January 2014 Wrap

February 1st, 2014 at 3:09 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

snow whiteout 2 jack martin   That’s an actual picture – whiteout conditions near Fennville from Jack Martin.  Click on the picture to enlarge.  Well, for you “old timers” this month reminds us of the winters of the late 1970s, or perhaps more recently 1994.  It was cold, snowy and windy without a lot of sunshine.  Jan. 2014 brought Grand Rapids 41.9″ of snow, the 7th snowiest January ever in G.R.  Snowfall totaled 48.4″ in Muskegon and 55″ in Holland.   The average temperature was 6.3° below average in G.R., 7° below average in Kalamazoo and 8.1° below average in Lansing.  Grand Rapids warmest was 43 on the 13th and the coldest was -9 on the 3rd and the 28th.   We had six morning get to zero or colder, only 4 days without any snow, 13 days with more than an inch of snowfall and 5 days when we had 4″ or more.   We had 16 days without a minute of sunshine and another 5 days with 10% or less of sunshine for the day.  Only 3 days had more than 60% suunshine.   Since Dec. 1 we have had just 17% of possible sunshine.   The average wind speed was 12.3 mph.  There were 17 days when Grand Rapids had a wind gust of 30 mph or more.  The wind caused a lot of drifting snow.   Finally, check out the Climate Report for 1/31.  The low temperature was 2° warmer than average.  The high temperature was 2° warmer than average.  You’d expect the average temperature for the day to be 2° warmer than average…but, no – it’s 3° warmer than average.  Hmmm….   (these numbers are preliminary and I’ll update when the official climate statement comes out from GRR NWS.   Let me add that the satellite continental 48-state average temperature for January was 1.066° cooler than average.

26 Responses to “January 2014 Wrap”

  1. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

    Only 48 days til SPRING!!!!! :)

    1. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

      and some of us ‘older’ timers can recall Winters like this back in the 1950′s as well.

  2. Craig James says:

    On the 3rd, the low at my house northeast of Grand Rapids was -14F and on the 28th, there were a number of reports of temperatures of -20 to -23F near the East Beltline and Grand River Drive on the northeast side of Grand Rapids. It was either ’94 or ’96 (getting too old to remember) when temperatures were this cold.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      It got to -22 in Jan. 1994 at the Kent Co. (now Gerald R. Ford) Airport. The high was -2. There was one report of a -37 in an apple orchard near Belding where several trees split open from the cold.

  3. Brad says:

    From what I gather, NWS adds the high & low, divides by two, & rounds up, hence the deviation of +3F. That pattern seems consistent, and I suspect it has been standard for a long time?

    Where did January 2014 stack up as far as average temps?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      January was 6.3° colder than average in G.R. and 7.1° colder than average in Kalamazoo.

      The question I have about the NWS highs and lows is how long have we been rounding temps. up. If this has always been the case (like back to 1900) that’s one thing…but if this is a relatively recent policy, it would have the effect of implying that average temperatures are going up when they are not.

      Another issue is the switch (about 1989) from liquid in glass thermometers to MMTS, which requires electricity. Some weather stations were then moved from relatively cooler locations away from buildings to near buildings, where there was electricity. Those stations would be in a warmer site by the building.

  4. Peace2014 says:

    This should knock some sense into the climate change deniers that AGW is a real and present threat to our lives. I invite all of you to take the necessary steps to help reverse this alarming trend.

    Turn down your heaters, walk or take the bus, eat locally, avoid using salt to met ice which runs into our water supply, ride a bike in the summer, support progressive leaders and programs to help heal our planet and bring back our normal climate.

