Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wow, it really has been a chilly summer

Yesterday, I looked at Nate Silver's weather challenge where he would bet prominent bloggers that it wasn't really as cold as they thought it was. Essentially he would have paid $25 for every day two or more degrees below average and the opponent would have to pay Nate $25 for every day where it was two or more degrees warmer than normal. I wrote yesterday that I thought his logic was flawed because he was using actual temperature data from one station to and comparing it to daily averages from another, making it look like it was really warmer in the test city (Minneapolis) than it actually was.

Well, I thought I might take a look to see how this would have worked if I were eligible for the bet and I used the closest weather station (ORH in Worcester) as my basis for actuals and averages.

From June 21 through July 18, the high temperature in Worcester has exceeded the average only twice times--once by two degrees, once by one degree. The actual high has equaled the average high just once. On the other 25 days, the high temperature in Worcester has been lower than the average, and only twice has it been within one degree. So if I were able to make the bet (and the offer had come in June), I would be ahead of Nate by a whopping $550.

If I use my criteria of meteorological summer, Nate would have to pay me out another 8 days (13 additional days two or more degrees below average, as opposed to five days two or more degrees above) putting me up by $750.

(It's amazing to think that the high temp here has been below average on 40 of the last 49 days. The temperature did not even reach 80 degrees between May 22 and July 17. The highest temperature recorded in 2009 was on April 28.)

I knew it had been cool, but I didn't realize it had been that cool.

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