As many readers know, I’ve been working with a team of dedicated volunteers on the US www.surfacestations.org project since June 2007. We now have over 50% of the 1221 station network surveyed and new surveys are being added, though slowed somewhat due to winter months.
The project scope was so large that it hasn’t been practical to consider other countries until the USHCN network has been completed. Another issue is that stations in the HadCRUT list for the UK aren’t quite as easy to locate, nor to get access to. One thing that NOAA does better than any other meteorological agency is to provide public access to all records. That level of access is not as common (or missing altogether, requiring FOI actions) in other countries.
I’m happy to report that there is now an effort underway in the UK to survey that network of stations. Pete Rawlinson writes to tell me of this first survey. Kudos to him and his team. I’ll be working with them to help locate stations and to bring you reports. In the meantime, you can learn more about the effort at this link.
The first station does appear at first glance to be well sited, until you see the Google Earth view and realize how close it is to the access road, and how much land area is urbanized north and south of the runway. This concerns me more than the Goliath jet. A good portion of GHCN stations are at airports like this one. Airports, as we know, have grown in size, sprawl, and flights served significantly in the last century to accomodate air travel growth. So when we have a significant portion of the GHCN record coming from airports, what are we actually measuring? – Anthony
Hawarden Weather Station
Today we introduce Hawarden weather station, a pristine-looking station that provides hourly observations to the UK’s Met Office. It’s claim to fame is its holding of the maximum temperature ever recorded in the principality of Wales. 35c (95F) was recorded on 2nd August 1990.
Hawarden (more) is a small town situated on the Wales/England border close to the city of Chester. The nearby Deeside industrial conurbation provides most of the power generation for the Merseyside area that contains the large city of Liverpool.
Hawarden Airport has intermittent services, mainly serving the aerospace factories nearby. Airbus manufacture wings of their airliners in the next-door town of Broughton before assembly in Germany. This necessitates the use of bulky cargo planes such as the Beluga (more), generally used to transport large but light items. Speaking of the Beluga…
This is quite an amazing shot and we were lucky to get such an opportunity. It is unfortunate that temperature records are put in doubt when the sensor is placed in the vicinity of a huge heat source. Usually small town airfields like this are used for small passengers planes and leisure flying but to see a behemoth trundling along like this with a Stevenson screen in the foreground is an amazing contrast.
I think it’s only fair that on this occasion the last word is reserved to the Goliath.