My mother had a saying that’s oh so true, and one this thwarted weatherman took to heart many years ago. Every day, when I write down the high and low temps, I think of my mother. I can plainly hear her voice, reminding me, “And that’s the high,” or “And that’s the low.”
Our exchange would go something like this:
“Mom, it sure is hot outside. I’ll bet it will be 90° today.” Or,
“Mom, it was sure hot today. The meteorologist, Bob Turk on WJZ said it was 90°!”
Mom’s reply was always the same:
“And that’s the high.”
Which meant that it may have reached 90° for a second, a moment, a minute, but it was less than that for most of the day as it made its way to 90° F. After all, in Baltimore, in the mornings on a hot day, it might be in the high 60s, 70s or 80s, with afternoons maybe between 85° F and 90° F. Of course, she was right.
So, when you read the highs and lows on our monthly weather report for our 6 towns in Costa Rica, first look at the diurnal range — that is, the spread between the lows and the highs, and realize that most of the time the temps are not at the high or the low, but somewhere in between, with temps heading up in the morning and temps heading down in late afternoon and evening.
I can still hear my mother now, and imagine our conversation.
“Mom, it’s your son. I’m older now and still interested in the weather, just like when I was a kid. And I haven’t forgotten your advice. Yes, Mom. It will be 80° in San Ramón de Alajuela today, and that’ll probably be the high. And it was 60° this morning, Mom. Yes, Mom, that was the low. And most of the time it was above 60° and below 80°.
Okay Mom, I hear ya’ – And that’s the high.”