth.

Six Day Heat Waves

A lot has been made in the press and by certain climate activists about SeaTac achieving six days above 90F for the first time.  This kind of frequency above a threshold can be very deceiving, since very small warming (say .1 F) can cause one to cross the threshold.

It is far more meaningful to look at the actual temperatures during the warmest six days for each year.


So let’s do that!

For Seattle, the six warm days last week came in third for the period of record.  Note that many other years were right behind.   And remember all the recent artificial warming due to the third runway and more.  Without all that development, SeaTac temperatures last week would have been much further down the list.

For Olympia, last week falls to number five, and was over two degrees cooler than the “winner” in 1981.  1941 was also warmer.

It was mighty warm in eastern Washington last week, so what about Lind (see below)?  The heatwave last week did not even make the top ten.

Were we unusually warm for an extended period last week?  You bet.  Did global warming contribute to it?  Quite possibly by a few degrees.   Was this the record six-day warm period at any of the observing sites in the region?  No.There are some folks that get concerned when I put our summer heat waves into historical perspective, but it is critical to do so.  Heat waves are nothing new in the Northwest.  Although our mean temperatures are slowly increasing, the extremes are rising more slowly.  And when it comes to impacts, the extremes are really what count.

Why does global warming affect the means more than the extremes?

This is a topic I will cover in a future blog in some detail, but there are many reasons why global warming influences mean temperatures much more than extreme high temperatures.  

This is not surprising.  Radiative effects are stronger for minimum than maximum temperatures, some local wind circulations supporting heat weaken under global warming, irrigation causes cooling during the day, and many reasons will be discussed.

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Rocketscientist
August 4, 2022 10:06 am

Unfortunately, No News lacks the sensationalism to sell add space.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
August 4, 2022 12:06 pm
Ben Vorlich
Reply to  HenryP
August 4, 2022 12:20 pm

Natural Climate Change Deniers now control all media

Loydo
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 4, 2022 3:11 pm

Lol

Why does global warming affect the means more than the extremes?

It doesn’t. Just more baloney getting spread to the credulous here at the denial factory. Here is Grant Foster demolishing the bs.

https://tamino.wordpress.com/2022/07/31/not-even-wrong-2/

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Loydo
August 4, 2022 5:34 pm

Hi Loydo
I looked at your link, this guy cherry picks the single hottest day from each month while cliff looks at all the highs for the records through those summer months.
Climate change is increase of the temps but other than a single outlier the trend is flat or down.
Cliff wins
You and your loser link, fail.

Have a nice day

Loydo
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
August 4, 2022 6:15 pm

Yeah, Hi Pat, “this guy cherry picks the single hottest day from each month while cliff looks at all the highs for the records through those summer months.”

Um, nope.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Loydo
August 4, 2022 5:54 pm

Plus he only uses SeaTac which is clearly all UHI

Double fail

Why post such twaddle, and then crow he “demolished” cliff?

The only thing demolished is your credibility.
No wait, you never had any

Loydo
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
August 4, 2022 6:22 pm

Um, nope, they both used SeaTac. The only differences I could see were that Mass cut of the fist 23 years of data starting in 1971 instead of all the available back to 1948, and all of the months of June from his “summer” and only looked at July and August for some (himt) reason.

But do go on.

Emily Daniels
Reply to  Loydo
August 8, 2022 11:53 am

What are you talking about? Mass showed graphs for Olympia and Lind, not SeaTac, and he started Olympia in 1941, the oldest date available. Did you even read the article? And yes, he’s showing the highest temperatures from July and August because those are the hottest months of the year, so that’s where the annual maxima occur.

aaron
Reply to  Loydo
August 5, 2022 7:22 pm

lol tamino

Doonman
August 4, 2022 10:08 am

Oh oh. Weather might change. Let’s panic and toss the economy.

Mr.
August 4, 2022 10:18 am

While Prof Mass keeps a close eye on the temperature scales, others are more concerned about keeping their thumbs on the temperature scales.

