Weather, damn cold weather, and statistics
January 24, 2013 5:56 AM Subscribe
I'd like to estimate the number of days a year when the high temperature is likely to be below a particular threshold, e.g. below freezing. This turns out to be harder than expected.
posted by jon1270 to Science & Nature (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I live in Pittsburgh, and found some NWS local climate data showing the normal high and low temperatures, normal average temperatures and record temperatures for each day. Even in the coldest parts of of the year (right now), Pittsburgh's "normal high" is never below 35F, but there are always many days a year when it's colder than that (currently 14F). I imagine that you could plot a sort of bell curve for each day between the record extremes and the normal temperatures, and estimate the odds of hitting a particular temperature by seeing where it falls on that curve. But I never took a statistics class, so I'm not sure how to do this. Suggestions? Other approaches?