Cricket Thermometers

2016-04-01 17:36:09.000 – Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist


Last year, the AFC decided that starting 1 April 2016, the official temperature on the summit of Mount Washington would be done with Dolbear’s Law. At first this new procedure sounded absurd and we very skeptical. However, after reading Amos Dolbear’s 1897 article in “The American Naturalist” and reviewing the new procedure over the past few months, we are confident in the results and are implementing the new procedure starting today.
Once an hour, two field crickets will accompany the weather Observer outside. One cricket will remain dry for the ambient air temperature and the secondary cricket with be sprayed with a light mist to act as a wet bulb. The crickets will spend one minute in a shaded and sheltered area to acclimate to their surroundings then the Observer will count the number of chirps the crickets make in a 25 second time span. The Observer will then collect the crickets and bring them back inside with them. The number of chirps in the 25 second span will then be divided by 3 followed by adding 4 to get the temperatures in degrees Celsius.
For example if “Dry Cricket” chirped 48 chirps, the math would be (48/3)+4=20°C and “Wet Cricket” chirped 39 chirps, the math would be (39/3)+4=17°C. This would result in a Dew Point of ~16°C and a Relative Humidity of 76%.
We hope this clarifies things a bit. If not, all questions should be directed to the AFC…the APRIL FOOLS COMMITTEE! Happy April Fools Everyone! 


Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist

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