• Buresh Blog: Heating degree days, Dec. & 2017 global temps. - Jan. 17th

    By: Michael Buresh


    This winter could go down as the coldest in at least 8 years.  Quite a change from the past 2 winters in particular - not all bad considering the insect population, pollen, etc.  Though when temps. do start to warm more consistently, the pine then oak pollen will likely go through the roof!  Some folks have had sticker shock when comes to their heating bills.  One way to determine & compare how cold a billing period has been is to look at heating degree days (HDD).  65 is the typical base.  Anything below 65 (the avg. temp. for the day) is considering a heating degree day.  For example, Tue., Jan. 16th in Jax had a high of 63, a low of 33 for an average of 48 - 17 degrees below 65 so 17 HDD.  Most utility companies will show this data on your bill.  The graph below shows the avg. per month.  As one would expect, Jan. has the highest avg. at 366 HDD.  Through Jan. 16th this year, Jax already had 269 HDD.  The result will be a higher utility bill.

    Some good news for those needing some warmth... the outlook for next week (Jan. 22 - 26) is above avg. temps. for much of the Eastern U.S.:

    Speaking of temps.....

    As part of an ongoing joint project between UAH, NOAA and NASA, Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, an ESSC principal scientist, use data gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas where reliable climate data are not otherwise available.

    The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level.

    Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.13 C per decade
    December temperatures (preliminary)

    Global composite temp.: +0.41 C (about 0.74 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for December.

    Northern Hemisphere: +0.50 C (about 0.90 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for December.

    Southern Hemisphere: +0.33 C (about 0.59 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for December.

    Tropics: +0.26 C (about 0.47 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for November.

    November temperatures (revised):

    Global Composite: +0.36 C above 30-year average

    Northern Hemisphere: +0.33 C above 30-year average

    Southern Hemisphere: +0.38 C above 30-year average

    Tropics: +0.26 C above 30-year average

    (All temperature anomalies are based on a 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month reported.)

    Notes on data released Jan. 3, 2018:

    Globally averaged, 2017 was the third warmest year in the 39-year satellite temperature record, according to Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. The average temperature in the lower troposphere over the globe in 2017 was 0.375 C (about 0.67 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than seasonal norms.

    Warmest years (global)
    1979 to 2017
     2016   +0.513 C
     1998   +0.484 C
     2017   +0.375 C
     2010   +0.336 C

    Since the satellite-based global temperature record began in November 1978, the fastest warming region on Earth has been around the North Pole. The troposphere over the Arctic Ocean has warmed at the rate of 0.28 C per decade, or more than twice the global rate of warming. By comparison, the Antarctic continent is warming at the rate of about 0.07 C per decade, while the air above the ocean around the Antarctic is cooling about 0.04 C per decade. (The satellite instruments that collect temperature data do not see all the way to the poles. The satellite orbits miss about the top five degrees latitude in both the Arctic and the Antarctic.)

    The continental U.S. (both contiguous 48 and the continental 49) have been warming at the rate of about 0.18 C (about 0.32 degrees F) per decade. That means that in the 39 years since satellite instruments started collecting atmospheric temperature data, the air temperature above the U.S. has warmed an average of about 1.25 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Compared to seasonal norms, the coldest spot on the globe in December was near Timmins, in eastern Ontario. Temperatures there were 3.51 C (about 6.32 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than seasonal norms.

    Compared to seasonal norms, the warmest place on Earth in December was near Qambo, in the Eastern Tibet autonomous region of China. Tropospheric temperatures there averaged 5.27 C (about 9.49 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than seasonal norms.

    2017 - 3rd warmest year on record.... has been 41 years since earth has had a colder than avg. year... 6th warmest on record for N. America :

    Since Dec., 1978:


    2017 U.S. temp. departure:

    2017 precip:

    & the #'s are in on the billion dollar disasters for 2017 for the U.S.  A record 16.... add in hurricane Maria's hit on Puerto Rico, the number is 17:

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