That windchill is vicious, be sure to dress warmly going outside at Key West. Cold kills. Actually the new record low was colder than that shown above. It hit -27F earlier. See the complete NOAA report here (PDF)
OK fun aside, this is obviously another ASOS thermohygrometer malfunction, but one in the opposite direction that we usually see. But, there’s an interesting twist here that will provide a useful test of the integrity of data handling policy within NOAA/NWS. Please read on.
Here is what our offending ASOS in Key West looks like. It was recently surveyed on 6/1/2009 and was the last USHCN station surveyed in Florida to complete the USHCN state survey.
Early in June, there was an incident in Honolulu International Airport where the ASOS station there malfunctioned and it set a string of new high temperature records for Honolulu.
Those records still stand for Honolulu despite protest even though it was clear that fixing the ASOS sensor dropped the temperature dramatically and immediately. I did an analysis at the time comparing PHNL to another COOP station just four miles away. The differences were obvious.
Graph of PHNL and PTWC station data for June 2009 – click for larger image
So now the question is, we have another obvious malfunction, but in the opposite direction.
Will NOAA keep this new “record low” which like the Honolulu record highs a fault of a ASOS equipment failure? Or, will they throw it out?
To be consistent with the Honolulu decision they would naturally keep it, though in both cases, logic dictates the data should be thrown out.
The other question is: How long will it take them to detect and fix this ASOS station? As of midnight on 7/11/2009 it was still reporting -13F
Here is the URL to watch for yourself to see when NOAA fixes the problem:
A big WUWT hat tip to Corky Boyd for this one.
UPDATE: Either the sensor has started working again on its own, or has been repaired. However there’s something still not quite right as it is now apparently snowing at 9:53 AM in Key West.