My least favorite word in meteorology is normal. The normal weather for today's date is a high of 65 degrees and a low of 45 degrees, and we get a normal amount of precip totaling 0.11 inches and normal wind speed around 12 miles per hour. I don't like normal because I don't think normal really exists.
I love numbers. I love comparing our weather to averages, climate, statistics, etc. What I don't love is going on air with an almanac of Burlington, Vermont and stating the normal weather for today's date. Weather is incredibly variable. It varies from hour to hour, day to day, year to year, and century to century. I think we have an idea of what the weather is "typically" going to do, or "usually" does on a given date, but I just can't broadcast the word normal.
I had an English teacher in junior year of high school that asked us what a normal person is like. We said about 6' tall, 180 lbs for a man. Well that could be the normal when you take everyone and put them together, but there really isn't any one person that is normal. We're all different. We're all smarter in certain subjects, and dummer in others...I mean dumber.
I think the weather is along those same lines. We only have data dating back to the 1800s, while weather has been happening for incredibly longer than that. We do have fossil remains of what the long-term weather patterns were like thousands of years ago. However we've only got a sliver of what has happened on this land.
I bring up this topic because we're about to close in on yet another WARMER THAN AVERAGE MONTH. Yes that's true, but for Burlington. Burlington is just one spot, it doesn't represent the rest of northern New England, and the numbers show it here.
September 2012 so far (through the 25th when compiling observed highs and lows)
Burlington: +1.85° compared to 'average'
Rutland: +0.7° compared to 'average'
Montpelier: -0.5° to 'average'
I can only give you three locations because I'm short on time, but you can go do your own number crunching here
to see how other towns are doing this month, last month, this year, etc. Burlington will get its 18th month of consecutive warmer than average weather. However Montpelier will probably have a cooler-than-average month. So when you hear the headlines next week, look into some other areas, because not everyone has the same weather as Burlington.
For more climate information, you can also go to the state climatologist's site here:
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier