Site survey: Weather Station of Climate Record at CSUC

To get an idea of the measurement environment that exists today at stations used to gather climate data, I visited the Chico State University Fram on Hegan Lane, south of the city, to do a site survey in the format done by Dr. Roger Pielke of Colorado State University. This station is part of the US Historical Climate Network of weather stations that have been used as the source for surface temperature data in many climate models and studies.

There were some interesting discoveries.

Site Survey

Chico State University Farm, Hegan Lane, Chico,

CA  95926 (530) 898-6343

Date: 5/09/07

Survey By: Anthony Watts

USHCN Reported Coordinates of site: CHICO

(39.71°N, 121.82°W; 56 m)

Measured GPS Coordinates of site:

Lat/Lon 39.69194˚  N  121.82127˚  W


54.5592 m (179 feet)

Site description and known history:

California State University, Chico has been in operation since a land grant

made the college a reality in 1887. The CSUC

Farm has been in operation since 1963, and it is believed the current site

has been at the same location since then. The prior source and location for data in

the climate record for Chico is unknown as of this writing.

Curator notes:

  1. There has been encroachment by Oleander bushes

    onto the site in recent times, about 2 years ago, a prominent Oleander bush

    that was blocking the pyranometer view was removed, see before (sketch) and

    after photos below.

  2. The curator notes that there was a complaint

    from a meteorologist from WeatherNews about a change in temperature data that

    coincided with a repainting of the CRS’s a few years ago, but cannot recall

    the date exactly.

Site surveyor notes:

  1. There are missing louvers on the north side of

    the CRS containing the automated data logger and temp/dp sensor

  2. There is clear evidence that both shelters

    have been repainted with latex paint, including brush marks and drip marks.

  3. There is an asphalt road that curves around

    the site, from the southwest to the southeast

  4. The surface at the site is  mixture of

    gravel, soil, and debris. There is no grass.

  5. There is a water filled evapo-transpiration

    pan within  10 feet of each CRS, its lineage seems to indicate it goes

    back to the establishment of the site in 1963

  6. The fiberglass composite NEMA electronics

    enclosure containing the data logger, radio modem, and solar battery charger are placed

    inside the CRS within 6-8 inches of the temperature/dp sensor. The 12 volt gel

    cel battery is also inside the CRS. These items may

    introduce a heat bias from the operating electronics.

Images of the site:

(click for larger images)









Other Images:

(click for larger images)

Interior of west most CRS with data logger, temp/dp


Before (sketch) and after of vegetation


Various details of disrepair on both CRS’s

Ground cover

Interior of east most, manual mercury thermometer


Evidence of repainting, brush-marks, drips

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Marek Suchenek
June 18, 2007 11:10 am

Thank you for the photos. They just illustrate the fact that the global warming lobby hasn’t defined the “average Earth temperature” they are referring to, never mind any specific indication as to how to measure it accurately.
It’s mind boggling that so many otherwise intelligent and educated people subscribe to that “average Earth temperature” fiction.

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