High/low temperature confusion
Your old WeatherBlogger has been taking a lot of heat lately for my attempt to answer a reader's question about the meaning of the high/low temperatures in the five-day forecast printed daily on The Sun's Weather Page (and on MarylandWeather.com)
Elaine Pardoe asked me whether the low-temperature forecast for "Today" referred to the low for the night/early morning just ended (as readers pick up their morning paper), or to the night/early morning to come. If it refers to the night and early morning to come, she suggested, that low would actually occur on the next day's date. So it wouldn't really be "today's" low, would it?
The answer is that it refers to the night/early morning to come. (The high, and the following low, are printed in chronological order, our weather data vendor explained.)
Sure, most of the time the overnight low is going to occur early on the next calendar date, so it's not really "today." But the overnight low is what people need to plan for "today." Right? This morning's low they can get from their thermometer.
Anyway, I shanked my first attempt to explain how the thing works, trying to be clever and jam as much information into my reply as I could. So I had to come back around today and explain it again, simply and clearly. And I'm still getting email from readers complaining that I'd reversed myself, or that the whole system doesn't make sense.
So I'm putting it to you, dear WeatherBlog readers: Are the five-day temperature forecasts on the Weather Page (and MarylandWeather.com) confusing? If so, how could we redesign it so that its meaning is clear and intuitive? Leave a comment. Please. I didn't design the thing, so you won't hurt my feelings.