Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Anthony Watts of WUWT gets noticed by Capital Weather Gang at The Washington Post

Sou | 4:17 AM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment

Update: There is a sequel :)

Anthony Watts of WUWT has hit the big time, being noticed by The Washington Post.  But he's not the only one :)

I didn't mention what prompted Anthony's humourous efforts to find something wrong with a weather station in Greenland the other day.  It was a short article by Jason Samenow of Capital Weather Gang at the Washington Post observing that a record temperature had been reported by the Danish Meteorological Institute.

Jason was subsequently plagued by tweets from Anthony Watts, demanding he issue a "retraction".  Not once, not twice but three times.  Anthony also sent an email.  Anthony really got his knickers in a twist over that one.  Here are his tweets:

The Maniitsok temperature reading is valid but may or may not reach the record books

Jason Samenow has now posted a response.  He did what Anthony doesn't seem to have done.  He wrote to John Cappelen, data management specialist and senior climatologist at DMI.   Cappelen replied that the reading was valid but because the weather station doesn't comply with all WMO standards, it might not get into the record books.  He wrote: "It is generally very hard to follow the WMO standards in all details in arctic areas, but this sensor is placed so influence from the surroundings can have affected the reading in a way, so the reading maybe will have to be rejected." He will let him know once they've considered the matter and made a decision.  You can read the reply at Capital Weather Gang in Washington Post.

The only reason I know all this is because I happened to look at the live stats for my blog and noticed a sudden influx of visitors.  Went to see what the fuss was all about and discovered that @capitalweathergang had retweeted this:

John Samenow also referred to yours truly in a comment underneath his article.  @capitalweathergang has a few more followers and Washington Post has a few more readers than both HotWhopper and WUWT.  Some of them came here for a look see.  Nice - and thank you to @greenoctopus :)

(As usual, Anthony can't wait to let his readers know that he has some clout in cyberspace.)

PS Now we wait with bated breath for Anthony tell the Japan Meteorological Agency why all the weather stations in Japan are wrong! (H/t @shawnmilrad).

PPS Without a smidgen of self-awareness, Anthony's headline for his article is "Shoot first ask questions later".  Yet it was he who shot first without asking questions, and it took Capital Weather Gang to ask the question of the people who would know the answer.


  1. Behold the power of a Bloggie.

  2. And while he's at it, he might also tell all of Austria that it didn't hit the highest temp on record 10 days ago (from 39.7° to 39.9°) and then again a couple of days later (from 39.9° to 40.6°). I'm not sure about the 40.6°. It might be revised down to 40.5°.

    Retraction, retraction, retraction!

    1. Watt's better check out all the weather stations in Nunavut and the North West Territories Canada that broke records in the last three days. Maybe he can blame on polar bear flatulence.
      Kugluktuk, NU broke its previous high record yesterday by 5C, reaching 29.4, The normal high is 13.9, which makes the temp an incredible 15.5 above normal.

      Congratulations Neven on the well deserved recognition in the press. Even better to see Willard has his knickers in a wad about the Guardian article. Someone posted this comment to rub salt into the wound.

      "Say what you like about Neven, you can’t deny that his blog was 100% correct about last August’s cyclone and how it was going to devastate the ice.
      WUWT had an ice thread going at the same time and it was days after the cyclone hit before Mosher broke the news about the storm.
      I believe Nevin made the first comment on that thread."


    2. Couple of mistakes here.

      1. You confuse "average" with "normal." The high temperatures are higher than the average not higher than "normal" whatever that means.

      2. If you look at the day to day temperature highs you can easily see that records have been set extending back to the 1990's. The record only goes back 30 years.

      3. It should be obvious that weather does not equal climate. Just because a particular day experiences a high does not=OMG CAGW. Quite the contrary. Especially since for over half the period under discussion there have been records in the same range of high temperatures. No consistent increase there despite your belief to the contrary. Also no evidence that it is caused by AGW rather than natural climatic variations like this:

      "Throughout December 2010 and early January 2011, Nunavut, northern Quebec and western Greenland set many high temperature records. In Coral Harbour, a high of 3.3 °C (37.9 °F) in mid-December broke the old record of 1.7 °C (35.1 °F) set in 1963.[19] The daily minimum temperature on 6 January 2011, was about 30 °C (54 °F) warmer than normal.[20][21] The unusual warmth was due largely to an unseasonal area of high pressure over Greenland, and very negative values of the Arctic oscillation and North Atlantic oscillation."


      And the daily records. Notice how many record lows were set in 2013? Can we say that global cooling is now in progress based on that?

    3. I believe the previous anonymous said records were broken, not merely higher than normal. Also since, as you say, you don't know what "normal" means then you aren't in a position to say it is wrong. Here is the WMO definition:

      Climate “normals” are reference points used by climatologists to compare current climatological trends to that of the past or what is considered “normal”. A Normal is defined as the arithmetic average of a climate element (e.g. temperature) over a 30-year period. A 30 year period is used, as it is long enough to filter out any interannual variation or anomalies, but also short enough to be able to show longer climatic trends.

      As for the rest of your comment, that's just contrarianism. Are you trying to argue that global surface temperatures haven't been on the rise these past few decades? Surely not.

  3. Anthony Watts was probably bugging them in the hope to get this "sudden influx of visitors".

    Shows that the Wikipedia rule to prefer secondary sources (that interpret the primary sources) over primary ones is sensible.

  4. it must be something with the name. There is an Aussie called JASON ANTHONY WATTS who is a weather freak, he thinks he is the weather god because he studied aviation weather, which apparently overrules those whom have studied meteorology formally via university.


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