• bias;
  • Ekholm–Modén formula;
  • linear combination;
  • variability


We compare some different approaches to estimating daily mean temperature (DMT). In many countries, the routine approach is to calculate the average of the directly measured minimum and maximum daily temperature. In some, the maximum and minimum are obtained from hourly measurements. In other countries, temperature readings at specific times throughout the day are taken into account. For example, the Swedish approach uses a linear combination of five temperature readings, including the minimum and the maximum, with coefficients that depend on longitude and month. We first look at data with very high temporal resolution, and compare some different approaches to estimating DMT. Then, we compare the Swedish formula to various averages of the daily minimum and maximum, finding the latter method being substantially less precise. We finally compare the Swedish formula to hourly averages, and find that a recalibrated linear combination improves estimation accuracy. Copyright © 2012 Royal Meteorological Society