thermometer with icicles

12/10/10 - When Mercury Lies-

Since moving to the North East, a place with a much more varied range of weather than Northern California, where I've spent my previous years; I'm staring eye to eye with a quandary which until now occupied only the outer periphery of my attention.

I've noticed in the past, whether it be a newscast, website or any other venue for reporting on or prognosticating about weather, there is a tendency to report the 'actual' temperature and then the 'wind chill' or 'heat index'. From all I can surmise these 'other' scales of quantifying the temperature refer to how it feels, to the skin, or any other living sensory receptor.

Now granted I am not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but it occurs to me that how the temperature 'feels' on my skin is for all intensive purposes, the only temperature that matters. If a website reports that the temperature is, "36, but feels like 28", well guess what? To me that means it's 28. How does the conversation go between the people who report in such ways and their children, "Honey you don't need a sweater AND a jacket, it's actually 36, it only FEELS like it's 22."

I do understand that to a couple of groups the ACTUAL temperature is important, purists and scientists. Towards the first group I would argue that keeping records, or making note of actual temperatures, with no regard to circumstances like wind and weather, is more irrelevant than the 'effected' temperature.

I don't actually think it is necessary for me to address the second group, those in a variety of scientific fields, since I would assume none would actually invest any of their valuable time reading a random, rambling blog such as this ...I can only hope that those conducting experiments of any importance, would have much more productive ways to spend their time. If I did(and it appears I might) however address them, I would merely ask them to confirm my suspicion that, for anything they are involved in which is temperature sensitive, much more reliable and technical means are employed than watching the news or checking weather.com.

More posts to come as inspiration comes with the thaw...