When is a USHCN airport station not at the airport?

In his early 60’s schtick “Hippy Dippy Weatherman” comic George Carlin used to say “Why do they always give the temperature at the airport? Nobody lives there!”

In the case of the airport weather station in Susanville, CA, he’d be right. Here’s the airport station:

2007 Photo by surfacestations volunteer Russ Steele

Only one problem. Even though NCDC’s metadatabase and GISS both label this Station as “Susanville Airport”…

…the station at the airport above is not the USHCN station. This is something we discovered in quality control for our recent paper.The first clue? The lat/lon of 40.4167, -120.6631 isn’t anywhere near the airport, but at the Lassen County Courthouse downtown. WUWT?

What’s even more odd is that the alternate name is “Susanville 2SW”. This generally means the station is two miles southwest of the U.S. Post office in the center of town, an old locator method employed by NCDC for a very long time. But that isn’t anywhere close either. This weekend I figured out the puzzle with a road trip. 

In the NCDC metadatabase equipment list, they show that the station is MMTS based, and not using airport equipment:

But they show this station as having an airport identifier:

I did my preliminary work to locate the actual station using the lat/lon and the location cues which said “Sheriff’s office” so this courthouse location made sense:

So I programmed my GPS, I set off last Saturday afternoon, fully expecting to find the USHCN station there. Boy was I wrong.

After about a half hour of searching, I couldn’t find any evidence of the equipment. I even went up the hill behind the courthouse to get a vantage point so I could look at the roof with binoculars to see if the MMTS and rain gauge were on the roof. No luck.

There were no Sheriff cars parked at the substation behind the courthouse, but that isn’t unusual for a weekend and many deputies take the cars home. So I was stumped. I decided to head back to the airport for a look just in case it was maybe near the flight services office building. No luck there.

Thank goodness for free WiFi. I decided to try some searching at the local McDonald’s which offers free WiFi.

Searches for the NCDC B91 forms were no help either. Two stations showed, one current (the one I was seeking) and one that was closed:

And the B91 report simply said “Sheriff’s Dept”:

Susanville CA B91 Feb 2011 (PDF)

Great. I was stumped. Had the station recently closed maybe? There was no indication as such in any of the NCDC metadata, it all said “current”. There were no recent lat/lon changes either.

However there was one clue in the description. While both the old and new descriptions fit the courthouse location indicated by the most current lat/lon, and the courthouse is in fact near the northwest edge of the city, something didn’t seem quite the same in the two descriptions:

So I decided I’ll go back to basics, and simply Google “Lassen County Sheriff’s Department”. This is what came up:

Hmmm. Clicking on the GE marker led me to wholly different place about a mile northeast of the courthouse. I reprogrammed my GPS and set off for the new location.

Eureka, I found it:

Note the a/c heat exchanger and the backup generator. But of even greater concern was all the standing water in the ditch full of cattails near the MMTS. Note the lush lawn:

Susanville is generally considered “arid”, and almost desert. When you look at the location NOAA has a rule in the observing handbook that we cited in our recent paper:

Fall, S., A. Watts, J. Nielsen-Gammon, E. Jones, D. Niyogi, J. Christy, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2011: Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 116, D14120, doi:10.1029/2010JD015146.Copyright (2011) American Geophysical Union.

National Weather Service Observing Handbook No. 2 [National Weather Service (NWS), 1989, p. 46], which states that “The equipment site should be fairly level, sodded, and free from obstructions (exhibit 5.1). It should be typical of the principal natural agricultural soils and conditions of the area…

Hmmm, from the air, it doesn’t look that typical or representative to me:

Big patch of green and parking lot in the middle of an arid landscape.

And compared to the original airport location shown in the photo at top? Lawns versus dry scrub. Big change.

After doing all my photos and GPS reading, I wrote my report yesterday. Here’s the results. The station has been moved a fair amount, and the metadata and NCDC’s metadatabase does not reflect the most recent move. The lat/lon published there is from the second location. Here’s the location chronology mapped on Google Earth:

Here’s my report, and the explanation for how the station ceased to be located at the airport. The difference was the equipment, AWOS versus ASOS:

Site Survey

Susanville, CA USHCN COOP NUMBER: 048702

Location at Sheriff’s office at north edge of town, near the jail. 1415 Sheriff Cady Lane, Susanville, CA 96130

Survey By: Anthony Watts 08/13/11 at 2:30PM

USHCN Reported Coordinates of Site: Susanville AP (40.4167, -120.6631, 4184feet 1263m)

Measured GPS Coordinates of site: Lat./Long. 40.425298, -120.649119 Elevation 4211 feet 1283m

Site description and known history:

The MMTS sensor and rain gauge are located southwest (~30 feet) of the main Sheriff’s office building on an irrigated lawn. The MMTS temperature sensor is within 5 feet of a drainage ditch that has a significant stand of cattails in the summer, indicating year round water, likely runoff from lawn irrigation. A large asphalt parking lot and administrative building is approximately 70 feet to the west of the sensor. Another concrete walkway and parking lot is approximately 100 feet east of the sensor. An asphalt roadway is approximately 80 feet to the south of the sensor.

Curator Notes:

The current site manager is the Lassen County Sheriff’s office. The sensors were changed from CRS/LIG thermometers on October 24th 1996 to MMTS when the station was moved to the Sheriff’s office near the courthouse. The station was moved to this location because the Susanville airport weather observation system was upgraded by the FAA to an AWOS system, which is not as full featured as ASOS and does not report to the NOAA weather wire for regular surface observations as ASOS equipment does.

On March 15th 2004, the station was moved to the new Sheriff’s office north of town near the jail.

See Google Earth Map of all three locations.

Site Survey Notes:

  1. The lawn was well watered and well trimmed. This indicates a possibility of induced moist enthalpy bias in Tmin which is sensitive to increased nighttime humidity

  2. Standing water observed in the nearby drainage ditch with cattails, downslope from sensor, indicating excess water drainage is likely.

  3. A/C heat exchanger observed operating at SW corner of building ~30 feet away.

  4. Name of station remains as “Susanville Airport” in NCDC database even though the USHCN station has not been located there since 1996.

I don’t blame volunteer Russ Steele for the misidentification of the station in his initial survey. Back then, metadata was even worse than it is now, and all indications then (and now from the name) is that the station was at the airport. A simple administrative decision by the FAA to deploy AWOS instead of a full ASOS station resulted in this entire USHCN station move debacle.

The difference is summed up here, red highlight mine:

The Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) units are operated and controlled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, as well as by state and local governments and some private agencies; the American National Weather Service (NWS) and Department of Defense (DOD) play no role in their operation or deployment.

These systems are among the oldest automated weather stations and predate ASOS. They generally report at 20-minute intervals and do not report special observations for rapidly changing weather conditions. There are several varieties of AWOS depending upon the sensor systems which are installed; the most common type is the AWOS-III, which observes temperature and dewpoint in degrees Celsius, wind speed and direction in knots, visibility, cloud coverage and ceiling up to twelve thousand feet, and altimeter setting. Recently, additional sensors which have become available for AWOS systems include present weather, freezing rain, and thunderstorm (lightning).

The Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) units are operated and controlled cooperatively in the United States by the NWS, FAA and DOD. After many years of research and development, the deployment of ASOS units began in 1991 and was completed in 2004.

These systems generally report at hourly intervals, but also report special observations if weather conditions change rapidly and cross aviation operation thresholds. They generally report all the parameters of the AWOS-III, while also having the additional capabilities of reporting temperature and dewpoint in degrees Fahrenheit, present weather, icing, lightning, sea level pressure and precipitation accumulation.

Besides serving aviation needs, ASOS serves as a primary climatological observing network in the United States, making up the first-order network of climate stations. Because of this, not every ASOS is located at an airport; for example, one of these units is located at Central Park in New York City and another is located on Cabbage Hill near Pendleton, Oregon, for the sole purpose of providing climatological observations.

Mystery solved, and the surfacestations.org database has been properly updated with the correct station metadata and photos.

The temperatures between 2007 and 2011 at GISS, well that’s another mystery:

2007:

2011:

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52 thoughts on “When is a USHCN airport station not at the airport?

