Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cold Inauguration Weather In the Deniosphere

Jan. 26 Update:
It's one thing when an openly political organization trashes the science, but a meteorologist who is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society ought to know better than to cherry-pick the Inauguration Day data.

Original post:
The cold temperatures in Washington on Inauguration Day have excited the anti-global-warming deniosphere over the symbolism: Obama's Inauguration was colder than Bush's! At least the Competitive Enterprise Institute's OpenMarket blog admits it's "not scientifically meaningful" (as if real science means anything to these folks).

Just how random is this irrelevant fact? Instead of only 40 square miles of the District of Columbia, let's look at the 3,537,438 square miles of the entire U.S. (still merely a couple of percent of the entire earth's surface). While 9° below the long-term average, Washington's temperature on January 20 was far from the record low for the date. According to the National Climatic Data Center, out of nearly 6000 stations with at least 30 years of data, 6 new record low temperatures were set for the date, all except one of them in the state of Michigan. How many high temperature records were set? Forty-five, in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.

Want presidential symbolism in the records? Besides the multiple records set in Texas and Wyoming, Mt. Rushmore, SD, broke its previous record in a 46-year history by 4° with a high of 62°. In South Dakota. In January.

Too much cherry-picking to look at just one day? OK, here are the figures for the entire month of January so far: lowest minimum records 399, highest maximum records 846.

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