WASHINGTON'S WEATHER has gone into its Amazonian phase again. On these torpid afternoons, the boa constrictors hang staight down from the trees like string, their beady little eyes dull with ennui. There is the shrill cry of the macaw, and an occasional Metrobus makes its way slowly through the rain forest. Beyond that, a great silence.
Once again, the Weather Administration has gone too far. It is overreacting to the public complaints about the cold weather last winter. In its anxiety to get the temperature up, it has, as usual, overshot its mark. We have called attention previously to this tendency, but it doesn't seem to have done much good.
The Weather Administration always claims in its reports that it has achieved a moderate and comfortable annual average temperature in Washington. That assertion ought to make any reader more cautious than ever about averages. The average may be comfortable, but the route by which we get there is otherwise--a series of wild excursions into excess, first in one direction and then in the other. A couple of weeks ago it seemed, briefly, that the Weather Administration has at last managed to stabilize the humidity here at a reasonable level. That turns out, unfortunately, to have been another vain hope.
The public has shown great patience toward the Weather Administration. Everybody realizes that the system is not easy to operate. A cold snap here, or an unexpectedly warm day there, is perfectly understandable. It is the prolonged and excessive deviations from the target path that generate doubts about the basic competence of the Weather Administration's present personnel to meet their public responsibilities. If they cannot get the weather back on a tolerable track, it will become necessary to replace them, and to impose basic weather reforms that, in our opinion, are long overdue.