UPDATED/CORRECTED – Warm and wet December to cap off warm 2014 locally, and likely warmest ever globally.
This update will feature both the December 2014 summary and the full 2014 Annual Summary. It has been quite the slog getting this first ‘annual’ summary done, but it is done! *PHEW*
December 2014 Summary – In with a Bang, Out with a Whimper… no Data:
Temperatures well above normal despite handful of short term record lows.
Early December continued the rainy November. Maximum temperatures were above normal and kept our overall averages above normal despite a few days of colder weather where we managed to set some short term records.
Check out the November summary for a full recap of the early December rain and wind storm which may have been the most intense 4 days of rain ever recorded in December in Port Alberni. The storm also delivered some impressively high temperatures.
December Rainfall normal… though all at once. Data problems at Official Station.
Our normal rainfall for December is 323mm. City stations received 101% of that so almost bang-on normal… the Airport Station only recorded 4 days of rain and 246mm in total. It clearly missed a significant amount of rain. With the demise of the very long period (since 1964) Robertson Creek Hatchery station, this is quite concerning from a data gathering and consistency standpoint. There is another station listed by EC at Cox Lake/Franklin River Road since 1987. But it’s location is quite different from previous stations in the Alberni Valley and it’s record over the years quite spotty, so I am hesitant to use it.
As far as I’m concerned, our one and only official station seems to be in a state of disrepair and that is concerning. The official, automated station at the Airport needs to be and should be our most reliable station.
Daily records set this month at the Airport (and compared to other stations for “All Time”)
Three low, three high, three rain. One all time daily record set.
- Dec 1 (low -8.7º C): #1 is -15.7º C in 1985 at Robertson Creek
- Dec 2 (low -4.2º C): #1 is -7.0º C in 1985 at Robertson Creek
- Dec 8 (high 12.1º C and rain 57.6 mm): #1 temp tied on multiple years, multiple stations at 12.2ºC. #1 rainfall 77.2mm in 1956 at Port Alberni.
- Dec 9 (high 15.1º C and rain 98.2 mm): ALL TIME HIGH TEMP AND RAINFALL DAILY RECORD. Beats 12.2º C in 1921/57 at Port Alberni and 85.3mm in 1993 at Robertson Creek.
- Dec 10 (high 13.1 C and rain 71.6 mm): #1 is 13.9º C in 1926 at Port Alberni and 105.1mm in 1923 at Beaver Creek.
- Dec 30 (low -9.0º C): #1 is -17.2º C in 1968 at Robertson Creek.
Short Term Airport Records are compared to the 30+ year weather stations of record since 1900 at Beaver Creek, Port Alberni and Robertson Creek.
2014 – The Warmest Year in Port Alberni History? Not quite. Globally,
most likely. Yes. See Post
In the main, the temperatures were anywhere from 1.5-2.5ºC above normal between the City and Robertson Creek normals in 2014. The Airport was a more consistent (showing the importance of common location) and was around 0.75ºC above the normals.
Corrrection: The following crossed out sections and graphs originally appeared in this post. I will leave it here for historical and context purposes, but see below for the corrected version of this post.
To put it into a longer term perspective, here is what I’ve been working on. This represents all of the data across all of the stations of record since 1900. It is not a perfect tool by any stretch. It is more for interest because the pre-1950 Beaver Creek and Port Alberni stations especially need to be calibrated to be compared to the modern stations. That said, I am going to focus on the modern stations. Here’s what the Top 10 looks like from just the modern post-1950 stations. 1998 definitely stands out. 2014 is in the top 10.
To put it into a longer term perspective, here is what I’ve been working on.
This represents all of the data across all of the stations of record since 1900. It is not a perfect tool by any stretch. It is more for interest because the pre-1950 Beaver Creek and Port Alberni stations especially need to be calibrated to be compared to the modern stations.
That said, I am going to focus on the modern stations. Here’s what the Top 10 looks like from just the modern post-1950 stations.
1998 definitely stands out. 2014 is #2 for low and overall averages and #7 for high temperatures.
If we look at just the Airport, this year is easily in the top 3.
also notice that 1998 is not in the top 3 at all for our station.
So while our record is a little muddled and difficult to figure out because of the varying quality and quantity of data… I think it is safe to say that 2014 was a very warm year. Probably not the warmest, but definitely continuing a trend of very warm years since the turn of the century.
I will post, likely in February, the global results. The expectation is that 2014 will be the warmest ever, despite there not being an El Niño to help it along.
