Temperature Readings - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Temperature Readings

Question:

When I see the temperature of the hour on a particular site, does that mean the average for the time period since the last reported data point, or is it the instant temperature at that exact time?

Answer:

Hourly temps are the "near instantaneous" readings at the time of the hourly report (i.e., minute xx:53 at Metro Airport).

Wind data (speed & direction) are typically based on the average over a 2-minute period ending at the observation time (i.e., xx:53).  If wind directions vary by something like 60 degrees or more over the 2-minutes, the direction is termed "variable."

The hourly "gust" is the maximum 3- or 5-second average wind recorded during the 2-minute period.  The "gust" direction is assumed to be the same as the direction of the 2-minute wind.  Gusts are reported if/when the gust tops something like 14-15 knots.

There are some other options: in each hourly report (called a METAR report), there can be a "PEAK WIND" included in the "REMARKS" comments.

The "PEAK WIND" is really the PEAK gust that occurred since the last METAR report, and includes, speed, direction and time-of-occurrence.

In fact, there are intermediate METAR reports, called SPECIALS, that can be issued between the hourly reports.

Hope this helps.

Jay Grymes
Chief Meteorologist
WAFB Storm Team

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