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State Maximum Temperature All-Time Records

May 19, 2013

By Paul Homewood

 

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http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/scec/records

 

As I mentioned in my last post, NOAA keep track of climatological records for each state. The procedure is a very tightly controlled one, as they describe.

 

The State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) was created in 2006 in response to the need for proper and comprehensive evaluation of meteorological observations which may have tied or exceeded existing statewide all–time record values.  Beyond their intrinsic human interest factor, climatic extremes are an important component of a location’s climatology, used for, among other things, quality controlling meteorological observations, setting engineering limits, and helping authorities to develop climate related safety plans.

While similar in function to the National Climate Extremes Committee, the SCEC is an ad hoc committee established to evaluate the climatological records of individual states. When a potential record meteorological value has been observed, it will be brought to the attention of the local National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office or the state’s State Climatologist. If, after reviewing the observation, the WFO or State Climatologist feels it is legitimate, they will convene the SCEC for a review and vote on the value.

It is worth looking at the maximum temperature records more closely. Including ties, there are 83 records, and the graph below shows the distribution by decade of when they were set.

 

 

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As can be seen, the vast majority were set in the 1930’s, with a total of 31. It is also noticeable that the period from 1911-30 also saw many more records than in the last decade. Since 1996, in fact, only 2 records have been set, or tied:-

Fort Pierre – SD – 2006

Columbia – SC – 2012

 

I have listed below the states which set records between 1930 and 1939. With the exception of the New England states, they pretty much cover the whole nation, from Delaware to Montana , and Wisconsin to Texas. Even Hawaii did not escape!

 

Arkansas

Colorado

Delaware

Florida

Hawaii

Idaho

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maryland

Michigan

Mississippi

Montana

Nebraska

New Jersey

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Pennsylvania

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

West Virginia

Wisconsin

 

Don’t let people tell you that it was not that hot in the 30’s!

2 Comments
  1. Chewer permalink
    May 19, 2013 10:01 pm

    Good job Paul:)
    We’ve set records all over the state here in Alaska, with what has looked like an Alfred Hitchcock movie over the past week, with migratory birds dropping left and right from cold and lack of open ground to feed from.
    Some of these birds have turned into cannibals, and that is not a good or natural site…
    At least the fox and scavenger birds have full stomachs.

  2. PhilJourdan permalink
    May 20, 2013 1:48 am

    Just some random observations. But it looks like 50 records were set in the 30 year period ending 1940. Of course some of those are ties and what not. However, again, looking at the 30 year period ending 2010, it appears only 15 (or 30%) were set or tied in that period.

    Interesting.

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