You've undoubtedly heard statistics such as the "normal" high temperature for a particular day, or the "normal" snowfall for a certain month. But despite what they're called, the normals don't necessarily represent what you should "expect" to happen.

Here's an example: the normal high for today is 38 - if we look back at the last 125 January 12ths, 60% of the time the high was 5 degrees or more away from 38 - and more than 30% of the time, it was 10 degrees or more away.

The point is: the "normals" are averages, and like the average on a test, often represent the middle ground for widely differing numbers. In most cases, it would be "abnormal" in this part of the country for the temperature on a certain day to fall right on, or even within a few degrees of, the so-called "normal."

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