  1. Can’t help but notice the single almost vertical line ending just prior to 2000, and the high is ~8.7 in 2007, but jumps to ~10.2 in 2011.
    What other discipline allows such freedom to change history??
    Or..Are these changes in history creating so much friction that things really are heating up??

  2. Using Wi-Fi at McDonald’s? You’re obviously in the back pocket of Big Grease, Anthony.
    REPLY: Yeah, I fill up my vegetable oil powered jalopy there for free /sarc – Anthony

  3. What effect does this positional screwup have on the data?
    REPLY: Well for one thing, Hansen’s nightlights used to judge urban impact are way off because of it, then there’s data offsets due to station moves, something USHCN2 addresses, though not perfectly. – Anthony

  4. Nothing to see here. Couldn’t possibly matter. Doesn’t effect the trend.
    Sorry, I just wanted to get those out of the way so we could have a real discussion.
    In other sciences doesn’t junk input make for junk results? Isn’t bad data one of the major building blocks of junk science?

  5. No one seems to give a rat’s backside about the quality of station locations if the sheriff’s office installation is any example.
    The FAA’s choice to go with AWOS rather than ASOS undoubtedly increased the overall cost of running weather stations in that area, but the NWS sheriff’s office station doesn’t come out of their pocket, so…
    And we get to see yet again how comical it is that cloistered ‘scientists’ can pontificate on the accuracy of their results when they have no feet-on-the-street understanding of the limitations of their data sources.

  6. Anthony, I can’t help but wonder where climate science would be if it were not for you and the others like you who sacrifice very large portions of their lives and fortunes in search of the truth. Think of what the world would be like if you and people like you would not make the truth known.
    We will never know what we would be told if no one would be watching.
    Thank you and all of the others who make sure that we don’t get the wool pulled over our eyes while we get fleeced.

  7. > The temperatures between 2007 and 2011 at GISS, well that’s another mystery:
    We’re all eagerly awaiting the sequel!
    Even the parts that are congruent are temperature shifted. Sigh.

  8. Doug Proctor says:
    August 15, 2011 at 10:30 am
    What effect does this positional screwup have on the data?
    And also, on whether or not this affects the broader, overall warming trend? Would this be considered a low-quality station? Don’t the (early) results of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project suggest that whether or not these low quality stations are included or not isn’t that important?

  9. Re: the two graphs at the bottom of the post. I’ve been taking snapshots every couple of months of the NOAA data with the intention of looking at how things change over time although I’ve not done any real analysis yet, but looking at what appear to be very significant differences between those two graphs I might turn my attention to GISS instead.
    Are the historical GISS data available anywhere online?

  10. Anthony,
    We were in Susanville on a Sunday and we had a hard time finding the station, could not find anyone to talk to. We went to the Airport and found a guy on duty. I ask were was the Wx station before they started using the Airport. He called the former airport manager, who told me it was moved from downtown, he could not remember from where, and the temperature shelter and rain gauge was initially near a hanger, in a space were some fire trucks were parked, which I mentioned in my report. I was always uncomfortable about this station, stuff just did not add up. Good work, solving the problem. The science is never settled.
    REPLY: No worries, back then NCDC didn’t even identify USHCN stations in the metadata. Due to the work done by you and many other volunteers at showing just how messed up their database was, they’ve been forced to improve it since then. It’s all good. – Anthony

  11. What a waste of time. Who cares if station data are just stitched together from various pieces of different microclimates? What’s a step change or ten within a time series? It won’t really make that much difference if the time series is long enough. And once you put all of these stations into the meat grinder, it all averages out anyway.
    /sarc

  12. Doug Proctor says:
    August 15, 2011 at 10:30 am

    What effect does this positional screwup have on the data?
    REPLY: Well for one thing, Hansen’s nightlights used to judge urban impact are way off because of it, then there’s data offsets due to station moves, something USHCN2 addresses, though not perfectly. – Anthony

    Also, things like this show that the numerous adjustments that are being made do little to improve the quality of the data because the adjustments themselves are defective. As a result, I don’t think anyone can say, with any assurance, that the adjusted data is better than the raw data — in fact, all one might be doing is introducing even more error into already bad datasets.

