Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The full monty on weather reports.

In Dusty City you never get the full story straight away, you have to piece it together bit by bit.

I think at last we may have the full monty on the weather reporting.

In a piece I posted last month I said:

We've been saying it for as long as I can remember - it's hotter than the official weather report is telling us.

Here's a revelation from today's GN: A senior official at the Abu Dhabi-based UAE Meteorological Authority said the hot weather would not be "unusual" as the mercury dips and rises between 42 to 49C, particularly in Al Ain and other desert cities. Conditions in coastal cities are characterised by high humidity that rises to 90 per cent at times."The temperature is actually three to four degrees higher than reported in our bulletins," said the official, adding this difference was caused by the specific temperature measuring apparatus.


That didn't really make sense, but now we know it was incomplete information. Three weeks later we have an official from the Met Authority telling us this:

The temperature, which touched a 10-year high on Sunday for the month of June at 50C, will remain high all over the UAE, a senior meteorologist told Gulf News.

The weather will remain dry and hot. The maximum temperature measured on the official thermometer is some three degrees less than the actual heat in the open, he said. The Met Department's measurement apparatus are placed under the shades to meet the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) standards.

OK, now we have the picture – temperature is taken in the shade and that's what we’re told will be/was today’s temperature. Which is fine if you stay in the shade. If you’re out in the sun, it’s at least three to four degrees hotter according to our informant. I’d say there’s a bigger difference between shade & sun temperature than that, but he’s the expert.

So the forecast is 45 but it feels more like at least 50 - that's because it is.


trailingspouse said...

According to the BBC website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/weatherwise/activities/weatherstation/temp_what.shtml) temperatures in the sun are 10-15 degrees higher. However the thermometer on my balcony regularly goes off the scale when in full sun so I suspect the difference may be even greater at this latitude. Do these guys at the Met office have any clue what they're doing? I think we'd get more sense from an elementary school class project.

Seabee said...

Step from shade to full sun and you really feel the difference, so 10 degrees makes sense to me. On that scale, an official 47 is actually more like 57...feels like it too.

archer14 said...

Couldn't be 57, no a/c works at 57 from my experience.

Herlock Sholmes said...

By the way, as per international standards, the temperature is ALWAYS taken at the Airport. Because the airport is out of town it's 2-4 degrees cooler.

Seabee said...

Herlock - it isn't when I'm dragging my luggage around it!

Woke said...

Funny how Vanity Fair made a a comment on their feature on Dubai saying The 'official' temperature in UAE never goes beyond a certain point.