Home > Weather > Temperature anomalies in Beirut & Tripoli (over the past 12 years)

Temperature anomalies in Beirut & Tripoli (over the past 12 years)


I am not a meteorology/climatology expert, but weather is one of my interests, and I’ve always liked to manipulate numbers !

Here follow two tables that I’ve prepared presenting the temperature anomalies for 2 coastal Lebanese cities, Beirut and Tripoli, from 2000 to March 2012.

The temperatures displayed above are the historical mean temperatures (for example in January temperatures should be in average between 16 and 10 degrees in Beirut).

(Source: Tutiempo + GSOD NCDC NOAA)

Temperature Anomalies in Beirut

What strikes for Beirut table is the predominance of orange and red (which indicate positive anomalies: temperatures above the historical average).

Notice that every single year since 2000 had temperatures at least 0.9 c above the yearly average.

The worst year was 2010 (with an average 2.7 c warmer) and a burning November without a single drop of rain.

The problematic that arises is whether this increase in temperatures is due to the so-called Global Warming. The answer is not simple.

Through centuries, earth has gone through different climates, sometimes warmer, sometimes cooler. It may be in a natural warmer cycle, as it may be the effect of Green House gases. The most probable is a combination of both.

‘Civilization’ has certainly a part of responsibility in the irregularity and unfairness of weather:

When concrete and asphalt replace forests and grass – which used to absorb water and humidity – and high buildings obstacle winds (the case of large cities without vegetation like Beirut) it creates a heat island (heat is trapped into the city, which become respect to its surrounding country side).

Other factors like the heat rejected by cars and A/C during summer, or the decrease in albedo, contribute to the heat island phenomenon.

During warm seasons, if you measure the temperature of asphalt you may reach 50 c, whereas the temperature of the soil won’t go above 35 c, and the temperature of the sea not above 28 c.

Temperature Anomalies in Tripoli

The situation is more or less similar for Tripoli, even though the positive anomalies are less important respect to Beirut. The heat island phenomenon is less acute in Tripoli, and it is more exposed to cold Northern winds respect to Beirut.

Over the last 12 years, the weather in Tripoli was often cooler in winter, but much warmer than averages from May to October.

The positive aspect of this last winter (November 2011 to March 2012) is that temperatures were a bit below the historical averages in all the country – thing that didn’t happen during 21st century 1st decade (check Beirut’s table) – and abundant quantities of snow fell on our mounts (snow is a very important source of fresh water).

To quote elders, “this winter was cold and rainy like it used to be decades ago!” breaking with the warm and dry tendency of the past few years.

A final word: if you’re interested to be constantly updated with the weather in all Lebanon, I advice you to like the following FB page which is managed by a young and dynamic team.

Don’t forget to follow this blog by email to keep in touch! 🙂

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Categories: Weather
  1. Paul
    April 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    So are we back to normal this year, or does it mean something worse?

    • Erik Vincenti Zakhia
      April 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      The past 5 months have been normal which is great!

      But this ‘cold’ tendency may or may not continue. So we can’t say “everything’s back to normal”.

      Climatology is a science that study long periods, hundreds/thousands of years. A few months (or even a few years) mean very little.
      You always have cold periods and warm periods.

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