Normal Weather. What’s That??

by Weatherman Tim


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How many times have you heard someone say, “This weather just isn’t normal for this time of year?”

What do you consider normal weather?

Or perhaps your local weatherman says, “Today’s high temperature is 10 degrees above normal.”

What does that mean?

Amazingly, what we consider “normal” weather isn’t normal at all.

What we should be saying is “average” weather.

For example, if you hear the average high temperature for a certain date is 70 degrees, that is an average of all of the high temperatures for that date for a recent 30 year period. Although you hear it a lot, to say 70 degrees is the “normal” high temperature for that date is simply incorrect. The fact is, the high temperature for the day is rarely 70 degrees.

The Proof
I chose a day at random. Okay, not completely at random. December 30th is my wedding anniversary.

The “average” high temperature where we live for December 30th is 69 degrees. Looking back 30 years, we’ve never had a high temperature of 69 degrees on December 30th. We’ve had highs as warm as 85 and as cool as 51, but we’ve never topped out at exactly 69.

So, how can we call 69 “normal” if that has never been our high temperature on that date? We’ve reached 81 degrees four times on December 30th. 81 degrees, then, would be more normal than 69. The “average” temperature is simply an average of 30 years worth of numbers. It is certainly not normal.

It’s kind of like me! I’m an average guy, but I’m far from normal.