A Free-Market Energy Blog

Temperature Alarmism: WSJ Fail (Doug Sheridan corrects)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 2, 2024

“It’s an election year. The mainstream media (including the news side of the WSJ) is in the tank for climate alarmism, forced energy transformation, and a Biden reelection. Reader Beware!”

“Millions of Americans Brace for Dangerous Heat Wave, Record-Breaking Temperatures,” wrote Gareth Vipers for the Wall Street Journal (June 18, 2024). “Triple-digit temperatures are expected across much of the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and New England.”

Doug Sheridan graded the news article:

Last week, after a  news article warned of almost 70 MM people coming under threat of extreme heat in the US Midwest and Northeast, we posted our intention to audit the accuracy of the article and forecast by examinating the actual temps recorded after the fact. Here’s a link to that June 18th post. 

Well, last week has come and gone, and we’ve completed the audit. It’s not pretty. While we had hoped it would show reporting and forecasts in 2024 improved over prior years, we were disappointed. Below is a summary of the results of the audit, with temp data per :

— Only four of 14 weather stations in seven Midwestern and Northeastern states over the five days incurred a single *record* high. Three were highs of 96, 96 and 98 F at Manchester-Boston Regional airport on Jun 18, 19, and 20. Another high was set at Midway Airport in Chicago on the 20th. The remaining highs at all stations averaged just 88.8 F… almost 9 degrees *below* the average of the stations’ record highs.

— Notably, four of the 14 stations—Wausau WI, Peoria IL, Mt Pleasant MI, and Greenfield MA—recorded at least one day in which the high didn’t even reach the historical *average* temp for the station. That certainly doesn’t comport with the existence of widespread extreme heat.

— For the remaining 76 non-record-breaking measurements, the seven large urban stations averaged highs of 90.5 F over the five days, 7.4 degrees below the average of record highs for those same stations. This compares to average recorded highs of 86.3 F for the seven small-town weather stations, a full 10.5 degrees below their average record highs and 4.2 degrees lower than the large urban stations.

— Remarkably, for three of the five days—the 20th, 21st and 22nd—the average highs across all 14 stations were closer to the historic daily *average* temps than to the record temps for the day.

— Evidence of a heat-island effect might exist in the data. To wit, across all observations, the seven large urban stations recorded highs 1.1 F above the seven small-town stations in the same seven states. What’s more, no (ie, zero) record highs were recorded in the small towns… compared to four record highs in the large urban locales. Kinda suspicious, no?

— Not a single station on a single day (80 observations in all) recorded a temp of “triple-digits” as the WSJ article warned. Zero!


If we had to hand out a grade for the combined efforts of the WSJ reporting and the underlying forecasts, it would be a D or D-minus. You see, a five-day period in which the average high hits just 88.4 F simply doesn’t justify the “Dangerous Heat Wave” piece that was published in the WSJ. Period.

Of course, it’s a long summer, and we’ll post more audits as it heats up. Maybe those will show reported forecasts to be more accurate. Until then, stay tuned… safe… and cool.


It’s an election year. The mainstream media (including the news side of the WSJ) is in the tank for climate alarmism, forced energy transformation, and a Biden reelection. Reader beware!


  1. John W. Garrett  

    …with nary a correction or a mea culpa in sight.


  2. A. Squaretail  

    It’s long (a decade or more) been clear that WSJ news coverage is no better than MSNBC or CNN. I only read non-political stories in the WSJ except for the Editorial Section and worry that even those stories reflect the reporters’ not-so-hidden agendas. These WSJ’s bogus “reporters” hide their lack of honesty and objectivity behind the intellectual integrity of its editorial page. They need to be called out for their bias far more often than they have been.


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