On a hotter planet, it’s wrong to equate nice with warm

For Jan. 29, Fresno, California’s predicted temperature high is 74 degrees Fahrenheit. This is higher than at any other time in recorded history for this date. Add to this that the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District forecasts Fresno County air quality to be in the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” range, the specific Air Quality Index number cited as 102, matching Kern County to the south. With that kind of temperature extreme for this early into the new year (winter, may I remind every one), coupled with poor air quality, then to go on and describe the weather or the day itself as “nice,” totally misses the point.

So, let’s think for a second what the implications of that are.

Vernalis on the San Joaquin River

Spring has sprung?

So, yesterday (1-28-2024), a visual survey of the yard (after the early morning fog burned off) reveals the emergence of day lilies cropping up, bees all abuzz and one wasp checking out alyssums, a perennial plant of the mustard family, according to Webster.*

Moreover, the 74-degree reading (on this date) can do nothing but add to the already elevated average global surface temperature for this area, a region whose climate is classified as “hot, semi-arid” with a normal average temperature for the month of January being just south of 48 degrees Fahrenheit. This is more than a 26-degree increase. It is important to note that 2023 was the hottest year on record with record data going back to 1850.

But, it isn’t just this. I already mentioned fog. With temperatures this warm, early morning fog, if there is any, just doesn’t stick around. This contrasts with the mid-1900s when thick-fog episodes were the rule all throughout the cold-weather months in Fresno.

If that wasn’t enough, for daytime temperatures this warm for this time of year, concomitant area poor-air quality is pretty much a given as lack of stirring, air-cleansing breezes to clean out the pollution in the air is an almost certainty. Unless, there is an upper-air disturbance like a rainstorm moving into the area, there won’t be any such air filtering and hence the poor air-quality forecast.

Though this will be a day for the record books, my guess is that once this day is in the rear-view mirror, most locals will forget.

Regardless, I, for one, will never be accused of labeling this day as “nice.”

Update: Jan. 29, 2024 at 2:15 p.m. PST.

Above and corresponding, connected home-page-featured image: United States Geological Survey

* Definition, the Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, 1991 edition, p. 42

— Alan Kandel

Copyrighted material.

1 thought on “On a hotter planet, it’s wrong to equate nice with warm”

  1. Late yesterday afternoon I tuned into a local television station to watch and listen to the weather report. For the record and according to the meteorologist reporting – Kevin Musso – Monday’s (1-29-2024) official high temperature was 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

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