The picture below is of the USHCN climate station of record for Newport Beach, CA When I first visited this site I did a double take. Then started searching for the “real” temperature sensor.
I couldn’t believe that NOAA allowed them to use consumer grade equipment. I was sure I just hadn’t located the MMTS sensor. It wasn’t until I looked up the MMS metadata entry for equipment for NB and saw “miscellaneous” listed for rain and temperature sensors, that I began to get concerned.
I then went back a second time to be sure I hadn’t missed the station, after checking lat/lon on my GPS…because I just didn’t think it possible NOAA would allow a consumer grade sensor in the USHCN dataset. Then I found somebody in the harbor patrol office to ask, and he confirmed that was the station they use to send readings to NOAA.
I was reminded of that famous quote from the movie “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” lampooned in the movie Blazing Saddles; “We don’t need no stinking badges!”. Except, what was playing in my mind then was “We don’t need no stinking homogeneity!”
Note to NOAA: standards exist for a reason.
Apparently the observer wanted wind too, (the wind sensors are on top of the tower, not shown in these pictures)and while I can appreciate that being located at the harbor patrol office, NOAA could have supplied standard equipment in addition to the shiny new consumer grade Davis station. In fact a standard rain gauge and MMTS did exist, but was removed in 1998 in favor of “miscellaneous” equipment.
Now don’t get me wrong, Davis makes a great weather station, but we can’t just replace sensors with other types willy-nilly and have a homogeneously rigorous data set.
But there are other issues too, such as the rooftop proximity, the diesel generator, and the parking lot it sets in the middle of. More pictures available on surfacestations.org