Weather Trends: Canaan Valley
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johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
February 7, 2008
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,923 posts
Just got the latest "weatherdoodle" by Dave Lesher. This column was published in the newsletter of the Friends of the Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge for February 2008. Here's some data that Lesher has compiled about weather in the CV:

 Quote:
The annual low temperature appears to have been rising in Canaan Valley for the past two decades. This pattern is borne out by the fact that no temperature below
-15F has been reported in the past 12 years even though there were 20 such occurrences in the previous 40 years.


Food for thought.
fishnski
February 7, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Thank God! If we wanted Cold we would head to New England!...Its hard to get cold at Nite when there is a cloud deck Full of Snow as has been Especially for the Last 5 years....I saw 14 below a few years back...BRRRRRRR..We don't need that south of the Mason Dixon!
kwillg6
February 8, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,030 posts
John, that does open up the GW discussion again. I listen to reports about glacial meltdown and am concerned. Glacier NP in Montana will lose the last of it's glaciers by 2030 if current conditions persist. Greenland is going to be green again, maybe within the next 50 years, and so on and so on. Now the valley's affected by GW. It's something we can't ignore. Yet to be determined is this part of natural climate cycle or has the CO2 really put the warm-up in overdrive. According to our "official" government types that's TBD. What's it gonna take to wake them up? Probably won't happen before I die and then it'll be too late to reverse. Just a rant... sorry. \:\(
Roger Z
February 8, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Does he provide a link to the data? That one fact means nothing at all with regard to whether temperatures are rising or not. It could also easily mean that there have been fewer extreme weather events (warm or cold), cloud cover has increased (as might be born out by the increasing snowfall over the last five years or so), or maybe there's been more prolonged cold spells in the minus 10 range.

My guess is he's correct, but unless we can look at the data, or at least get more info on his analysis, his "fact" doesn't really mean anything.
jonjon1
February 8, 2008
Member since 09/11/2006 🔗
186 posts
Thats surprising considering I've recorded lows a few times lower than -15 here in Davis since 2004.

I've noticed on good radiational cooling nights Canaan's and Davis' lows are similar because of the valley locations.

Canaan must have just missed -15 degrees on several occasions.
Murphy
February 8, 2008
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Unfortunately, the data set I found ends 12 years ago but here it is anyway: Canaan Record Temps

It doesn't show the exact data that he's referring to but it does show the date of each record high and low temp for every day of the year.

That data is more complete for Elkins. The data period extends from 1926-2007 there. The record low for 41 of the 365 days has occurred in the last 12 years. That's 11.2% of the records whereas 12 years out of 81 years of data is 14.8% of the period. So Elkins didn't have as many record days as it used to but it's not too far off
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
February 9, 2008
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,923 posts
 Originally Posted By: Roger Z
Does he provide a link to the data?


He has a graph of lowest temps that goes back to 1945 with a ten year moving average.

Unfortunately, Friends of the 500th does not post its data online, but you can always join the group and get the newsletter mailed to you. Dave has a column about weather in every issue.

http://www.fws.gov/canaanvalley/CVNWR%20Friends.htm

PS An individual membership in the Friends of the 500th costs $10, and a family membership, $20.

PPS Another bellwether for temps in the valley are birds, and the local bird expert, Casey Rucker, often has a column in the newsletter. This winter he reports that he's seen the Northern Shrike on Cortland Rd (a rare winter visitor), but no Bohemian Waxwings--an artic bird not to be confused with the very common Cedar Waxwings that occasionally ventures as far south as PA, and on very rare occasions, the CV.

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