Graph of the Day: Spot the Outlier

August 30, 2011


Thanks to Scott Mandia for tipping me on this one. You can click the images to get larger ones.

John Nielsen-Gammon, writing on the Houston Chronicle blog:

In my recent blog entry Texas Drought: A Fingerprint, I illustrated how unusual this year’s precipitation has been compared to previous years.  Now, with just a few days left in August, I’d like to show you just how unusual the combination of summer temperatures and summer rainfall has been.

Here is a plot of Texas average summer (June-August) temperature versus Texas summer precipitation.  Records go back to 1895.  (In the first graph above..PS) ..I’ve left off 2011.

Can you spot the outlier?  The year 2011 continues the recent trend of being much warmer than the historical precipitation-temperature relationship would indicate, although with no previous points so dry it’s hard to say exactly what history would say about a summer such as this one.  Except that this summer is way beyond the previous envelope of summer temperature and precipitation.

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3 Responses to “Graph of the Day: Spot the Outlier”


  1. So this looks like a new state. A tipping point passed.

  2. David Oertel Says:

    It just shows that the Texas aren’t praying hard enough or to the right god. Or maybe they just need to get with the program and follow the wildlife Northward towards cooler regions.

  3. otter17 Says:

    Wow… just wow.

    I recall from reading “Six Degrees” by Lynas that the conversion of the Great Plains region into desert would start at about the 1 degree mark. It would be interesting to dive into some of the literature that he cites to see what kind of timeline we are looking at.


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