  13. Many airport AWOS stations are purely private installations with no federal or state sponsorship. In most cases the data from these stations is not entered into any transmission system, so you can’t find it anywhere on the ‘net.
    It is transmitted by radio in the vicinity of the airport, and often, recorded and available by phone. If you want to see if a local airport recorded weather observation is available, go to
    http://www.airnav.com/airports/us
    select your state, and browse for airports. In the listing for individual airports, under “Airport Communications” WX (weather) AWOS, the frequency and phone number are listed.

  14. Wandering around the outside of a Sheriff’s office, with a camera & taking photographs. You’re lucky you weren’t arrested on suspicion of terrorism.
    Thanks for risking your freedom in pursuit of scientific accuracy.

    REPLY:
    Thanks to being employed with my local radio station, I still carry a press card. Not to worry. – Anthony

  15. maul @ 11:24,
    “As a result, I don’t think anyone can say, with any assurance, that the adjusted data is better than the raw data — in fact, all one might be doing is introducing even more error into already bad datasets.”
    So then what datasets would you use?

  16. Yes, it averages out to white noise which is greater than the signal (temperature change) we want to capture. I find particularly irritating that we are in the climate change debate for over two decades and during that time the in-situ monitoring networks more or less collapsed. This is happening despite breakthroughs in telecommunications and global positioning. Why did not NOAA go out in the last ten years of so and measured the exact locations of these sites with GPS? Why NOAA does not have live video camera at each sites that anybody could view over the internet along with a series of digital photographs that are really cheap to make these days. Why nobody cared to set up a robust climate monitoring network following strictly the well known guidelines, so we don’t have to guess, what is the level uncertainty due to poor site selections and moving sites.

  17. No matter how good your theory if the means to collect data is rubbish the chances are that is all you will end up with . And that is why they need and should impose standards for these stations . not just hope and think their OK becasue they ‘should be’ .

  18. A single screwed up data point is a tragedy. A thousand incorrect adjustments to a thousand data points is climate science. That’s how that goes, right?
    Anyway, I realize that NOT ALL of these stations are quite this bad, but man, there are enough that are to really throw serious doubt on anyone’s use of the data for any purpose, other than generalized climate data for things like when to plant your tomatoes.
    I imagine that the people who moved the station may well have duly noted the change but the paperwork was lost or misdirected somewhere. Yeah, I can sleep better at night thinking that…

  19. Ric Werme says:
    August 15, 2011 at 10:55 am
    > The temperatures between 2007 and 2011 at GISS, well that’s another mystery:
    ——————
    My thoughts exactly! I don’t necessarily mind the obviously adjusted graph for 2011 – it shows a clear flat trend! – but it still isn’t science without a very detailed explanation of all the adjustments, homologations, etc,etc.
    I would have one very simple request to ask GISS, for this single station – show us the whole shebang, the raw data, the adjustments and methodology……..from that we could at least see if they are doing a reasonable job of ‘moulding/torturing’ the data!

  20. Bob asked:

    So then what datasets would you use?

    Personally, I’d say satellite. However, without ANY continuation of data from before the satellite era. In other words, no warming would currently be showing. Start from zero. Put the whole “warming” claim away. The satellite record as it stands is just not showing any serious trend.
    We’ll need a few decades of consistently gathered, reliable data, THEN we can start having the “warming” or “cooling” discussion.

  21. CodeTech says:
    August 15, 2011 at 12:07 pm
    The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project is trying to better understand these issues, and produce a new and improved dataset. The results should be really interesting.