Tom Halla
August 4, 2022 10:20 am

Classic contaminated siting and a strong UHI effect.

aaron
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 4, 2022 1:12 pm
James Schrumpf
August 4, 2022 10:27 am

Daytime high:85F
Nighttime low:62F
Daily Mean: 73.5F

Daytime high: 85F
Nighttime low: 67F
Daily Mean: 76.0F

The daily average went up 3.5 degrees F! The Earth is on Fire!!!

Redge
Reply to  James Schrumpf
August 4, 2022 11:15 am

And the warmth is at night time when you would expect all that concrete to give back its store of daytime heat

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Redge
August 4, 2022 5:36 pm

Yes, give me more here in calgary
With more UHI and AWG I might be able to grow corn

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  James Schrumpf
August 4, 2022 12:57 pm

2.5 deg F!

Johne Morton
August 4, 2022 10:29 am

The left likes to focus a lot on major headline events (while ignoring their own argument that weather is not climate), and often point to record or near-record daytime high temperatures in summer because most people will notice it and it has a greater psychological effect than, say, a warmer nighttime low. The same thing is found in headline events like school shootings. If a dozen children or teenagers die in a mass shooting, no one will deny that it’s tragic, but if a hundred thousand die from illegal fentanyl, it’s merely a statistic.

In a genuinely warming climate, extreme summer daytime temperatures should not change much in lower and middle latitudes. Throughout the Holocene, the highest temperatures have always been found away from the equator in the subtropics and mid-latitudes.

John Bell
August 4, 2022 10:32 am

But wait, every place is warming twice as fast as everywhere else, and the news man sang his same song.

rhs
August 4, 2022 11:21 am

One of the Denver TV stations had an almost balanced piece about the temps in July. While the piece stars with stating Denver had it’s second warmest July, the statement was actually qualified with the record at DIA only goes back to 1995. And the temperature series recorded at City Park which is a much longer time frame shows July was it’s 8th warmest on record.

Too bad data quality was only implied and not outwardly stated. But it’s a start.

https://www.9news.com/article/weather/weather-colorado/july-2022-second-hottest-july-denver/73-2f49e528-1507-4aa3-83fd-6c101ccbcea0

Juan
August 4, 2022 11:31 am

Friends have said that the past year was miserable. Constantly cold and rainy. Spring did not come until June. Take it for what it’s worth.

Mr.
Reply to  Juan
August 4, 2022 11:55 am

Spring did not come until June at all.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Juan
August 4, 2022 9:06 pm

No Spring is right. Here in the PNWS we had the coldest and wettest April and May in the historical record. Miserable.

Then for a few days in August the thermometer reached 90°F. Hooray. The garden finally started to grow. Everything is late, but if we get a warm Sept. we might get sweet corn, tomatoes, and cantaloupes.

Whaddaya expect for August? Why is 90?F a calamity? Answer: it’s not; it’s a blessing.

Urban activist pea brains, catch a clue. Warmer is better for farming and food production.

tgasloli
August 4, 2022 11:56 am

Bloomberg just posted a “the end of snow” article for the west.
You’d think they would have learned. Expect record snow this winter.

Juan
Reply to  tgasloli
August 4, 2022 12:55 pm

They ran the same article for Europe 20 years ago.

Vuk
August 4, 2022 12:04 pm

Funny thing happened on the way from Australia to Arctic. Warm water from barrier reef after failing to exterminate corals was found north of the Bering Straight, this time having a go at the Arctic ice.
Arctic ice rejoice!
Daily Telegraph:
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is bursting back to life in remarkable fashion after being damaged by warming waters, a new investigation has revealed.
The world heritage site is currently boasting its greatest coral cover in decades. However, experts cautioned that the regrowth was made up largely of a common, fast-growing but weak genus known as acropora that could easily be lost.

R Taylor
Reply to  Vuk
August 4, 2022 12:43 pm

Yes, but it’s rotten coral.

Neil Jordan
Reply to  Vuk
August 4, 2022 3:32 pm

Also the wrong kind of coral. And the kind that children won’t know.

