Jan 9, 2014

Meteorologic hair splitting

Don't be fooled by one cold day:

This winter (so far) has exceeded 80° F over 60 percent of the time.

This bar chart shows the percentage of winter days, from 1970 to present, in which daytime high temperatures in Naples, Florida equaled or exceeded 80° F.  This year's exceedence rate is just above 60 percent.  The percentage has ranged annually from 15 to 82 percent since 1970.  The long-time average during that period is 45 percent.   

That's warm for recent history:

The last time Naples tipped 60 percent was the winter of 1990-1991.  And just a few winters back for three years in a row plus-eighty-degree days were relatively rare -- only occurring 25 percent of the time during that stretch.

But by historical extremes this winter is off the record warm mark.

Daytime highs exceeded the 80° F mark for over 75 percent of the time for two winters in the early 1970s.  Compare that to a paltry 20 percent occurrence of +80° F during the winter of 1976-1977.  Now that was a cold winter!  Or was it?

The annual variability is sort of like splitting hairs:

The big picture here is that winter in Sunny Naples is reliably mild.

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