Monday, July 23, 2018

MikJournal Monday 07/23/2018...Giveth and Taketh Away

Good Monday to you. Hey, did you get a chance to see the highlights of an adult Cubs fan basically steal a baseball intended for a kid nearby? Man, what an idiot! Don't worry, though. The Chicago Cubs came to the rescue and offered the kid, not only a game ball, but a separate baseball signed by slugger Javy Baez.

That reminds me of a recent climatic adjustment for the state of Texas' 24-hour snowfall record. Nine years to the day in 2009, a memorandum from the National Climatic Data Center concluded that based on a unanimous decision from the State Climate Extremes Committee, a new 24-hour snowfall record from the March 27-28, 2009 time period of 25" was accepted at Follett, Texas.

The estimated amount was quite a conservative one based on the snow to water equivalent. In addition, the under catch of a standard rain gauge and high winds lend likely support that the estimated snowfall total should have been higher. I say estimated because the smallest depth was 14" and the largest depth was 36" and the average of the two readings were made.

That was the kid who was supposed to get the baseball initially....

Uh oh. The ball was bobbled. Someone else reaches for the ball as it hits the bleachers and grabs it.

Now, enter another memorandum, this one dated December 8, 2017. Over two years earlier in August 2015, the SCEC met to discuss a finding from the WFO out of Fort Worth/Dallas about a 26" snowfall amount reported in Hillsboro on December 20-21, 1929, Yes, that's right, about 86 years prior to that meeting in 2015.

I think "somebody dropped the ball" on this one. Had this record been established first, like it should have been in 1929, then the 2009 claim could have been estimated higher than the 1929 total. Likely, the 2009 snowfall was higher, perhaps in a range of at least 27-30", based on the equipment used.

Understandably, estimates should not be considered validation for a new record. But, it is one of those things that should have an asterisk beside the, now current, record from 1929. In fact, there is a brief explanation from a footnote that compares the two amounts:

Texas All-Time Maximum 24-Hour Snowfall
Historical value was examined retroactively and found to be valid and exceeded prior stated record (view report). The previously recognized record of 25", observed in March 2009 at Follett (GHCN-D identifier USC00413225) is documented (here).

It's just one of those things that makes me scratch my head.

I often think about those few days in July 2013 when temperatures breached 130 degrees in Death Valley, California. A national record of 134 degrees was set on July 10. One has to wonder about the quality control of instruments at that time. Today, one would think that instrumentation today should be far superior than what was used in 1913. Of course, that can be hotly debated as well. But, there has not been another recordable instance of temperatures breaching 130 degrees in this country since those few days in 1913.

Make it a good week everyone. Hopefully, power is restored to your residences and cleanup is nearing completion.

MS

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