Elliot W
Reply to  Neil Jordan
August 4, 2022 4:36 pm

Whoa. Isn’t that discriminatory against coral species?

Katio1505
Reply to  Vuk
August 4, 2022 9:49 pm

Yes Vuk

The kind of coral that was probably lost when the alarm went out that the reef was doomed.

John VC
August 4, 2022 12:58 pm

A lot has been made in the press and by certain climate activists about SeaTac achieving six days above 90F for the first time.

Sure would like to see some mild weather like that here in North Central Texas. Not much of an exaggeration to say that the daily high has been in the 3 digit range for the last 2 months or so.

Elliot W
Reply to  John VC
August 4, 2022 4:38 pm

Well, move to Vancouver Canada then. Not much of an exaggeration that in the past 2months or so we’ve had maybe 5 days above 75F. I guess you got our summer.

mal
Reply to  John VC
August 4, 2022 6:36 pm

Here in Arizona we had a mild summer some day we don’t hit three digits. Our average is 107. We been in the low 100 and high nineties. I thing one this week we got to the seventies at night. That should be near 90. Weather is weather.

aaron
August 4, 2022 1:01 pm

Urbanization is a far bigger factor in heatwaves and precipitation than global warming/ghe.

Loydo
Reply to  aaron
August 4, 2022 5:45 pm

No, global average SST is a bigger factor by about 1000x.

Total continental heat increase including neglible UHI effect

comment image

Total increase

comment image

https://essd.copernicus.org/articles/12/2013/2020/#&gid=1&pid=1

Loydo
Reply to  Loydo
August 4, 2022 5:47 pm

Whoops, thats just oceanic, here is total

comment image

Mr.
Reply to  Loydo
August 4, 2022 8:32 pm

So what’s the actual temperature?
(So I know where it’s good for a swim)

Loydo
Reply to  Mr.
August 5, 2022 2:46 am

I don’t know, but I’d be using the blue bit a guide, not the purple.

Michael in Dublin
August 4, 2022 1:36 pm

Many people look for what they want to see or what they have been convinced is there. Those who are observant and think carefully about what they see notice that climate alarmists impose their ideology on others rather than work it out from what they observe.

Waza
August 4, 2022 2:02 pm

Almost every year in Washington state the months with the most death is either January or February and the month with the least deaths is either June, July, August or September. There is generally 20% more people dying in winter than summer..
There are probably enough statistics available to analyse the hypothesis that:-
The increased temperature of Washington state has reduced annual temperature related deaths, with reduction in cold weather deaths outweighing increase in hot weather deaths.

Waza
Reply to  Waza
August 4, 2022 2:21 pm

Additionally, can energy use for heating/cooling be analysed against temperature increases.

Remember, CAGW is not just about temperature increase but the supposed damages caused by it.

Increased temperature in North Eastern United States would without a doubt be more beneficial.

Geoff Sherrington
August 4, 2022 3:30 pm

Detailed heatwave studies involve many odd variables apart from UHI.
Importantly, vital to add temperature uncertainty estimates to comparisons of one time to another. I use +/- 0.5 deg C uncertainty as a rough guide for daily city temperatures including UHI of course.
In some places the heatwave develops miles away from the weather station, like 1,000 miles from the hot desert centre of Australia to the population centre of Melbourne. Heatwave intensity in Melbourne depends on factors like how fast the weather system moves from the Centre to Melbourne, losing heat as it moves. Nothing to do with climate change. Peak heatwave temperatures get higher down the East coast as you move away from the Equator, like on average Brisbane peaks less hot than Sydney than Melbourne. Bris-Syd is 700 km south, Syd-Melb separated by 430 km, Melb has the hotties. Why? Nothing to do with climate change.
In Aust, official data adjustments, homogenised, display increased heatwave trends with time, compared to raw. Nothing to do with climate change.
My comments here are derived from the following analysis of 8 major Australian cities. It is likely that there are occasional stations where people can find exceptions. Go for it, that is the way science advances, by open debate. Large file, give it time. Geoff S
http://www.geoffstuff.com/eightheatwave2022.xlsx

waza
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 4, 2022 4:18 pm

Geoff
Heatwaves (and corresponding cold snaps) must be measured and defined differently for each city.
We arguably don’t have a heat waves in Melbourne.

