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January 1886...Just Another Great month From a Great Decade

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#1
snow_wizard

Posted 26 January 2016 - 07:25 PM

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There are so many excellent months in the 1880s that get talked about, but January 1886 is largely overlooked in spite of featuring a fantastic run of cold and snowy weather.  Amazingly this was a weaker than average winter for that decade, but it sure looks fun!  These records are from Tacoma WA.  Snow depth was not given in the original records except for the day with the greatest depth.

Attached Files


  • iFred, MossMan and Jesse like this
Death To Warm Anomalies!
 
winter.jpg

Winter 2016-17 Stats

Total snow = 9.8"
Days Min 32 or below = 61
Days Max 32 or below = 1
Days Max Below 40 = 29
Coldest Min = 16

#2
BLI snowman

Posted 27 January 2016 - 11:57 PM

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Out of curiosity, could you post some more Tacoma data from that period Jim?



#3
snow_wizard

Posted 28 January 2016 - 07:24 AM

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Out of curiosity, could you post some more Tacoma data from that period Jim?

 

I can probably do something.  I have most of 1884 through early 1889.  I only have some of it transcribed from the microfilm though.


Death To Warm Anomalies!
 
winter.jpg

Winter 2016-17 Stats

Total snow = 9.8"
Days Min 32 or below = 61
Days Max 32 or below = 1
Days Max Below 40 = 29
Coldest Min = 16

#4
BLI snowman

Posted 28 January 2016 - 12:55 PM

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I can probably do something.  I have most of 1884 through early 1889.  I only have some of it transcribed from the microfilm though.

 

Cool, yeah I'd love to see what you have. January 1888 was probably an extreme cold month there albeit not as impressive as Portland's 9/-2.



#5
snow_wizard

Posted 29 January 2016 - 08:03 PM

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I'll try to post Dec 1884, Feb 1887, and Jan 1888 this weekend.  Feb 1887 was another fantastic one and of course Dec 1884 was orgasmic.


Death To Warm Anomalies!
 
winter.jpg

Winter 2016-17 Stats

Total snow = 9.8"
Days Min 32 or below = 61
Days Max 32 or below = 1
Days Max Below 40 = 29
Coldest Min = 16

#6
Dan the Weatherman

Posted 29 January 2016 - 11:39 PM

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I'll try to post Dec 1884, Feb 1887, and Jan 1888 this weekend.  Feb 1887 was another fantastic one and of course Dec 1884 was orgasmic.

 

Do you have any data from 1889-90? That was a La Nina year and is one of Los Angeles' top ten wettest winters on record, and I was wondering if that was a cold year for the PNW.



#7
ShawniganLake

Posted 30 January 2016 - 12:53 PM

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Do you have any data from 1889-90? That was a La Nina year and is one of Los Angeles' top ten wettest winters on record, and I was wondering if that was a cold year for the PNW.

Very cold winter in SW BC.  I would assume the arctic air made it south of the border on several occasions

 

A low solar Nina for anyone keeping track of that type of thing. 

 

Looks like 4-5 legitimate arctic air masses made it into the lower Fraser Valley that Winter.  Agassiz averaged 29.5F for DJF. 


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#8
snow_wizard

Posted 30 January 2016 - 01:33 PM

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Very cold winter in SW BC.  I would assume the arctic air made it south of the border on several occasions

 

A low solar Nina for anyone keeping track of that type of thing. 

 

Looks like 4-5 legitimate arctic air masses made it into the lower Fraser Valley that Winter.  Agassiz averaged 29.5F for DJF. 

 

Indeed!  That was one of the greatest winters on record here.  Deep cold snaps and snow events Dec, Jan, and Feb.  Even late Feb had a deep freeze.  One great example of a strong Nino to Nina transition winter.  No reason we shouldn't be excited about the prospects for next winter.  I think the solar will be very low by this autumn.

 

That 3 month average for Agassiz is pretty amazing BTW.


  • Dan the Weatherman and ShawniganLake like this
Death To Warm Anomalies!
 
winter.jpg

Winter 2016-17 Stats

Total snow = 9.8"
Days Min 32 or below = 61
Days Max 32 or below = 1
Days Max Below 40 = 29
Coldest Min = 16

#9
TT-SEA

Posted 30 January 2016 - 03:42 PM

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Jim... is there any place online to find daily records from 1878 and 1889?

 

I was looking for evidence of a warm spring in 1889.    That year a strong Nino became a solid Nina.  

 

Then I came across this related to the Great Seattle Fire... pretty good evidence.   But still want to see daily records from 1878 and 1889.   I bet 1878 had a warm spring and summer.

 

The spring of 1889 in Seattle had been beautiful. There had been little rain, and temperatures were consistently in the 70s. Unfortunately, the unusually good weather proved to be disastrous, as the dry conditions conspired with a handful of other elements to allow for the worst fire in city history.    

 

https://content.lib.washington.edu/extras/seattle-fire.html



#10
James Jones

Posted 30 January 2016 - 04:14 PM

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Jim... is there any place online to find daily records from 1878 and 1889?

 

I was looking for evidence of a warm spring in 1889.    That year a strong Nino became a solid Nina.  

