This Is Not October Weather

Discussion in 'Science & Nature' started by Ed Wilson, Oct 8, 2021.

  1. Ed Wilson

    Ed Wilson Very Well-Known Member
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    The normal highs for this area are in the 60's at this time of year but it's been in the mid seventies for the past several days. We are supposed to appreciate it according to local weather guessers on TV but I'm ready for fall weather with cool crisp nights and sunny days; with frost on the pumpkin and all that goes with it.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Lon Tanner

    Lon Tanner Veteran Member
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    We had a few hours of rain today but we need lots more.
     
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  3. Bruce Andrew

    Bruce Andrew Very Well-Known Member
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    A "normal" or "average" temp for any given day is made up of extremes on either end and everything in between.
     
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  4. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    "Normal" should be a range. For you statisticians, the "normal" would be the range of temperatures: mean +/- 2SD. The average or mean is what some of the TV "meteorologists" substitute for normal. It generally fits their agenda better and is easier to understand for the public. It angers me, though, that the average is taken for the "normal" because there is only one temperature that is "normal" then, and everything else is "climate change". A normal temperature range could be as wide as 10 or 15 degrees F. depending on the location. Weather here has generally been below "average" for this time of year, but well with "normal".
     
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  5. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    Just to throw gas on the "They're all liars" fire...

    Most here are aware that there are different definitions of "Average."

    Suppose you have temperature data for a given date for the past 15 years.
    Those temps were 50, 52, 52, 55, 57, 58, 59, 60, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72

    Such extremes would not be unreasonable for spring or autumn where I live. After all, we're not talking about the average temps during a given season, we're talking about a given date over a period of time ("A record temperature for this day!" as though it even means anything.)

    So, regarding the above data, is the Average Temperature:
    A) 52
    B) 60
    C) 62
    D) All of the above

    The answer is D, All of the above.

    "Average" has 3 different common definitions:

    Mean
    Add up all the numbers and then divide the total by how many numbers there are. This is what most of us think of when we say "average." In this case the total of the temperatures is 926. There are 15 temperatures, and 926÷15=62, so by this definition 62° is the Average Historical Temperature.

    Median
    This is the number that falls exactly in the middle. There are 15 numbers, and 60 occupies the 8th position, so by this definition 60° is the Average Historical Temperature.

    Mode
    Mode is the number that occurs the most frequently. Sometimes you'll hear this referred to as "a typical temperature for this day." Each number occurs only once except for 52, which occurs twice, so by this definition 52° is the Average Historical Temperature.

    Of course, there are other factors regarding the data behind this specific issue.

    Make of this what you will, not only with temperature but with other "facts," such as height, lifespan, weight, income. (Lifespan is a great example, where "Mean" used to be much lower due to the high mortality rates of children, while "Mode" has not changed all that much. We are not really living all that much longer, it's just that our children are surviving their early years at a higher rate, so the "Mean" is no longer being dragged down.)
     
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  6. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    For most purposes, the "average" refers to the mean, not the mode or median. For your set of temperatures, I get that the mean is 61.7 degrees and the "normal range" would be from 46.9 to 76.5. As you can see, the temperature of 47 is not even in the set of numbers, but it could still be considered within the normal range of temperature for a given date. Using the "average" temperature as the "normal" can be really misleading.
     
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  7. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    The weather in central and northern Colorado can be weird, to say the least. When we lived here before, a snowstorm hit us on a Sunday and by the following Thursday, the temps were in the high 70's and boats out on local lake. Winter and early summer all in the same week!
     
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  8. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    It's pretty much a typical fall in Houston. The temps are slightly cooler but the biggest changes are the lower humidity and shifting light.
     
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  9. Mary Stetler

    Mary Stetler Very Well-Known Member
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  10. Mary Stetler

    Mary Stetler Very Well-Known Member
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    I am happy with the weather as it is just now except it is a bit wet for some of the things I need to do before winter. But I wish this damn global warming would stop producing polar vortecies (?) making 20 below winter temps in Wisconsin.
     
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