Meteorology Meets Entomology

Geek Culture

MAKE comes through for us Geekdads again, with a piece on how to figure the temperature by counting cricket chirps. This one is pretty much guaranteed to make your geeklet’s eyes pop at least a little.

By counting the chirps, especially of one species, the Snowy Tree
Cricket (Oecanthus fultoni), you can get a fairly accurate temperature.
Here’s how:

  • Find yourself a cricket (a chirping one will be a male. A Snowy
    Tree Cricket (seen here) is the most accurate, but in a pinch, any cricket will do)
  • Count the chirps in a 14-second interval
  • Add "38" to the total
  • That’s the current temperature, in Fahrenheit

The discoverer of this phenomenon, known as  Dolbear’s Law, was American physicist and inventor Amos Dolbear, in 1897.

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