Former California State Climatologist Jim Goodridge sent this along yesterday. This interesting letter from 1892 is a letter from Sergeant James A. Barwick to cooperative weather observers in California. He was concerned about the station siting and exposure conditions and wanted full reports back. The US Army Signal Corp was the original impetus for the US Weather Bureau, now NOAA, hence the reason this is coming from a sergeant rather than a bureaucrat.
Here’s the cover:
And here is the letter, note the point by point concern over station conditions.
Reader “vigilantfish” provides this transcripton:
US Dept of Agr. Weather Bureau
October 28, 1892
To all Voluntary observers throughout California,
I am instructed by the Chief of the Weather Bureau to ask you the following questions in reference to Instrument Shelter
viz. – 1st Have you an Instrument Shelter that is in actual use, and in which your thermometers are exposed.
2nd: Describe the Kind of Shelter: Is it made of lattice work, four sides latticed and has it the regulation double roof.
3rd Is it exposed on the roof of a building; fastened to a window, or side of a house, or is it located above a grass plat (flat(?)).
4th What is the elevation of the shelter above the roof or ground.
5th Is the shelter supported on 4 posts.
6th Will it not be practicable to have such shelter removed to some open (unreadable) piece of added ground, where the air can circulate freely through it; having the instruments in the shelter face the North, The bottom of the shelter to be about 4 ½ feet above the ground, which would bring the thermometers to about 5 ½ feet above ground, or at the height of the eye of the observer without the sues of steps or platform.
An early answer is most respectfully asked for from every observer.
Your obedient servant,
James A Barwick Observer Weather Bureau and Director California Weather Service.
Note no questions about asphalt, concrete, and the like since those had not become in common use yet.