Cold? No, it's in your mind


POSTED: Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It might seem like it's been a chilly spring, but that's because people tend to remember the extremes, meteorologists say. And we've had a few nippy nights.

But overall, average temperatures in Honolulu have been normal, says the National Weather Service. The average for March was 67.7 degrees, just a shade higher than the typical 67 degrees. In April so far, the average temperature is running at 75 degrees, compared with a norm of 75.2.

“;From a societal perspective, people remember either the really warm events or the really cold days,”; said Ray Tanabe, meteorologist with the service in Honolulu. “;The perception is it was a real cool month.”;

“;We did see a few spells of pretty chilly temperatures, but if you look at average numbers throughout the entire month, you can see we were just about on par.”;

The lowest temperature recorded at Honolulu Airport last month came on March 13, when the mercury dropped to 59 degrees, eight degrees below the month's normal value.

Cooler winds off the water could also be causing people to feel chilled. Hawaii has been in a La Nina event for more than a year, with slightly lower sea surface temperatures than normal, Tanabe said.

“;During the spring we tend to get periods of stronger tradewinds, and windy conditions might make it feel a littler cooler as well,”; he said. The thermometers used by the weather service are shielded from the wind.

On the flip side, the highest temperature last month was 84 degrees on March 18, two degrees hotter than usual.