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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published January 21 2014

Weather Talk: Weather recordkeeping makes days look warmer

The 10-day temperature trace indicates two consecutive days with high temperatures of 37 degrees and low temperatures below zero.

If you think it’s weird to have two afternoons so warm with both mornings so cold, you would be right. Such a thing in our climate would be unusual.

But that is not what happened on Jan. 15-16. The 37-degree high temperature recorded both those days actually only happened once

– at midnight on the night in between.

Daily weather records are kept for calendar days, midnight to midnight, without regard to the “normal” diurnal cycle. So when a high temperature occurs in the middle of the night, it makes both days look warm.

In fact, neither afternoon was particularly warm as the temperature was rising from 8 below on the 15th and falling toward 1 below on the 16th.


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