The Hillsboro, Ohio USHCN climate station of record, measuring rainfall and the “surface” temperature. Note the MMTS temperature sensor laying flat on the ground.
To be fair, apparently the station is in the process of being moved. The new addition to the home (seen below) required it to be moved around to the side.
Surfacestations.org volunteer Ed Fix writes in the station survey:
Private residence, second longest continuously used Coop. site in Ohio. It has been at the present position since 1959, and in use in the area since 1893.
The previous owners of the house Marie and Thomas Knott, now deceased, collected the data from 1959 until Marie’s death in 2007. Current resident is continuing the observation duties.
MMTS temp, manual rain gauge. Rain gauge has been in use since at least 1959. The instrumentation is in the process of being moved. The previous location is on the south end of a deck (removed 3 weeks ago), approximately 14′ from the metal-sided south wall of the house, 40′ west of the new location. It was approx 42′ from an air conditioner at the SW corner of the house. The station is to be set back up in the very near future.
The proposed new location is SE of the SE corner of the house, approx 21′. This is 32′ from the corner of the house next door, with an air conditioner condenser.
While one would think that maintaining a continuity of records for such a station would be of prime importance, it lays idle as the photography shows.
The first point here is that backyards are dynamic places, prone to land use changes and biases that result from the changing/evolving lifestyle of the owner of the home, which makes them less than desirable for gathering scientific data. The second point is that the gap in the record could easily be avoided if the local NWS COOP manager had worked to help the homeowner get the equipment operational again.
The USHCN is far from a homogeneous measurement system.
I should add that the many problems we have seen in the USHCN are not the fault of the volunteer observers. These people give their valuable time and dedicate their lives to doing a mostly thankless job. They do it mostly for their own satisfaction and interest in providing something useful that can be part of the permanent record of our country.
We should never forget that. They are to be congratulated for their service.
The responsibility for the errors in siting is with NOAA, as they are in charge of doing these installations and ensuring a modicum of quality control based on their own 100 foot rule.