When is one degree in temperature, not a degree?
That depends on how a thermometer is read, along with mathematics.
The hottest temperature on record in Sheridan is 107 degrees Fahrenheit.
That was set in July 2002 and tied in July 2005.
This past Tuesday (June 15th), there were a number of times that the temperature recording computers at the Sheridan County Airport, recorded a reading of 108, which would have been a new record.
However, the National Weather Service Office in Billings, Montana only acknowledges the high temperature for Tuesday at 107, which ties the record again.
It turns out the USA is one of only a few countries in the world, that uses Fahrenheit temperatures, while most other countries use celsius.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service office say temperature recording equipment at airports record the temperature in degrees celsius, then through a mathematical formula, converts it to degrees fahrenheit.
On Tuesday, a high temperature reading of 42 degrees celsius was recorded, and when converted, it’s 107.6 degrees fahrenheit.
Temperature readings don’t use decimals, hence the computer rounded the number up to 108, and because it was rounded up, the 108 degree temperature reading is not recognized by the National Weather Service.
Had the temperature gotten up to 43 degree celsius, then the record would’ve been broken, because that converts to 109.4 degrees fahrenheit.
Meteorologist Nickolai Reimer at the National Weather Service office in Billings, says airports usually record temperatures in Celsius for consistency across the globe for aviation purposes.
But the equipment can also go both ways and the problem is when it comes to converting temperatures.
“Since the equipment there records it in Fahrenheit then converts it to Celsius, then rounds it to a whole degree Celsius, and then you convert it backwards to Fahrenheit, it introduces those rounding errors where it’ll jump up to the next degree even though technically it really was not that.”
Temperature readings at the Sheridan County airport is what the National Weather Service uses to record high and low temperatures each day for the Sheridan area.
The 107 degree temperature for Tuesday does break the high temperature record for June 15th.
The old record for that day was 98 degrees set back in 1931.
To convert temperatures from Celsius to Fahrenheit, multiply the temperature by 1.8 (that’s 9/5ths in fractions) and then add 32.
To convert temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius, subtract 32 from the temperature, and then multiply by 0.556 (that’s 5/9ths in fractions).