July 15th, 2009

A visitor to this site contributed an inane comment in response to a discussion regarding whether it is too hot to ride a bike in Dallas.  He wrote,

It definitely is too hot to ride a bicycle in Dallas, but it’s just fine riding one in Fort Worth and the rest of Tarrant County. Urban heat island or some odd global warming thing.

Similar comments were posted to this thread over at Cycle*Dallas.

For whatever reason, there has always been rivalries of one sort or another between Dallas and Fort Worth. As a rule, I do not engage in such sophomoric discussions. However, this claim seemed neither valid, nor relevant.

Approximately fifty-six kilometers separate the centers of these metropolitan neighbors. This distance seems hardly enough to represent any significant temperature gradient. Certainly not one sufficient to garner a claim such as that quoted above. I took some time to research the matter and found that there is, indeed, no significant difference in temperature between Dallas and Fort Worth. The facts show a very different reality to that which the contributor suggested.

The following chart shows a comparison between the daily high and low temperatures for Dallas and Fort Worth on the first day of each month in the first half of 2009.

January - July 2009

January - July 2009

One thing to note is the fact that there is very little difference between the temperature ranges for either city during this period of time. Of particular interest, though, is the fact that Fort Worth has been slightly hotter in April, May and June. This doesn’t bode too well for the statement that there is any climate benefit to cycling in Fort Worth.

It could argued that 2009 represents an anomaly. For any one of a variety of reasons, there may have been atmospheric phenomena affecting the Western portion of the region more than the East. As an example, perhaps an upper-level high pressure ridge kept Fort Worth hotter and dryer that Dallas. Looking at the past several years may give some insight.

Looking at the high and low temperatures for Dallas and Fort Worth recorded on 01 July for the years 2001 through 2009, it becomes apparent the same trends have existed for at least the last eight years.

2001-2009 (01 July)

2001-2009 (01 July)

Some years Dallas has been warmer, others Fort Worth. The point is, there is very little difference, in terms of climate, between Dallas and Fort Worth. The statement that Fort Worth is somehow more amenable to commuting by bicycle is untenable and ridiculous.

The content on this page serves more than simply to rebut unsubstantiated claims. It shed additional light on the tactics used by those of lazy intellect who whip their adherents into a frenzied indoctrination through the use of sensationalist rhetoric, rather than factual data. This subject was discussed previously, but remains a serious issue. Bending the truth and taking facts out of context in order to lend credibility to an otherwise flawed premise represents a weak argument.

A timeless adage seems appropriate at this point: Honesty is the best policy.

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