Fun puzzle: Name these official stations

Here’s a fun little puzzle for you, two older station siting photographs from former California State Climatologist, Jim Goodridge, circa the 1980’s. I had Jim find these because I was recently interviewed for a national network newscast, and when I told the story of them, the reporter wanted these photos. Jim found them attached on an old paper presented at a climate conference, which I hope to share here soon after I get it scanned in.

One is a place of Science, one is place of Transportation, both in California.

Answers tomorrow

UPDATE: Answers here –

61 thoughts on “Fun puzzle: Name these official stations

  1. Of course the second one can’t be Furnace Creek, in Death Valley, so perhaps Incinerator Creek?

  2. The GOD of BBQ! I thought he was only a myth!!!! This must be a photo of the Basilica. No wonder all other BBQ’s seek to sit next to a Stevenson’s Screen.

  3. Pamela, are you sure that’s not the Forest Service’s new bear-proof rain gauge?
    (I wanna know when the interview gets aired….)

  4. It’s a good thing outdoor burners are not legal anymore, but what a step in temperatures that #2 site must have provided. Just the heat reflecting and wafting off the enclosure must still affect the readings should that abomination still be in the system.

  5. The top one is definitely not Mt. Wilson. I have old pictures of it before it was moved to the Post Office roof. Bottom one appears to be in a snow region so I will guess Twin Lakes Cal Trans Station.

  6. The second photo looks like Interstate 80 between Donner Pass and Auburn, Possibly behind the Caltrans substation, halfway down the grade.

  7. Both locations looks ‘mountainous’ to me because of the pine trees.
    For the ‘scientific’ location, Mt. Wilson seemed a bit to obvious, so I’ll guess Palomar Mountain (where the 200 inch telescope is . . ).
    As for the ‘transportation’ location, I’ll go way out there and guess Mammoth Lakes, where the ski lifts provide ‘transportation’ to the top of Mammoth Mountain.
    FYI I grew up in So. Cal., in La Crescenta, been to Mt. Wilson a few times, never to Palomar, and LOVED skiing in Mammoth ( I remember when lifts tickets there were $11 – and after graduation from high school, went skiing in June, lift tickets were only $8 because less than 1/2 the lifts open ! ). Aaaahh, the memories. . . .
    I’ll leave other to guess what year that might have been . . .! 🙂 .

  8. It’s been a long time, but the top one might be Mt. Hamilton, Lick Observatory. That might be the astronomer’s dormatory behind the car. Yikes, 25 years since I’ve been there.

  9. I put the second pic through Google Image search, which was remarkably disappointing. Apparently it keyed in on the red and brown tones, noticed the vertical and angled lines, and looked for the colors and straight lines. Per the suggestion, I put in “weather station” as a description. Not exactly an improvement. First pic wasn’t any better.
    But it did find some cute pics of a Rare Mid Victorian Weather Station. Note the middle section with the high/low and dry/wet bulb thermometers. Is this the same “cutting edge technology” they were using for measurements before the electronic age, and for some time later, maybe even today in some places?

  10. My guess on the location of picture # 2 is around the Donner Pass area. And the large rusty apparatus is a Trenbertherator, where all the missing heat is stored.

  11. I’m tempted to guess either Mt. Shasta or Crater Lake for the first one, even though I have never been to California. The car park space is big enough to solicit the touristy feel that would be reasonable for either.

  12. Ok, I think I have identified photo one, and I was wrong with my first guess. I went over to surfacestations and prowled around. One looks like Chula Vista Fire Station.

  13. If all the old stations were next to incinerators, do the BEST team have to adjust all pre-1980 measurements down to compare with modern siting standards?
    I’m sure Mosh could tell us 😉

  14. That incinertor is obviously there so the guy reading the thermometer doesn’t get cold hands can still write down the reading.

  15. So what’s the problem ? These are well within the normal expectations of temp station siting, aren’t they ?

  16. While looking around with Google Images for “california coop weather stations”, I eventually came across this old Climate Audit post by Anthony Watts:

    This picture below comes to me via volunteer Kristen Byrnes, a 15 year old budding scientist that has created a bit of a stir with her critique of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Her website,”Ponder the Maunder” also has more photos of weather stations.

    “Ponder the Maunder” link goes 403 “Forbidden”.
    Has the Skeptic Site Silencer virus struck again?

  17. But as they are obviously both rural sites there cannot possibly be any UHI to worry about.
    On a related topic, I was having trouble explaining TOBs adjustments to a friend as I couldn’t see what difference is made to the trend by what time you read a Max/Min thermometer. Is there an idiots guide in the archive you could point me to?

  18. I just KNOW that Hansen will have implemented an alogorithm to re adjust any adverse effect of the non incinerator site.

  19. So from stations like these BEST can draw a trend of .58 +_ 0.094 deg C per century.
    It’s a good job this isn’t real :

    He’d never get out of California….

