Bakersfield, California 2021-05-04 23:27:00 –
On Tuesday, Bakersfield’s warming climate officially pushed the new normal even higher.
Every decade, scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calculate the “normal” temperatures that are expected to be seen daily, monthly, and yearly in Bakersfield and countless other locations in the 48 states of the continental United States.
The NOAA calls them climate normals, but these normals have not remained the same for an average of more than 30 years. As the climate changes, they change.
And it did. According to NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Studies, the decade that ended last year was the hottest decade recorded since 1880.
Colin McKeller, a meteorologist and backup climate expert at Hanford’s National Weather Service, said:
For the past decade, climatologists have used the 30 years from 1981 to 2010 to calculate “normal” temperatures. But on Tuesday, the NOAA renewal shifted its 30-year block from 1991 to 2020.
Not surprisingly, changes in the daily average are less dramatic than the monthly and annual averages.
“The difference in monthly averages will be large,” McKeller said.
For example, if your favorite TV meteorologist reported an average (or “normal”) high temperature in May before the update on Tuesday, you would probably say 83.5 degrees Celsius because it is the normal high temperature in May. ..
However, the rise in Bakersfield’s average highs over the last decade has made the monthly highs even higher. According to the updated normals, the new daily hot normals in May are 84.1 degrees.
For residents of southern San Joaquin Valley, these rising normals should not come as a shock, as five of the warmest years in Bakersfield’s recorded history have occurred within the last seven years.
“The temperature rises in the summer,” McKeller said. “Annual precipitation is decreasing.”
All true, but as reflected in the new 30-year average, normal temperatures are rising not only in the summer, but also every month of the year.
It may mean better, sunny days, and even lower heating costs in winter, but mild winters can have a significant impact on some of Khan’s most valuable crops. Harvest time.
Does the NOAA update shift the “normal” baseline to higher temperatures, so weather forecasters in Kern County will not report “above normal” days? Will our weather be “calm” overnight as the definition of “normal” has changed?
“I don’t want to keep the old set of normals,” McKeller said. “I want to reflect the latest information on these normals,” he said.
That makes sense. But residents of Bakersfield, Fresno, Phoenix, or dozens of other cities that have experienced temperature rises for more than half a century need to understand.
Reporter Stephen Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @semayerTBC.
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