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Most Ohio Record Temperatures Set Before 1940

August 18, 2012

By Paul Homewood


Biege United States map with red and blue bar chart in front

According to the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), who produced the above graph,

Spurred by a warming climate, daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows over the last decade across the continental United States, new research shows.

I have already shown that, in Kansas, most records were set in the 1930’s. These are all time highs that still exist today. (For clarification, if a record temperature of 100F was set on 30th June 1934, and then beaten on 30th June 1980, it would only be the latter record which was shown). Of course, Kansas may be not be representative of the whole of the USA, so let’s have a look at another state, Ohio.


Oberlin is a small town with a population of about 8000 and situated in the north of the state, near to Cleveland. The USHCN station there has been at or near to the same location throughout the metadata record. According to the USHCN daily temperature records, the distribution of all time record high temperatures for each day of the year is as shown below.



Just as we saw in Kansas, many more records were set in the 1930’s than recently. Also the period from 1894 till about 1920 saw a large number of records . The above graph includes ties, so in total there are 455 records. Of these, 81 were set during the 1930’s, compared to just 20 in the last decade. By 1940, 260 records had been set, or 57% of the total.

There are no temperature measurements for Oberlin since 2009, so let’s have a look at another Ohio USHCN site that does. Portsmouth is a town of some 20,000 people, situated in the south of the state.



Just as in Oberlin, there was a rash of records set in the 1890’s and 1930’s. The last two decades appear to be the quietest on record for setting new temperature highs.


Which brings us back to NCAR. Why do they start their analysis in the cold 1950’s and 1960’s? What are they trying to hide?

So I issue this challenge to them – reproduce your graph right back to 1895, for which year you have full records, and, to ensure that we have consistency of data, use only USHCN stations that have records throughout the period, thereby avoiding the problem of increasing numbers of stations in recent years.

  1. Frank Stuchal permalink
    August 18, 2012 5:17 pm

    Your data analyses are very interesting. I am a scientist with 40+ years of R&D managerial experience, most always working to establish cause and effect. I have more than a passing knowledge of data analysis, statistics, chemistry, physics, modeling, laboratory procedures, etc and most recently, teaching environmental science. I am much more a skeptic of climate change and its purported relationship to increasing carbon dioxide levels than a proponent. My problem is the high level of circumstantial/partial/contradictory evidence offered for global warming and its associated cause. The scientific rigor I have been trained in, have used and been exposed to by my colleagues seems not to be common place in climate science. Your data analysis, if correct, shows a lack of scientific rigor by climate organizations at a level that in my experience would get someone fired. I cannot locate a description of a new climate database offered by one of the US government organizations a year or two back which had a paragraph larger than this one relating all of the statistical corrections to the data and saying how great the database was(????). There is a genuine lack of critical thinking, a sensationalization of every day weather (and a misunderstanding on the part of weather folks regarding weather versus climate), and a definite bias on the part of many educated folks (college professors of history, English, whatever, writing letters to the editor claiming that people need to believe what is happening before it is too late when they themselves have not the slightest idea about the “science” involved) regarding local/regional weather. Question – why is your data analysis not being more extensively considered by more folks if it is truly correct?

    • August 18, 2012 7:37 pm

      I think one problem is that most people simply don’t know where to go to find out this sort of information.

      Another is the dichotomy between macro and micro. If you try to challenge something on the global level, you are asked provide detailed proof and specific examples. However when you offer such proof, they reply ” well it is only Ohio/USA/UK etc, what about the rest of the planet?”.

      The 3rd issue is the one of Authority. Many others like me challenge the messages put out by those in authority and sometimes we can make little dents. However it is very difficult to persuade the non committed that those in authority are wrong, and even when we do it is soon swept under the carpet and forgotten about.

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