Our newest volunteer at surfacestations.org is Keith Taylor, and he’s gotten off to a great start with 2 stations in 2 days. His first was the climate station of record for Williamsburg, KY, USHCN station #158709 (or maybe 158711). Like many USHCN stations, it is located at a sewage treatment plant. I’ve previously mentioned several times how the MMTS electronic thermometer has caused stations converted from traditional mercury max-min thermometers to MMTS to get closer to buildings because of cable laying issues. This one is a little closer than usual.
Keith reports the sensor head is only 33 inches from the brick building wall. And, just off in the background, a new electric power transformer is being installed. In fact it looks like a lot of land use changes are going on around the station due to construction. From the home page of this wastewater treatment plant, we learn that:
The Williamsburg Waste Water Treatment Plant underwent a state-of-the-art expansion in 2003. Today the plant is rated at 2 million gallons with a peak production of six million gallons per day.
Thats a lot of waste water (and waste heat) going through. It will be interesting to see what effects those construction and capacity changes may have to the temperature record in the years ahead.
Like many stations we’ve found, there is convenient parking available as well.
You can see the complete gallery of photos here.
Unfortunately, the NCDC MMS record for this station appears to be incomplete, possibly due to a move in 2004, from what was COOP station #158709 but there is no information to connect the two stations in 2004 that I can find.
I’m not sure what the NWS COOP manager was striving for with this installation so close to the wall. It appears that this placement was done in 2004-01-01. Oddly though, it appears the current station in Williamsburg started exactly on New Years Day, while the other went on a few months. I didn’t know that NOAA COOP managers would be out installing MMTS thermometers on News Years Day.
Unfortunately we are left with a puzzle due to incomplete records and at this point we don’t know for certain if the prior station has been permanently closed and moved to this location in 2004, or if a separate unrelated station has been established. There is no connection in the NCDC records to indicate which of these has occurred that I can find. NASA GISS stopped reporting temperature for this station in 2004, so it appears they may unaware of what the status is as well. Without accurate records from NOAA/NCDC, how would they know?