Hottest Month in California? (Updated)



Melrose Colorado Climate Reference Network Station

We have heard it on the progressive news, July was the hottest month on record according to NOAA. In the August issue of Comstock’ Magazine, an author declares July 2017 the hottest month on record. All this hottest ever raised some question, what was the hottest month in California? Previous analysis had indicated maximum summer temperatures were declining details HERE.

One of the issues is how was the hottest month measured; there are several options. Option one is the existing network of weather stations. Option two is satellites, and option three is the Climate Reference Network (CRN).  The Surface Stations project found over 90% of long term stations had siting issues that would produce a warm bias of >= 1C. UHI was a significant factor.

The CRN was established in 2004 to counter the urban heat island influence that was distorting temperatures of the existing networks of weather stations. The hottest temperature reported in the news is the product of the current system, not satellites or the CRN.

What does the CRN have to say about the hottest month? The CRN network has 143 stations in the United States, seven of them in California, all located in remote areas well away for urban influences.

  • Redding
  • Bodega Bay
  • Merced
  • Santa Barbara
  • Yosemite
  • Fallbrook
  • Stovepipe Wells

Example of remote locations

Screen Shot 2019-08-17 at 9.42.40 AM

Redding CRN


Screen Shot 2019-08-17 at 9.39.38 AM

Bodega Bay CRN

Following plots are the Maximum July temperatures at California CRN stations:

Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 4.11.12 PM

2017 Hottest Month

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2015 the Hottest Month

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2006 the Hottest Month

Looking at Merced over a longer period these were some of the max July temperatures:    1906 – 40.18, 1908 – 38.6, 1931 – 39.6, 1933 – 38.5, 1967 -38.1, 1988 – 38.4.

Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 4.27.34 PM

2018 the Hottest Month

Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 7.40.10 PM

2017 the Hottest Month

Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 7.47.22 PM

2018 the Hottest Month

Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 4.15.32 PM

2018 the Hottest Month

As you can see from the graphics the CRN stations did not have the hottest July in 2019.  The hottest July was scattered all across the period from 2004 to 2019. When was the hottest CA CRN maximum:

Screen Shot 2019-08-17 at 4.26.36 PM

As you can see the CRN Hottest Months are all over the state and different times of the year.  And, when we look at the satellite temperature we can see that July was not the warmest month.  According to Dr. Roy Spencer, “July 2019 was probably the 4th warmest of the last 41 years.”  Details HERE.

So, when you here the lamestream press touting the warmest or hottest month of the year, you might want to be cautious, as the progressive press maybe just advancing an agenda and not reporting the facts.


About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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3 Responses to Hottest Month in California? (Updated)

  1. Steve Frisch says:

    Um, you do realize that the “hottest month ever” as reported by NOAA and repeated in the headlines was global not California, right?

    Apples…meet Oranges.


    • Russ Steele says:

      Steve, yes I was aware. My goal was to point out CA was not participating in the global temperature farce. There is no global temperature, there are warm places and cool places and you cannot add them up to get an average global temperature.
      Science Daily says, “it is meaningless to talk about a global temperature for Earth. The globe consists of a huge number of components which one cannot just add up and average. That would correspond to calculating the average phone number in the phone book. That is meaningless.”
      The most meaningful temperature is the one taken at a specific place and time, and satellites are taking more temperatures in more places than any previous instrument, and probably come the closest to coming up with an approximation of the global temperature. According to the satellite record, last month was not the hottest seen by satellites, only the 4th warmest. Way too much fake news on the TV and radio.


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