The alarmists claim it is the amount of “hot days” that is increasing.
From
https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/about-council/vision-goals/eco-city/Pages/adapting-to-climate-change.aspx#:~:text=Melbourne%20will%20experience%20more%20severe,rain%20falling%20in%2015%20minutes.

  • Melbourne is experiencing hotter days. We currently average 11 days greater than 35 degrees. By 2050 we will experience an average 16 days greater than 35 degrees.

The Alarmist poster Child for Melbourne is the summer of 2009 with major bushfires and associated heatwave.

Summer 2009 – 12 days greater than 35 degrees

But other infamous Bushfire years
Summer 1983 – 19 days greater than 35 degrees
Summer 1939 – 13 days greater than 35 degrees

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  waza
August 4, 2022 4:42 pm

Wqaza,
Thanks for that different view.
Unhappily, if you take forecasts of the future weather out of the article, little remains.
Like, sea level change to now has been fairly constant for the last 8,000 years. Why should predictions from 1990 to 2050 of 24 cm rise suddenly happen when they have not started by 2022?
The article mentions stress on the Melbourne ambulance system at the 2009 heatwave. Maybe that measures how good the ambulance system is, not how bad climate change is. In 2022, many more stresses on ambulances are in the news when we are having a cool lead. Nothing to do with climate change.
Sorry, I respond poorly to articles with alarmist claims and fictional forecasts. Geoff S

Loydo
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 4, 2022 6:33 pm

“…little remains…”

Mmm, indeed, indeed, mmm, forecasts…

http://www.bom.gov.au/state-of-the-climate/images/2020/figures/SoTC2020_Temp_Heatevents.png

waza
Reply to  Loydo
August 4, 2022 8:34 pm

Loydo
That is the most convoluted useless graph.
Averaging the entire nations temps throughout the four seasons to create the number of “heat events” is ridiculous.

Additionally the alarmist BOM wants to count the days over 39 deg C averaged over the whole country.

People dont live in the average. They live in one place.
The BOM claim
In terms of national daily average maximum temperatures, there were 33 days that exceeded 39 °C in 2019″

The amount of days over 39 deg C for the big five cities which represent 65% of the nations population.

Sydney -2
Melbourne – 7
Brisbane – 1
Perth – 12
Adelaide – 16

So how the F did they get 33 days

Loydo
Reply to  waza
August 4, 2022 9:09 pm

“convoluted”

You mean exponential? If I still lived in Adelaide, I’d move.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Loydo
August 5, 2022 12:26 am

Loydo,
Sorry, you are not quite right, again.
A few days ago I compared the “adjusted” graph you show in your link, with the “raw” data straight from BOM official files.
They do not match. The pattern in the adjusted version that so excites you is mainly due to the way they define a heatwave. I just show the raw data.
If an effect fails to show in the raw data, what motivates people to torture it for a picture that suits their ideology? Geoff S

http://www.geoffstuff.com/heatcompare.jpg

Loydo
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 5, 2022 1:04 am

They “do not match” because they are of different things. Your graph shows a rising trend of “very hot days (40C+)”, the other shows a rising trend in “the number of days temperatures were in the top 1% of records”. You seem surprised they look different.

Last edited 8 days ago by Loydo
Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Loydo
August 5, 2022 1:55 am

Loydo,
So which of the two pictures do you prefer and why?
Keep in mind that the graph I showed depends on what the thermometer showed, while your graph relies on statistics a little for percentiles and so leans more heavily on uncertainty.
What uncertainty envelope do you quote for these routine daily temperature measurements of maxima, minima and what you show, mean temperatures. In your case, minimum temperatures have an effect while in my case only maxima are used. Simpler. Geoff S

Loydo
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 5, 2022 2:50 am

All of a sudden you want to split hairs. Here is a question for you: at what rate has the number of 40C+ days increased over the period covered by your graph?