 

Then I came across this related to the Great Seattle Fire... pretty good evidence.   But still want to see daily records from 1878 and 1889.   I bet 1878 had a warm spring and summer.

 

The spring of 1889 in Seattle had been beautiful. There had been little rain, and temperatures were consistently in the 70s. Unfortunately, the unusually good weather proved to be disastrous, as the dry conditions conspired with a handful of other elements to allow for the worst fire in city history.    

 

https://content.lib.washington.edu/extras/seattle-fire.html

Portland has daily data that far back, but I don't know of any in the Puget Sound region. 

 

http://www.ncdc.noaa...00024274/detail

 

By modern standards: 1889 was very warm and dry in spring and early summer, but it turned much cooler in August and September. 1878 had a ridiculously wet February, a slightly warm spring, a warm and very dry June, and an exceptionally cool July-September, though it was fairly dry. 

 

 

Indeed!  That was one of the greatest winters on record here.  Deep cold snaps and snow events Dec, Jan, and Feb.  Even late Feb had a deep freeze.  One great example of a strong Nino to Nina transition winter.  No reason we shouldn't be excited about the prospects for next winter.  I think the solar will be very low by this autumn.

 

That 3 month average for Agassiz is pretty amazing BTW.

 

Did the Puget Sound region get any snow with the late Feb 1890 blast?



#11
TT-SEA

Posted 30 January 2016 - 04:27 PM

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Portland has daily data that far back, but I don't know of any in the Puget Sound region. 

 

http://www.ncdc.noaa...00024274/detail

 

By modern standards: 1889 was very warm and dry in spring and early summer, but it turned much cooler in August and September. 1878 had a ridiculously wet February, a slightly warm spring, a warm and very dry June, and an exceptionally cool July-September, though it was fairly dry. 

 

 
 

Did the Puget Sound region get any snow with the late Feb 1890 blast?

 

Thanks!  



#12
snow_wizard

Posted 30 January 2016 - 04:30 PM

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Jim... is there any place online to find daily records from 1878 and 1889?

 

I was looking for evidence of a warm spring in 1889.    That year a strong Nino became a solid Nina.  

 

Then I came across this related to the Great Seattle Fire... pretty good evidence.   But still want to see daily records from 1878 and 1889.   I bet 1878 had a warm spring and summer.

 

The spring of 1889 in Seattle had been beautiful. There had been little rain, and temperatures were consistently in the 70s. Unfortunately, the unusually good weather proved to be disastrous, as the dry conditions conspired with a handful of other elements to allow for the worst fire in city history.    

 

https://content.lib.washington.edu/extras/seattle-fire.html

 

I do have records for Olympia from 1877 through 1892.   They are in a very rough excel format, but they give an idea of what happened in that time frame.  Records from the Central Puget Sound are very hard to come by for the 1870s through early 1880s.  I can probably email you the Olympia data if you want to IM me your email address.  I sure wish I had ordered the Bainbridge Island microfilm when I had the chance.  I have no idea how to get that data except for going to the Seattle Library and finding the monthly summaries in the PI microfilm which goes back to 1878.  I did that for a few key months in that time frame.  Pre 1890 weather records for this area are one of the few things that is still very hard or impossible to find online.

 

At a rough glance March 1889 had a lot of 60s and April had a lot of 70s and even a low 80s.  April looked fairly dry.  1878 had a cool, but very dry April and warm and very dry May.


Death To Warm Anomalies!
 
winter.jpg

Winter 2016-17 Stats

Total snow = 9.8"
Days Min 32 or below = 61
Days Max 32 or below = 1
Days Max Below 40 = 29
Coldest Min = 16

#13
TT-SEA

Posted 30 January 2016 - 04:32 PM

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I do have records for Olympia from 1877 through 1892.   They are in a very rough excel format, but they give an idea of what happened in that time frame.  Records from the Central Puget Sound are very hard to come by for the 1870s through early 1880s.  I can probably email you the Olympia data if you want to IM me your email address.  I sure wish I had ordered the Bainbridge Island microfilm when I had the chance.  I have no idea how to get that data except for going to the Seattle Library and finding the monthly summaries in the PI microfilm which goes back to 1878.  I did that for a few key months in that time frame.  Pre 1890 weather records for this area are one of the few things that is still very hard or impossible to find online.

 

At a rough glance March 1889 had a lot of 60s and April had a lot of 70s and even a low 80s.  April looked fairly dry.  1878 had a cool, but very dry April and warm and very dry May.

 

 

Thanks... very good information.   



#14
Dan the Weatherman

Posted 30 January 2016 - 06:05 PM

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Indeed!  That was one of the greatest winters on record here.  Deep cold snaps and snow events Dec, Jan, and Feb.  Even late Feb had a deep freeze.  One great example of a strong Nino to Nina transition winter.  No reason we shouldn't be excited about the prospects for next winter.  I think the solar will be very low by this autumn.

 

That 3 month average for Agassiz is pretty amazing BTW.

 

It would be nice to have another winter in which the entire West gets the type of winter they want!



