How not to measure temperature, part 9


The picture above comes to me courtesy of Gary Kobes, of the US Coast Guard. It is the temperature sensor at the climate station of record in Aberdeen, WA It is located at the sewage treatment plant. Note the sign on the support post. Note also the temperature shelter plates are clogged with some dark matter, what I’m not sure.

Gary writes: The general location is about 300-400 feet north of Grays Harbor—the body of water. The sewage plant is located in the middle of an industrial area. The sewage plant lies between the site and the harbor generally on the south. The heavy construction company’s yard building and equipment are to the east. Weyerhaeuser has a log yard to the west. The northern boundary of the site is a railway and on the far side is an area of light industrial buildings.

The measuring head is 6’ above the ground. It is about 25’ from the office building in the background. It is surrounded on three sides—the tree and out building about 75” to the southeast, the office building 25’ to the southwest and the #1 sewage digester and processing tank 90’ to the northwest—and sheltered from the three primary prevailing directions of wind in the area. The measuring head has a 25’ wide strip of grass on the southwest side and a concrete sidewalk and asphalt parking lot to the northeast.

Nothing like convenient parking next to a weather station, why I’ll bet those hot automobile radiators only affect the temperature a few degrees, not to worry.


This station is used in the GISTEMP database to calculate future trends in computer driven climate models. You can see it here:


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June 15, 2007 9:39 am

I lived up in that area – the black crud almost has to be mold and moss. It grows on everything up there.
I am thinking that we need a new tongue in cheek guide to temperature station location. Requirement one is going to be “convenient parking” and number 2 is going to be “nearby barbecue grill”

June 15, 2007 3:03 pm

Uhm. Isn’t that little black thing just to the right of the thermometer stand in the bottom picture a cigarette ash dumping item? (We have them here at work and they look exactly the same.) Which means that people are out there every day (every half hour going by the smokers around here) lighting up right next to the thermometer?
And, if they’re like the people here, they’re just looking for a comfortable post to lean against while they smoke up…
Nothing like a nice warm human body right underneath the thermometer…

Anthony Watts
June 16, 2007 12:33 am

Jeffrey – yes it sure is.
But nothing surprises me anymore. The cooperative temperature measurement network is rife with such lack of basic understanding to the temperature process. We’ve seen cars, trucks, BBQ’s, planes, cell phone towers, trash burn barrels, and air conditioners parked right next to stations so far.
Now lets add smokers to the list.

June 19, 2007 5:13 pm

So the increase in temperatur is caused by more cars parking there ?

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