Thanks to the work of dedicated volunteers, we continue to complete surveys of the 1221 USHCN climate stations in the USA. Last week thanks to a business trip, I was able to complete the final two stations in Nevada: Wells, and Austin.
You can see all the Nevada USHCN station surveys here in my online database. Note that in the map above, Wendover is in UTAH, not Nevada. Some interesting things to note about Nevada USHCN stations that I learned:
- With the exception of ASOS stations at airports, most USHCN stations are within a half mile or less (in some cases like Mina, less than 100 yards) from major highways and Interstates.
- Even the most remote stations, such as Austin, are within a few feet of a building. All stations in Nevada are very near some type of human influence.
- With the exception of some Stevenson Screens/mercury thermometers used as a backup all USHCN stations in Nevada have primary instruments converted either to MMTS or ASOS systems.
- As you can see in the map above, there is a vast area not covered by USHCN stations.
- Boulder City and Wells have closed in the last five years, but I surveyed them anyway to find out where the sensors had been placed.
- The Nevada Department of Transportation has an extensive network of automated weather stations with better coverage than USHCN, but most of the data is short term and in all cases, measured within 50-100 feet of the roadway.
Nevada was one of the toughest states to complete, due to it’s size and the remoteness of some stations such as Austin, which is an old mining town along the “loneliest road in the USA”, US 50.
Volunteer Russ Steele surveyed a good number of stations last summer, Craig Limesand got Golconda, Chip Edin did Battle Mountain, and I surveyed the remainder.
Despite such tedious trips, there are personal rewards to this work. For example I shot some great photos on the way to Austin. This is US50 in central Nevada looking east:
And this superb sunset on the return trip after surveying Wells. I took this photo from the side of Interstate 80 just west of Lovelock:
Here is one of the Nevada DOT stations near Austin, on the mountain summit east of town within 25 feet of US 50. It was covered in rime ice and the anemometer and wind vane were frozen in place:
Austin Summit 7,484 feet- click for larger image
So even with the tedium of driving, there is always something new and interesting to find.