Now that the new year is upon us, we can take a look at the GLOBE Surface Temperature field campaign from December 2013. I think it went very well. Tens of schools and thousands of students participated. Valuable data was collected that students can use to create research projects.
Here are the schools that have entered data so far.
David Wooster Middle School, Connecticut
Bellefontaine High School, Ohio – Hi Dennis
Birchwood School, Ohio – Hi Linda
Main Street Intermediate School, Ohio – Hi Marcy
Archbold Middle School, Ohio
The University of Toledo, Ohio – These are my students.
Mohican School of the Outdoors, Ohio – Hi James and Susan
Eastwood Elementary School, West Virginia
Huntington High School, West Virginia – Hi Rick
Lexington Junior high school, Ohio – Hi Linda
Anthony Wayne Middle School, Ohio – Hi Sarah
Roswell-Kent Middle School, Ohio – Hi Steve and GLOBE class
Lakewood Catholic Academy, Ohio – Hi Eileen
Otsego High School, Ohio – Hi Debbie
Bowling Green State University, Ohio – Hi Jodi
Bloomfield Junior/Senior High, Ohio
Stryker High School, Ohio – Hi Donneen
Ida Middle School, Michigan – thanks Jay
Westchester Area Schools, New York – Hi Trenton
Chartiers-Houston Jr./Sr. High School, Pennsylvania – Hi Mr. Pop
Brazil High School, Trinidad and Tobago – Hi Ali
John Marshall High School, West Virginia – Hi Kim
Montague Elementary School, New Jersey – Hi Karen
Gimnazjum No 7 Jana III Sobieskiego in Rzeszów, Poland
Taaksi Basic School, Estonia
Crestwood High School, Michigan
Hills Home School, Washington, DC
Severn School, Maryland
The 2nd Secondary Girls School at Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Kilingi-Nomme Gymnasium, Estonia
Sekundarschule Uzwil, Switzerland – Hi Markus
There were 1117 observations in total. Again, Huntington High School in West Virginia had the most observations with 166. Way to go Rick.
You can see on this figure where some of the schools are that took observations. I chose to show a warm day, December 5, 2013 and contrast it with a colder day December 13, 2013. You can see how the cold air moved in. It helped that snow had fallen such that the temperature stayed cold. In the images, blue is cold while green and yellow colors are warmer.
The highest temperature of 48.5 C from the field campaign was from Brazil High School in Trinidad and Tobago. They usually have the highest temperature. This year saw some of the coldest temperatures of any surface temperature field campaign that we have had. The David Wooster Middle Field Soccer field had a low temperature of -27.6 on December 13. Lexington Junior High had a temperature of 15.9 C on December 10, -25.9 C on December 11 at Stryker High School, 24.4 C at Archbold Middle School.
Visit to Ida Middle School, Michigan
On December 18, I visited Ida Middle School in Ida, Michigan. I worked with 5 classes of students to take surace temperature measurements. There was about 130 mm of snow on the ground and it was quite cold. The students were real troopers and went outside and took observations. The students took surface temperature observations from a grassy area and a gravel covered softball field. Both of these locations were completely covered with snow. They also took observations on concrete and asphalt sidewalks, some with snow on them and some without snow. The students also took observations on wood chips under the swings that I will not report here because it was not a cover type in GLOBE. Below are the location of the student observations on the grass, softball field, concrete and asphalt. They are designated by the green dots.
You can see in this graph how the temperatures of the various cover types differed. The x-axis shows the time in Universal Time. All of the observations show a warm up has the day progressed. The sites with snow, grass, softball field and asphalt with snow had the lowest temperatures while the asphalt and concrete without snow had the warmest temperatures.
The Cold Weather in the Great Lakes January 5-8, 2014
Although the cold weather in the Great Lakes in early January was not part of the surface temperature field campaign, I thought I would say a few things about it. At my house the low temperatures were as follows:
January 6 – -14 F (-26 C)
January 7 – -14 F (-26 C)
January 8 – -13 F (-25 C)
January 9 – -11 F (-24 C)
The high temperature on January 7 was -2 F. The temperature was below 0 F for 48 hours straight. The amazing thing about this cold weather was that the wind was blowing 30-40 mph (50-65 kph) at my house with a temperature of -14 F. The wind chill was around -40 F (-40 C, they are the same temperature). I have never seen it that cold before.
This picture is out my front window January 6, 2014. You can see the white in the air. That is the blowing snow. The wind was blowing the snow around a lot.
You can see in this station plot that the actual air temperature ranged in the -14 to -15 F (which is -26 C).
The cold weather lead to ice on the rivers in the area. Then, when temperatures warmed over the weekend, the ice went out and ice jams have formed on local rivers.
Judah Cohen from NOAA has shown that snow cover in Eurasia can have a big impact on winter weather in the Eastern US and Europe. This article discusses that snow cover makes a huge difference in surface temperature and that leads to cold high pressure in Siberia. Students can study the influence of snow on surface temperature through the GLOBE surface temperature data and the campaign we just had.
Another factor that has lead to this cold pattern is the warm water in the northern Pacific Ocean. This warm water tends to lead to a ridge in the jet stream in the Pacific that leads to a trough and cold temperatures in the Eastern United States. You can see in the image below of sea surface temperature anomalies that the area in the eastern Pacific was 3.15 C warmer than the long-term mean.