  20. Re previous post:
    Youngest Wayback Machine capture from 4/28/2011 looks like the 1/26/2011 one and is similar to those in 2008. Webmaster note says after Kristen Byrnes was mentioned in an April 2008 NPR story, her site was overloaded and shut down. So her work was moved to the “Global Warming Hoax” site. A few clicks later, here’s the index. Unfortunately, the “Follies in Global Warming Measuring” series, which would have the pics, is 404, as well as her definitive groundbreaking “Ponder the Maunder” essay. Good news, her famous debunking of An Inconvenient Truth is there, as well as an expose of Jimmy Hansen.
    However the Wayback Machine does have some of that lost content from Global Warming Hoax.
    Ponder the Maunder essay (painfully partial)
    Follies in Measuring Global Warming (first page “intro” only, no pics)
    Follies in Measuring Global Warming II: New England Colleges (one page, complete)
    Follies in Measuring Global Warming III: Hansen’s Lights = 0 Temperature Stations In New England (complete)
    Follies in Measuring Global Warming IV: Competence (Note: by the text there is one pic missing, which seems to be the one of the Eastport Maine station used at the end of Anthony’s Climate Audit post, so I’ll call it complete.)
    Good reading, what’s there, grateful for it. I would however like to know where the missing stuff can be found.

  21. The penultimate benefit of P-Books is that inconvenient truths cannot be easily disappeared. The attempts of previous tyrannies still echo down the corridors of history. See Fahrenheit 451. Use e-communications advisedly with caution and understanding.

  22. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 16, 2012 at 12:56 am

    This picture below comes to me via volunteer Kristen Byrnes, a 15 year old budding scientist that has created a bit of a stir with her critique of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Her website,”Ponder the Maunder” also has more photos of weather stations.
    “Ponder the Maunder” link goes 403 “Forbidden”.

    Kristen was a very enthusiastic and very sharp kid from Maine who garnered a fair amount of attention whith her skeptical view. She was very active when the SurfaceStations project started and I noticed in the acknowledgments in Anthony’s new paper that he included Kirsten, a nice touch.
    OTOH, I had gone off and printed maps for all the USHCN stations in NH and was going to record them all. That little twirp went off and got to all of them before I did. Grr. 🙂 I did get photos of the station in Durham.
    She evenually left the the skeptics community for other interests, and I have no idea what she’s up to now, but I’m sure it’s good stuff. I expect her to appear in some venue any month now.

  23. Well I’ll be… So Big Climate thought they’d better knock up an original Stevenson Screen to put us off the trail but they thought it was named after Robert Louis.
    It figures, but unfortunately if we stick the thermometer back in in its rightful box they’ll simply adjust the temp record to their nearest hysterical one.

  24. It should be obvious to any of you who have had design experience that the ladder rungs had an icing issue.

  25. Grant says:
    August 16, 2012 at 6:57 am
    > … the ladder rungs had an icing issue.
    In the second photo? I expected to see dents from being bashed with a hammer. I note things aren’t quite square, but that could be a ladder meant to fold up by having the rungs pivot. Would be awful on a long ladder, but for the application at hand okay.
    I think that’s a Taylor Max/Min thermometer in the enclosure, nice little thermometer with scales that can be repositioned, but not really “pro” quality.
    I have one that’s at least 30 years old. They’re still available, I believe. I found what might be the exact replacement magnets at Radio Shack.

  26. OT
    Tesla’s Lab and 6.4 hectares of land at Wardenclyffe in Shoreham, NY is for sale again at price US $1.6million. New York is contributing 850,000 in order to be restored as Tesla’s museum.
    An appeal by WUWT would raise a bit extra, and I would be willing to contribute and hopefully visit some day.
    Currently it is just a building full of junk

    but miracles do happen, there are few more deserving scientists than Nikola Tesla.

  27. The first one is clearly a mountain top somewhere in South California. Possibly Palomar or one of the peaks in the area. The top one appears to be high mountain location. I think I’ve actually seen that shed but I can’t remember if it is on 80, or 70 after you pass Quincy and head back south east.

  28. That second one… oh man, that looks like the screen is in danger of catching fire!!! I wonder if it has scorch marks on that side?
    Now, why doesn’t someone just cut out the middleman and sell BBQ’s and incinerators with built-in weather stations!?!?!? It’s obviously where the trend is heading.
    BTW, I’m thinking of volunteering my home as a site for a weather station. I think a Stevenson screen would look rather nice in my living room.

  29. If the overnight low averages are declining, and the day temps have risen, now we no why. 🙂
    Never been to any of those locations, but will say the first is south of the second, which is more easterly.

  30. Classic.
    So if somebody can find a picture of one next to the liquid nitrogen storage tanks some-place, will it all ‘average-out’?

  31. dp says:
    August 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm
    It’s a good thing outdoor burners are not legal anymore, but what a step in temperatures that #2 site must have provided. Just the heat reflecting and wafting off the enclosure must still affect the readings should that abomination still be in the system.

    Perhaps not in California, but you’d be surprised how much of “red” America still disposes of combustible trash by burning it “out back”.

