Who lives in LA that can survey a station for me?

This is a request for some help to anyone in the Los Angeles area to get a weather station surveyed in the hills east of Altadena, near the Mount Wilson Observatory.

Can anyone help out?

Requirements: regular car/truck, digital camera, GPS (optional), ability to follow some simple directions.

Leave a comment if you can. Thanks, Anthony

UPDATE: Looks like I have two takers, working it out now.

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48 thoughts on “Who lives in LA that can survey a station for me?

  1. Well, I live 100 miles to the south, so I can’t go there, but I am very intrigued by this station. I have looked on the station observations page for Southern California, and I am not exactly sure where it is on the map: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/mwmap.php?wfo=&map=sgx&sort=name&list=1
    Is it a station that is treated with importance by NCDC?
    REPLY: It has a unique situation, and I want to verify something photographically. Is is near the reservoir east of Mt. Wilson

  2. Contact Salli Baliunas she used to be on staff at the Mt. Wilson observatory. BTW she is a solar scientist who is sceptical about AGW!
    Bob

  3. Okay Anthony. I found two stations named “Mount Wilson” that are right next to each other. And you know what? They both look iffy on the plots. (I can’t copy and paste them; they are just to the SSW of Chilao, the ESE of Clear Creek, and the ENE of LA COUNTY PORTABLE and Altadena, and, I am not sure on the scale, 30 miles to the WSW of Wrightwood.)
    REPLY: not those If you use Google Earth, the station is at the edge of the
    parking lot visible at:
    34°14’35.99″N
    117°57’41.21″W
    I want to confirm that is the station there and not something else. Only way to do that is to visit and photograph.

  4. Anthony, Larry Webster is an old friend of mine and is one of the minders of the Observatory. He can probably help or direct you to someone who can (Pam Gilman, perhaps). His email address is webster [at] astro.ucla.edu
    REPLY: Thanks, I’d prefer not to bother scientists in other work if possible. We’ll see if someone is nearby and I’ll reserve this one.

  5. Is that at the Redbox-Rincon Ranger Station – La Canada/Angeles Forest – Los Angeles County – along “Rincon Redbox fire road?
    “Exit Angeles Crest Highway (2) from the 210 Frwy in La Canada/Flintridge. Take the 2 north (Angeles Crest Highway) about 15-20 miles, to the Mount Wilson Rd. and turn right. The trailhead is on your left at the Redbox Ranger Station. Thomas Guide page 505.”
    It seems to be the start of
    a mountain bike trail.
    It appears there may be an Educational center there.
    REPLY: Yes that is the one.

  6. Anthony,
    I’m not sure if you’ve got this handled, but I live in Altadena and would love to give it a go (a proper family adventure). Are you in a rush? I probably couldn’t get up there until Tudesday at the earliest. Past that… As long as I can find the proper GPS coordinates on my Garmin Edge 305… we should be good. Let me know!
    PS- the 305 is for biking, that’s why I’m not exactly sure it’ll do what we want. But I’ll check it out.
    Jason

  7. Quick Follow-up on the Garmin 305: It should do the trick for documenting the location. I can “Map” a location. And that feature gives me the GPS coordinates.
    Hope it helps,
    Jason

  8. Anthony,
    I would love to do it for you. Sunday 27 July if you would like. Let me know what you would want to have done.
    Hyon and Terry Bixler

  9. Red Box ranger station is North West of Mt Wilson.
    34°14′35.99″N 117°57′41.21″W is east of Mt Wilson along a fire road at Thomas map 508C5. Google Maps calls the road, Rincon Redbox Fire Road, Thomas calls it Devil’s Canyon Truck trail. Either way I don’t know if it is open to public vehicular traffic.

  10. Well it looks like I have two possible surveyors here.
    Hyon and Terry Bixler can do it the fastest, but Jason Salit lives closeby and offered first.
    Either of you would be fine, but I don’t want to step on any toes since they came in so close. While I’m not in a rush, sooner is always better.
    If Jason can do it Sunday morning with no inconveniences, then he’s on first, if that isn’t practical, then Hyon can do it.
    You guys decide and advise. Thank you both for your kind offers of assistance.

  11. hyonmin:
    Sorry, I wasn’t trying to be competitve. I just didn’t see your post before I posted my last offer. But our offer still stands. I could name that tune in… =)
    Cheers,
    Jason

  12. Jason
    You were first to offer so its your call. Anything that we can do to help as we are available and would enjoy the participation.

