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Hottest August Claims In California Don’t Stack Up

September 12, 2020

By Paul Homewood

The LA Times claims that last month was the hottest August in record in California:



And NOAA seem to confirm this:


And yet as we already know, last month’s heatwave was not exceptional there. So do NOAA’s claims stack up?

Let’s start with Los Angeles itself, which is in Division 6 – South Coast Drainage:


According to NOAA, the division also clocked up a new record, just beating 2012 and 1998:



Yet at Downtown LA, it was nowhere a record month, and neither was 2012. The hottest August was in 1983, which was 4.1F hotter than this year:


Neither was the heatwave last month unusually severe, with ten days above 90F. Again, 1983 stands out as much more severe:


Maybe other parts of that Division had much hotter weather last month, with LA somehow escaping it?

But this does not appear to be the case, as San Diego well to the south, also shows exactly the same pattern. Last month was 3.8F cooler than in 1983, and again well down the list of hottest months:


The South Coast Drainage is a narrow coastal strip, so it is unlikely to have any great climate variation from one part to another. It is hard to see how NOAA can justify their “record” claims.

Indeed, according to them, the Division was 2.3F warmer last month than in August 1983. And bear in mind we are looking at a heavily urbanised site and an international airport location.

Could this one division be a fluke? Sadly not.

If we move north to Division 4 – Central Coast Drainage, which includes San Francisco, we find NOAA is claiming that last month beat the previous record in 2017 by a massive 1.5F.


Yet the data record at Downtown San Francisco shows this to be a nonsense. The hottest August was in 1993, with a mean temperature 1.9F higher than last month.

By contrast, NOAA say that August 1993 was 4.6F cooler.



Significantly, August 1983 appears again as a much hotter month, 1.4F hotter than this year.

Further south at Salinas, we again find that August 1983 was hotter. Yet according to NOAA, August 2020 was a full 3.0F hotter than 1983.


There has been concern for a long time about how NOAA adjust temperature data. It is now clear from the actual data that NOAA’s US temperature record is little more than  a fabrication.

  1. Geoff B permalink
    September 12, 2020 12:45 pm

    So who is right NOAA or Cornell, someone needs to push NOAA for an explanation, there are plenty of climate change deniers in USA. Over to them…..

  2. September 12, 2020 12:46 pm

    Even if it had stacked up it still wouldn’t have stacked up.

  3. John Peter permalink
    September 12, 2020 12:59 pm

    As other readers here know only too well, Tony Heller in USA has been trying to show how NOAA adjusts or homogenize temperatures for long enough without getting enough traction. I had actually hoped that Trump would force a review, but to date no such thing has happened. Sad but true.

    • Broadlands permalink
      September 12, 2020 1:29 pm

      Yes… Going back to 1921 (when it was the warmest year on record). It has been done monthly and seasonally, not just annually. NOAA has adjusted past official US Weather Bureau temperatures in every state in the US. Lowering them with the exception of California and New Mexico.

    • September 13, 2020 2:34 am

      Tony Heller needs more exposure.

  4. CheshireRed permalink
    September 12, 2020 1:50 pm

    Can I make a suggestion?
    A lot of different graphs can be tricky to follow, especially as they lack an ‘at a glance’ image.
    How about you show a map of the region with each temp shown? It would instantly show the locations of temp’ stations relevant to the region where fires occurred.
    Would be very helpful.

  5. Phoenix44 permalink
    September 12, 2020 4:36 pm

    NOAA claiming it’s really, really hot with an election looming? Well I never.


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