Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Does the weather suck? Yeah, but not as bad as I thought.

While the middle part of the country feels God's wrath for its many shortcomings by roasting in record heat, we sinners here in San Francisco are also being punished by the Almighty, in the form of just generally shitty weather. It's overcast and foggy and never gets much about 60 degrees.

I know the only thing more boring than blogging about the weather is blogging about blogging, but I'm starting to get the SAD real bad and so it got me to thinking - is this an extra-shitty July so far, or do we just forget every year about how shitty July in San Francisco is?

So I decided to do some Burrito Justice-style research and, you know, marshal some facts and shit and find out. I went to Weather Underground and looked at the high temps for July (and the last week of June, as long as I was there), and then wrote them all down on a clipboard while reading them off the screen out loud to myself. "72, 73, 68, 69," I'd say, and then write write write. It took about 15 minutes and looked like this:

Here's the short answer: Except for today, it's not appreciably worse than any other July in the last 10 years. Except for 2008. Let's look at the numbers.

So far, the average daily high temperature for July this year has been 70. That's pretty much exactly normal. Last year it was 72 through this date, and 71 in 2009, and 70 in 2006 and 2004. 2008 was a hot one - 74 average, but that's because it was really really nice from the 7th to the 11th, like high 70s and 80s.

There have been some bright spots this July. Remember when it was 80 on the 1st? That's the hottest July 1st in the last 10 years. Same with the 84 on the 3rd. Hell, it was 69 on the 10th, just like on the 10th of 2010 and 2003.

The only weird thing will be if it doesn't get above 59 today. If that's true, that will be the lowest high temperature for July in the last 10 years. That fucking sucks, I'll give you that. But overall, so far it's not a bizarrely off July.

I will tell you this, though: That last week of June we just had was the coldest last week of June in the last 10 years. Average high: 66. Last year was 70 and the year before that was 76. So maybe it's just the cumulative effect, starting in June.

(Does anyone remember June 2003? The last week's average high was 83! 3 days of 90s in a row! Jesus!)

So hang in there. It's just the usual shit.


Stephen said...

I'm looking at your numbers and today AND yesterday AND Monday are all quite a bit lower than the same days over the past ten years. Three days is a long stretch for us folks with short attention spans.

And that's not just three days of cold, but three days of not breaking into sunshine in the Mission by noon, which is what summer is supposed to give us.

This is all made even starker in contrast to the lovely (in terms of both temperature and sun) weather we had just before this.

GG said...

That's some crack journalism! I don't even mind the cold, but the fact that it's been RAINING at my house for the past three days really gets me down (I acknowledge that my house is in a rain pocket). As long as it's above 60 this Sunday at Stern Grove, though, I'll be happy.

amy.leblanc said...

we just forget every year and then the fog SAD gets aggravated when we see our east coast friends complain about the heat and all that sun they're having to avoid. it's like childbirth; so painful and traumatic you just erase it from your memory.

Stoney said...

Summer weather is one of my favorite things about San Francisco. I don't know what everyone's complaining about. If I go back east in the summer it's so muggy I can't sleep at night. Also, shorts make people look dumb.

sfmike said...

I did a daily chronicle of a year in photos ten years ago and turned it into a public access TV show on channel 29. I've recently been digitizing the tapes into DVDs at BAVC, and the show has been rerunning on Thursdays at 7:30 PM for its 10th anniversary. The amusing/depressing detail is that during most of the summer of 2001, I was spending half my time fleeing San Francisco and trying to find sun in the suburbs. We're having an extremely typical summer this year.

Rocco said...

working hard today, i see.

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud!

I would really like to do animation of June-July temps for the past ten years at some point, but there are all sorts of crazy charts out there in the meantime.

But the site is pretty much the weather data visualization porn jackpot.

Here's high and low temps for 2011 and 2010. You can see the actual temperature on the first grey chart, and the delta from the average on the second red/blue chart.

Here's min and max temperature data from 1871 to 2009.

And the SFO climograms are crazy.

But the past couple of days we have pretty much been living in the cloud. The wall of fog around Highway 92 this week has been kind of crazy.

Brett said...

Dear SF,

Fuck off. It's been over 100 for over two weeks in a row here, with no rain in sight.


Your Dallas reader

Rachel said...

Your legal pad calculations look very impressive, TK!
Personally, I prefer the cool weather. While everyone on the East Coast is sweating to death, I'm enjoying a hot chocolate and wearing a scarf. Good times.

Tamagosan said...

I'm generally of the mindset that whatever I'm experiencing now is definitely the worst that anyone's ever experienced. Darn you and your "data points" for challenging this!

Here on Guam, we're apparently on the edge of a typhoon right now, and I drove home last night with about 5 feet visibility in front of the car. Curvy roads made of coral are fun! My better half said it was nothing ("On the East Coast... blah blah blah"), but when I got home (alone!) and the power was off and the thunder sounded like gunshot-earthquakes it didn't feel like nothing. Then I went out to gay karaoke and sang terribly (The Eagles! Sinead O'Connor! Biggie!), so all was restored to normal. Now the storms are starting up again, so I'm glad I WFH.

Oh, and please get started on some numbers to ensure that August is perfect weather for my reentry into SF society.

Dan said...

I do remember that last weekend in June 2003-- I saw Orchestre Baobab at Yoshi's on that Thursday and it seemed like the most appropriate thing you could possibly be doing on the hottest nights of the year.

Also, the Pulizter Committee just rang looking for you.