Talk:1916: Temperature Preferences

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search

As someone who lives near San Fransisco, but has lived in multiple other climates, I can say, San Fransisco can be pretty cold during summer months (compared to normal summers), but is still moderate. If you truely hate heat though, avoid mid-September till November as that is our hottest time of year, since there is not as much fog then. Once November hits it pretty suddenly gets cold again though. 06:08, 15 November 2017 (UTC)Rowan

This graph doesn't make any sense. In my experience, people who live in places with hot summers hate heat, and people who live in places with cold winters hate coldness. Everyone I've ever spoken from Perth basically constantly complains about the heat! Shouldn't the whole thing be flipped? Maplestrip (talk) 08:46, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

I just now realized that it says "where to live," not "where you live." I take back this silly comment ^_^; My bad Maplestrip (talk) 09:00, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Why is there dirt in the middle of the picture? Fabian42 (talk) 09:06, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

It appears to be a faded-out image, probably some reference pic that Randall was using while drawing. Something similar appeared in 1561, and was later removed. Peregrine (talk) 11:32, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Coming from Denmark I'm really dissapointed that he left out our capital, and the largest city in Scandinavia, Copenhagen, when he has both Oslo, Stockholm and .... Reykjavik... :-D But guess it should be placed near Oslo... --Kynde (talk) 09:54, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Within the mid-United States, Randall ignored Chicago entirely and highlighted Minneapolis. Since I'm originally from Minnesota, I appreciate that a LOT. (Chicago can keep their wind, those blowhards; if you want a humid summer, find a Minnesota lake for your vacation! Then enjoy the ice fishing in winter, too.) --BigMal // 15:16, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
Denver isn't on here. We have over 230 temperate days per year; We get big snow sometimes, then it melts away within a day or two. I think it belongs somewhere directly below Paris? I wonder how we'd be positioned relative to Portland...
There's no way Randall has spent any significant time near Lubbock Texas; It should be shown farther up & to the right, maybe a lot farther. 02:46, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
The point isn't where Randall has spent time (imagine someone spending enough time in ALL these places to get a good feel for what the summers AND winters are generally lke??!?!?). This graph was made entirely from hard data. NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:46, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm disappointed he left out Hamburg, Germany (and instead included Berlin). Average high over the year in Hamburg is 13.2°C (highest average is 22.1°C and 22.2°C in July and August, respectively), average low over the year is 6.2°C (lowest average is -1.4°C in January). So, if you like mild winters as much as you like mild summers, you should live in Hamburg. --LordHorst (talk) 09:52, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

So I've added a table with one entry for you all to put in data. I don't know where to find humidex info but the average low temperatures should be easy enough to find on e.g. Wikipedia. --AnotherAnonymous (talk) 10:10, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

I think I've sorted all the disambiguations out apart from Richmond. My instinct is to say it's Richmond, Virginia but now I've seen how many Richmonds there are I'm not so sure...--AnotherAnonymous (talk) 12:07, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

The convention that I've always stuck to, is that the mention of a place without qualifiers always refers to the oldest place with that name (where there are more than one location). Therefore, Richmond (with no qualifier) must refer to the place in North Yorkshire. If Richmond in the US was meant, the text would have referred to it as "Richmond, VA" or some such. 12:53, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

I think that "Altay" is more likely to be Altay City, China, not Altai City, Mongolia. The Wikipedia-preferred spellings are one piece of evidence, but more convincing is the position of "Altay" right above (i.e. winters warmer than) "Regina". If this is Regina, Saskatchewan, then its temperature profile (per Wikipedia) is very similar to the Chinese city.

  • Jan average: Regina, −20.1 to −9.3°C, and Altay, −21 to −9.4°C (versus Altai, −24.8 to −10.4°C)... pretty close all around, but Altai is a little colder.
  • Jul average: Regina, 11.9 to 25.8°C, and Altay, 15.1 to 28.2°C (versus Altai, 8.0 to 19.7°C)... Altay is warmer than Regina, whereas Altai is quite a bit colder.
  • Annual average: Regina, −3.2 to 9.3°C, and Altay, −1.4 to 10.7°C (versus Altai, −7.98 to 5.03°C)... Altai is again noticeably colder.

