It’s My Job

Every once in a while someone will tell me some outlandish weather story. They believe it, but it’s untrue. I hate to burst their bubble, but it’s my job… weather, not bubble bursting.

Here’s today’s installment from the L.A. Times. It’s a story about heat problems suffered by soldiers in Iraq.

With temperatures approaching 130 degrees, medics fear that casualties will increase. “This could become a significant problem,” said Brian Humble, senior medical officer with a Marine emergency facility at a camp just outside Najaf.

The headline that lead me to this was on Drudge in red type: TEMPS NEAR 130 DEGREES IN IRAQ…

Here’s what I wrote to the author of the article, Edmund Sanders:

I know it’s a minor point, and I’m not denying it was hot, but it is doubtful Najaf has gotten above 120 any time in the past decade and 115 in the past few weeks.

In order for statements like: “With temperatures approaching 130 degrees, medics fear that casualties will increase” to be meaningful, we all have to agree on how we calculate the temperature. Normally, temperature is taken out of the sunshine in a louvered enclosure. It is an air temperature, not a surface temperature – so the thermometer needs to be protected in that way.

The historical high for Asia is 129f in Israel. Worldwide the highest was 136 in what is now Libya.

I live in Connecticut. Often, in the summer, my viewers will tell me it was 115-120 in their backyard – because of direct sunshine on the thermometer.

All the best,

Geoff Fox

I’ll let you know if he responds.

Here’s the bottom line – You can’t get the big things right unless you get the little things right.

3 thoughts on “It’s My Job”

  1. The writer actually makes my point for me. After reading the LA Times article, someone used to Palm Springs weather would think about how much hotter Iraq is – when it is actually similar.

    I have heard 130 tossed out too many times. Enough already.

  2. I agree with you Geoff. They would be wise to take their thermometer away from the blacktop on the army base.



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