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the warmest heating season ever recorded.

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by TradEddie, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    NOAA has just released the May numbers for Heating Degree Days. Although officially the season goes through June, unless we get some serious frost in the next week, in South Eastern Pennsylvania it's been the mildest heating season since records began in 1895.
    4,298 Heating Degree days, compared to an average of 5,245 or the record coldest of 6,180 in 1904. And there I was impressed with all my air-sealing and re-insulating, thinking I had done a great job of cutting down my heating bills...

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/time-series/index.php?parameter=hdd

    TE

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    That may be, but last winter was still closer to an average winter than the previous two winters.
  3. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Not looking to argue, but in terms of Heating Degree Days, 2011/2012 was the warmest ever recorded, 2010/2011 was almost exactly the average HDD, with 2009/2010 only slightly below average.

    Those previous winters did have bad snow, but overall temperatures were normal, and even the total snowfall wasn't unusual, just high individual storms. Perception is a funny thing too, snow on weekdays causes much more disruption than on weekends, well foretasted storms cause less than unexpected ones etc etc. Also, remember snowfall and temperature don't correlate at all, other than cooler temperatures making a greater depth of snow for the same precipitation.

    TE
  4. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Then I take issue with their measurements. The 2010/2011 winter, we were consistently below the average high temps by 10-15 degrees from mid-December to the end of February. January and February rarely got above freezing, which was apparent due to the fact that it took well over a month for the snow to finally melt. That would normally be impossible as the daily average temp for our area does not dip below 38. The monthly average high for December, January, and February is 45, 40, and 43.
  5. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Again, not wishing to argue, (especially with that username), but what's the source for your numbers? Be careful with your terminology, you cannot compare daily averages with average highs, they are totally different. Nothing about the 2011/2012 season was anywhere near normal, by all our perceptions, and now by the numbers. Can you show me any figures that show 2010 or 2011 were unusually cold winters?

    Below are the NOAA HDD numbers from the page linked above. Those are population-weighted across the SEPA region, the average HDD over more than 100 years is 5245, slightly above some quoted averages HDDs for Philadelphia which range from 4700 to 5200, as can be expected since the Philly is at the South of the NOAA region.


    2009 5,323
    2010 4,912
    2011 5,284
    2012 4,298

    My point in the original reply is that a miserable day at 28F stuck at home with a foot of snow outside seems colder than a bright sunny 20F day, and a month of miserable days like that can seem so much worse. We usually think of bad winters in terms of disruptive snowfall, but temperature statistics may not reflect this. That isn't to say our perception is wrong, just subjective.

    My point in the original post was to ask how everyone's consumption compared with the mild temperatures. Mine was at least 25% below normal. Less firewood and much less propane.

    TE
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Daily observance. We were inconstantly 10-15 degrees below the average daily high temps from mid December through February for the 2010/2011 winter.

    Our lowest high temp in this area is in late January and that low is 38 degrees.



    Just my daily observance of what was the highs and lows for each day which were constantly far below the record highs and lows

    I'm not talking about feel. I'm talking about daily high and low temps, which were consistently below the averages by several degrees for lengthy periods of times in the 2010/2011 winter.
  7. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Wonder why it doesn;t like Alaska? Avg heating degree days here is in the 6000 area.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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  9. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Most all of the reports we heard this last season were - where's winter? Except for up in AK that is. They got it all. There's a reason you folks are seeing tomatoes ripening in early June. That is not common at least by recollection of living back east.
  11. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    You should have called this thread "Best Winter Ever!"

    Don't buy property on the beach, folks.
  12. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    <---waits patiently for beach to come to him (just a few more feet and this silly pier wont look so funny in my front yard).
    ScotO and btuser like this.
  13. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Normally i use about 5-6 ton of coal a year in my large old drafty house from october till may. This past winter i used about 3, that says it all.. still have 3 left to start next season. (did not burn any wood this past year in the main house)
  14. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    So global warming is lowering your own carbon footprint. I feel better already. Burn baby Burn!
  15. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Not for this skier it wasn't, but maybe I saved enough on heating bills to take a vacation next year to somewhere reliably cold.

    TE
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Of course the rest of the country basks in warmth while we are still wearing woolies. :confused: This is deviation from May averages.

    May2012_TempAnomally_HR.jpg
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Again, very odd. It is showing my area to be about 4-5 degree above the normal may average. Our average high for the month of may is 74 degrees and our average this may was 74.3 degrees.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Are you in a micro-climate (bottom of a valley?) or is all that stone sucking the heat right out of the thermometer?
  19. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    That map is a pretty broad brush representation. Where I live, because of local topography, there can easily be (and routinely is) a temperature difference of at least a few degrees between locations just 10-15 miles apart. So if I recorded meticulous daily observations, and then averaged them out after some time, I'd invariably get a different number than that observed by my friend just 15 miles east of me. Where do the "official" historical average temps come from? Dunno. :rolleyes: Rick
  20. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    No on both accounts.
  21. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    Did anyone on this thread get a email notification for a reply from Jack Straw, and then find it to not be here?
    This is how it started out:

    As part of my job I keep records on the heating degree days:
    Albany NY

    (I abbreviate to protect his privacy...)
    This has happened to me at least twice more since the forum style changed. Is it just me? Is someone trying to make Mr. Straw a "nonperson"? On one of the previous occasions, the mystery post appeared after some hours had passed.

    Sorry to be a bother and all that...
  22. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Jack Straw himself deleted that post from public view...nobody else had a thing to do with it. Questions? Start a private conversation with Jack Straw. Rick
  23. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    Modern electronic thermo sensors are very convenient, but difficult to site, and susceptible to bias.
    This is how it's supposed to be sited: http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/uscrn/documentation/program/X030FullDocumentD0.pdf (a rather boring read, BTW)

    And....
    ...chances are better than 85% that the "official" station near you is wrong. See here: http://www.surfacestations.org/

    Don't get me wrong; I had a warm winter here too. But if a modern airport thermometer is within 3*F of correct, it's having a good day.

    Some are surprised to learn that airport weather stations are run by FAA standards, (as they should be), not NWS standards. Reason: pilots need to know the temp and dewpoint at the runway their airplane will take off from. Asphalt runways are almost always warmer than the true air temp.

    OK...enough boring stuff. Bottom line: Mr. Browning's station may very well be correct, even though it's different.
  24. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Rick. Maybe just a coincidence that it never happened to me on the old forum.
  25. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I am basing my numbers by the supplied information that the weather channel offers. Which should be the nationally accepted numbers.

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