Climatic Means and NormalsA Statement of the American Association of State Climatologists (AASC)

Climatic Means and NormalsA Statement of the American Association of State Climatologists (AASC) correspondence Climatic Means and Normals—A Statement of the American Association of State Climatologists (AASC) Kenneth E. Kunkel/ and Arnold Court+ address the following questions: 1) Are climatic averages for other than the tradi- tional 30-yr periods more appropriate for gen- 1. Introduction eral use? 2) Is the use of the word "normal" to describe 30- The members of the American Association of State yr means inappropriate and misleading to non- Climatologists (AASC)1 work daily at the interface be- climatologists? tween the meteorological/climatological profession 3) What is the relative importance of other cli- and the many climate-sensitive aspects of our society. matic descriptors, such as median, standard de- As a result, w e are keenly aware of the limitations of viation, percentiles, etc.? standard climatic information in truly addressing so- Although the following statement is directed primar- cietal needs. Blind use of such information may be ily to NCDC, we hope that other AM S members in- misleading for certain applications. For example, util- volved in applied climatological activities will find it ity rates are based in part on assumptions about informative. climatic conditions in the near future. The 30-yr normals are usually used as the best predictor of the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society American Meteorological Society

Climatic Means and NormalsA Statement of the American Association of State Climatologists (AASC)

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0477
D.O.I.
10.1175/1520-0477-71.2.201
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

correspondence Climatic Means and Normals—A Statement of the American Association of State Climatologists (AASC) Kenneth E. Kunkel/ and Arnold Court+ address the following questions: 1) Are climatic averages for other than the tradi- tional 30-yr periods more appropriate for gen- 1. Introduction eral use? 2) Is the use of the word "normal" to describe 30- The members of the American Association of State yr means inappropriate and misleading to non- Climatologists (AASC)1 work daily at the interface be- climatologists? tween the meteorological/climatological profession 3) What is the relative importance of other cli- and the many climate-sensitive aspects of our society. matic descriptors, such as median, standard de- As a result, w e are keenly aware of the limitations of viation, percentiles, etc.? standard climatic information in truly addressing so- Although the following statement is directed primar- cietal needs. Blind use of such information may be ily to NCDC, we hope that other AM S members in- misleading for certain applications. For example, util- volved in applied climatological activities will find it ity rates are based in part on assumptions about informative. climatic conditions in the near future. The 30-yr normals are usually used as the best predictor of the

Journal

Bulletin of the American Meteorological SocietyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Feb 1, 1990

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