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Galveston’s Record Warm Late Spring and Early Summer


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Galveston experienced its warmest December on record last year with a mean temperature of 69.9°, which crushed the old mark of 66.4° that had stood since 1889. The December temperature average was warm enough to qualify as that city's 7th warmest November on record. Since then, one or more record-breaking or record-tying high temperatures were set in each month. April 2022 was the warmest April on record with a mean temperature of 75.5° (old record: 75.0°, 1967 and 2017). Just five months after the historic December warmth, May experienced historic warmth that demolished the monthly record that was set in 2018.

The combination of dry conditions, development of a persistent heat dome, and much warmer than normal water temperatures amplified by the impact of climate change produced the record outcome.  Summary information on the impacts of climate change in the Houston and Galveston areas can be found here:

https://www.globalchange.gov/sites/globalchange/files/CCPR_HOU_brochure-final.pdf

For background information, the mean temperature rose 2.0° at Galveston from the 1961-1990 period to the 1991-2020 period. The number of 90° days rose particularly sharply. 

Annual temperature: 1961-90: 69.7°; 1991-20: 71.7°
Number of days with highs of 80° or above: 1961-90: 151.0 days; 1991-20: 175.7 days
Number of days with highs of 85° or above: 1961-90: 92.3 days; 1991-20: 126.0 days
Number of days with highs of 90° or above: 1961-90: 13.5 days; 1991-20: 58.2 days
Number of days with lows of 80° or above: 1961-90: 52.1 days; 1991-20: 62.3 days

The last year with fewer than 100 85° days was 1997 when there were 94 such days. The last year with fewer than 20 90° days was 1992 when there were just 7 such days.

80° warmth has now been occurring both earlier and later in the season as the "hot" season lengthens.

Number of days with highs of 80° or above in March-April: 1961-90: 1.1 days; 1991-20: 4.3 days
Number of days with highs of 80° or above in November-December: 1961-90: 0.5 days; 1991-20: 1.8 days

The synoptic pattern, regional drought, and warm sea surface temperatures occurred against the backdrop of a warming climate that was resulting in a dramatic increase in hot days. As a result, May 2022 essentially rewrote the record book  for warmth in May. 

Charts follow:

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Updates:

Galveston's Monthly Records

Warmest first week of June

Warmest June 1-15

Warmest June on Record

Stations with 3 consecutive record warm months with long periods of record

 

 


 

 

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1 hour ago, StormchaserChuck! said:

Really cool, I noticed record High pressure in the SW and Alaska/warming, but I didn't think it would penetrate moisture. They are right on the GOM. 

SSTs near Galveston were running 3-4 degrees above normal.

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The impact of climate change can be seen from Galveston's monthly temperature records. None of Galveston's cold monthly records occurred during or after 2000. In contrast, 9 of the 12 warm monthly records occurred since 2000; 8 of 12 occurred since 2010; and, 4 of 12 have occurred since 2020. 

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In terms of annual records, the coldest year was 1979 with a mean temperature of 67.7°. The coldest year since 2000 was 2010 with a mean temperature of 70.2°. 2010 ranked as the 72nd coldest year overall. The warmest year was 2017 with a mean temperature of 74.4°. All of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2000.

For perspective, the 2000s currently account for 15.1% of Galveston’s climate record (May 1874 through May 2022).

 

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With a high temperature of 92° as of 2 pm CDT, Galveston has now had 5 consecutive days with high temperatures of 90° or above. The 5/29-6/2 period is the earliest such stretch of 5 consecutive days. The old record was 5/31-6/4/1875.

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At the same time it has been record cold in the Pac NW and southern BC, anomalies in WA state were close to -5 F deg. I live near the border north of Spokane and our trees only finished their normal mid-May full foliation cycle today. We can still see snow on top of nearby hills with summits of 7,000 to 8,000 ft. Last week there was still snow on even lower hilltops reaching 6,000 ft. Certainly normal to see snow on alpine slopes around here into July, but these lower hills are usually free of snow by early to mid May. 

As a result there was no spring flooding at all in the region as a lot of the snow is still up there. In 1948 a similar weather pattern turned very warm with heavy rain, and historic floods hit both the Fraser and Columbia Rivers. 

It was the end of June last year when we had the unprecedented heat dome and highs around here of 110 F. Hoping we don't see that this summer although even in a normal summer you can expect a few days in the 100-105 F range. 

