Hot under the collar about “hot temperatures”
The December 2009 issue of the journal Weather published by the Royal Meteorological Society has a letter by David Pedgley, referring to a 2005 letter by Malcolm Walker, which refers to an earlier letter by John Cook. At issue? “Hot temperatures.”
Read an excerpt from Pedgley’s letter:
Temperature is a measure of the heat content of a body – it is a number on an agreed scale. A number cannot be warm/hot. Warm air has a high temperature, not a warm temperature. Similarly, moist air has a high humidity, not a moist humidity. A fast car has a high speed, not a fast speed. Has elementary physics been forgotten, even by some meteorologists?
Walker added that “freezing temperatures” should also be added to that list.
This topic is also discussed in Eloquent Science on page 363 in Appendix B, available online for free.