What is "Normal"?

November 23, 2007

  

 With the Holiday season upon us, I just wanted to take a moment to wish you and yours a very blessed and safe one. Lots of people will be traveling during the next few weeks and I hope that you will take it easy on the roadways!

Let’s talk for a minute about “normal” regarding temperatures. I’m frequently asked, “is this warm weather normal”, or in the case of the weather since November 21, “is this cold weather normal”?

 

The term” normal” is somewhat confusing as applied to temperatures. Temperatures generally vary week to week (except during the long, hot summers) quite a bit. Shifting upper air patterns can bring very warm weather, like we saw during the first half of November, followed by quite chilly weather, as we’re getting now.  Both are “normal”, as they are within the observed range of Texoma weather, and take place on a yearly basis.

 

 A more precise term to use is the asking about the AVERAGE temperature for a given date. For example, late November high temperatures, on average, will be in the mid to upper 50s, and lows will be around 40. “Normal” temperatures are determined by taking the observed highs and lows on each day, and averaging them over a 30-year period.

The term “normal” implies that there’s something abnormal about it being colder or warmer than average, which is simply not true. A better indicator of truly unusual weather is when you get numbers that set new records, or get very close to them.  Even this has its limit, though: weather records only go back about 125 years…and we know that the earth has been around a lot longer than that.

 

 So, if you ask what’s “normal” for this time of year…I can say with all sincerity that a high of 70 or a low of 25 are both “normal” for late November in Texoma, while an average day will see a low around 40 and a high of about 56. The coldest portion of the upcoming winter (January) will have average highs from 45 to 50 and average lows from 27 to 30.

 Take Care,

 

Steve LaNore

 

 

 

Chief Meteorologist

KXII-TV

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