Are California Heatwaves Getting Hotter?
By Paul Homewood
Are heatwaves in California getting worse?
I am sure that the vast majority of people would say yes. And that is certainly the relentless message put out by vested interests, and their buddies in the media.
If we check out the summer maximum temperature trends from NOAA, we find that even this summer and last year’s have not been as hot as 1960. Other summers, such as 1981 and 1996 also feature up there.
What we do find instead is that minimum temperatures have risen sharply. This strongly suggests that there is a significant UHI effect.
These trends are, of course, based on the heavily adjusted temperatures used by NOAA, which tend to cool the 1920s and 30s. To get a better perspective, we can look at whisker plots of daily temperatures, which are recorded before adjustments take place.
CDIAC list USHCN stations with the longest running and most complete data here. For California, they give eight stations. These provide a good geographical coverage (see blue flags)
The whisker plots for these stations are below. Unfortunately they are not updated for last year yet, but they consistently show that the highest temperatures have not been increasing in recent years, and for the most part were higher in the past.
Regardless of the data for last year, which we know was affected by unusual meteorological conditions, climatic, as opposed to weather, trends are quite clear – heatwaves are not getting hotter in California.