Friday, July 31, 2009

Weather Reporting Done Right

OregonLive has a jaw-dropping report on this week's hot weather. Some of the stats are amazing:
Portland was no slouch when it came to records. Those three days -- Monday's 103, and Tuesday and Wednesday's 106 degree highs -- were all records for the dates.

Tuesday and Wednesday also clocked in as the all-time hottest average daily temperatures ever in Portland.

The average temperature on Tuesday was 90 degrees; and on Wednesday it was 89 degrees, making them, according to the National Weather Service, the hottest full calendar days on record.

The records were set because of the unusually warm nights, mostly in the lower to mid-70s. The 86 degree daily average high on Monday puts it in a tie for fourth with a bunch of other dates.

Other Portland records during the heat wave:

-- Top two hottest three day periods in Portland: Average temperature of 88 degrees Monday through Wednesday; and 86.7 degrees Tuesday through Thursday.

-- July 2009 also looks like it will go down at the second hottest month on record for Portland. The hottest July, with an average temperature of 74.1 degrees, happened back in 1985. The average temperature through Thursday is 73.4 degrees.

-- If the highs reach 90 degrees today through Sunday in Portland, the city will break it's all time record for consecutive days at or above 90 degrees with 9, breaking the old record of 8 consecutive days, which occurred on the 8 days ending on August 19, 1967.
Our local paper... not so much. The lead story was the "controversy" over whether to use the officially designated, National Weather Service thermometer, which read 108 as the high Wednesday, or an unofficial reading of 110 from another site. Corvallis' all time high is 108, so I guess that makes it a big deal- did we set a new high or not? The second story was on an unsuccessful attempt to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Today's report is simply the highs, the forecast high for today, and a note that the NWS has issued a fire alert for the central coast range. (BTW, I think our high today- and it's starting to come down- was 91. Average for the date is 83)

The GT is like a fifth-grade class project every day, where the most commonly-asked question is "How do you spell AP?"

Followup: Once again, OregonLive shines. They actually do some research and interview some experts on the fire risk story. Hmph. Why bother when you can read the wire feed?

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