- July 11, 2009
It’s been ridiculously hot ridiculously early this year in Austin. A friend passed along this link to a visualization of 100+ degree days over the last 10 years. The author couldn’t find data extending back farther than 2000, but luckily I knew where to look.
I pulled the NCDC weather for Austin from 1948-present (see infochimps.org link for details) and got my Tufte on.
This temperature cycle is hotter than but comparable to the 1950-1965 era. I’ve got no idea if it’s global warming or the peak of a cycle. The fundamental conclusion — that this year so far, 2000 and 2008 were damn hot — stands up well.
The first plot is a year-on-year time series similar to the one in the link. It shows degrees over 100F, for days where the temperature exceeded 100F. Each year’s baseline is one grid cell higher than the previous, with with bars above 106F allowed to overlap (this results in a darker cell on the few occasions they do):
Check that Indian summer in 2005!
This next one shows a histogram of temperature by four-year group: the vertical scale shows temperature in 2.5 degF blocks, and the inner scale shows #days with that temperature. Gridlines show 100,95,90 (red) and 45,40,35 (blue). The last four years and 1996-2001 were unusually hot, but the intervening four years were mild against the 30-year block. Keep in mind the last (2006-2009) block is incomplete.
Did you know that Austin temperatures are far more likely to be in the 70s -or- 90s than they are to be 83-90 degrees?
Here’s that last chart but year-by-year; click to see it in size ginormous:
By the way — the Good Morning Vietnam quote mangled in the title? I just got the joke (no disrespect to Thích Qu?ng ??c’s act of conscience).