This is interesting, and of course it goes hand-in-hand with what I have been saying for years.
Scott Sistek, of KOMO News/Weather reports:
For several years the thermometer at SeaTac airport has been reporting temperatures 1-3 degrees above surrounding areas.
Instead, it seems the thermometer at Sea-Tac is finally back on track, reporting temperatures more realistic with respect to other nearby thermometers. It’s been a long suspicion among some local meteorologists that the thermometer at the airport been running a bit warm over the past few years, frequently reporting temperatures 1-3 degrees warmer than surrounding sites. (Both UW professor Cliff Mass and I have done blogs on this apparent warming in the past.)
Here is just one example from July 16 last year when Sea-Tac reported a high of 88 degrees but everyone else around the Sound was closer to 83-86. (KSEA is Sea-Tac, the numbers on the far right are the preliminary highs for the day. This link will help decode the other cities listed here.)
UW research meteorologist Mark Albright has been tracking this anomaly for the past couple of years and has been among the most vocal in this apparent discrepancy. As just one example, he found for those first two weeks last July that the Sea-Tac gauge ran an average 2.3 degrees warmer than four other neighborhood thermometers placed within a couple miles of the airport.
Apparently, they fixed the ASOS thermometer, and the problem went away.
h/t to reader Steve Z.
And as I’ve documented before, such errors remain in the climate record. Like the malfunctioning airport sensor in Honolulu, where the skewed temperature set new high temperature records. See this interview with a NOAA/NWS meteorologist on the issue:
But, even after knowing they were caused by a malfunction, the NOAA/NWS leaves the bogus high temperature records intact. Only government could screw up data this badly.
Here is where the sensor is:
The SeaTac ASOS, according to NCDC HOMR, is located below.
SeaTac is part of the GHCN network used for climate. But was it surrounded on three sides by heat holding asphalt in 1948 when the weather records began there?
First Sea-Tac Airport Terminal, ca. 1946
I wonder what this revelation will do to this study, which used Sea-Tac and other GHCN stations as the basis for the claim?
UPDATE: more on why these sorts of failures tend to be mostly hot failures: