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Monday, August 15, 2011

Wasted weather post open thread

Yesterday, there was a record set in New York City for the amount of rainfall in a single day.

Also yesterday, there was a very unusual summer rain in Israel.

It seems to me that whenever there is a heat wave in the East Coast of the US, there seems to be higher than normal temperatures in Israel, and similarly the cold spells seem to coincide. In the winter, it feels like every time there is a major snowstorm in New York there is rain in Israel.

Only one way to find out!

So I just wasted a couple of hours trying to dig up temperature statistics for Tel Aviv and New York to see if I can find any correlation.

I found some really interesting coincidences, for example, look at the peaks and troughs in high temperatures in January and especially February this year:


But the other correlations were disappointing. Late March/early April were a lot of correlated rainstorms, but besides that not too much.

If I would have found a mathematically significant correlation, then I could have changed the entire world of meteorology. Hey, when you swing for the fences, you tend to strike out every once in a while.

It might still be worth doing a more mathematically sound study to see which diverse areas of the world have the most coincidental daily weather, but I don't quite care that much. If anyone wants to tackle 2010, feel free!

If you want to play with the numbers yourself, it took a while but I found that Weather Underground has the best historical data for most world cities, although it doesn't give precipitation totals for Israel, only whether there was rain or storms.

Meanwhile, consider this an open thread.