#15
snow_wizard

Posted 30 January 2016 - 07:53 PM

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Did the Puget Sound region get any snow with the late Feb 1890 blast?

 

 

There was only 1 inch during the late month blast.  There was 6 inches at mid month just before a lesser cold snap.  The highlight of that winter was a 16" dump followed by bitter cold in early January.  One hell of a winter!

 

 

 

 

 


Death To Warm Anomalies!
 
winter.jpg

Winter 2016-17 Stats

Total snow = 9.8"
Days Min 32 or below = 61
Days Max 32 or below = 1
Days Max Below 40 = 29
Coldest Min = 16

#16
snow_wizard

Posted 31 January 2016 - 04:24 PM

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An update for those who want to see more records from the 1880s...

 

I am going to be posting charts for Jan 1880, Feb 1884, Dec 1884, Feb 1887, and Jan 1888 later this week.  I need to look into snowfall data for the Puget Sound region in Jan 1888 a bit more before I post that one.


Death To Warm Anomalies!
 
winter.jpg

Winter 2016-17 Stats

Total snow = 9.8"
Days Min 32 or below = 61
Days Max 32 or below = 1
Days Max Below 40 = 29
Coldest Min = 16

#17
wx_statman

Posted 23 August 2016 - 09:51 PM

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That airmass in mid-January 1886 was a biggie. All-time record low of -57F in Edmonton, AB as well as -67F in Prince Albert, SK (only exceeded by -70F in that location in 1893, the provincial record low). This was also a legitimate Arctic blast for Portland, as seen in the downtown record. 



#18
snow_wizard

Posted 23 August 2016 - 10:07 PM

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That airmass in mid-January 1886 was a biggie. All-time record low of -57F in Edmonton, AB as well as -67F in Prince Albert, SK (only exceeded by -70F in that location in 1893, the provincial record low). This was also a legitimate Arctic blast for Portland, as seen in the downtown record. 

 

Nice to have an idea of what the bigger picture looked like that month.


Death To Warm Anomalies!
 
winter.jpg

Winter 2016-17 Stats

Total snow = 9.8"
Days Min 32 or below = 61
Days Max 32 or below = 1
Days Max Below 40 = 29
Coldest Min = 16

#19
BLI snowman

Posted 24 August 2016 - 08:11 AM

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Can't remember if this has been mentioned, but Olympia has official daily data back to 1877 now with the NCDC system

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?wa6109



#20
wx_statman

Posted 24 August 2016 - 01:41 PM

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Can't remember if this has been mentioned, but Olympia has official daily data back to 1877 now with the NCDC system

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?wa6109

 

Yeah they've filtered in the Signal Service data for Olympia from the 1870's-1890's. Its the same data I received from the MRCC when I paid them $$ back in 2010. I should have just waited 6 years! 



#21
snow_wizard

Posted 24 August 2016 - 04:37 PM

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Yeah they've filtered in the Signal Service data for Olympia from the 1870's-1890's. Its the same data I received from the MRCC when I paid them $$ back in 2010. I should have just waited 6 years! 

 

I still have the data you sent me for that.  I also have the microfilm which has the added benefit of having notations that give clues to precip types, thunderstorm days, and the like.  The Exel data is a lot handier for the numbers though.


Death To Warm Anomalies!
 
winter.jpg

Winter 2016-17 Stats

Total snow = 9.8"
Days Min 32 or below = 61
Days Max 32 or below = 1
Days Max Below 40 = 29
Coldest Min = 16

#22
Front Ranger

Posted 24 August 2016 - 05:51 PM

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Can't remember if this has been mentioned, but Olympia has official daily data back to 1877 now with the NCDC system

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?wa6109

 

It's remarkable looking at how weak their December records are compared to January. And then contrasting that with modern day.

 

And that January 1899 storm...wow. Two snowiest days on record, back to back.


Cool anomalies soothe the soul.


#23
wx_statman

Posted 24 August 2016 - 05:52 PM

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I still have the data you sent me for that.  I also have the microfilm which has the added benefit of having notations that give clues to precip types, thunderstorm days, and the like.  The Exel data is a lot handier for the numbers though.

 

I love seeing hand written notations on the old data forms. A good example is the Fort Klamath monthly form for January 1888, when they hit -39F. The hand written notes say it was the coldest reading there since -34F in February 1884. I would have never known about the 1884 reading if not for those notes. 



#24
snow_wizard

Posted 24 August 2016 - 09:20 PM

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The Fort Vancouver notes for Janaury and February 1862 are really telling.  Both months say snow depth for the entire month 6 inches to 2 feet.  Increbible to imagine an entire two month period having 6 inches or more!  The streak almost certainly included late Dec and very early March also.


Death To Warm Anomalies!
 
winter.jpg

Winter 2016-17 Stats

Total snow = 9.8"
Days Min 32 or below = 61
Days Max 32 or below = 1
Days Max Below 40 = 29
Coldest Min = 16

#25
BLI snowman

Posted 24 August 2016 - 10:43 PM

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Yeah they've filtered in the Signal Service data for Olympia from the 1870's-1890's. Its the same data I received from the MRCC when I paid them $$ back in 2010. I should have just waited 6 years! 

