When is Weather Extreme?

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Climate Change Alarmists like to scan the weather news for new weather records being set, especially flashy records like Boston’s recent “Heaviest snowfall during a 30 day period.” To this group, every record is proof of their Extreme Climate predictions.

But, what this group fails to understand – or fails to tell the truth about if the DO understand – is the likelihood that records will be set.

Within the US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) there are 1221 official weather stations – and this is only a subset of a larger network of weather stations throughout the US. Each day, various weather related data are collected and recorded (and frequently adjusted).

Weather Symbols

The data includes the high temp for the day, the low for the day, the rainfall for the day, the snow for the day, and the wind for the day. There can be records for each of these items, plus records for various … variations. There is a record for the highest temp and also for the highest low temp (and the reverse for low readings). In all, there are maybe 20 records for this day’s weather. (I’m guessing at the number, but likely I’m on the low side.)

Each year, there are 20 measurements giving possible records for each day. Over a 365 day year, this means that there are roughly 7,300 records available to be broken. For the 1221 stations in the USHCN, there are almost 9 Million records available to be broken during the year.

If the average length of the data record for all the stations is 100 years (it is much less!), then each record would have 1 chance in 100 of being broken each year. Statistically, we should expect about 90,000 records to be set.

Probability Examples

Looking just at 5 frequently discussed categories, High, Low, High Minimum, Low Maximum, and Precipitation (snow, rain, or whatever), for just a single station having a 100 year history, we should expect one of these records to be broken every 20 days.

This is NOT an example of Extreme Weather – it is just basic, grade school arithmetic!

Many members of Congress and within the Administration in Washington, DC, apparently are incompetent in grade school math – or maybe they’re just liars – which means they don’t belong in positions allowing them to set policy for the country. Please consider this at the next election.

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