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
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Feb 1, 1990
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