 

Yeah, I got free Signal Service data emailed in an attachment to me last year from the big forts data project. I love the info but I especially love that I've never actually paid for any of it  :P



#26
wx_statman

Posted 24 August 2016 - 10:55 PM

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Yeah, I got free Signal Service data emailed in an attachment to me last year from the big forts data project. I love the info but I especially love that I've never actually paid for any of it  :P

 

:angry:

 

I jumped on that ship in the earliest stages though, when they were first getting the project going. They actually keyed and QC'd some of those sites specifically for me, because I was a paying customer waiting on the data. This was in January 2010. 

 

So you're welcome.  :P



#27
BLI snowman

Posted 24 August 2016 - 11:05 PM

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It's remarkable looking at how weak their December records are compared to January. And then contrasting that with modern day.

 

And that January 1899 storm...wow. Two snowiest days on record, back to back.

 

It's also remarkable to see how different Priest Point Park can be from OLM. 

 

WRT snowfall, its likely not even remotely accurate but the Olympia station had an outlandish number from the massive snowstorm of December 21-22, 1892. On 12/21 they recorded 3.67" of precip with a 30/25 spread and on 12/22 they recorded 2.39" of precip with a 29/25 spread. No snow data exists until 1896 though. Portland recorded almost 30" with that particular storm and I think Seattle had around 18", Olympia may have easily been 30"+.



#28
BLI snowman

Posted 24 August 2016 - 11:10 PM

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:angry:

 

I jumped on that ship in the earliest stages though, when they were first getting the project going. They actually keyed and QC'd some of those sites specifically for me, because I was a paying customer waiting on the data. This was in January 2010. 

 

So you're welcome.  :P

 

I just hope NCDC can continue to fill the gaps in these station's histories so that we can get more complete records. Vancouver's online data technically goes back to 1856 (although their records actually began in 1849), but there is essentially a 40 year gap right now online even though plenty of the data itself exists. It's great to see Olympia's original station data filled and also downtown Seattle's recent inclusion back to 1893.

 

Speaking of Olympia, another oddity about it (and several other spots) is that the current airport site actually began recording in 1941 but NCDC only archived the data back to 1948. You can see the 1941-48 data on NCDC's original COOP forms link

 

http://www.ncdc.noaa.../coop/coop.html

 

Would love to see all these types of gaps filled in the next few years.



#29
wx_statman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 08:08 AM

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It's also remarkable to see how different Priest Point Park can be from OLM. 

 

WRT snowfall, its likely not even remotely accurate but the Olympia station had an outlandish number from the massive snowstorm of December 21-22, 1892. On 12/21 they recorded 3.67" of precip with a 30/25 spread and on 12/22 they recorded 2.39" of precip with a 29/25 spread. No snow data exists until 1896 though. Portland recorded almost 30" with that particular storm and I think Seattle had around 18", Olympia may have easily been 30"+.

 

Priest Point Park was a more representative lowland station than OLM, the latter being more prone to radiational cooling which obviously makes it stand out today. The minimums reflect this. The old Olympia station never fell below -2F (January 1888) while OLM has seen lower readings in less impressive events. The one that stands out most to me is -7F in January 1972. So its not even a fair comparison between the two stations. 



#30
wx_statman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 08:25 AM

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I just hope NCDC can continue to fill the gaps in these station's histories so that we can get more complete records. Vancouver's online data technically goes back to 1856 (although their records actually began in 1849), but there is essentially a 40 year gap right now online even though plenty of the data itself exists. It's great to see Olympia's original station data filled and also downtown Seattle's recent inclusion back to 1893.

 

Speaking of Olympia, another oddity about it (and several other spots) is that the current airport site actually began recording in 1941 but NCDC only archived the data back to 1948. You can see the 1941-48 data on NCDC's original COOP forms link

 

http://www.ncdc.noaa.../coop/coop.html

 

Would love to see all these types of gaps filled in the next few years.

 

The WRCC has been real screwy lately. They giveth and they taketh. On the one hand they're filling in some of the old city data, like the downtown stations for both Portland and Seattle. On the other hand they've inexplicably removed a bunch of daily records from different stations. This was discussed to some degree here on the forum during last week's heat wave, when there was confusion regarding record highs for Aberdeen.  The monthly record table still shows the 105 degrees from July 1891 and August 1981, but there are no daily records above 100 in the database. It doesn't make any sense. They used to be there for all to see. The same thing is happening with Astoria Airport. You have to click on the monthly table to see that they hit 100 in July 1961, the daily records no longer reflect this. 

 

Speaking of the monthly record tables, they haven't been updated in four years. They all end at 2012, and none of them capture the backfilling of data that has occurred since that time. This is especially noticeable in Alaska, where daily record data has been backfilled to the early 20th century at many stations. But the monthly tables still cut off at 1949, which was the cutoff year for digitalization at many Alaskan stations prior to last year. 

 

RE: Airports. Same screwy business at PDX. They started recording data in May 1936. The WRCC has recently backfilled PDX to 1938, which is a weird year to pick. So now the WRCC shows daily records from 1938-1940 that aren't even reflected by the NWS, which still contends that official PDX records began in 1941. 



