Sweat Louis

Meteorological records have been kept in Saint Louis since the 19th century.  In that time only three other Saint Louis summers have been warmer than this summer has been, making the summer of 2010 the fourth hottest summer on record.  Meteorologists use the construct of the meteorological summer, otherwise known as the months of June, July and August.  Which just also happens to be the three best things about teaching.

Meteorologists calculate the hotness of a summer not through some prurient formula, but simply by calculating its average temperature.  Averaging a bunch of numbers tends to smear out the results.  This is certainly true of the top ten warmest summers on record in Saint Louis.  The hottest, 1901, had an average temperature of 82.7 °F.  This year, 2010, had an average temperature of 81.7 °F, or only one degree cooler.  The tenth hottest year, 1913, had an average temperature of 80.7 °F.  So we are speaking of a dynamic range of just two degrees among the ten hottest summers in Saint Louis.

As I’ve said averaging numbers tends to smear the results.  Averaging just doesn’t tell the full story.  The depression years, 1934 (3rd hottest) and 1936 (2nd hottest), set 25 record highs.  No records were broken this year.  The temperature reached 100 °F on 37 days in 1936 and 29 in 1934.  The temperature only reached 100 °F four days this year.  Our birth year had the hottest day on record, July 14, 1954 (5th hottest), with a high of 115°F.  In 1980 (6th hottest), the last really brutal summer here in Saint Louis and our first, had temperatures reaching 100 °F on 18 days.  You see the devil is in the details and I would be a real devil if I didn’t mention that a lot of these facts were in a Post-Dispatch article that I read on Tuesday.  👿

Listening to NPR’s Marketplace business show I learned that Borders will be adding Build-a-Bear sections to some of their bookstores.  This deal is a great opportunity for Build-a-Bear, a Saint Louis based toy company.  It will give Build-a-bear a national stage.  The pundits on Marketplace had fun with Borders though for this deal, claiming that the deal had more to do this year’s bear market then with marketing bears.  My favorite pundit though, summed up the deal neatly in just three words, Winnie the Pooh.

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