Futility Closet book ad

Lemonade Days

The National Weather Service issued a worrisome advisory on Dec. 17, 2003:

Unusually hot weather has entered the region for December … as the Earth has left its orbit and is hurtling towards the sun. Unusually hot weather will occur for at least the next several days as the Earth draws ever nearer to the sun. Therefore, an excessive heat watch has been posted.

The alert, which appeared on NOAA’s website, turned out to be a test message posted accidentally during a training session. By midafternoon it had been removed and a correction posted.