The MMTS system introduced by the National Weather Service in the mid 1980’s continues to be the Achilles heel of the surface observation network. Intrepid surfacestations volunteer Don Kostuch finds another poorly sited USHCN station in America’s midwest.
Here we see measuring the official temperature for use in the US Historical Climatological Network, in Crosby, ND station ID # 321871, just 5 feet from a building. Yes it’s in the shade, which is great for keeping the sun off the sensor and tempering Tmax, but also traps the longwave IR at night due to the tree canopy, not to mention the effect of building proximity, which boosts Tmin. Then there is the wind sheltering effect.
I keep hoping that we’ll find better stations in the midwest, and while we’ve found a few, stations like this still keep popping up regularly. The MMTS cable issue forces the sensors closer to buildings.
Could the sensor be placed further away from the building? It certainly looks like it. Why didn’t they; Laziness? Obstacle? Mom’s Garden? Who knows.
According to NCDC metadata, the MMTS was installed on May 27th, 1987. Here is what GISS shows for their temperature plot.
Click for source image.
Our nation’s USHCN climate network is a mess. Stations like this are now the norm, not the exception. I’m continually amazed and disheartened at the systemic lack of quality control on the part of the NWS deployment of the MMTS system.