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Gillianren
2012-Apr-15, 01:08 AM
Does anyone know a place to get weather records for the 1940s? I found a place willing to sell them to me for $30 a pop, and I can get things like rainfall for entire months, but I'd really like, for example, what the temperature was and whether or not it was raining in Los Angeles the night of 24 February, 1942, for a piece of fiction I'm writing.

Solfe
2012-Apr-15, 01:23 AM
The Weather Underground (http://www.wunderground.com) has historical information back several decades. I checked a few areas and found data to 1948.

To get older data, you may have to check with the state level agency tasked with weather tracking.

NOAA may have some data, but they are currently down. I think the station you are looking for is KCQT, an airport in LA. Maybe this link could help once the maintenance is done. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/stationlocator.html

geonuc
2012-Apr-15, 08:31 AM
How about the Los Angeles Times? The LA Public library claims to have the paper microfilmed back to 1881.

Gillianren
2012-Apr-15, 06:24 PM
Yeah, but it's only online back to 1982, it appears. Maybe I should try contacting the library next!

neilzero
2012-Apr-15, 06:58 PM
Perhaps rain fall paterns are larger in LA than Jacksonville, Florida, which has more land area than LA. In Jacksonville, typically, about 1/2 of the blocks get at least a bit of rain between sunrise and sunset, but the other half of the blocks get no rain, so you need an address and a time of day to say yes or no. Days where it rains in every block mostly occur when a hurricane is nearby. Neil

Gillianren
2012-Apr-15, 07:31 PM
Well, days when it doesn't rain are a lot more common in LA, I suspect. And the city of Jacksonville proper may be bigger than LA, but the Greater Los Angeles Area is far bigger. But, yes, when it rains in LA, it rains over larger areas than just a block.

publiusr
2012-Apr-15, 08:50 PM
I wonder if your local airport might have some information. Heck, Krakatoa was picked up by barographs at the old Batavia Gas Works.

Jeff Root
2012-Apr-15, 09:30 PM
I'm surprised that this is a new thread. I've seen the question
before, and I seem to recall it was Gillian who was asking, and
noted that there was a rather large fee for info.

Two or three decades ago the Minneapolis Tribune (or Star-
Tribune if it was after the two became one) printed a very nice
graph of the minimum and maximum daily temperature for
the year that had just ended. I only saw it that one time, but
I've wondered whether they've continued to do it, and often
thought of trying to get ahold of the info one way or another.

Heck, it just occurred to me that *I* might be the person who
asked about this before, not Gillian....

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Jens
2012-Apr-16, 12:05 AM
Does anyone know a place to get weather records for the 1940s? I found a place willing to sell them to me for $30 a pop, and I can get things like rainfall for entire months, but I'd really like, for example, what the temperature was and whether or not it was raining in Los Angeles the night of 24 February, 1942, for a piece of fiction I'm writing.

If you do that too much, then it will no longer be fiction. :)

Gillianren
2012-Apr-16, 04:21 AM
As long as I keep the superheroes in it, it is.

mike alexander
2012-Apr-16, 05:01 AM
Battle of Los Angeles?

The newspaper might not have meteorological data; sometimes the Army did not allow forecasts to be printed for security reasons.

Ara Pacis
2012-Apr-16, 06:02 AM
Any chance a local meteorologist might be able to dig it up for you?

Gillianren
2012-Apr-16, 06:23 PM
Battle of Los Angeles?

The newspaper might not have meteorological data; sometimes the Army did not allow forecasts to be printed for security reasons.

Battle of Los Angeles, yes. It fit in very nicely with the idea I'd already had, and it will make a nice climax. In the universe in which I've already set quite a few books, if the answer isn't known, it's probably superheroes. And that's a good point about the information. Maybe I should ask my generic historical consultant if she has any ideas; she's already proved most helpful about such disparate things as how you figured out which internment camp someone went to (ask the Park Service, it turns out) and whether tea was rationed in the US (no).

Jeff Root
2012-Apr-16, 10:18 PM
Where can we learn the exact location of the "battle"?
Are the locations of the artillary known? The searchlights?
Were the searchlights close to the artillary or separated
from it? Are the locations of the ground damage known?
The causes of that damage?

I'm mainly wondering how large an area was involved and
whether it was up in the hills, down near the ocean, or
right downtown.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Gillianren
2012-Apr-16, 11:49 PM
According to my research, which is challenged by sorting through the UFO nonsense, it seems to have been down near the coast. There was an unexploded anti-aircraft shell defused near Santa Monica the next day. One of the articles claims that a "ten-mile front" of searchlights illuminated whatever-it-was. All the information I have says Long Beach/Santa Monica/San Pedro.

Ari Jokimaki
2012-Apr-17, 06:02 PM
I think GHCN daily (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/ghcn-daily/) might be the right place for you (data available for free).

HenrikOlsen
2012-Apr-18, 01:20 PM
Excellent find, but it takes a bit of data mining to find specifics.
It looks like there were no weather stations in Los Angeles proper at that time. (There are two now.)

The ones in Long Beach and San Pedro both reported 0 precipitation for the 26th and 27th.
The one in Altadena reported 0 precipitation for 26th and 0.8 mm precipitation for the 27th. Not as snow.

Gillianren
2012-Apr-18, 05:29 PM
I was raised in Altadena; it would be shocking if there were snow there. There was once, when I was a child--or anyway, at Mom's house, it was snow until it was about three feet off the ground, at which point it melted and fell the rest of the way as rain. I told Mom that if we lived three blocks north (Altadena is on a pretty serious slope), it would be snowing, and Mom told me to just go inside.

Jeff Root
2012-Apr-18, 05:45 PM
I once saw snow falling out the front window but not out the back.
I kept going back and forth between the two windows, and the snow
kept on falling in front but not in back for ten or twenty minutes.

However, I'm sure that isn't what was actually happening.

No, it wasn't wind blowing snow off the roof. The air was still.

But the Sun was shining. Yes, it was snowing while the Sun
was shining. Apparently, very tiny snowflakes were forming in
the clear air, without benefit of clouds, and the sunlight was
lighting the flakes in such a way (from behind, I think) so that
I could see them from one side but not the other. They were
too small to see without the light shining on them that way.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

DonM435
2012-Apr-18, 06:02 PM
...
whether or not it was raining in Los Angeles the night of 24 February, 1942, for a piece of fiction I'm writing.

I looked at microfilm for the Los Angeles Times for that particular day, and darned if I could locate any local weather report at all! I was hoping to find a little box on page 1 or 2, but couldn't.

I'd read that dissemination of local weather was often restricted during World War II for security reasons (i.e., so as not to give Axis bombers any clues).

Supposedly, Dizzy Dean was broadcasting a baseball game and told his listeners that the teams would have to stop playing for a little while, but he had to be oblique about it, because couldn't tell the nation that it was raining in New York.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Apr-18, 06:13 PM
Oops, I missed that you asked for temperatures as well.
date 26th/27th:
Altadena no temperatures recorded
Long Beach no recorded minimum, 21.7C/21.1C maximum, 17.2C/13.3C observed at 10am local time
San Pedro 7.2C/6.1C minimum, 18.9C/18.9C maximum, no temp at specified observed time

I see why snow would be rare.


Is this enough that you can write about it in good conscience?

Gillianren
2012-Apr-18, 06:44 PM
I think so. Thanks, all. For most of it, I can make it up (what's a good neo-noir without at least one rainy night?), but for the important night, I think I should strive for accuracy. Even if I'm about to claim the whole thing was superheroes.