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Misleading article

     Your recent article on “Record Cold Snap...” is quite misleading in stating that the recent temperature of -3 degrees was “only two degrees off Kamiah’s all-time December winter low.”  It should have said it was within two degrees of the lowest temperature of the last 15 years, since the Kamiah temperatures seem to have been recorded for only that period. You can see this listing of temperatures at  http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?id4793.

     To talk about the ‘all-time’ lows, one needs to also look at the data prior to 1979. This can be done by looking at the data for Kooskia, which has been reported for each year between 1908 and 1987 (http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?id5011).  Kooskia and Kamiah being only five miles apart, the weather in the two places is normally nearly the same.

     The December lowest temperatures since 1908 have been as low as -30 (1919), -14 to -19 (5 different years) and below -3 on 5 additional years.

     It is thus obvious that the recent cold snap was not a ‘record’ occurrence. In fact, it was not very much colder than the average normal lowest temperature of the year, which occurs in January and is +1.  The surprising thing is that there have been several years during which the coldest December temperature was as high as +20 and +25 degrees.    

Berne Jones



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