#31
BLI snowman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 08:28 AM

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Priest Point Park was a more representative lowland station than OLM, the latter being more prone to radiational cooling which obviously makes it stand out today. The minimums reflect this. The old Olympia station never fell below -2F (January 1888) while OLM has seen lower readings in less impressive events. The one that stands out most to me is -7F in January 1972. So its not even a fair comparison between the two stations. 

 

The January 1972 low was snowcover magic mostly, the South Sound had the epic snowstorm with that and OLM had 18" on the ground (On another note that was probably the biggest snowcover gradient between Olympia and Vancouver that I can think of).

 

1983's -7F stands out more to me because they managed that with essentially bare ground, which makes it probably the lowest westside reading on record with an inch or less of snowcover. Granted, it was an historically cold airmass, but it's still remarkable how much colder they got than somewhere like Centralia with similar ground conditions. 



#32
BLI snowman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 08:52 AM

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The WRCC has been real screwy lately. They giveth and they taketh. On the one hand they're filling in some of the old city data, like the downtown stations for both Portland and Seattle. On the other hand they've inexplicably removed a bunch of daily records from different stations. This was discussed to some degree here on the forum during last week's heat wave, when there was confusion regarding record highs for Aberdeen.  The monthly record table still shows the 105 degrees from July 1891 and August 1981, but there are no daily records above 100 in the database. It doesn't make any sense. They used to be there for all to see. The same thing is happening with Astoria Airport. You have to click on the monthly table to see that they hit 100 in July 1961, the daily records no longer reflect this. 

 

Speaking of the monthly record tables, they haven't been updated in four years. They all end at 2012, and none of them capture the backfilling of data that has occurred since that time. This is especially noticeable in Alaska, where daily record data has been backfilled to the early 20th century at many stations. But the monthly tables still cut off at 1949, which was the cutoff year for digitalization at many Alaskan stations prior to last year. 

 

RE: Airports. Same screwy business at PDX. They started recording data in May 1936. The WRCC has recently backfilled PDX to 1938, which is a weird year to pick. So now the WRCC shows daily records from 1938-1940 that aren't even reflected by the NWS, which still contends that official PDX records began in 1941. 

 

Are you sure about Alaska, it looks like a few stations are updated

 

Juneau 

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?ak4100

 

King Salmon

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?ak4766

 

Kotzebue

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?ak5076

 

I do know that a lot of the stations east of us are screwy, anywhere in the SERCC domain gives you an error message now when you look at their history. Maybe they're still being updated, but I'm not sure why some of the daily records are disappearing. Totally weird.

 

 

The PDX business seems semantics based now, since the official PDX station as we know it didn't come about until 10/14/1940. Prior to that, official records had been kept at Swan Island from 1928-40 and unofficial city data was recorded at the Portland-Columbia Airport from May 1936-October 1940 in a spot about a mile away from the later PDX site. I'm not sure why they decided to include the Portland-Columbia data at all, since it came from a somewhat different geographical location and it was literally a different station that didn't record official data. You can still find the 1936-40 obs on Wunderground, but it seems dubious to me that the NCDC would categorize it as "PDX" data.

 

I imagine the same is true for a lot of these old airport stations, many of which moved around a few times so their starting histories becomes kind of a subjective affair when there's so many different points you could use.



#33
wx_statman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 09:10 AM

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The January 1972 low was snowcover magic mostly, the South Sound had the epic snowstorm with that and OLM had 18" on the ground (On another note that was probably the biggest snowcover gradient between Olympia and Vancouver that I can think of).

 

1983's -7F stands out more to me because they managed that with essentially bare ground, which makes it probably the lowest westside reading on record with an inch or less of snowcover. Granted, it was an historically cold airmass, but it's still remarkable how much colder they got than somewhere like Centralia with similar ground conditions. 

 

You can add the -8F on January 1, 1979 to that list. None of those readings are representative of the western lowlands in any of those events. They mostly flaunt OLM's radiational cooling prowess more than anything else. 

 

It makes me wonder how cold the present OLM site would have gotten in some of those cold waves that Priest Point recorded. Like the -2F in January 1888...would OLM have hit -10F? Those are the kinds of questions I have, and that's what makes trying to compare the two sites a little bit frustrating. 



#34
wx_statman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 09:15 AM

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Are you sure about Alaska, it looks like a few stations are updated

 

Juneau 

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?ak4100

 

King Salmon

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?ak4766

 

Kotzebue

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?ak5076

 

I do know that a lot of the stations east of us are screwy, anywhere in the SERCC domain gives you an error message now when you look at their history. Maybe they're still being updated, but I'm not sure why some of the daily records are disappearing. Totally weird.

 

 

The PDX business seems semantics based now, since the official PDX station as we know it didn't come about until 10/14/1940. Prior to that, official records had been kept at Swan Island from 1928-40 and unofficial city data was recorded at the Portland-Columbia Airport from May 1936-October 1940 in a spot about a mile away from the later PDX site. I'm not sure why they decided to include the Portland-Columbia data at all, since it came from a somewhat different geographical location and it was literally a different station that didn't record official data. You can still find the 1936-40 obs on Wunderground, but it seems dubious to me that the NCDC would categorize it as "PDX" data.

