How not to measure temperature, part 27 – Basketball anyone?


This is the climatological station of record for Odessa, Washington. It is at the residence of a COOP weather observer administered by NOAA. The photo was taken by volunteer surveyor Bob Meyer.

In addition to the proximity to the house and the asphalt being less than the 100 foot published NOAA standard, we have a basketball goal nearby. This is a first as far as I know. I don’t know if any studies or standards exist that describe what if any effects having the MMTS sensor whacked by errant basketballs might have.

Speaking from my own electronic design experience though, transient and numerous G forces applied to electronic sensors don’t generally allow for sustained accuracy and reliability.

The complete photo album for this station is available on

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August 4, 2007 5:41 pm

ROTFL, now THERE’S quality for you.

steven mosher
August 5, 2007 6:12 am

I found this in a crn study
At the Asheville site, the effect of siting difference
between the ASOS and CRN led to a ∆Tlocal effect of
about 0.25o C, much larger than the ∆Tshield effect (about
-0.1o C). This local warming effect, caused by the heat
from the airport runway and parking lots next to the
ASOS site, was found to be strongly modulated by
wind direction, solar radiation, and cloud type and
height. Siting effect can vary with different locations
and regions as well. This term, undoubtedly, needs to
be taken into account in the bias analysis if two
instruments of interest are separated by a significant

Gary Kobes
August 5, 2007 8:25 am

Anthony, if you have time, take a look at the Gisstemp graph for this site and then at NOAA MMS for number and location of moves for this site. Also look at the equipment notes.
In particular look at what happens on the graph starting in 1998 when the station initally had MMTS installed.
It appears from the MMS data that this site has only been in this location since 2/10/05 and 2005 is the last year recorded on the Gisstemp graph.
On the photos, note the satellite dishes are presumalbly facing generally south. In addition to the effect of the surrounding ground surfaces, the south facing elevation of the house must reflect a considerable amount of heat at the MMTS device. It will be interesting to see the total effects of the change to this location.
Also have a question. In MMS there is a frequent note about “SHIPS” conversion. Can you give a short explantion of the term?

James Fulford
August 8, 2007 5:02 pm

If that red pickup truck is kept idling for more than two minutes, its effect on global warming will be minimal, but its apparent effect on global warming could be substantial.

August 11, 2007 11:30 am

Behind the pickup truck is a large tree that looks like it has been severely trimmed. A shade tree that is no longer there…probably no effect on recent temperature measurements, right?

Chris D
August 11, 2007 12:49 pm

The site is on the south side of a street that runs east to west (assuming I’ve correctly read the map included in the site survey report) , placing the tree almost due west of the sensor. According to MMS, observation time changed from 0800 to 1730 in 1992. Presumably, the effect from the asphalt is more pronounced at 1730 than it was at 0800, as would also the (presumed) shade of the tree in the afternoon.

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