  22. Three things stuck me.
    1. Cattails in the desert?
    2. The average temperature is only 9.5-10.0°C? In the desert in California? Isn’t the average of the planet something like 15°C?
    3. “The Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) units are operated and controlled cooperatively in the United States by the NWS, FAA and DOD. After many years of research and development, the deployment of ASOS units began in 1991 and was completed in 2004.”
    The timing of those – right after the great dying of the thermometers and just at the beginning of the 1990s warming – seems more than coincidental. Were non-US locations also given these units at that time, too?
    And is it also a coincidence that around the end of these being implemented, that the global temperatures started leveling off and slightly falling?
    Tin-hat questions? Not me. For SOME reason – and Steve M still can’t get the data out of CRU – the published temps went up, and no one knows why, or if it was an artifact of the processing, or if it – as this suggests – it might have been partially due to equipment changes. They beat on Christy and Spencer about the satellites, when they had output that seemed to low, but where is anyone when the output shows warming?

  23. Derek Sorensen says:
    August 15, 2011 at 11:03 am
    Re: the two graphs at the bottom of the post. I’ve been taking snapshots every couple of months of the NOAA data with the intention of looking at how things change over time although I’ve not done any real analysis yet, but looking at what appear to be very significant differences between those two graphs I might turn my attention to GISS instead.
    Are the historical GISS data available anywhere online?

    You would have to ask around to see if anyone has a copy of each and every Station record from GISS. However I wouldn’t bother because GISS just folds, spindles and mutilates the data that NOAA comes up with. For example just wait until next month when GISS switches over to GHCN v3 as an input. You will see changes to station records from around the world just like we do/did when NCDC switched from USHCN v1 to USHCN v2. That switch of USHCN versions is probably what caused the change in the GISS graphs.

  24. To Anthony:
    I mentioned this to Derek above but the differences in the GISS graph would come from the underlying input datasets. Up to May 2007 GISS used USHCN version 1. After May 2007 to 2009 GISS used the US sites in the GHCN v2 dataset until USHCN v2 came out based on the Menne 2009 paper. Remember that GISS uses USHCN for the US sites in their analysis so in 2007 you had USHCN v1 in 2011 there is USHCN v2

  25. For anyone who uses Google Earth, all the GHCNv2 stations are available in a download that gives a fully interactive fly round of all the stations, coloured by temperature trend. Clicking on a station marker brings up the raw and adjusted data in a graph. Overview and link to download here: http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/kml-maps-slideshow/
    Also available as GHCNv3 Beta although there were issues with the US stations due to a change in the station numbering, which I am not sure was resolved. Just waiting now for the GISS version.

  26. I am impressed by your fortitude Anthony.
    It has been mentioned before that the accuracy of temperature measurement is one thing, but where the measuring instrument itself is sited, and any protection for the instrument are just a couple of variables that can, and have produced wildly differing results.
    Perhaps one of the problems that we have today, is the potential for a temperature measurement accuracy of, at least +/- 0.5 degC variation. In the past, an accuracy of five times that figure may well have been acceptable, so in order to maintain continuity, the same variability ought to be applied to historical figures.
    It is not meaningless to introduce our satellite instrumental figures, but it surely must assist by utilising a certain degree of known discrepancy from past records from our modern data to arrive at a reasonable conclusion.

  27. As far as urbanity designations for that station go for its listed lat/lon, its urban via GRUMP, impermeable surfaces, and 1930-2000 population growth, but rural via nightlights (only 19 brightness).
    When run through the pairwise homogenization process, NCDC significantly reduces the 1960-present minimum trend from 0.24 C per decade to 0.03 C per decade. The max trend is mostly unchanged, going from -0.10 C per decade to -0.11 C per decade. There is some weirdness in the very early part of the century that appears not to be corrected (that dramatic drop circa 1900), likely due to the lack of nearby stations to check against that far back.
    As mentioned earlier, the main difference between the two GISS graphs is the use of USHCN v1 vs. USHCN v2.

  28. Ah, Susanville. Nice place for a windy day, all exposed to the elements.
    I’m surprised they don’t just stick a sensor out in the Black Rock Desert to the East where it will remain untouched for the next 10,000 years. Sort of like a NE Calif. version of Winnemucca, NV.

  29. Garbage in gives garbage out! You can get any result you want by massaging the raw data.
    That is what the problem is with these stations and their historical records.

