Russ Steele, a blogger in Nevada County at NCWatch is volunteering to do weather station site surveys as I’ve been doing. Yesterday Russ visited Petaluma California to see the USHCN climate station of record there. It used to be at the city fire station but has been moved to the airport, but apparently the NASA climate database hasn’t yet caught up with that as it still shows “fire station” as the place.
Ok we have a temperature sensor strapped to a wooden deck, near a sea of tarmac.
And not only that, the building with the deck is only six seet away, and has air conditioners exhausting hot air on the south side. Prevailing wind direction in that are is from the south, so that means wihen wind hits that wall, it will spread out the hot a/c exhaust east and west.
Prevailing southerly winds will transfer heat from the burgeoning suburbs to the south, and when the wind reverses and comes from the north (after a frontal passage for example) it will transfer heat from the acres of tarmac to the sensor.
So its really no surprise to see this plot. But not to worry, the climate modeler Dr. James Hansen at NASA has it all mathematically accounted for, except he still doesn’t know the station is at the airport. He should try visiting weather stations someday.
This station data is in fact used in climate modeling to predict our climate future.