(Oops, edit conflict with AnotherAnonymous. Before their edit—which points to Altay City, China—the table said it was unclear which was meant.) -- Peregrine (talk) 12:18, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, sorry, I changed my mind, I can't remember why now... --AnotherAnonymous (talk) 13:28, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

So, the table lists temperatures for these cities from some unknown source(s), that may not be the same source(s) Randall used. I think the more interesting table would bte the table of X/y coordinates for each city from the comic. No? JohnHawkinson (talk) 15:01, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

I disagree - we can see where they are on the comic, so that's not very interesting at all. This table puts some hard figures on the co-ordinates. (In most explanations when we 'estimate' co-ordinates, it's because there are no hard figures). By the way, the source I'm using for my figures is as suggested in the transcript. I can't speak what others are using but maybe we should make this clearer. --AnotherAnonymous (talk) 16:05, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
The point isn't to be interesting, the point is to accurately capture the comic. As I've seen mentioned a couple of times, there are blind people who use readers on ExplainXKCD to follow this comic. As far as I gather, the presence of the transcript is largely if not exclusively for them. And for this comic right now, it seems to read as "There's a bunch of cities over here, and a bunch over in that clump". Seems like a table with rough co-ordinates is extremely called for. NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:46, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Chicago? Bottom right corner. 15:37, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Chicago averages around 12 days of 90+ and none over 100 per year (similar to New York) does not rank as being all that hot on a world scale Rtanenbaum (talk) 18:47, 15 November 2017 (UTC).
Wherever Chicago should go (and it's definitely in the lower right quadrant), it's weird that Randall didn't put it there. It's the USA's third-largest city and by far the biggest metropolitan area in the Midwest. How did Minneapolis make the cut if Chicago didn't? (No offense, Minnesotans.) 23:33, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
As far as I know, Montreal is one of the top ten largest cities in North America, and it's not on there, either. He probably focused on cities particularly known for one extreme or the other, the bottom right is both, which might be why that glob is half empty.NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:58, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Added hottest month Humidex values for all cities that have temperature and dew point data, using equation from the Wikipedia page on Humidex.

My jimmies are really rustled by Randall using the puny american McMurdo station (record low of mere -51 centigrade) instead of the glorious russian Vostok station (record low -89 "steel shatters" centigrade).

As a resident of Oregon, I vote for Portland being Portland, OR. It is not only larger than Portland, Maine; it also more closely fits the mild climate that Randall seems to place it in on the graph. An early settler wrote two letters back east: The first, "Come live with me, there ain't no winter here", the second six months later "Nevermind, there ain't no summer either" Seebert (talk) 21:44, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

I'm not convinced by the Humidex numbers (or possibly the calculation) for London. It has the third highest value of 49.3, which according to the Wikipedia entry for Humidex, is "Dangerous; heat stroke quite possible". London can occasionally have some unpleasantly hot days in the summer, but generally (as the diagram implies) it's rarely too hot or too cold. --TimO (talk) 10:26, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

You're right - I think someone got their numbers out of sync when they were typing them in, there were several in the wrong place. Fixed now --AnotherAnonymous (talk) 13:38, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

Is the Humidex right for Rio? It shows 48, but meaning it should have been one of the furthest to the right. But that's not where it was drawn.

I don't know whether or not that's correct, but it could be: That is a known problem with Humidex (note: it was invented in Canada and has not been adopted in many southern countries where heat and humidity is much larger). See: an argument about wind chill and Humidex. That value seems to be correct, as calculated by this site. However, maybe there's multiple different equations to compute Humidex? Jeudi Violist (talk) 22:05, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

Hey, could the thing be edited? I don't like how, for example, DC is blank in the chart, so if it is not too much of a hassle, could it be edited so DC is classified as where it is closest to being (maybe with an indicator or something like "not in area"? I don't know.) I feel like that would be useful to give people an IDEA of where it is. Thanks!


