2016 Is The Least Extreme Year On Record In The US


Until about 1980, US stations averaged  about 102 degrees between their hottest and lowest temperature of the year. The peak year was 1936 at 113.6 degrees spread, and this year so far has been the least extreme with only 92 degrees average spread. This number will undoubtedly become slightly larger as the year progresses. What I find interesting is that this metric was fairly steady until the early 1980’s, and has dropped off sharply since then.

Hottest temperatures have declined sharply since the 1930s.


Coldest temperatures were steady until about 1980, but have risen about five degrees since then.


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12 Responses to 2016 Is The Least Extreme Year On Record In The US

  1. SFX says:

    Is it real? Or an artifact of how measurements are being done now?

    And what does it mean? The change is so great I suspect it’s a data problem, not an actual change in the weather.

    • Neal S says:

      I would guess that Tony is only using unadjusted temperatures from actual stations. That said, UHI may well be a factor for bringing up the winter lows from what they would have been otherwise. So overall, we likely really are cooling.

      This probably fits in with reduced incidences of hurricanes and tornadoes. Or do you think that is a data problem too?

    • dew says:

      it is as much bullshit as the AGW.A If you take the lowest temp and the hottest temp and average them.you do so by subtracting the lowest from the highest and then dividing by two and adding it back to the lowest each day and then average the 365 mean and you will come closer to 70 degrees than you will 102.

    • tonyheller says:

      It is very real. Hottest temperatures are getting cooler, and coldest temperatures are getting warmer.

      • David Jay says:

        Yup, warmer winter nights and cooler summer days.

        …kinda’ takes the C out of CAGW.

      • SFX says:

        I checked a lot of weather stations (using your incredible software) since you released the first version of PBtC, and we do not see that pattern everywhere. In fact, we see colder Tmin for J-F in many locations. It’s why I suspect averaging station data creates an artifact. There is no one US climate, and adding it all together hides the changes (if any) that actually are happening.

        Most of the “warming hole” in the US does not show winter Tmin rising, even as summer Tmax shows cooling. In fact many stations show a cooling trend for the coldest months Tmin, using a thirty year trend. It’s why I suspect data manipulation is creating some of the results.


        There is little doubt the summer Tmax is less most locations. But not all.

        • SFX says:

          For example, Ashland OR shows cooling Tmin for the cold months, but rising Tmax for the warmest months. (J-f coldest, J-A warmest)

          Even using the annual data, Tmax rising, Tmin falling.

          But Crater lake shows both rising using annual data. And greater variability, not less, for seasonal data.

          It’complicated, and averaging it all removes the details that matter.

  2. “this metric was fairly steady until the early 1980’s, and has dropped off sharply since then”

    This indicates the summer maximums have dropped, the winter minimums have increased, or a bit of both. Plotting the highest and lowest each year should resolve which it is.

    • tonyheller says:


    • Gail Combs says:

      Moisture levels linked to PDO and AMO perhaps?

      Water is a great modifier of temperature. You get the hottest in a dry area like the Sahara or Death Valley and the coldest in a dry area like the Antarctic.

      The Sahara has major daily temperature swings and the very hot temps of the 1930s were during the same era as the Dust Bowl.

  3. Andy DC says:

    That data would appear be a smoking gun that there is no climate crisis, Any attempts to raise taxes or cut energy supplies to fight non existent climate change amounts to highway robbery and treason against the American people.

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