With its heat and its drought, has been a...

THIS SUMMER,

September 08, 1993

THIS SUMMER, with its heat and its drought, has been a stinker. A Baltimorean is slow to say so only for the negative reason that other sections, notably the Middle West, have had it worse.

But this is to aver that, whatever the tourism brochures intimate, air conditioning and electric fans are the only things that make work life in Baltimore, in July and August, possible. Our ancestors, who did without, alas died young.

Complaining about the weather is old stuff, also useless. But what about the Weather Bureau? This is to send ours a non-valentine. Its performance, under the fiery suns of 1993, has been a non-fragrance.

So far, Baltimore has had 12 days with maximum temperature of 100 degrees or above. On how many of those days was the official forecast as high as that actual maximum?

None.

Take July 4. Predicted high, 95; actual, 100. Take July 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, all of them three-digit monsters. The boys at the bureau undershot by 5, 3, 4, 2, 1 and 10 degrees. All summer, they have never expected it to be higher than 100.

Do the licensed forecasters feel that Baltimoreans are so wimpy, so fearful that we cannot bear up under the truth? Some Baltimoreans are so irked by this lack of candor they suggest that these experts in their climatised comfort go outdoors sometime in the middle of the day in the middle of summer and see what it's really like in Baltimore.

Having unloaded this grouch, does our brow feel cooler? Sure.

Nonetheless, let's put a watch on the Weather Bureau come winter. Betcha its predictions of subfreezing days are consistently above the real minimums.

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