Michael Jackson
August 4, 2022 4:50 pm

I love the photo at the top. That is Salt Creek Recreation area near Port Angeles, one of my favorite places to go camping. It hasn’t changed much in the past 25 years, except for the sea star decimation in 2013, but they are coming back now.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Michael Jackson
August 5, 2022 4:28 am

Yes,a lovely photo.
One might say it is an awesome cliff mass.
Geoff S

Pat from kerbob
August 4, 2022 5:39 pm

Maybe cliff can comment on USA SW drought, lake Meade etc.
I have a weather radar app I look at daily and all summer it seems to me the entire SW is blanketed in rain (except coastal cali), it is that way again right now.

I know one summer doesn’t end a drought but have conditions improved?

Pat from kerbob
August 4, 2022 5:40 pm

Adding screen shot, pretty typical

20E11B0B-2598-487F-AECA-80CCFC57373C.png
griff
August 5, 2022 2:02 am

YES!

worldwide.

and so are extreme flood events.

Tony K
Reply to  griff
August 5, 2022 2:30 am

Nope they are not.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
August 5, 2022 4:05 am

Griff making another declaration.

Redge
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 5, 2022 5:14 am

Griff making another unfounded declaration.

Mark BLR
Reply to  griff
August 5, 2022 7:43 am

Headline : Are [ present tense ] Extreme Heat Events Increasing [ present-continuous tense ] Rapidly?

Griff : YES! worldwide.

At the end of section 11.8.3 of the IPCC’s AR6 (WG-I) report, full title “Concurrent droughts and heat waves”, on page 1600 they conclude :

In summary, there is high confidence that concurrent heat waves and droughts have increased in frequency over the last century at the global scale due to human influence.

I (and possibly others ?) would contest their “confidence” that the observed increase in measured “heat waves and droughts” over the last century can be mainly (let alone “only” !) attributed to “human influence”, but for the sake of the argument let that point pass for now.

Where do the IPCC (or any other “serious” scientist or scientific organisation) say “confidently” that heatwaves (and/or droughts) are (currently, in the 2020s) increas-ing RAPIDLY ?

– – – – –

… and so are extreme flood events

Section 8.3.1.5, “Runoff, streamflow and flooding”, page 1086 :

Global land runoff variations correlate significantly with ENSO variability (Miralles et al., 2014b; Schubert et al., 2016).

Last time I checked ENSO came under “natural variability”, NOT “human influence(s)”.

There is also an entire “FAQ” box on the question of “Will floods become more severe or more frequent as a result of climate change?”.

FAQ 8.2, on page 1155, includes the following :

An increased intensity and frequency of record-breaking daily rainfall has been detected for much of the land surface where good observational records exist, and this can only be explained by human-caused increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Heavy rainfall is also projected to become more intense in the future for most places. So, where unusually wet weather events or seasons occur, the rainfall amounts are expected to be greater in the future, contributing to more severe flooding.

However, heavier rainfall does not always lead to greater flooding. This is because flooding also depends upon the type of river basin, the surface landscape, the extent and duration of the rainfall, and how wet the ground is before the rainfall event (FAQ 8.2, Figure 1).

Flooding is also affected by changes in the management of the land and river systems. For example, clearing forests for agriculture or building cities can make rain water flow more rapidly into rivers or low lying areas. On the other hand, increased extraction of water from rivers can reduce water levels and the likelihood of flooding.