For the low/high temperatures, should it be the average temperature of the coldest/hottest months or the average low/high of the coldest/hottest months? The two are not the same, and you can get both from Some of the data is already messed up. I highly doubt that Raleigh is the hottest place on earth. AFAIK, people live there, but I don't think anyone could survive between 50C and 70C all year round... --Dkasza (talk) 03:31, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

Hi Dkasza, thanks for the comment. I think the point of the original comic is to compare how hot it typically gets in summer - so the average high for the hottest month - with how cold it gets in winter - so the average low for the coldest month. That's what I went with - I think the average temperature for the hottest month isn't the best because it doesn't tell you how hot it gets (and similarly for cold). As for Raleigh, I think the data you mention must have been changed because it looks reasonable now - perhaps someone originally but the Fahrenheit values in by mistake? I've entered most of the data myself, but feel free to correct any errors! --AnotherAnonymous (talk) 14:39, 16 November 2017 (UTC)


Comparing relative placements on the map with cities I've been to or lived in: All the ones I see on the chart make a very good fit for how I've known them. It's very well drawn. St. Louis and DC are definitely pinpoint accurate. Same goes for Toronto, Istanbul, Santa Fe, New York, & Tehran.

Chart didn't include Cleveland, Ohio, so I'll tell you it falls right between Toronto and Sioux Falls in the lower middle range. I pretty much agree with 172 about Denver; I'd place it about where Geneva is, though I've never been to Geneva.

As for equable climates of the upper left, keeping to moderate temperatures year-round, I have heard that a lot about Aruba and Kampala. I personally knew a colleague from Kampala who verified that: on the equator and elevation 1,190 m (3,900 ft), charted perhaps above Addis Ababa and left of Nairobi. Aruba I've heard is equable year-round, thanks to ocean breezes off the Caribbean. My parents have been there, but I haven't; it probably keeps company with Kampala. Kuala Lumpur would keep company in the upper right with Jakarta and Singapore. Messina (my ancestral province) keeps company in the upper middle space between Santiago and Athens. Palermo would be closer to Santiago. Diggin how intuitive it is from the chart, without even looking at the data tables below. Johanna-Hypatia (talk) 23:49, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

A few surprises here... My expectation would have put L.A. in the same spot as Miami, suprised this puts the summers at about the same as Ottawa and Toronto (L.A. being the only one of those I haven't visited). Also, have always figured Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal to be the same, weather-wise (so, would be the exact same spot on this chart), weird to see Ottawa and Toronto that separate, which makes it more frustrating that Montreal isn't present (surprising in and of itself, as last I knew Montreal is one of the top ten largest cities in North America). One reason I would approve Montreal's absence is that its position would have wandered over the past 10 years. This summer and last winter would definitely be a bunch left and up from 10 years ago. NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:58, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

The picture is fixed![edit]

The dust/smudge/whatever has been removed already. Can someone update that? 16:23, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

I never saw this smudge! I saw references to it, but never saw it, either here or on XKCD itself. And I would have read this within a day or two of when it was first published. Usually when the original changes, this description includes a link to the original... I'm really curious to see this! LOL! NiceGuy1 (talk) 07:33, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

Someone just (correctly) fixed the location of Perth, Australia, as being at the thirty-something degrees south in latitude terms. Good catch. Of course, the real Perth is at 56°N. It doesn't match the (unqualified as to which particular Perth) label position on the chart, of course, being Oceanic/Cfb in climate and generally mild-to-cool with plenty of opportunity to be wet (or frozen-wet, at the right times of year), so only noting this fact here rather than revising the comic-explanation further. ;) 14:47, 28 May 2022 (UTC)

Was leaving New York out of the table a private joke of some sort, or just a mistake? Nitpicking (talk) 14:53, 21 January 2023 (UTC)