The surfacestations project has now surveyed over 70% of the USHCN. I keep telling myself that there probably aren’t many surprises left. We’ve seen climate monitoring stations in parking lots, next to parked cars, next to burn barrels, near air conditioners, at airports, at sewage treatment plants, at industrial facilities, in people’s front yards, back yards, side yards, near BBQ grills, on top of telephone poles, on main street, next to houses, attached to houses, next to buildings, and yes even on the rooftops. One was painted blue, one brown, some hardly at all. Some were even found out of compliance in the Alaskan white north. We’ve seen them in the desert, on the DEW line and down under.
In all of those, it was either a Stevenson Screen or an MMTS type shelter, or the occasional Davis Vantage Pro weather station when the observer put in their own equipment. It was all within expectations, equipment-wise.
A couple of days ago, I had an IM conversation with Evan Jones, who has been surveying stations in New York state. A lot of them are hard to pin down. The one on Cortland NY particularly so, since it’s NCDC provided lat lon put in a residential area, but it is actually on top of a building downtown, which just happened to be the local newspaper office: the Cortland Standard. It looks like a place where weird things might happen.
The building has been there awhile, so has the weather station. NCDC gives this as the location:
Location Description: ROOF OF BLDG AT MAIN STREET & TOMPKINS ST WITHIN & 150 FEET S OF PO
Evan had called the newspaper editor and confirmed that indeed, it was on the rooftop.The NCDC equipment list was puzzling, because, well, why would they need a “Data Collection Platform – Other”? if they already had the standard MMTS and rain gauge?
|2000-04-01||2006-09-11||PRCP||SRG||PRIMARY||STANDARD RAIN GAGE||PRECIPITATION||—||—||COOP SOD|
|RIVR||ADR||—||ANALOG DIGITAL RECORDER||—||—|
|TEL||DCPO||DATA COLLECTION PLATFORM-OTHER|
|TEMP||MMTS||PRIMARY||MMTS ELECTRONIC SENSOR||TEMPERATURE||COOP SOD|
I had a hunch about this station, so I asked him: “Is there any possible way you could get a photo of it?”. Being a “can do” sort of guy, Evan hopped a Greyhound bus there from NYC today.
I figured, well, he’ll just get a picture of the MMTS on the rooftop of the newspaper office, nothing we have not seen before.
Then, this evening, I saw this in my email:
Umm, its, ah its, uh…another “high quality” member of the US Historical Climatological Network on the roof of the Cortland Standard newspaper office.
Ok here are a few issues:
- On the roof, near chimneys
- Some sort of Amityville Horror shutters turned sorta Stevenson Screen
- Half painted
- Half open, half enclosed
- The MMTS shield is missing some plates, about half
- It is not a standard MMTS screen, it is something else
- Dirty darkened plates on the interior sensor housing
And I’m sure there is more. Here is the aerial view:
Click here for a live interactive view.
The tar roof makes for a nice albedo.
Oddly, NASA GISS modifies the temperatures circa the year 1900:
What we don’t know is what the plot above would look like if this station was properly sited and sheltered. I wonder how many high temperature records for Cortland are actually real or “roofed”? How many warmest overnight low temperature “highest minimum” records were set there because of this siting? We’ll never know.
In defense of the newspaper editor, Mr. Howe, who was kind enough to grant access for photography and reportedly was “puzzled” by the keen interest shown by Evan Jones in this station, he says that he “inherited it when he came to work there 37 years ago”.
37 Years? And in all this time nobody from NOAA/NWS spots this monstrosity of science and does something about it? Oh the shame. The NWS lack of responsibility makes a mockery out of the hard work these dedicated volunteers put in towards maintaining records.
My heart goes out to the volunteers who manned this station, they had no idea. As for the COOP manager of the National Weather Service Office in Binghamton, NY, who is responsible for this station. I’d like to shake your hand, then give you a well deserved smack upside the head and ask: “what were you thinking’?
The only positive thing I can say about this station is that the station stopped reporting to NCDC in December of 2000. The last B91 form from NCDC’s database is here (PDF). Maybe the decision was made to close the station, but the NCDC database didn’t catch up with that until a 9/11 of 2006.
|[ 2006-09-11 ]||9999-12-31||2006-09-11||NWS||CSSA||9||—||INACTIVATE A STATION|