The ever-smiling, hand-waving perky little Weather Person told me that as of today, we have had 30 days where the official temperature topped 900. The previous highest number of such days in a year? 15. Also, eight of those days have topped 1000. Then, Miss Perky went on to give us the “eight-day outlook.”
Grim. That’s what it is: grim. All, all of those eight days will add yet another day to the list of “above ninety” days, and not fewer than two of them will exceed 1000.
I know that some of you who live in certain parts of the country find this to be no big deal. A summer’s day for you that doesn’t push the thermometer to triple-digits is no summer day at all. But, please, we are not used to this!
Now, other than what may at a glance seem to be carping, there is a nubbin of scientific knowledge in all this that is of interest to me, and no, I am not going AGW. The interesting thing to me is the progess over the past few years in the science of meteorology. As recently as 1990, we were taking our weather forecasts with a fairly large grain of skepticism. We had even developed a sort of game in which we wanted to hear the weather forecast not so much to aid us in planning our day, or deciding whether or not to take the galoshes, but more so that we could check tomorrow against the forecast so we could deride the meteorologist if he was wildly wrong.
But that lucky fellow, or lady, who had that job had a swell mantra by which to live. “Being wrong never means I have to say I’m sorry.” He, or she, just blithely went along with another forecast, which may or may not be as wrong as the previous one.
And here it is. Today’s weather forecasting has become an amazingly accurate science. Ho-hum. The other way was so much more fun. Not nearly so helpful, but more fun.
I really wanted to write a tribute to Willis Carrier, whose scientific acumen, brilliant solutions to "indoor climate control," and the daring to push through the Great Depression to bring to hoi polloi in-home air conditiong, but I really hadn't the time to do adequate research and condense viable information into such a tribute. Nevertheless, thanks, Mr. Carrier.