  30. Hello Anthony
    Today I read about GHCN files in your article “Pielke Sr. on the quality of global surface stations”.
    I’m very puzzled at all about the LAT/LON information given in the GHCN data.
    From the GHCN station where I live (WMO 617 10763), the description says 49°30’00.0″N 11°03’00.0″E. That point is located in woods, more than 30 kilometers north of the real location at Nuernberg Airport 49°30’10.81″N 11° 3’18.49″E (exact Google Earth coords; you can see the station there).
    As in GHCN TAVG v.3 it’s location is tagged as “COOL CONIFER”, which applies to the wrong location. In real it is open meadowland next to the runway (but with good distance).
    The next ominous point is the begin date: 2007-10-02 => Current
    https://mi3.ncdc.noaa.gov/mi3qry/identityGrid.cfm?setCookie=1&fid=45254
    This is clearly not true.
    The Nuernberg Airport station exists at the same location since 1943, data is available since June 1953 and validated data since 1961.
    On first skimming through the NOAA GHCN data since 1961, this data is clearly NOT consistent with the real values I’ve received from the DWD (German Weather Office).
    There are huge differences between NOAA and DWD. I’ll work it out the next days.
    If you’re interested, please send me an email. It’s too complex for this site.
    And if you need help exploring southern Germany GHCN stations, let me know :-;

  31. Gee, I suppose the whole thing is a matter of trust. Trust in equipment, trust in the data, trust in the use and trust that no one is manipulating or cooking the system. But then you have the gleeful fact that some of the “high priests” deliberately turned up/made sure a congressional hearing was artificially hot to swing millions or was it billions of research dollars to their agenda, in such a climate is it so hard to think that similar fiddling doesn’t happen with “adjustments” to GISS, when it is basically the same agenda and not at arms length from the gleeful pretenders?
    Nah, no scientist of any real standing could be swayed by media and money – sarc!

  32. Anthony,
    In the interests of Surface Stations Quality Control, I suggest that you review ALL of the info now in the Cottonwood, SD folder to see if the rating for that station is properly made.
    Doing my own quality control, I realized that I had likely made an error (in the haste of trying to find ~8 stations in a long day of driving, with limited experience and cryptic notes). I stopped by again at a later date and found the (relatively sheltered) MMTS instrument that was indicated in the NOAA database.
    REPLY: Will do, thanks – Anthony

  33. Anthony –
    The effects you mention regarding the screwup in station positioning goes towards the accuracy (not precision) in the temperature data used by Hansen, I gather. From a Hansen-rise of 0.7C, I thought your previously identified problems with data accuracy [UHIE undercorrections, urban, low-latitude and warm location biases, plus computer interpolations (biased by the urban, low-latitude and warm location biases), and other adjustments of a warming, non-random nature – have I missed some, like the “superior” Arctic data?] suggested the Hansen/GISTemp long-term temperature record was about 0.3 or 0.4C too warm. Is that still the lay of the land?
    This post is about another occurence of the same station-position problem, correct? Is the total warming effect of your studies still in the 0.3-0.4C range? HadCruT is about 0.12C cooler than GISTemp, though the same planet is being measured (far as I know). The difference, if attributable to CO2, strikes me as enormous if you are trying to figure out the radiative power of said CO2. Does Jones/UEA/HadCru agree that Hansen’s “superior” Arctic temperature readings give a more accurate vision of the global temperature?
    What a lot of work, self-education and understanding of how the powerful, personal agenda-driven political elites get their stuff done has the climate debate created!

  34. You can use all the fancy statistical techniques you want, but always remember that the data has been collected by the village watchman who writes down whatever the Hell he pleases.
    Nice investigative work Anthony. Some time I’ll have to tell you the story of an ARRA project in my neighborhood that magically vanished from the Recovery.gov website just before the number of jobs “created or saved” was supposed to be published.

  35. It’s interesting in the first image labeled ‘2007 Photo by surfacestations volunteer Russ Steele’, the ground under the instruments is noticeably darker than the ground surrounding the site. Most likely due to preparing the area for the weather station, but it has obviously darkened the ground. Land use change!