  13. OK thanks both of you. It may boil down to who is best equipped. After studying Google Earth it appears this is a fire road, and that may entail a 4WD vehicle depending on how well it has been maintained.
    Looking at this map:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=34%C2%B014%E2%80%B235.99%E2%80%B3N+117%C2%B057%E2%80%B241.21%E2%80%B3W&ie=UTF8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ll=34.245475,-117.952781&spn=0.02611,0.037122&t=h&z=15&iwloc=addr
    It appears the best way in is to take Hwy 39 to Ricon Redbox Road and come in from the east. The weather station is at the office before you get to Cogswell reservoir.
    I’d advise that you both look over the map and determine if you are equipped to handle that sort of driving and then decide.
    I need the following:
    GPS fix at the station.
    at least 6 photographs, two overall shots from two angles that show the station and its environment the best. Plus 4 N,S,E,W shots with the station in the foreground about 20 feet away to show its view of nearby via the 4 compass points.
    If possible, ask the ranger/caretaker anything they know about the station, such as when it was placed there and when things around it changed.
    You are looking for either of the temperature sensors shown in this photo, or something close to it:
    http://gallery.surfacestations.org/main.php?g2_itemId=1145

  14. Anthony,
    This is OT, but I don’t know your email address. I have a 15 year old nephew who is a real weather guy and he has Aspeberger’s, a high functioning variant of autism and he’s looking for career help in becoming a forecaster. He knows several people at NOAA, but I’d like to widen the net so to speak. I’d like to send you the letter he wrote to Chris Landseth at NOAA, it’s truly amazing how well versed in this stuff at less than 16. Thanks. I’d be grateful for any help.
    d
    REPLY: info [-at-] surfacestations dot org is the email

  15. Anthony, I live in Cupertino, CA just north of San Jose. I would like to volunteer to survey any weather station within 100 miles of my home. I am a recently retired engineer, have time available, and am familiar with instrumentation and measurement. Your web site is one of my favorites so just let me know if I can help in any way. Regards, Acle

  16. Anthony
    I will research but it looks like the most direct approach is to hike or mountain bike the route.

  17. There are a lot of beautiful mountains in day range of the LA basin. My brothers and I used to regularly catch salamanders and alligator lizards 40 years ago. Very un PC nowadays and for good reason.

  18. Anthony / Hyon,
    Arggg… This is more than I can commit to for Sunday (I actually have to work). Thanks to all for the posts. I just got to the same place… this will be a half-day + adventure for me on my mountain-bike (not just a little family hike right off the side of the road).
    So, I’m out for tomorrow. If you want to tackle it Hyon, it’s yours! If it’s more than you were looking to do, I am still available to check it out sometime this week.
    Thanks again, and please let me know if you don’t make it up there. I’ll document the whole ride on MotionBased.com. =)
    Jason
    PS- Hey now! Nobody’s arguing around here… just a refresh issue. =)

  19. OT
    Jeez:
    I’m going to make a coffee table book of all the amazing hiking and biking trails in and around LA. For the reputation that LA has for being dirty/smoggy and all cement… you can truly get lost in the wilderness, sometimes within yards of a freeway! Oh, wait… actually it sucks! Don’t anyone else move here! =)

  20. Your ref to: West Fork of the San Gabriel River states:

    NOTE: This trail was closed until recently near the 7 mile point (Cogswell Dam forest service camp entrance). This was due to the events of 2001/9/11. The trail was reopened in February 2004.

    Encourage getting permission to take photos BEFORE going to allay any possible suspicions.
    REPLY: Good point but see the photos in the link on the web page of the dam and reservoir…I think they’ll be OK.

  21. Been a long time, I used to live at the foot of Mt Wilson.
    Angeles Crest highway is California 2.
    Redbox is at the junction of the Mt. Wilson Road, Angeles Forest Highway and Angeles Crest (California 2). There was a ranger station at the junction (Red Box gets its name from the fire hydrant in a red box near the junction. LA City Schools is a ways down Angeles forest from there. Chilao Flats is farther out Angeles Crest towards (but not near) Wrightwood.
    There used to be ranger stations at Red Box, Chilao Flats, and Charlton Flats, and a fire (NF? LA Co?) up there between Montrose and Red Box, I think.
    I think.

  22. None of those have anything to with the Observatory, nor with the TV and radio stations up on top of Mt. Wilson, some distance away.

  23. My memory let me down. Red Box Canyon and the Mt. Wilson road are several miles past the Angeles Forest (aka “Palmdale Cutoff”) junction.

  24. Tomorrow I will try to get there. If I don’t I will leave info as to why not . Sounds like an adventure. I can’t do bike as I just had 5 stitches put into my right hand. GPS, Camera and water should put me close. Don’t like the poison oak.

  25. The “camp” may be the location of “Glenn Camp”, shown here:
    http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino/ap/maps/anf-san-gabriel-canyon.shtml
    Detailed information is said to be available:
    “San Gabriel River Ranger District (626) 335-1251”
    http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino/ap/rec-fee-sites-anf.shtml#glenncamp_cg
    “Last Modified: Monday, 16 July 2007 at 12:03:01 EDT”
    Looks to be around 8 miles roundtrip bike or hike on paved road.
    If a 4 mile hike is preferrable, there is a possibility that road 2N34 may be open to Spring Camp. (see map above). The ph num above may provide info as to that.
    Sorry I can’t help more.

  26. Correction, road 2N24 may be open to Spring Camp, it appears on the map as an improved light duty/paved road. There may be more info on the Net for both the road and the camp.

  27. Since we’re close to the subject, what’s up with MMS? They took down the managing parties field again. Also the obstruction and exposure fields are gone.