 

I imagine the same is true for a lot of these old airport stations, many of which moved around a few times so their starting histories becomes kind of a subjective affair when there's so many different points you could use.

 

RE: Alaska. That's exactly what I'm talking about. Look at Kotzebue for example. The daily records have been backfilled to 1897, but the monthly extremes table only covers 1949-2012. Look under General Climate Summary Tables on the left side and click on either Temperature or Precipitation. Those tables haven't been updated since 2012 and do not reflect the backfilling of data prior to 1949, nor any of the records set in the last four years. Its lame. 



#35
wx_statman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 09:20 AM

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Are you sure about Alaska, it looks like a few stations are updated

 

Juneau 

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?ak4100

 

King Salmon

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?ak4766

 

Kotzebue

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?ak5076

 

I do know that a lot of the stations east of us are screwy, anywhere in the SERCC domain gives you an error message now when you look at their history. Maybe they're still being updated, but I'm not sure why some of the daily records are disappearing. Totally weird.

 

 

The PDX business seems semantics based now, since the official PDX station as we know it didn't come about until 10/14/1940. Prior to that, official records had been kept at Swan Island from 1928-40 and unofficial city data was recorded at the Portland-Columbia Airport from May 1936-October 1940 in a spot about a mile away from the later PDX site. I'm not sure why they decided to include the Portland-Columbia data at all, since it came from a somewhat different geographical location and it was literally a different station that didn't record official data. You can still find the 1936-40 obs on Wunderground, but it seems dubious to me that the NCDC would categorize it as "PDX" data.

 

I imagine the same is true for a lot of these old airport stations, many of which moved around a few times so their starting histories becomes kind of a subjective affair when there's so many different points you could use.

 

Agreed about PDX data. I've always known the official start month as October 1940. I actually didn't know that the 1936-40 data came from a different site than the present PDX. I've known about the data from Wunderground and always just assumed it came from the present PDX site, but wasn't considered official for whatever reason. 



#36
BLI snowman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 09:32 AM

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You can add the -8F on January 1, 1979 to that list. None of those readings are representative of the western lowlands in any of those events. They mostly flaunt OLM's radiational cooling prowess more than anything else. 

 

It makes me wonder how cold the present OLM site would have gotten in some of those cold waves that Priest Point recorded. Like the -2F in January 1888...would OLM have hit -10F? Those are the kinds of questions I have, and that's what makes trying to compare the two sites a little bit frustrating. 

 

Yeah, good point about 1979, OLM actually only had a dusting on the ground for that too. We had decent snowcover down here with that event and only managed -2F. 

 

Of course then you have 1950, where OLM only hit -1F while many other spots flirted with -10F and lower. So it's pretty dependent on the event. The coldest westside low temp events of the 20th century like December 1919 and January 1930 may have been less impressive at present day OLM than some other places, although OLM definitely almost always trended dramatically colder than exposed Priest Point (about 7-8 miles away).



#37
BLI snowman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 09:42 AM

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Agreed about PDX data. I've always known the official start month as October 1940. I actually didn't know that the 1936-40 data came from a different site than the present PDX. I've known about the data from Wunderground and always just assumed it came from the present PDX site, but wasn't considered official for whatever reason. 

 

It looks like it moved a mile or so in late 1938, so the 1938-40 data would essentially be the same location.

 

Interesting read if you have time

 

http://mrcc.sws.uiuc...tland_Grice.pdf



#38
wx_statman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 10:01 AM

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It looks like it moved a mile or so in late 1938, so the 1938-40 data would essentially be the same location.

 

Interesting read if you have time

 

http://mrcc.sws.uiuc...tland_Grice.pdf

 

Thanks for the link. I read that report a few years ago but totally forgot about it.



#39
wx_statman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 10:07 AM

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Yeah, good point about 1979, OLM actually only had a dusting on the ground for that too. We had decent snowcover down here with that event and only managed -2F. 

 

Of course then you have 1950, where OLM only hit -1F while many other spots flirted with -10F and lower. So it's pretty dependent on the event. The coldest westside low temp events of the 20th century like December 1919 and January 1930 may have been less impressive at present day OLM than some other places, although OLM definitely almost always trended dramatically colder than exposed Priest Point (about 7-8 miles away).

 

Regionwide snowcover is a great equalizer it seems. The events of 1919, 1930 and 1950 had it in spades. December 2008 is a good example too...the coldest reading came from Arlington (-4F) and not OLM. 



#40
Front Ranger

Posted 25 August 2016 - 10:29 AM

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It's remarkable looking at how weak their December records are compared to January. And then contrasting that with modern day.

And that January 1899 storm...wow. Two snowiest days on record, back to back.


FYI, I wasn't meaning to compare Priest Park's numbers with OLM. Obviously, OLM is a better radiational cooling spot.

 

I was referring to how much colder January's records were compared to December back then, and then seeing how much closer December has been the past 50 years or so.


Cool anomalies soothe the soul.


