The Barmic Scale

This project seeks to define a new scale of measure to represent the strangeness of a year’s weather. Given that it needs to feel like an actual weather term, researchers have selected the descriptive yet unusual adjective “barmy” as the basis for this scale.

Further, it is proposed that the scale be constructed based upon “Atmospheric Barminess”, or the square root of the ratio of the number of days in a nominal Spring or “Spring Interval” (90 days) to a year’s “Clement Interval” (the number of days between a die-hard Dad deciding that home heating is no longer needed and the protestations of his family forcing him to turn on their air conditioning systems), or:

B = sqrt( S / C )


B = Atmospheric Barminess
S = Spring Interval = 90
C = Clement Interval = ADadHDad
ADad = Day of year air conditioning activated
HDad = Day of year heating deactivated

The sampling area for this scale should correspond to the upper Hudson Valley, as that seems to be an area of relative predictibility for the northern temperate zone.

On the Barmic Scale, an ideal value is defined as 1.0, where the clement interval equals a full three months. There is no upper or lower limit for the scale. Should the clement interval for a year exceed a standard spring interval, the barminess could move into fractional values approaching 0, and should the clement interval move into fractional, zero, or negative values, the barminess could reach infinite or even imaginary levels. This unbounded mathematical construct intentionally represents the complete insanity of needing heating systems adjacent to or even after activation of air conditioning.


  • A 70 day clement interval scores an atmospheric barminess of 1.13 for the year, representing less than ideal, but not particularly erratic weather.
  • A 40 day clement interval scores an atmospheric barminess of 1.5 for the year, representing unusually erratic weather .
  • A 20 day clement interval scores an atmospheric barminess of 2.1 for the year, representing weirdly erratic weather. This is approximately the beginning of the “Screwy” range.
  • A 5 day clement interval scores an atmospheric barminess of 4.2 for the year, representing utterly deranged weather. This is approximately the beginning of the “Bizarre” range.
  • A 1 day clement interval scores an atmospheric barminess of 9.5 for the year, representing inconceivably daft weather. All weather beyond this level of barminess is referred to as the “Preposterous” range.
  • A 1 hour clement interval scores an atmospheric barminess of 46.2 for the year, representing preposterously psychotic weather. This defines the lower limit for the “ludicrous” range. Barminess scores should be calculated for clement intervals smaller than this with extreme care, as they can cause both computing and mental exceptions.

For comparison, 2018, the first year for which data are available, scored a barminess of 3.0. 2019 scored a barminess of 6.7. 2020, as of last Friday, scored a barminess of 4.2, but only because previous trends caused the studied die-hard Dad to resist calls for air conditioning two weeks before the last snow of the year. Had this feedback safety not been in place, the clement interval would have stood well into the negative range, producing an imaginary level of barminess. There is some debate as to weather this artificial manipulation of the data should be set aside, demonstrating a trend that took us from screwy weather all the way through bizarre and deep into ludicrous weather in a three year period…

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