  32. Somewhat OT, but not sure where else to ask: How can you tell if you have a station nearby? I pass by something that may or may not be one on my daily commute. Is there one anywhere near the town of Clayton, NC?

  33. Wow. I’ve spent the last couple of hours reading all the Kristen Byrnes stuff and I’m reeling from shock. At age 15 she could without bias be called a child and yet she displays maturity found in few adults. My guide to avoiding sexist language says that a 15 year old female still at school may safely be called a girl. Gasp, choke! My male ego has taken a bashing and may never recover.

  34. Hoser said:
    “It’s been a long time, but the top one might be Mt. Hamilton, Lick Observatory. That might be the astronomer’s dormatory behind the car. Yikes, 25 years since I’ve been there.”
    I’ll join Hoser and cast a sentimental vote for Mt. Hamilton. And I haven’t been there for 38 years! (Rode my bicycle from Sunnyvale.) Current photos show some red tile roofed buildings.

  35. These pictures are surely not real are they? Even the most bone headed, single brain cell, numbscull taking the readings would realise that his recordings would be a load of bollocks. I never cease to be amazed about how bad these stations are. I used to visit my local airport (Elmdon, Birmingham, UK) with my Dad in the 50’s to see one of the two or three Douglas Dakotas arrive – great excitement! Now Birmingham International has acres of concrete and many flights a day – I hope it’s temperature recordings are not used in the dataset!

  36. @Grimwig says: “These pictures are surely not real are they?”
    Here’s a quotation I used to include in my Intro Stats exams:

    The government are very keen on amassing statistics. They collect them, add
    them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful
    diagrams. But you must never forget that every one of these figures comes in
    the first instance from the village watchman, who just puts down what he
    gosh darn pleases.

    — Anonymous English Judge quoted by Sir Josiah Stamp in Some Economic
    Matters in Modern Life

  37. . .Update from my post at 9:58 pm last night – instead of Mammoth mountain for the ‘transportation’ location, how about rest area (either 79 or 80 depending on eastbound or westbound) on i-80 at Donner summit . . ?

  38. This is a trick question.
    These could be ‘weather stations’ anywhere in the world and Anthony is giving some misdirection that they are in California.
    Also, why are so many surprised at the state of these examples. MOST of them are in similar states of disrepair, inappropriate siting, etc, as detailed in Anthony’s original survey.

    • @John Trigge (in Oz) No, all is California, and the answer is revealed in 1 hour on the main page. But there’s more than just pictures, there’s a whole paper behind it

  39. From Doug Huffman on August 16, 2012 at 7:51 am:

    Heh. My college learning experience was Ingest, Regurgitate, Pass. Digest and Absorb, not so much. As I noticed with myself and others, after about six months or so of not dealing with a specific topic, sometimes a lot less, what you do remember is where to find the info you need in your old textbook.
    So 5-10 years or more down the road, will these ex-students pull out their old e-book readers from a storage box and expect to find their old textbooks waiting for them? Or as they get newer models, will they always dutifully transfer their books to the new devices (when possible)… until they find their formats are obsoleted and unreadable?

  40. strikerga said on August 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm:

    a little off topic, but is there a place I can download the raw GHCN data? The GISS stie at only seems to have the “adjusted” data, fancy that. I would like to do a comparison of the two. Does Anthony’s site (or anywhere else) have a database of the raw vs. adjusted data?

    Try here:
    Then comes the old question, “How raw is raw?”
    Also look at the ftp directory:
    The “all” file is very big, about 2.3 gigabytes. Hope your system can work with files that large.

  41. @strikerga says: “a little off topic, but is there a place I can download the raw GHCN data?”
    For an analysis of GHCNv2 adjustment patterns see Would you like yours well adjusted?. You might also find What’s up with adjusted mean temperatures in the GHCN? and Where on earth do GHCNv2 data come from? useful.
    Note that “raw” data is a rare beast. By the time the data come in to the GHCN, they may have been adjusted by reporting agencies etc. You can get the GHCNv3 monthly files from
    In addition, I once plotted adjusted versus unadjusted GHCNv2 for each station. You can find those graphs at . Scroll down to contents, and drill down into regions, countries and individual stations. Individual station pages have links to GISS graphs and Google maps. For example, here is Eureka, CA.
    — Sinan

  42. @unar and Ladakh
    Thanks for the info. Has anyone tried posting this in a more readable form with some graphing capabilities to compare raw vs. adjusted on a site and regional level. I know GISS should do this but they seem to have an interest in restricting access. Whenever this topic comes up warmists always only refer to adjusted data and dismiss any flaws in adjustment methodology and they have been trained to dismiss sources like this that point out inconsistencies. Would be nice to see raw data, adjusted data and the quality of the station as determined by Anthony’s surface stations project in one easy to use interface. Would make a convincing argument to those still with an open mind. As I’ve said they have been trained to dismiss info presented here out of hand. Doing this would highlight the open nature of contributors here and serve as a nice contrast to the select few who seem determined to make access as difficult as possible, but still drive the discussions in the mainstream press.

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