#41
BLI snowman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 11:08 AM

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RE: Alaska. That's exactly what I'm talking about. Look at Kotzebue for example. The daily records have been backfilled to 1897, but the monthly extremes table only covers 1949-2012. Look under General Climate Summary Tables on the left side and click on either Temperature or Precipitation. Those tables haven't been updated since 2012 and do not reflect the backfilling of data prior to 1949, nor any of the records set in the last four years. Its lame. 

 

Ah, I see what you're saying. I honestly only really ever look at the monthly numbers and the daily summary stats with WRCC, so I hadn't ever noticed the monthly extremes tables phenomena. 



#42
wx_statman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 12:41 PM

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Ah, I see what you're saying. I honestly only really ever look at the monthly numbers and the daily summary stats with WRCC, so I hadn't ever noticed the monthly extremes tables phenomena. 

 

Its more of an issue for people who don't share a passion for weather like you and I. 

 

A real life example is the Haines, AK Wikipedia page. If you look at the WRCC, their period of record is 1911-2016 (albeit with significant gaps). But their extremes table only covers 1973-2012, because that's what was digitized the last time that table was updated in 2012. Then sometime in the past year the WRCC filled in spotty data for 1911-16 and for 1925-56, to complement the 1973-present data that was already digitized. 

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?ak3490

 

So back to Wikipedia - earlier this month I noticed the Haines monthly extremes table only reflected the 1973-2012 numbers, as if somebody pulled them straight from the WRCC. In the written climate description, the all-time record low was (and still is) presented as -15F on February 20, 1994. Why? Because that's the all-time record low in the 1973-2012 table on the WRCC. I actually think its a bogus number altogether, but that's a different story. If one was to look in the daily summary stats @ WRCC, they would see a -16F on February 2, 1947 and another bogus -18F from January 1998, which to me looks like data that was pulled from a different station altogether and mistakenly placed under Haines (Go WRCC!). 

 

https://en.wikipedia.../Haines,_Alaska

 

Long story short, I edited the written description to show -16F on February 2, 1947 as the all-time record low. That's a very well corroborated reading from a cold wave that brought -81F to Snag, Yukon, -38F to Anchorage, and -24F to nearby Skagway. 

 

The next day, somebody changed the climate section back to the way it was. I ended up having a discussion with the person about having to play detective with the WRCC if you want to figure out what the real records are. They did end up changing some of the numbers in the table - as you can see January now reflects the bogus -18F from 1998 and February reflects the -16F from 1947 - which wasn't the case until I stepped in - but they didn't want to change the all-time record low to -16F in the written description because of a lack of "citeable source" or whatever. And the sad thing is, they're right. Thanks to the mess at the WRCC, you can't actually prove that the all-time record low in Haines is -16F in 1947.

 

It can get frustrating for people like me. LOL!



#43
snow_wizard

Posted 25 August 2016 - 09:12 PM

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The January 1972 low was snowcover magic mostly, the South Sound had the epic snowstorm with that and OLM had 18" on the ground (On another note that was probably the biggest snowcover gradient between Olympia and Vancouver that I can think of).

 

1983's -7F stands out more to me because they managed that with essentially bare ground, which makes it probably the lowest westside reading on record with an inch or less of snowcover. Granted, it was an historically cold airmass, but it's still remarkable how much colder they got than somewhere like Centralia with similar ground conditions. 

 

The January 1972 snowstorm still stands as my favorite winter event here.  I was only 8, but the memories are still vivid.  Heavy deep snowfall followed by very cold and clear weather with snowcover that lasted for many days.


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Death To Warm Anomalies!
 
winter.jpg

Winter 2016-17 Stats

Total snow = 9.8"
Days Min 32 or below = 61
Days Max 32 or below = 1
Days Max Below 40 = 29
Coldest Min = 16

#44
BLI snowman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 10:59 PM

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Its more of an issue for people who don't share a passion for weather like you and I. 

 

A real life example is the Haines, AK Wikipedia page. If you look at the WRCC, their period of record is 1911-2016 (albeit with significant gaps). But their extremes table only covers 1973-2012, because that's what was digitized the last time that table was updated in 2012. Then sometime in the past year the WRCC filled in spotty data for 1911-16 and for 1925-56, to complement the 1973-present data that was already digitized. 

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?ak3490

 

So back to Wikipedia - earlier this month I noticed the Haines monthly extremes table only reflected the 1973-2012 numbers, as if somebody pulled them straight from the WRCC. In the written climate description, the all-time record low was (and still is) presented as -15F on February 20, 1994. Why? Because that's the all-time record low in the 1973-2012 table on the WRCC. I actually think its a bogus number altogether, but that's a different story. If one was to look in the daily summary stats @ WRCC, they would see a -16F on February 2, 1947 and another bogus -18F from January 1998, which to me looks like data that was pulled from a different station altogether and mistakenly placed under Haines (Go WRCC!). 

 

https://en.wikipedia.../Haines,_Alaska

 

Long story short, I edited the written description to show -16F on February 2, 1947 as the all-time record low. That's a very well corroborated reading from a cold wave that brought -81F to Snag, Yukon, -38F to Anchorage, and -24F to nearby Skagway. 

