Easily impressed

Lynn tuned into one of those ubiquitous Nature Shows — this one about Alaskan wildlife — and was perplexed by a statement of presumed certified meteorology:

At one point, talking about the approach of winter, the narrator said, in the usual This Is Seriously Dramatic voice, “The temperature can drop as much as 15 degrees in just a few weeks.” And yes, I’m sure we heard him right. He enunciated very well. He said 15, not 50. We were too stunned to laugh. Fifteen degrees in a few weeks? We do more than that in just one day. In fact, I’ve seen the temp drop 15 degrees in less than an hour. Perhaps he meant the high temperature or the low, or the average. If so he should have said that but still, even if that’s what he meant we can still top it here in Oklahoma. Take yesterday and today, for example. Yesterday’s high was somewhere around 70°F. This morning at 6:30 it was only 40°F. Today’s high is supposed to be 80°. I have no doubt it will get there. How about that Mr. Serious Drama Narrator?

Maybe he was on loan from Canada and was quoting Celsius, in which case we’re talking 27 degrees as we know them.

Then again, caribou probably don’t look at thermometers, so maybe the guy is referring to the overall average, and 15 degrees is a pretty fair drop. Over September, October and November in Oklahoma City, the average drops 34 degrees: about 11 each month, before things start to settle down (and “down” is the key word) in December and January.

And of course, there’s that infamous daily record, set 11 November 1911, with a high of 83 and a low of 17. (It dropped to 14 before sunrise on the 12th.) A sixty-nine-degree drop in 24 hours should impress even Serious Drama Narrators.







7 comments

  1. McGehee »

    25 April 2014 · 9:22 pm

    27 degrees Fahrenheit from one day to the next for a high or a low would be no great shakes in Fairbanks.

    On a winter’s day you can have a temperature drop of that much or more just by walking a couple of blocks, in the right conditions.

  2. McGehee »

    25 April 2014 · 9:24 pm

    Dang it, the italicized word above should have been Celsius. 27 degrees Celsius.

  3. canadienne »

    26 April 2014 · 3:10 pm

    Even the Celsius version is not impressive to those who have lived in Calgary (or apparently Pincher Creek – never been there, though).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinook_wind

  4. CGHill »

    26 April 2014 · 4:49 pm

    If there’s a lesson here, it’s this: wherever you are, there’s always a place where the weather is worse. (Unless you’re in Yakutsk, maybe.)

  5. canadienne »

    26 April 2014 · 11:23 pm

    My personal philosophy is, no matter how bad the weather is, if it is not killing us or destroying the neighbourhood, I have no reason to complain.

  6. canadienne »

    26 April 2014 · 11:25 pm

    Yakutsk reminds me of Winnipeg in the winter.

  7. McGehee »

    27 April 2014 · 6:14 am

    Complain about bad weather? Where I come from, people brag about it.

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