Detroit Area Weather Has Officially Entered Bear Market Territory

I love tracking things.  Weather is one of the things that I’ve started to track.  I found a site where I could track historical data with information about every day starting in March 2005.  This has given a lot of information that I find interesting. By no means does this make me a meterologist, but I have noted quite a few interesting things as I compile the data and look through it.

Namely, that it’s been pretty warm.

Between 2005 and 2013, the average high temperature across the entire year ended up above average for every year.  Over that period, the average temperature was 1.57 degrees higher, with 0.2 degrees last year as the smallest difference versus 4.82 degrees in 2012.  That was a hot year!

I’ve noticed, though, that if the weather were the stock market, we’d officially be in ‘bear market’ territory.

Last Year Vs. This Year – The Coldest Month I Have Tracked

January 2013 was very warm.  The average temperature through the month is 30.51 degrees.  Last year, we averaged 38.29 degrees, a 7.78 degree difference.  We had twelve days which were ten degrees or more above average, including several days in the 50s and 60s.

January 2014, on the other hand, was the opposite.  The average high temperature was only 23.87, or 6.64 degrees below normal.  That’s over 14 degrees difference between last years average high and this years.  And that 6.64 degrees below average was the largest ‘below average’ reading since I started collecting this data.

Number of Cold Temperature Days

One thing I started tracking was the range of temperatures that we get.  For every month, I track the number of days we are:

  • 10 degrees or more above average
  • between 5-9 degrees above average
  • between 4 degrees above and 4 degrees below average
  • between 5-9 degrees below average
  • 10 degrees or more below average

Going back to my original point about how warm it’s been over the past few years, consider this.  Since March 2005, we’ve had twenty months where we had 10 days or more in that month hit the first bullet item of reaching 10+ degrees above average.

The number of months where we’ve had the 10 or more days which were ten degrees or more below average: Just three.

Want to know when they took place?  December 2005, December 2013, and January 2014.  That’s right, we went eight years without having what I would call a ‘horribly cold’ month, and now we’ve had two of them back to back.

Moving Average

I keep a twelve month moving average of the difference between average temperature.  Since I started collecting data in March 2005, this means that I didn’t have my first reading until February 2006 as that’s the first time I had twelve months of data.

During that whole time, from February 2006 until the end of last year, the moving average had above average temperatures in all but six months, all between May and November 2011, and the lowest value was just -0.4 degrees, which is pretty close to the line.

Last month’s cold, along with a cooler 2013 following the start we had, brought the moving average below zero for the first time since those 2011 readings.

What Does It Mean?

mb-201402cold500Does this really mean anything?  I don’t know.  All I know is that it’s been pretty darn cold.  I’m hoping that it is cold in the winter and normalizes in the summer.  After all, I’d be a lot more bummed if June and July turn out to be 6 or 7 degrees below average than I am when it’s January and February, where it’s cold here anyways.   To put it in perspective, I considered June and July of last year ‘kind of cold’ and they were only about a degree below average.  If you transposed last month’s variation to the summer months, it would really be a bummer of a summer.

How is the weather where you’re at?  Do you ever look at the numbers in depth or just look at your utility bill to see how things are shaping up from a weather perspective?

8 thoughts on “Detroit Area Weather Has Officially Entered Bear Market Territory”

  1. I love tracking the weather fronts on NOAA. Here in California we’ve been having a serious issue of a high pressure front blocking out the jet stream which isn’t allowing any rain to our area (though today we’re supposed to get some sprinkles. 🙂 ) I’d have to do some homework on our temperature patterns, but this winter has been the mildest I can remember in years hovering in the 70’s and 80’s.

  2. I have to say, that much cold weather would be sad for me. I can’t deal with the cold which is why I happily live further south! However even this year we have had some cold weather which has been strange.

  3. Comparatively, I am in a heatwave! January is supposed to be much colder, but we are experiencing warmer temperatures (70-80 degrees). It is starting to cool down into the low sixties during the day. All this this good fortune does not go unpunished though because we are experiencing a drought.

  4. I live in the Chicago area, a comparable climate which I’m pretty sure is not any better than Detroit on average. It has been the coldest winter I can remember, plus last I heard the snowfall is on pace to be one of the top 10 since being recorded in the late 1800s. Below zero weather has become a common occurrence this winter, but the good news is that we’re weeks away from March, so this will soon pass. This must be why we appreciate our summers so much around here.

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