While the contents of the first paragraph I extracted may well warm the cockles of your heart, have you ever heard of the following “mitigation” suggestions ?
1) Don’t replace marshland, meadows, hill forests, etc. with concrete and asphalt
2) Don’t build stuff on flood plains

Geoff Sherrington
August 5, 2022 4:36 am

Cliff Mass,
Thank you for the article. It touches on something I am exploring for Australia.
There is a common assumption that the Aust land mass has warmed about 1C over 100 years and that this baseline change can be steadily added onto heatwaves.
I am seeing data here that suggests that the heatwaves are not getting hotter, so the baseline effect might not apply. The maximum hotness might be capped like ocean waters are capped to seldom exceed 30C.
Cliff, have you seen anything like this in US data? Ours is quite noisy and takes a lot of tedium on my small computer to study it comprehensively. Geoff S

Jim Gorman
August 5, 2022 5:41 am

Thank you for the nice and thorough analysis. You are seeing what a number of us have also noticed. There is even an agricultural study looking at similar stuff for the continental U.S. Last frost days are earlier and first frost days are later. These ultimately are indicative of nighttime temperatures. Basically, night time temps are increasing which raises the mean, but doesn’t raise the high temps. Climate scientists that rely on means (and who never quote the standard uncertainty attached to that mean), are missing the boat. We are not going boil away.

jeff corbin
August 5, 2022 6:29 am

Megalopolises and their expanding hot pavements support left/globalist narratives that are leveraged by strange bedfellows, (for power & $). Bourgeois rural land dwellers are outliers; anomalous and suspect.

I live in a very old little village on top of a 1,000 foot hill of the PA Appalachia in dairy and apple country. In terms of high temps, it is always 6-7 degree’s lower than Reading 8 miles away, and 7-9 degrees cooler than Philly. We don’t have AC because it’s cooler at night and it takes longer to warm up. We do occasionally have heat waves when it is just plain hot everywhere….but rarely… not since 2017. In Philly, a heat wave is magnified by the heat island effect. As the heat wave progress, it doesn’t cool down at night. So if it is 81 degrees at 7AM, you know it’s going to be a scorcher all day long and it can take days to cool off if it doesn’t rain. If it rains during a heat wave, the water in the Wissahickon creek is warm…not great for the fish LOL.. Forty miles West, it’s 69 degree at 7AM.

We have a fairly large and long asphalt driveway. When I step out in the AM after a bright warm day, I can feel the heat radiating on my face 65 feet away. The cats love it on cool days. I keep it nice and black so when snow is cleared off it, it will melt the remaining ice (even at 18 degrees) and dry off completely.

When I lived in Philly, I tried hosing off the roof and the sides of the house that receive a lot of direct sun. It didn’t help much because of all the radiate heat from all the pavement around us and the urban hot bubble that expands 20 miles in all directions.

jeff corbin
Reply to  jeff corbin
August 5, 2022 6:44 am

It was just reported that Philly is 3 degrees hotter during the Summer. Wow, what a surprise….! LOL. In 1960, no Interstate hwy system, few people had AC. Very few had AC in their cars if any. Massive sprawls of asphalt pavement around big box stores did not exist. Grocery stores were walked to…. supermarkets and their giant parking lots did not exist. The massive expansion of the suburban sprawl around Philly was still a dream and much of Philly was still bordered by farm land. Many large office buildings did not have AC. Going to the movies wasn’t a refrigeration event requiring a sweater in July. Philly had hot days, especially in it’s densest neighbors that were not bounded by the large park system in Philly. My Mom grew up in North Philly during the depression and WWII…. it could be 98 degrees on Tacawanna Street and 90 degrees in Pennypacker Park. On crazy hot Saturdays, they would drive out Route 73 west into Berks County PA Dutch country to buy some ice cream and beat the heat.

jeff corbin
Reply to  jeff corbin
August 5, 2022 7:11 am

The only time it is hot on our mountain as it is in Philly, is when we get a strong Southern wind bringing us the heat bubbles of Philly, Wilmington and maybe even Baltimore and the surrounding suburbs. I suspect that even the warming trend on our mountain since1984 is due to the ever expanding outer heat bubble asthe East Coast Megalopolis expanded. Same with light pollution. Pavement requires lighting….hot lighting. In 1985, you could see the milky way in Berks County at night. Now I would have to go to Northern Maine or the hinterlands of Canada, or hundreds of miles into the Atlantic ocean to see the milky way.

dollops
August 6, 2022 9:52 am

“Did global warming contribute ..”
What global warming? Wake me when the seas rise.

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