This picture below comes to me via surfacestations.org volunteer Kristen Byrnes, a 15 year old budding scientist that has created a bit of a stir with her critique of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Her website,”Ponder the Maunder” also has more photos of weather stations.
It is the USHCN Climate Station of Record for Lewiston, Maine, placed at the Union Water Power Company there.
It features an air conditioner unit, a portable barbecue grill, pavement and a nearby building. No close-by parking though as we’ve seen with other stations.
It also features a curious non-standard instrument shelter, of a design I’ve not seen before. The observing height appears to be non-standard, and lower to the ground than usual.
In addition to the close by hard surfaces like concrete pavement, the shelter also is located on an up-slope. That’s a no-no according to NOAA siting specs for a good reason – hot air rises.
Ms. Byrnes found another interesting station in Eastport, Maine. Ms. Byrnes found another interesting station in Eastport, Maine. While it is not part of the USHCN climatic network it is worth looking at because it shows how something simple and obvious that was missed can skew any experiment.
This station is a state operated, NOAA funded special monitoring station with high accuracy, very expensive laboratory grade sensors. The temperature sensor is aspirated, meaning it has a powered fan to draw air in from the outside, and is considered the most accurate way to measure air temperature. The same temperature sensor is used in the US Climate Reference Network (USCRN) specs of which can be seen here and photos here.
The setup also has a portable electronics building to go with it, to house all the data logging and analysis electronics. All that electronics needs to be kept cool, so these building are fitted with an air conditioner.
But the scientists who placed the temperature sensor were apparently so transfixed on the goal, they didn’t notice the air conditioner for the electronics building:
Fortunately, the US Climate Reference Network sites I’ve seen are much better thought out than this station in Eastport Maine.