To answer this very common though surprisingly difficult question, a technique was developed to reconstruct a local temperature time series of summer average maximum temperatures in north-central Alabama since 1893. The results show that the warmest summer was 1925 at 34.9 0.4C but that 5 other years are statistically so close they could not be eliminated as contenders. (The trend is 0.13C decade1.) Our insistence that this ambiguity be recognized by the inquirer, usually the media, causes confusion and reduces their interest level because they desire an absolute answer to, in their view, a very simple question.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: May 4, 2002
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