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With a high temperature of 90° as of 4 pm CDT, Galveston has now had 6 consecutive days with high temperatures of 90° or above. The 5/29-6/3 period is the earliest such stretch of 6 consecutive days. The old record was 5/31-6/5/1875.

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Following back-to-back record warm months, Galveston recorded its warmest first week of June on record. The mean temperature was 85.6° (old record: 85.4°, 2008). The average high of 90.7° and average low of 80.4° both ranked second. Record high minimum temperatures were set on June 6 (83°; old record: 81°, 1974, 1990, 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2020) and June 7 (83°; old record: 82°, 1990 and 1994).

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Yesterday (June 12), Galveston recorded a minimum temperature of 85°. That is the earliest such minimum temperature on record. The prior mark was 85°, which was set on June 21, 2019. From April 1-June 12, Galveston has had 29 record-breaking or record-tying minimum temperatures.

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At Galveston, which has seen two consecutive warm monthly records, June 1-15 was, by far, the warmest first half of June on record. The mean temperature was 87.1°. The old record was 85.3°, which was set in 2018. Galveston has already seen 9 days with low temperatures of 83° or above. The previous record for the entire month was 7 days. That record was set in 1994. Records go back to June 1874.

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On 6/22/2022 at 6:37 AM, donsutherland1 said:

Yesterday’s low temperature of 86 at Galveston was that city’s earliest such minimum temperature on record. The previous mark was set on August 8, 2019. 

Yuck. Poor overnight recovery is what makes big heatwaves truly miserable and deadly. No relief.

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  • donsutherland1 changed the title to Galveston’s Record Warm Late Spring and Early Summer

Galveston has seemingly been caught in summer's heat well before the summer even began.  April saw Galveston edge past its relatively fresh mark of 75.0° from 2017 with a mean temperature of 75.5°.

During May, the fire of summer burned all too hot for the close of spring. In terms of temperatures, the calendar had skipped ahead to June. The May 2022 average temperature of 83.0° demolished the 80.4° record that had been set in 2018. Prior to 2012, no May going back to 1875 had ever seen an average temperature of 80.0°.

The unrelenting heat continued through June melting the fairly recent record that displaced the prior longstanding record. June 1881 registered an average temperature of 85.5°. That record stood for 130 years until it was eclipsed with an 86.2° mean temperature in 2011. Eleven years later, that record was erased, as June 2022 logged in with a mean temperature of 87.5°. Never before had Galveston experienced such warmth in July, let alone June. Only three cases in August were hotter.

The combination of a warming climate, ongoing drought, persistent heat dome, and exceptionally warm coastal waters produced this outcome. Marine heatwaves have grown 20 times more common on account of anthropogenic climate change. During the month of June, the waters surrounding Galveston Island saw temperatures reaching 90°.

Marine heatwaves and/or drought/emergent aridification have been factors in recent years during long periods of exceptional warmth. They have been present in numerous areas when monthly warm temperature records have been set in three consecutive months. Galveston is the most recent such case.

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Cases where U.S. stations with long periods of record (POR) hold three consecutive record warm months are uncommon. To compile a list, the following criteria were used: 

  • Stations had at least 100 years of monthly data for the reference months (months for which the records were set)
  • All daily data was available in the record warm months or, when missing values were substituted with monthly minimum readings, the record was still intact.

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It should be noted that stations with shorter period of record have also had three consecutive record warm months. For example, McAllen, TX saw its warmest September, October, and November in 2016, but its period of record begins in June 1941. Anchorage, which experienced its warmest June, July, and August on record in 2019 with a climate record that goes back to November 1953 is another example.

Among the cases from stations with long periods of record that saw three consecutive record warm months, 69% have occurred since 2010. Primarily the cases can be found in areas where aridification is underway. The 1930s Dust Bowl era experienced conditions that mimicked the aridification that is underway in the Southwest on account of anthropogenic climate change. A number of stations having shorter periods of record are influenced by warming from marine heatwaves, which have also been increasing in frequency on account of anthropogenic climate change.

 Through June 2022, a total of 31 stations report three consecutive record warm months, but in the case of Trenton, the minimum temperature data for July 1865 is suspect and numerous dates had missing data. Most of the excluded stations had short periods of record. A few stations had large amounts of missing daily data for the record warm months. Out of the remaining 30 stations, 24 (80%) experienced their three consecutive record warm months during 2010 or later.

 

 

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