Feel the (freezer) burn

Friday it got up to 70 (call it 21°C) in Oklahoma City, which was followed by a particularly cold weekend incorporating a few minutes’ worth of sleet. (Nastier stuff, and more of it, fell to the east.) Now 70 is not the record for the date: that would be 77, set on 1/11/1911. This immediately got people thinking about 11/11/1911, on which date we got both a new record high (83) and a record low (17), and someone wondered if the whole year was freakish, weatherwise.

I dug through the records, which go back to 1891, and while I’m not prepared to say 1911 was the freakiest year on record, it had more than its share of weirdness: thirteen record highs (I had said twelve, but I missed one) and seven record lows.

Weird pattern #1: high 83 on 1/31, 90 on 2/1. (The 1/31 record holds up for all of January; we’ve since had one warmer day in February.)

Weird pattern #2: four record highs in June, two record lows in July, two record highs in August.

Keep in mind, all this happened in 1911, back when the temperature of the planet was constant; it would remain so until the introduction of the first sport-utility vehicle, the Chevrolet Suburban, for model year 1935, which promptly set off the Dust Bowl.


  1. McGehee »

    13 January 2013 · 5:06 pm

    One thing about record temperatures in America is, even in places that have been settled for a long time the records only go back so far, and the accuracy of the measurements get hazier as you go farther back.

    So when the climate alarmists declare 2012 the warmest year on record, it would be honest of them to tell us how far back they’re claiming the records go. And telling, that they don’t.

  2. Tatyana »

    13 January 2013 · 5:19 pm

    so, we already live inpost-apocalyptic times “after 11.11.11”. that explains a lot.

  3. fillyjonk »

    13 January 2013 · 8:00 pm

    I’m wondering if there were any large volcanic eruptions in 1910 or thereabouts. I don’t remember reading of any in what biogeographic reading I’ve done…but often climate freakiness can be related to volcanism.

    I’m just glad I wasn’t around on that 66-degree-differential day; my sinuses would probably have exploded.

  4. CGHill »

    13 January 2013 · 8:09 pm

    That large band of volcanoes in southern Mexico includes several right about this longitude, though I don’t recall any eruptions back then. (A volcano in Costa Rica went off in 1910, but that seems a bit distant to have more than fleeting effect.)

  5. Lynn »

    14 January 2013 · 9:32 am

    And 2011 was a pretty weird year. Something about the number 11? (joking)

  6. fillyjonk »

    15 January 2013 · 2:20 pm

    Well, sunspots do have an eleven-year cycle, but as far as I know, it doesn’t line up with the Gregorian calendar we currently use.

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