Monday, April 16, 2007

How did I miss that?

Although I went to school back in the days of buckboards and outhouses, I have tried to keep up with trends and social change. Not keep up in the sense of being trendy--just aware of the trends. I will never wear sagging pants nor shorts that come to my ankles. But I need help concerning something much more important than clothing trends, shifts in musical interest, gas prices, and rapidly changing technology. This change has a sneaky element. It was done on the sly and I am not sure ANYBODY has noticed it. Yes, it does have ramifications for global warming. Does anybody know the low for last night in Montgomery? I have checked several sources and they range from 38 to the mid-forties. The lowest report I have found is from WSFA which is 38 degrees. The Weather channel this morning said 39 degrees. I do not have an outside thermometer so I usually just take their word for it. However, today is not the first time I have noticed that MANY rooftops in my neighborhood and all the way up Hwy. 231 to Wetumpka had a significant amount of frost. Frost is, of course, dew that falls during the night then freezes. Now, way back when I was in school, water froze at 32 degrees. And not as soon as a thermometer said it was 32. The air had to be cooler than that or at that temp for a while to freeze water. If my house is pretty close to the geographic center of Montgomery, how can there be a fairly heavy frost when the coldest temperature of the night was 38 degrees?

I have over the years hiked, biked, and ridden motorcycles through enough varied terrain to be acutely aware that passing through a bottom at night where humidity has gathered will be several degrees cooler than an area a short distance away. But I do not live in a bottom. And Wetumpka is uphill from Montgomery. Yet there it was--everywhere--heavy frost on a morning when the coldest temperature was at least 6 degrees above freezing. Is it possible that the reported temperature--the OFFICIAL temperature--is several degrees warmer than the actual temperature? Is it possible that an airport is not the most appropriate spot to determine an accurate temperature for the surrounding area? Is it possible that most of our temperature readings are taken in metropolitan areas affected by nearby pavement and artificially heated and cooled buildings? Sure, temps are taken in small towns but not in cow pastures and wooded areas. I am solidly convinced that the "official" temperatures are often incorrect for many areas and unless the point of freezing for water has changed, today's frost makes it more than a "feeling" or opinion. How would that affect the average temperatures over the last century if reported temps are off by 6 or more degrees? Somebody PLEASE let me know if freezing has been moved to 38 or 40 degrees so I can respond to future forecast appropriately.

1 comment:

Lerra said...

Another benefit of waking up early! I would have never known about this newfound trend had you not gotten up so early every morning. Thanks for the heads up! :-)