|There wasn’t a puddle in the pasture she didn’t find– and it’s a big pasture.|
According to the experts at The Weather Channel, the average precipitation here in February is 5.18″ (not sure how many years are used, also not sure how “they” deal with the 29th). So far this month, we’ve had over 2″.
|Shake it off, Water Dog!|
The experts tell me August is the driest month, and December the wettest. Actually, if I looked at the raw data, I would probably make the same claim. It is Mississippi, and it is pretty hard to miscalculate an average. It’s pretty easy to misstate what an average means, though. (Hahahahaha. “[A]verage means.”)
I don’t look at The Weather Channel (TWC) on the World Wide Web enough to know if their treatment of the word “average” satisfies me or not. And as I said, it’s pretty hard to miscalculate an average. But TWC isn’t providing enough information about how the averages were calculated. I need footnotes. How many years’ worth of data are they summing? And I wasn’t kidding about the 29th. February weighs in differently once every four years. But it doesn’t seem right to me to just throw one random day of February out 1/4 of the time. I’m sure some adjustment is made, or not, but I want to know what it is, or that there’s none. I understand the law of large numbers, so I know in the long run it makes no difference– and February has more weight in the annual calculation 4/4 of the time, anyway: 28<29<30<31.
Here’s why this matters:
What I am about to share with you is yet another illustration of
the fact that averages are not robust to outliers. Throw a few raucous 2/29’s in a row in there once every 12 years, and February’s average could change.
I’m curious about how they handle 2/29’s daily averages.
I’m giving TWC a pass on all of this because apparently they are just stupid, and there’s no reason to nitpick when stupidity is on display.
|“On average.” This is not scoring any points with me.|
Historically– and I have no idea what that means– the hottest months are July and August. I would hardly call 91* “warm.” Well, actually I would, given that the record high in both July and August is 10* warmer than the average.
You see the point, right? There’s no difference between July & August.
Here’s the graph of records and averages for some number of years:
|There is no difference between July and August.
I’m making a point. If you relied on TWC to plan your trip to the Farm, and you wanted to come when it wasn’t quite so hot/cold you might be tempted to come in August, because, “on average, the warmest month is July.”
She’s crashed, by the way. So cool. One walk around the Farm, 45 minutes in the pasture, she’s snoring.