Southern Ontario April Heat Wave

Record-breaking temperatures this weekend: Environment Canada

Said the Toronto Star: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/789040–record-breaking-temperatures-this-weekend-environment-canada?bn=1

“In Ontario and Quebec, forecasters are expecting temperatures to exceed seasonal norms by as much as 15 to 20 degrees, he added.

“Smashing the records, clobbering it, pulverizing, whatever you want to say … These are things that you should see two, two-and-a-half months from now,” Phillips said in a telephone interview.”

Really? Well, let’s see.

Ottawa hit 28C today. A record breaker — for that day. But is this beyond normal for highest temps reached in the first week of April? How many times has the temp been above 20 in the first week of April in the past 110 years? 7 with 8 days above 20C.

Making this year above “normal”. Normal would be within 1 standard deviation of the temps around the average since 1900.

The average is 11.5 +/- 5.02. Two standard deviations puts the highest at 21.5C. So 28 in the first week of April for Ottawa is truly abnormal statistically speaking.

However, things change dramatically if the last week of March and the first week of April are looked at (the week before and after today).

We now get 11 years, with 20 days. Note the interesting pattern.

1945-1948 cluster of days 20C or more is at the top of the warm trend from 1990 to 1945, then a 29 year gap of no days above 20C, right during the downturn of temps between 1945 and 1975, then out of the blue we go to every 5 to 8 years these nice warm springs.

None of them in the 28C range. Again making this week unusual.

We need to next check to see of the first 2 weeks in April shows anything unusual with this day. That is, is spring shifting earlier as we have noted before.

Normal is 15.1+/-4.75, upper second standard deviation is 24.6C.

An interesting way to see these unusual high temps for the first 2 weeks of April looks like this:

Notice the interesting gaps every few decades when 10 or 15 years have no first two weeks 20C or more.

Looks like normal variation, with other cycles added in. No evidence of global warming trends here. This is just a fluke year in the normal fluctuations caused by climate chaos.

Just to make sure, let’s see the entire range of temps for the first week of April:

Interesting indeed. Temperatures for the first week of April swing wildly between day time highs and night time lows. Note specifically the nighttime lows (must be as there are no highest days in that first week below zero) have been warming over the years. More evidence that it isn’t the high temps that are changing, but the low extreme temps are rising, pushing the average to rise.

It will be interesting to see how this year fairs with the arrival of spring (last frost night in the spring).

This is the trend for spring arrival for Ottawa.

Clearly spring has been arriving earlier since 1920’s but the same as it was at the beginning of the 20th century. The last frost night since the 20’s and 30’s was from the middle of May then to the end of April now. This extends the spring growing season in the Ottawa area by some 15 days.

This is just a normal cycle. No correlation with CO2 levels.

Next we need to compare the rest of Southern Ontario stations. This plot shows over the years all stations that had a temp 20C or more in the first week of April. Each dot is a station. Temps on the Y axis, years on the X axis:

Gee, we had temps in Ontario in the high 20’s and low 30’sC back in the 1920’s and 1930’s in the first week of April.

This plot shows all stations maximum temps in the first week of April. Notice the wide range and the low R2.

Yes, the trend is to warmer first weeks in April. But we already knew that as spring is generally coming earlier, so yes, the temps during this transition phase of the year would be increasing.

What I find humerus about this is the interviews on TV about how people are liking this warm weather. Every one! Oh, sorry people. You are not allowed to be enjoying this. This is prima facia evidence that humans are heating up the planet and that is bad. So you should be feeling guilty about this warm weather, it’s bad for the environment.

Yeah, right…

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About J. Richard Wakefield

J. Richard Wakefield has published three fiction novels, Blinding White Flash, Blinding White Flash Invasion and The Barn. The sequel to The Barn, The Cunningham Arrests, is going to the publisher in 2015. He was a firefighter for 22 years in Toronto, and a professional computer programmer for 25 years. He lives with his wife, Dorothy, in Southwestern Ontario.
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2 Responses to Southern Ontario April Heat Wave

  1. Adam says:

    You write “This is just a normal cycle. No correlation with CO2 levels”. Could you provide a plot of CO2 levels compared to April temperature?
    Is autumn occurring earlier in the year as well?

  2. I could except one problem. CO2 is only reliable, accurately measured, since 1956. Before then measurements have a very wide range from 180 to 500ppm. So not relyable. Ice core data is even worse as the CO2 for each year is a calculation based on averages of mean readings at various depths. So the best one can do it plot for only the last 50 years. I've done that (not posted here yet) and there is little correlation.

    If I correlate with the maximum temps, it would be an inverse correlation. If I plot CO2 with the number of days above 30C, for example, I will also get a negative correlation. So what is it that CO2 would be doing if it is the forcing?

    The other problem is the convergence of the extreme temps in the year. As noted, in the not too distant future the winter and summers would be the same temps, with there after the winters warmer than the summers. CO2 going to make that physical impossible possible? This fact alone, the logic alone, shows that what is happening not MUST be part of a cycle, even if CO2 continues to rise in the next 100 years (it can't).

    As for the first frost in the fall, I have plotted some of those (southern Ontario) and winter is arriving later since the 1920's. Thus the growing season has been increasing by about 30 days. I want to confirm that with other locations across the country first.

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