Speaking of El Niño… it still hasn’t come, now 50/50 chance.
The December update showed El Niño still trying to present itself but not quite getting there with a 65% chance of it finally emerging. The January update scales expectations back even more and only gives a 50-60% chance of there being a weak El Niño this winter and that it will likely only last until Spring. This is quite the departure from the early predictions last Spring of not only an El Niño surfacing, but of it being the strongest one, “a Monster” since 1998. That simply hasn’t happened… and yet, regardless of it not emerging, 2014 is still on track to be the warmest year in recorded history. A feat 1998 only managed because of that historic El Niño.
The NMME has updated their monthly forecasting models. Which explains why they were unavailable last month. You can see them on their homepage now. They are listed as “Experimental” and “Preliminary” so take with larger grain of salt than usual.
Rainfall prediction for February (and March), Normal Rainfall
Temperature Prediction for February: Above normal. The large area of grey, 80% above normal, in the Gulf of Alaska area is concerning…
That grey area is predicted to expand in March, April and May and creep closer to our coast and cause us to warm.
That area of persistent heat (it’s been with us most of the year) is being helped along by an area of persistently high sea temperatures.
No matter how you slice it, it’s warm out there.
That’s it for this update! PHEW!
*Denotes incomplete data for the month
December Average Minimum, Overall and High Daily Temps
Alberniweather: 2.6º C, 4.3° C, 6.4º C
Alberni Elementary School : 2.2º C, 4.0º C, 6.1° C
Maquinna Elementary School: 1.9° C, 3.7º C, 5.7º C
Neptune Canada Station: 2.5° C, 4.2º C, 6.2º C
Overall City Average: 2.30° C, 4.05º C, 6.10º C
Environment Canada Airport: 1.5º C, 3.6° C, 5.8º C
1981-2010 Env Can Normal (Rbrtsn Creek): -0.3º C, 1.8º C, 3.8° C
City Stations Difference from normal: +2.6° C, +2.25º C, +2.30ºC
Official (Airport) Difference from normal: +1.8° C, +1.8ºC, +2.0ºC
Year 2014 Average Minimum, Overall and High Daily Temps
Alberniweather: 6.9º C, 10.9° C, 15.7º C
Alberni Elementary School : 6.7º C, 10.8º C, 15.6° C
Maquinna Elementary School: 6.7° C, 10.4º C, 15.3º C
Neptune Canada Station: 7.5° C, 11.7º C, 15.9º C
Overall City Average: 7.0° C, 11.0º C, 15.6º C
Environment Canada Airport: 5.19º C, 10.31° C, 15.38º C
1981-2010 Env Can Normal (Rbrtsn Creek): 4.5º C, 9.6º C, 14.6° C
City Stations Difference from normal: +2.50° C, +1.40º C, +1.00ºC
Official (Airport) Difference from normal: +0.69° C, +0.71ºC, +0.78ºC
Precipitation for December:
Alberniweather: 319.5 mm
AES: 329.0 mm
MAQ: 337.6 mm
NEP: NA (not measured)
Overall City Average:328.7 mm
EC: —- (246.4 mm measured but missing 27 days of rain data!)
1981-2010 Env Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 323.2 mm
City Stations Diff. normal: +5.5 mm (101.7% of normal)
Official (Airport) Diff. from normal: —- not enough data
Precipitation for 2014:
Alberniweather: 1658.4 mm
AES: 1716.0 mm
MAQ: 1938.8 mm
NEP: NA (not measured)
Overall City Average: 1771.1 mm
EC: —- (1718.0 mm measured but missing significant data from November and December!)
1981-2010 Env Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 2074.2 mm
City Stations Diff. normal: -303.1 mm (85.4% of normal)
Official (Airport) Diff. from normal: —- not enough data
Comparison to recent Decembers and Years at Alberniweather (only).
- 2013: A full degree warmer this year than last. And as opposed to this years major rainstorm, last year we only had one good day’s worth of rain for the entire month (35mm)
- 2012: 2014 was cooler in the lows and overall but had warmer highs. November 2012 was historically dry (41 mm)
- 2011: 2014 was much warmer across the board but drier.
- 2010: 2014 was much warmer across the board and similar rainfall.
- 2009: 2014 had similar lows and average but was warmer on the high end and had far less than the 516mm of rain in 2009.
- 2008: 2008 was warmer than 2014 in all categories and had a little more rain.
- 2007: 2014 was much warmer but a little drier.
- 2006: 2014 was warmer in all categories but far drier. 2006 had over 550mm of rain!