    People are being murdered by this weather because of our wastefulness! Dont be part of the problem, be part of the local solution for a better global community.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      I hope you’re being sarcastic here. Eating locally will heal our planet? I see people riding bicycles in the snow around Heritage Hill all the time in winter. Is it really progress (progressive?) to ride a bicycle on snow and ice when it’s 15 degrees outside? The cold January is a tiny blip of time in our climate history. Neither the unseasonably warm spells of March and July 2012 nor the cold January can, by themselves, be proof of global warming…oops…it’s that much more inclusive “climate change” now, since it’s pretty obvious that it isn’t warming (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.C.gif – globally steady temps. since 2002) like the climate alarmists said it would (http://www.climatedialogue.org/are-regional-models-ready-for-prime-time/ – graph from Dr. Roger Pelkie, Jr.). We had a record low number of tornadoes last year, we haven’t had a major (category 3 or higher) hurricane hit the U.S. in 8 years – the longest time on record – and global tropical cyclone activity is at lower than average levels. Recent droughts and hot spells in the U.S. haven’t surpassed the drought and heat of the 1930s. Salt on our roads saves lives! It doesn’t “murder people”. We have “normal climate”. We’ve had both glaciers and palm trees growing in West Michigan in the past and that was part of “normal climate”. If you learned all this in school or college, you should demand a refund, seriously.

      This from Dr. Judith Curry – Senate Testimony – Dr. Curry is head of Climate Science at Georgia Tech:

      For the past 16 years, there has been no significant increase in surface temperature. There is a growing discrepancy between observations and climate model projections. Observations since 2011 have fallen below the 90% envelope of climate model projections
      The IPCC does not have a convincing or confident explanation for this hiatus in warming.
      There is growing evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations
      Based on expert judgment in light of this evidence, the IPCC 5th assessment report lowered its surface temperature projection relative to the model projections for the period 2016-2036.

      1. BigCountry(Wyoming, MI) says:

        Bill, excellent rebuttal and information there. We need to constantly show the facts every time these non-logic thinkers spew their lies on here. In fact, I’m quite surprised that you spend as much time writing something new every time. I think it would be acceptable for you to just write one reply up and paste it every time one of our resident “AGW” people pop up with their propaganda. As always Bill, thanks for shining the light on them.

        1. Brad says:

          That is more-or-less an old copy-and-paste. By the way, have you ever heard of the peer-reviewed scientific literature?

        2. Bill Steffen says:

          Dr. Judith Curry has published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers/articles. http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/19/peer-review-the-skeptic-filter/

        3. Brad says:

          Who is Judith Curry? I don’t know the names of the thousands of authors of climate papers who see change.

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          Dr. Judith Curry is Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and President (co-owner) of Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN). She received a Ph.D. in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1982. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia Tech, she held faculty positions at the University of Colorado, Penn State University and Purdue University. She currently serves on the NASA Advisory Council Earth Science Subcommittee and the DOE Biological and Environmental Science Advisory Committee, and has recently served on the National Academies Climate Research Committee and the Space Studies Board, and the NOAA Climate Working Group. She is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Geophysical Union. She is also a frequent and well-known blogger: http://judithcurry.com/

        5. big Daddy BC says:

          In other news, NOAA’s report on the State of Climate is, once again, in support of the climate change model.

          “The year 2013 ties with 2003 as the fourth warmest year globally since records began in 1880. The annual global combined land and ocean surface temperature was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). This marks the 37th consecutive year (since 1976) that the yearly global temperature was above average. Currently, the warmest year on record is 2010, which was 0.66°C (1.19°F) above average. Including 2013, 9 of the 10 warmest years in the 134-year period of record have occurred in the 21st century. ”


          As far as the right’s confusion over our current so-called hiatus, the implication is that there’s a physical pause in the warming of the planet, but let’s be real. All it really is is a statistical variation in the surface temperature trajectory that results from the complex interaction of physical phenomena. In other words, surface temp is but one way to measure energy in and out of this system.

        6. Bill Steffen says:

          Well, look who’s back! I figured you were out still looking for the very first polar bear that’s died from so-called “global warming”. (Speaking of polar bears: http://www.npr.org/2013/02/02/170779528/the-inconvenient-truth-about-polar-bears) Pretty cold winter we’re having, BigD. It’s sure not what you climate profiteers expected: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

          Did you read what Dr. Curry said:

          “For the past 16 years, there has been no significant increase in surface temperature. There is a growing discrepancy between observations and climate model projections. Observations since 2011 have fallen below the 90% envelope of climate model projections
          The IPCC does not have a convincing or confident explanation for this hiatus in warming.
          There is growing evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations
          Based on expert judgment in light of this evidence, the IPCC 5th assessment report lowered its surface temperature projection relative to the model projections for the period 2016-2036.”

