Joe Bastardi / July 10, 2018

Is It Really That Hot?

We are only 10 days into the month of July and reports of all-time record heat are flying hard and fast off the presses. Old guys like me were taught that the world’s hottest recorded temperature — 136°F — occurred in Libya in 1922. That got thrown out in 2012. A bunch of other 130°-plus recordings got thrown out too. Apparently, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Africa happened just last week. The same goes for Los Angeles and a slew of other areas.

We are only 10 days into the month of July and reports of all-time record heat are flying hard and fast off the presses. Old guys like me were taught that the world’s hottest recorded temperature — 136°F — occurred in Libya in 1922. That got thrown out in 2012. A bunch of other 130°-plus recordings got thrown out too. Apparently, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Africa happened just last week. The same goes for Los Angeles and a slew of other areas.

I am not going to get into refuting all that — it’s out there on social media if you want to look. But here is what’s interesting to me: If it’s so darn hot, why is the global temperature only .118°C above average? Here, look for yourself:

There has to be — and there is — plenty of compensating cold to keep the average close. Not only that, but if we take the period since the Super Niño of ‘97-'98, we find this July is on pace to be the 12th warmest out of the last 21 against the 30-year mean ending in 2010. So it’s actually one of the cooler Julys so far this century.

Look at this from Penn State:

The summer so far has average high temperatures that skew colder than warmer, but low temperatures are opposite. Increased water vapor in the air can explain a little bit of that, but when you look where the thermometer sits you understand why — it’s now surrounded by buildings that were not there 40 years ago. Arguments are raging over the siting of thermometers given these record high temperatures that are being cited as evidence of global warming. Yet as I pointed out, it’s gotta be cold somewhere to keep July this close. For instance, the Arctic is having yet another below-normal summer. Since May 20, only one or two days have been normal or above.

I always tell people to look at this site to put all this in perspective. The warming is almost all during the winter.

On Greenland, which so far has experienced above-normal snowfall for the second year in a row, one has to wonder what is going on up there.

We can go on and on with these tit-for-tat fights, but the bottom line is the world overall is a bit warmer than it was for anyone over 25. The good news is that the earth is not yet turning into a raging inferno. The weather is still weather and is apt to go wild, and we all get to see it if we want to look. Of course, our website helps supply the tools along with commentary on where we think the pattern is going. We focus on the why before the what.

No matter what the weather is, we have the tools to analyze and enjoy it. Which, in the face of all the hysteria, is what it’s all about.


Finally, from 2013, one of my favorite singers (sorry, I like Bette Midler) and now one of the cadre of climate ambulance chasers:

Five years later, the latest on the heat from her:

I wonder if she is worried about the projected phase 6 of the MJO later in the month and what that leads to in July.

If the cool shows up, I wonder if we’ll get a cold tweet blaming “climate change.” I shouldn’t complain — Midler and her cadre are simply “Weaponizing the Weather,” as described in a chapter of my book. Perhaps I should thank them. It helps sell books and it’s somewhat amusing.


Speaking of amusing, I prefer to enjoy the weather, because it’s the only weather I’ve got. I hope it’s the same for you.


Joe Bastardi, a pioneer in extreme weather and long-range forecasting, is a contributor to The Patriot Post on environmental issues. He is the author of “The Climate Chronicles: Inconvenient Revelations You Won’t Hear From Al Gore — and Others.”

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