Now that summer is here Laredo temperatures soar well into the triple digits on a seemingly daily basis. But is it really as hot as other news outlets like the weather channel say it is? Our very own Richard “Heatwave” Berler has been saying for months that the airport's gauges read hotter than the actual temp outside. Our Ryan Bailey decided to take him on location and settle this debate once and for all and brings us the results.
According to the National Weather Service, Laredo has been breaking records for heat on an almost daily basis this summer. They use the F.A.A.'s reading at each city's airport as the official measurement for temperatures, but Laredo’s may be off.
"It's looking like it might be on the high side, giving us a four to five degree difference."
This is an opinion that is shared by our own Heatwave, who noticed the jump back in April.
"They suddenly seemed to drift up to about four or five degrees above my afternoon temps."
The F.A.A.'s service doesn't use temps at one time, instead taking the temperature at many times over the course of a few minutes, taking the momentary jumps and dips out of the equation.
"It's an averaging scheme, so it's much more consistent than the ups and downs I’m getting with my thermometer. They take a running five minute average."
Even with taking an average, the weather service still allows leeway in its official numbers.
"We think this temperature system might be a little on the high side, but it may be within tolerance. When they set these standards years ago, they gave a plus or minus of two degrees on either side.”
We traveled to the middle of the runway area of the airport, getting as close as we could to the actual housing of the thermometer, with Heatwave getting a reading of around 104 or 105, leaving him expecting "somewhere around 108 or 109 based on the 105 or so that I’m getting."
"We're not able to get any closer to the F.A.A. site in there 108.....109 ... 109."
"There's that four or five degree difference that we've been noting all along on our weather cast. So this needs to be looked into," because forecasts for our area and across the nation are based off the number coming out of this thermometer.
"They don't realize that they are looking at a thermometer that's reading a bit high and a lot of these forecasts are being made to match that thermometer," leaving us thinking it's hotter than it really is. Ryan Bailey, Laredo's pro 8 news.
The National Weather Service says they will begin looking into this matter immediately to correct the instruments being used. This is not completely out of the ordinary as the city of Alice went through something very similar just a few years ago.