Record-breaking average fall temperature in the Verde Valley certainly warrants a news article (December 15), but there are a few facts the article fails to mention.
The Tuzigoot weather station (the only Verde Valley station mentioned in the article) did not go into operation until 1977. Records at NOAA’s Applied Climate Information System include the older Cottonwood stations operating from 1920 to 1936, and again from 1949 to 1977.
When those stations are included, the record warmest fall was 1933, averaging 67.6 degrees. (According to ACIS, 2017 averaged 67.2 degrees.)
It should be no surprise that Jerome, with records dating back to 1897, also shows 1933 as having the record warmest fall average temperature of 66.6 degrees, with 2017 at 65.3 degrees ranked 6th behind 1937, 1950, 1917, and 1932.
Tuzigoot had zero rainfall during the last 78 days of fall, a new record even when the Cottonwood stations are included -- no rainy days to lower average high temperature. There was also an extreme high of 109 degrees September 4, matching the record for fall set September 1, 1950.
It was clearly the daytime highs that pushed the daily average for fall near the record. While the average high of 86.4 degrees is a new record, the average low of 48 degrees ranks 42nd to 1933’s 52.5 degrees.
It will be interesting to see how the three-month probability outlooks pan out. In the meantime, I’m not about to convert to Climatastrophism.