Long-running weather blog spins down; second one brewing

This blog is the follow-up to Weather Matters, which I wrote for the Palm Beach Daily News for seven years. Call it Weather Matters 2.0 or better yet, Son of Weather Matters.

That blog was discontinued as of Friday.

Blogs, like everything else in life, come with an unknown expiration date. But Weather Matters didn’t go away because it failed to attract readers. It developed a solid base of loyal readers and in 2015, racked up more than 70,000 views.

I hope that the archives — which stretch from July 2009 to September 2016 — will remain available since people have used the posts to research weather trends and find specific data about days, weeks or months.

Over the years, temperature and precipitation information was gathered and reported for different South Florida micro-climates. That includes Palm Beach and other barrier islands, which consistently have slightly different weather than much of the urban sprawl to the west. Even 10 miles can make a huge difference in rainfall and temperature.

The National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center do a great job and are the gold standard for information throughout Florida and elsewhere. But there are other valuable sources of information as well — Weather Underground’s network of neighborhood observation stations and the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network being two examples — and these are worthy of reporting as well.

They help provide a more complete picture of these micro-climates. In Florida in particular, one size does not fit all.

That’s what makes writing about it interesting and why I’ll continue posting about weather and climate in this new venue.

*

summer-low-temps

The nation as a whole had the warmest summer lows on record. (Credit: NOAA/ NCEI)

EVERYWHERE, SIZZLING AND SUPER-SULTRY: Nighttime lows were the warmest on record across the U.S., with records going to back to 1895. Summer 2016 — which encompasses June 1 through Aug. 31 — tied 2011 for the hottest on record in West Palm Beach.

Overall, it was the fifth hottest summer in the U.S., according to data released Thursday by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

The average low temperature in the U.S. during the summer months was 60.81 degrees, according to Bob Henson at Weather Underground. “The average daily summer low in the contiguous 48 states has climbed about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit in the last century,” he said in a blog post.

In West Palm Beach, 18 daily temperature records were set during the summer months at Palm Beach International Airport — all but one of them setting a new mark or tying an existing one for warmest minimum low.

On July 17 and 18, the low at PBIA was 84, just a degree shy of the all-time warmest low temperature ever recorded, 85 on July 28 and 29, 2011. Palm Beach had four days in July with lows of 84 degrees.

The phenomenon of warming nights is getting the attention of the scientific community. A study released in March contends that atmosphere closest to the ground — called a boundary layer — is more effective at trapping heat caused by a warming climate at night.

It’s important to keep a close on this trend to see how it unfolds over the coming years.

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Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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