Wednesday, June 13, 2007



Present weather from the local weather site - shows the current temperature and the forecasted high temperature.

Temperature reading taken at 6:05 p.m. [7 minutes earlier than the screen print above] from our southern facing porch with thermometer 5 feet from the house:

Certainly, you can argue that this thermometer is not as accurate as a weather site device, but it has been calibrated to our electronic thermostat in the house, so it is reasonably close.

I would have to say that a 10-degree difference is not a reasonable difference. Since I am working within my porch, I can attest that it is no where near 90 degrees as being reported by the weather site. Another local site reports 88 degrees right now.

So, the question I pose is just where those weather sites located that they are 8-10 degrees warmer than my southern-facing porch? Perhaps surrounded by asphalt and traffic? Urban Heat Island effect in action?

UPDATE... on an almost real-time basis....

The reported temperature dropped 4 degrees in one hour. The porch thermometer has remained the same at 80 degrees.

Should I suspect that the weather sites are being affected by the sun and immediately surrounding conditions... or that my thermometer is broken and stuck at 80 degrees?

LAST UPDATE... it's now 3 hours after the initial readings. The sun has just set so any solar gain is not affecting readings. There may be some residual heat from surroundings.

My porch thermometer reads 77 degrees. That's a two degree variance which could be attributable to the 15 acres of park adjacent to my property versus whatever conditions are at the nearby weather site.

My porch is screened on 3 sides and the roof has an 8 inch overhang which keeps the thermometer shaded and lightly vented. The thermometer is situated on the eastern side of the porch about 8 feet above the ground outside.
What does this prove?

While you can dispute the accuracy of my thermometer, I suggest that it demonstrates that the Urban Heat Island effect may be in play here and affecting the readings taken for both my community and the adjacent community. Whether the actual difference was 8-10 degrees or 3-4 degrees is really not the point. The point is that, even giving back 5 degrees as an error in my thermometer (which I don't believe is the case), it is quite possible that the equipment where the reported readings were taken may be poorly situated for accurate readings.

This is an experiment that any of you can do for your communities with a similarly situated thermometer.


This from Climate Audit corresponds to my experience. This morning, the air temperature as measured on my porch was 65 degrees. This is the weather station temperature:


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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
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Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)