b Whom do we believe when we see or hear the temperature given? The radio says 108 degrees, my porch thermometer says 96 degrees, the bank sign says 103 degrees, etc., etc. -- B.C., Tulsa.
Howard Johnson, associate state climatologist with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey in Norman, said the primary source of temperature information in Oklahoma is the National Weather Service. The service operates the ``Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Ponca City, Muskogee, McAlester, Gage and the air force bases in Enid and Lawton.
The NWS provided thousands of rain gauges and thermometers to volunteer ``cooperative observers'' all over the United States. There are over 200 such ob < < End of Column 1 > > servers in Oklahoma. All report daily precipitation measurements, taken near sunrise, and 120 report daily high and low temperatures as recorded by ``Maxi-min Temperature Systems,'' electronic sensors which indicate the highest and lowest temperatures reached over the 24-hour period preceding sundown.
There is also the Oklahoma Mesonetwork, a high-tech network of 114 instrument towers and sensing stations operated by the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, in partnership with Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma. The towers -- at least one in each of Oklahoma's 77 counties -- are equipped with sensors ``configured to relay data to a central collection point automatically.
Every five minutes they measure air and soil temperatures, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, solar radiation and precipitation and transmit it to Norman every 15 minutes. The Mesonet is a one-of-a-kind system being duplicated by other states' weather data agencies.
Most television stations have their own weather monitoring equipment but also subscribe to the ``Mesonet live data service.'' The OCS has a web page featuring a variety of Mesonet data at www.ocs.ou.edu.
Temperatures within the same community will vary according to the thermometer's proximity to pavement, grassy areas, bodies of water, stands of trees, etc. Official NWS observing stations are required to position their thermometers over grassy areas and not near paved surfaces, said Johnson. Forget bank temperature reports -- ``they usually run a little high.''
Office paper sort of valuable
How do I set up an office paper recycling operation? We try to reuse it but still trash tons of it. -- M.L., Tulsa.
Michael Patton, executive director of the Metropolitan Environmental Trust (584-0584) said if you have a lot of it, the office paper recyclers will come after it and if you have a whole lot of it sorted by type, they'll pay you for it. The ``sort- value order'' follows.
COMPUTER PAPER -- blue, green or pink bar continuous-feed computer paper with the ink applied by impact printer.
LASER COMPUTER PAPER -- blue or green bar or white continuous-feed computer paper, ink applied by a non-impact printer.
MIXED OFFICE PAPER -- all paper grades including all of the above and slick coated papers, envelopes, adding machine tapes, tabulating and time cards, manila file folders, pamphlets and brochures, fax paper, posters, in-house newsletters, direct mail, and self-adhesive notes.
NEWSPAPER -- no strings, no plastic bags, it must be kept dry and out of the sun and no other material should be included.
CORRUGATED CARDBOARD -- shipping boxes containing no Styrofoam packing peanuts, large staples or plastic wrappings. Submit Action Line questions to 699-8888. Action Line pursues consumer complaints submitted with photocopies of documentation to Tulsa World Action Line, P.O. Box 1770, Tulsa, OK 74102-1770.