August Was Not as Cool as It May Have Seemed

* On Sept. 2 an article about mild temperatures during August made a comparison with August, 1992, showing temperatures averaging about 6 degrees cooler this year. The impression that was conveyed in the article and the chart that accompanied it was that the reason for such a difference was because of exceptionally cool weather during August, 1993.

However, that comparison just illustrates how one's selection of statistics can lead to an inaccurate perception. What the article did not show was that August, 1992, was unusually hot. In fact, its temperatures were much more abnormal than those of August, 1993.

Official temperatures from Pierce College in Woodland Hills showed that August, 1992, was nearly 6 degrees warmer than normal, with an average high of 93.5 degrees and an average low of 66.8 degrees. (Source: Climatological Data, a government publication. Those are not the same Woodland Hills or Burbank stations as the ones that provide daily reports shown in the newspapers, but it is reasonable to assume that it would be the same story in any case, with respect to the departures from normal.)

The common impression that August, 1993, was unusually cool probably comes from the short-term memory of hot weather in recent summers, the lack of any really intense hot spell so far this summer (through August), and the relative frequency of morning low cloudiness which postponed the days' warming.

Still, since this moderate August followed a July that had unusually cool high temperatures, this summer has been pretty easy to take.

GLENN BOGGS

North Hollywood

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