  28. I’m happy to help in any way I can. A quick check tells me Virgin Atlantic can get me there and back for just under £7,500. On receipt of cleared funds I will pack my bag. Please do not hesitate to ask for further assistance.

  29. REPLY: That appears correct, here is the spotty record:
    Is this before or after FILENET. (On second thought, don’t answer that. I think I have a need not to know)

  30. Not L.A., but if you have something in LA., especially southeast LA and Gulf Coast I am willing to help out. Centered in the New Orleans metro area. I assume you have a listing of volunteers and locations by now, so you can add me.
    REPLY: Thanks!

  31. Red Box Station review 27 July 2008
    My wife, son and I drove to the locked gate leading to the +34° 14′ 35.99″, -117° 57′ 41.21″ coordinates. We brought along a mountain bike (should have brought three). My son Kyle volunteered to take the camera and GPS up to the site and take the pictures. My wife and I started the walk to the site which was around 8 miles from the gate. As my wife and I were walking up the canyon we noticed a truck scraping the rocks off the pavement on his way down, more of this later. As we were walking around mile 3 on the way up my son returned with the photos and marked location of the site. He showed me a picture of the GPS location which was empty but near by were two temperature measuring stations. As we were walking back down the road I noticed the truck coming back up the road and I flagged down the truck. It was a truck from the Los Angles Public Works Department of Water Resources. I asked the driver if he Knew anything about the temperature measuring station. He said that he did. I asked him his name and it was Herbert. Herbert told us that he had worked at Cogswell Reservoir station for about 3 years. I asked him if there had been any changes at the temperature measuring station recently. Herbert said that the one they used daily had been the same as far as he knew since the when the dam was built but that about 15 years ago a new cylindrical automated measuring station had been installed. Herbert told us that they did not use its data but still relied on the older unit. He asked if we had seen the evaporative pan near the temperature station. He told us that they kept it full of water (around 25 gallons) and measured its amount of increase or decrease daily to determine the amount of water increase or decrease expected in the Reservoir. The evaporative pan was located about 20 feet from the older temperature measuring station and about 5 feet from the new station. He told us that the complete records were available from the Department of Public Works.
    Now how to get photos uploaded… (help?)
    REPLY: Wonderful! Thanks so much. Check your email for instructions – Anthony

  32. Upon examination of the photos ther are four devices in the fenced in area.
    1) Original temperature measuring station.
    2) Original water pan
    3) New object tall cylinder
    4) New objects pair
    As soon as I figure how to down load the pictures I am sure that someone else will know more much more about this site.

  33. Finally got pictures uploaded. Used Picasa export to folder then did upload. Sorry I took so long. Hope this gives a good view. I think the records from the original equipment are being kept up to date which would give a good benchmark for the new equipments data.
    REPLY: Thank you so VERY MUCH. Look for an essay on this blog shortly, and you’ll see why the interest.

  34. Anthony; I have been a long time friend of Jim Goodrich and he called me today re; your project. I am a non believer in Global Warming and have taken hundreds of pictures of weather stations all over California and the US and World. He mentioned you are looking for something Mt. Wilson ways. I look straight at Mt. Wilson and am about a half hour away. I have pictures of the station there when it was located on the ground complete with a CRS (you now call Stevenson Screen) and standard 8″ raingage. About 20 years ago it was moved to the top of a two story building above the post office and observations were taken every 6 hours. The NWS about 2 years ago put in a RAWS station and got rid of the human observer who has since past away. What are you looking for?
    REPLY: Bob check your email. – Anthony

  35. I am confused by Hyonmin’s story. Are you looking for Mt. Wilson or Cogswell Reservoir? Cogswell is over 6 miles east and 3,500 feet lower. Los Angeles County Flood Control District has had a weather station (known as #334) since the dam was built in 1935. Mt. Wilson you can drive to it’s station. If you want to visit some interesting stations, one is now known as Camp Hi Hill which used to be called Opid Camp and did hold the US record for one minute precipitation at 0.65″ on April 3, 1927. At a location called Red Box at the Mt. Wilson turnoff there is a dirt road of about 1 mile to it, but the gate is usually locked. LA County still operates a weather station there. Another location is Hoegees Camp located 2 miles SE of Mt. Wilson and 2,700 feet lower. It held the World Record for 24 hour precip of 26.12″ on Jan. 22, 1943. It is accessible from Pasadena via a paved road and then a one hour hike. The Friez gage is buried in the bushes and no longer operates.

  36. ‘Twas me that suggested looking at the site.
    I had seen it during a bicycle ride on Mother’s Day 2008, and recognized
    that the location was not perfect.
    Cogswell is the site, and the GPS/Google Earth co-ords I posted
    are just about 100’ off. If you use GE and enter the numbers, then
    zoom it, you can see the equipment on the right edge of the parking
    lot.
    Access to the location is easy, and a very nice bicycle ride. But a long
    walk.

  37. Pingback: Finding well sited weather station stations is becoming more difficult « Watts Up With That?

  38. The forest service is re-evaluating the reopening of that road for OHV use in September. If it reopens I’ll be more than glad to drive my 4X4 anywhere in that area to find a site.
    REPLY: Ed, we got it, but thanks

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