Our 5 hottest years on record (above 85 degrees): 2016, 2015, 2005, 2002 & 2001
Our 5 lowest temperature years (below 78 degrees): 2011, 2000, 1999, 1998 & 1997 (to be clear – it’s a darned good thing it was cooler outside in the first three years of the festival, since we didn’t have a lot of air conditioned spaces)
The data illustrates that of these extremes the earliest four years of the festival were in fact the coolest, while the last two years have been among the warmest
The hottest year on record was 2005
The warmest 5 year period was from 2001 to 2005
El Niño peak, with the exception of 2005, correlates with our hottest years on record (2002, 2015 & 2016) while La Niña peak correlates with the coolest years (2000 & 2011.)
While it is generally scientifically accepted that the Earth’s temperatures are rising, and while the last two years on record have been among the hottest in our festival history, this data does not generally support the idea that our festival itself is experiencing a consistent rise in temperature. While the earliest years were our coolest years and our last two years were among the warmest, the graph illustrates a shift in temperatures over the years in cycles generally tied to weather changes like El Niño. It can be argued that the peaks and rises in temperature are getting slightly higher overall but it should be noted that both the record high (2005) and the record low (2000) were in the earlier part of our history. So we are led to conclude that while scientifically the earth is getting warmer and that while our first four years are cooler and our last two years are hotter, the major peaks in temperature in our eleven to sixteen festival days over a twenty year period appear to be cyclical, for example hotter years like 2015-2016 were preceded by moderate years 2011-2014; hotter years like 2009-2010 were preceded by moderate years 2006-2008, and hotter years like 2001-2002 were preceded by cooler years 1997-2000.
Here’s the graph with the El Niño and La Niña peak years removed.