  36. Eric Gamberg, Anthony and other interested persons,
    There seems to be a problem in getting station changes promptly posted to MMS. For example the stations Weeping Water, NE, and Milbank, SD, appear to be closed. But when I spoke with the last reported observers last week, they told me that the station had merely been moved, they told me to where, and when I went to the indicated sites, the equipment was there and I got pictures. (In Milbank it had been moved twice, first to the police department, and currently to the wastewater treatment plant.)
    So while we are reviewing things, we need to take a look at all the stations that appear to be recently closed, since they might have merely been moved. (Eric, if you have time, contact me at juanslayton@dslextreme.com. I’m curious about your experience in Pawnee City.)

  37. I live in an environment called ‘sage brush – steppe’ with an average yearly precipitation of about 9 inches (230 mm). Photo by Russ Steele (first photo) shows typical vegetation. Much of the local valley is irrigated and many of the roadside ditches carry such water throughout the summer. The county highway department regularly removes the built-up sediment and cattails.
    The water in the irrigation ditches is recent snow. Twenty to thirty seconds with my hands in the water is extremely unpleasant. I do not know the actual temperature. Also, the growth of cattails is on the edges of the running water – sort of like a tunnel. Water within the tangle of vegetation may be a bit warmer but it is still cold.
    Why place a MMTS next to obvious water in a ditch with cattails? One needs to dig a trench to lay a cable. It looks to me that in the photos Anthony posted the idea was to put a little distance between the buildings and the sensor – but not to cross or disturb the ditch and its vegetation. Look at a bunch of the Surface Station photos and one gets the impression that these ‘ad hoc’ circumstances and decisions are much more important than regulations when it is time to start up the back-hoe and begin digging.

  38. Steve Garcia says: August 15, 2011 at 12:42 pm
    1. Cattails in the desert?
    ———————-
    Sure, why not? In the Mojave Desert in CA, I would stumble across small water sources complete with cattails in some of the most unlikely locations. One summer, during the “dry season”, on the eastern edge of the Panament Valley, just a few of miles west of Death Valley National Monument, I found an abandoned mining shack next to a moderately large (~1/2 acre) “swamp” full of cattails. There was even an old willow tree (still alive) between the shack and the swamp. Even though this swamp was on the valley floor, none of the greenery was visible if you were more than ~1/3 mile away.
    These types of surprises were one of the reasons that the Mojave Desert was one of my favorite places to explore.

  39. As KenB reminds us, “cooking” the political climate input is in the DNA of climatologists. Once noble cause corruption is in control, data is just a malleable tool to achieve a consensus of papered-over ignorance.

  40. seeing all the money spent on this you’d have thought they’d have had grad students checking allthis stuff. But of course they are not interested in actual measurements.

  41. boballab says:
    August 15, 2011 at 12:57 pm
    … I wouldn’t bother because GISS just folds, spindles and mutilates the data that NOAA comes up with …

    Thanks, boballab; I’ll stick to what I’ve been doing then.

  42. “Shona says:
    August 16, 2011 at 2:17 am
    seeing all the money spent on this you’d have thought they’d have had grad students checking allthis stuff. But of course they are not interested in actual measurements”
    None of the temperature records were ever intended to be used for the purpose of calculating global climate change. For local weather prediction, aviation, agriculture, and land management, there wasn’t ever a need to be so picky.
    They were never supposed to be accurate enough to show a trend on decedal scales.
    Sarcasm alert: However, if you average this in with a bunch of other stations then you can get .01 degree accuracy with 95% confidence.

  43. Started out looking for a replacement for [i]Weatherpixie[/i] widget.
    Somehow ended-up here.
    [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/kevster1346/KSVEwx.jpg[/IMG]
    [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/kevster1346/ICAOSVE.jpg[/IMG]

    REPLY:
    This is because the station doe snot report to NOAA – so the report is blank – Anthony

  44. I am in the process of preparing a submission on the effect of station location errors on the Gistemp analysis (due to incorrect categorization of stations as urban or rural via incorrect nightlights). If anyone is willing to share some corrected station locations, I have published a blog post: Are you acquainted with any of these GHCN stations introducing my request, with the list of the station subset of interest to be added to that post later this weekend.

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