"As the new decade opens up, researchers are gathering data that will redefine weather pattern averages for the nation.
The 'new normals' will update the averages for temperatures, rainfall and snow. A climate normal bases itself on the weather patterns of a particular region over a 30-year period. Every decade, in accordance with international agreements, the National Climate Data Center releases new temperature and rain and snowfall normals for 10,000 regions across the country.
This may sound like an academic or a laboratory exercise, but for some businessmen, utility regulators, wildlife agencies and others, tinkering with the meaning of 'normal' can mean big changes. They range from future sales and budgetary issues to difficulties with songbirds and trout."