Understanding San Francisco's unseasonably warm November, climate change

San Francisco has warmed by two degrees Fahrenheit in the past 50 years, expert says

BySpencer Christian and Tim Didion KGO logo
Monday, December 6, 2021
Understanding San Francisco's unseasonably warm November
If the Bay Area seemed unseasonably warm in November, it's not your imagination. It fits with a pattern in our understanding of climate change.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- If this November seemed unseasonably warm in the Bay Area, it's not your imagination.

In fact, it fits with a pattern that's adding to our understanding of climate change.

In this case data stretching back to the 1970's.

"That big climate change signal really starts to accelerate, so we could do a pretty good job of capturing that relationship between conditions at one location and this big global warming trend," said Andrew Pershing, the Director of Climate Science at the nonprofit Climate Central.

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Their researchers crunched average High temperatures during the month of November from 1970 forward.

They found that San Francisco has warmed by two degrees Fahrenheit in the past 50 years.

"So that's kind of your your average conditions are now about two degrees Fahrenheit warmer. The weather that you're experiencing right now is kind of additional warmth on top of that," Pershing says.

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And there could be more ahead.

He says that increase mimics a nationwide pattern, showing more warming statistically during winter months with regional patterns differing because of influences like ocean temperatures and latitude.

But Pershing says the critical message is consistent across the country.

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"We're trying to just help people understand the world that we're living in now, right? I mean, we really can't deny it. We're living in a world that's changing. And so I think it's really important for us to try to understand, you know, what shifted how quickly different things have shifted," Pershing said.

The Climate Central research also suggest that San Francisco has warmed slightly more that the global average, again because of regional factors.