          She was part of the BEST group from Berkeley that YOU liked to quote.

          It’s not a “so-called” hiatus! Look at this from NASA: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.C.gif

          Even James Hansen admits it: “The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade…” – James Hansen et al.

        7. big Daddy BC says:

          Nice cut and paste. I wonder what percent of climate scientists grouchy old Judith Curry represents. I wonder also why deniers insist that the only data worth collecting is surface temperature. Forget humidity. Forget melting glaciers or a cooling stratosphere or record droughts or increased lows across the globe. Forget the dropping pH in our oceans or record summer polar melts.
          Temp is but one indicator of many that the amount of solar energy being retained by the Earth is increasing. If you had an actual education, you’d get that.

        8. Bill Steffen says:

          Dr. Curry represents an increasing # of scientists. That’s because the predictions of you climate alarmists have been so obviously wrong. At least you admit that global temperatures are not going up like you thought they would. That’s a start.

          Humidity is going up ever so slightly, but more so because of other factors than human input of CO2. The dry prairies of the Midwest have been replaced by millions of acres of corn and soybeans…plants that transpire millions of gallons of water into the air. Much of our farmland is irrigated now. We’ve built vast cities, even in deserts (LAS, LAX) that put large amounts of water vapor into the air. We’ve built reservoirs, golf courses…land use matters. It has nothing to do with CO2.

          The droughts of today are nothing new. The drought of the mid 1930s was worse than anything in the 2000s. http://geochange.er.usgs.gov/sw/changes/natural/pdsi/pdsi1934.gif

          Stratospheric WARMING, not cooling is one of the factors in the cold winter we are having in the U.S. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/12/31/sudden-stratospheric-warming-could-it-lead-to-a-very-cold-january-in-d-c/

          Global sea ice is right at average: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg (pretty significant gain in the last couple years).

          Now check this out: 16 December 2013

          “Measurements from ESA’s CryoSat satellite show that the volume of Arctic sea ice has significantly increased this autumn. The volume of ice measured this autumn is about 50% higher compared to last year.” source: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/CryoSat/Arctic_sea_ice_up_from_record_low

  5. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Imagine that – it was COLD and SNOWY in GR during the month of January! Who knew?

  6. steven (Derby Lake) says:

    Too bad that record for 1999 couldn’t have been broken.

  7. tom says:

    All I know is that I shoveled and ran the snow blower over twice as much this January as I did the last 2 Januarys combined and wasn’t too happy about having to do that. I have run out of places to put my snow and judging from all the huge snow piles I see on the edges of people’s driveways, in store parking lots and elsewhere around town, so has just about everyone else. We certainly could use an extended thaw. 100 plus inches of snow is no fun to deal with and looks like we are heading that direction. bah humbug!

  8. Scott Powell says:

    I was most interested in seeing where this January ranked all-time. Has to be one of the coldest.

    1. big Daddy BC says:

      not globally

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        NASA IR data showed that the contiguous U.S. was 1.066°C (about 1.8°F) colder than average in January 2014. Here in Michigan, February will be the 4th month in a row with significantly colder than average temperatures. We have the most snow on the ground in G.R. than at any time since 1979 and the 2nd highest amount of ice on the Great Lakes since 1979 up to this point in winter.

    2. Bill Steffen says:

      The global NASA IR data showed the continental U.S. more than 1°C colder than average for January. We now have the 2nd highest concentration of ice cover on the Great Lakes in the satellite era…and two cold weeks to start February! I sure wouldn’t want the government to spend billions of dollars, force us to us carcinogen-filled light bulbs and suffer with “skyrocketing” utility bills just to try and make it even colder! Of course the poor and middle class would be hurt the hardest, women, minorities, the elderly, those on fixed income and those with disabilities. Why make them suffer?

    3. big Daddy BC says:

      Sure sounds like the climate’s changing. Oh, hold on, that only counts when the temp goes up? LOL

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        Climate has always changed. CO2 doesn’t make the world colder. Global temperatures have been remarkably steady since 2002: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.C.gif

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