 

The next day, somebody changed the climate section back to the way it was. I ended up having a discussion with the person about having to play detective with the WRCC if you want to figure out what the real records are. They did end up changing some of the numbers in the table - as you can see January now reflects the bogus -18F from 1998 and February reflects the -16F from 1947 - which wasn't the case until I stepped in - but they didn't want to change the all-time record low to -16F in the written description because of a lack of "citeable source" or whatever. And the sad thing is, they're right. Thanks to the mess at the WRCC, you can't actually prove that the all-time record low in Haines is -16F in 1947.

 

It can get frustrating for people like me. LOL!

 

Wikipedia is always frustrating for climate geeks, I've edited the Portland and Vancouver climate pages a few times to reflect legitimacy and gotten stern little memos about vandalism. If only their moderators cared as much about upholding the sanctity of accurate weather records!


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#45
BLI snowman

Posted 25 August 2016 - 11:03 PM

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The January 1972 snowstorm still stands as my favorite winter event here.  I was only 8, but the memories are still vivid.  Heavy deep snowfall followed by very cold and clear weather with snowcover that lasted for many days.

 

We got screwed pretty hard with that one down here, we had low 40s on 1/25/1972 while the Centralia to Everett corridor was getting shellacked with a foot or more of snow.

 

Interestingly that trough also produced a historic snow event in northern CA and southern OR on the coast. Crescent City had 6" and Brookings had 5", right on the water. 



#46
wx_statman

Posted 26 August 2016 - 09:05 AM

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We got screwed pretty hard with that one down here, we had low 40s on 1/25/1972 while the Centralia to Everett corridor was getting shellacked with a foot or more of snow.

 

Interestingly that trough also produced a historic snow event in northern CA and southern OR on the coast. Crescent City had 6" and Brookings had 5", right on the water. 

 

Its amazing that they got hit again in December of that year. 1.0" of snow at Brookings and all time record cold. 



#47
BLI snowman

Posted 26 August 2016 - 09:24 AM

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Its amazing that they got hit again in December of that year. 1.0" of snow at Brookings and all time record cold. 

 

That 1967-76 period had some pretty epic events not just for us but especially for those way to the south.

 

December 1967: Historic cold for the desert SW, snow fell on back to back days in Yuma, AZ

December 1968: Fresno's last measurable snow to date and Redding's all time snowstorm

January 1971: Another impressive desert arctic airmass, produced 35/12 at Las Vegas

January 1972: Historic snow event from Eureka to Gold Beach

December 1972: Possibly the GOAT arctic airmass for CA and southern OR

January 1973: 1-2" snow fell to Sacramento Valley floor in Sacramento region

January 1974: Again, 1-2" snow fell to Sacramento Valley floor in Sacramento area

February 1976: Last measurable snowfall to date for SF Bay Area, with accumulations as far south as Monterey on the coast

March 1976: Rare March snow event for lowland northern CA, 8" in Red Bluff, 4" in Orland and 1" in Healdsburg



#48
wx_statman

Posted 26 August 2016 - 09:56 AM

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That 1967-76 period had some pretty epic events not just for us but especially for those way to the south.

 

December 1967: Historic cold for the desert SW, snow fell on back to back days in Yuma, AZ

December 1968: Fresno's last measurable snow to date and Redding's all time snowstorm

January 1971: Another impressive desert arctic airmass, produced 35/12 at Las Vegas

January 1972: Historic snow event from Eureka to Gold Beach

December 1972: Possibly the GOAT arctic airmass for CA and southern OR

January 1973: 1-2" snow fell to Sacramento Valley floor in Sacramento region

January 1974: Again, 1-2" snow fell to Sacramento Valley floor in Sacramento area

February 1976: Last measurable snowfall to date for SF Bay Area, with accumulations as far south as Monterey on the coast

March 1976: Rare March snow event for lowland northern CA, 8" in Red Bluff, 4" in Orland and 1" in Healdsburg

 

That's a very impressive run. 

 

The February 1976 event also brought Sacramento its heaviest snowfall in modern times, with 2" at the Executive Airport on the 5th. And I believe December 1967 was the last time a trace of snow was observed in San Diego as well. 



#49
BLI snowman

Posted 26 August 2016 - 04:34 PM

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That's a very impressive run. 

 

The February 1976 event also brought Sacramento its heaviest snowfall in modern times, with 2" at the Executive Airport on the 5th. And I believe December 1967 was the last time a trace of snow was observed in San Diego as well. 

 

 

Correct

 

http://www.sandiegou...n13snowday.html



#50
luminen

Posted 26 August 2016 - 05:34 PM

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Wikipedia is always frustrating for climate geeks, I've edited the Portland and Vancouver climate pages a few times to reflect legitimacy and gotten stern little memos about vandalism. If only their moderators cared as much about upholding the sanctity of accurate weather records!

 

A few years ago I was trying to change the climate classification of Honolulu to "hot semi-arid/BSh" from "tropical wet-dry/As" and some dumba** kept changing it back. Lo and behold, it says "hot semi-arid/BSh" now.  :lol:

 

https://en.wikipedia...onolulu#Climate