I sent this last Tuesday, I have not seen a response from either individual listed here as press contacts at the press release for the 100th anniversary of the hottest temperature ever. Perhaps the questions are just too difficult. – Anthony
From: Anthony Watts
Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 8:10 AM
Subject: Death Valley 134 Celebration
I’ll be covering this event. I have some important questions that I’d like to ask.
1. Do you have press passes available?
2. Why did NOAA decommission the MMTS electronic sensor near the front of the Visitor Center last year and go back to using the mercury thermometer in the Stevenson Screen? What was the impetus? Am I correct in noting that the MMTS thermometer was in use for over a decade prior to last year?
3. When was the last time the Stevenson Screen received maintenance for paint? When I was last there, the screen looked quite chipped/peeling and had some darkened wood from aging. Is it painted with latex paint or the traditional lime based whitewash paint which was the standard in 1913 for all USWB Stevenson Screens?
4. Why does the NPS maintain the electronic sign that shows erroneous readings, such as what was highlighted in an LA Times story during the recent temperature spike?
It appears the reading comes from the non-official weather station mounted at just above roof level near the front wall of the visitor center. Is that the source?
5. Who is responsible for the weather station at Badwater basin near the turn-off/parking area and where is the data from it collected? Is the data available? In your press release you indicate that the 1913 Greenland Ranch reading is “…the highest reliably recorded air temperature on Earth. “. If Badwater basin station were to exceed the 1913 reading, would it be considered reliably recorded? It seems to be near state of the art equipment.
6. How often is the mercury thermometer in the Stevenson Screen at NPS Visitor Center checked for calibration? From the photo recently posted by NPS showing the 128F reading, it appears to be well aged. What is the age of that thermometer? Has it ever been tested by NIST or similar entity?
7. Is there any sort of backup or reference thermometer in place inside the Stevenson Screen?
8. Do you have a location (lat/lon) for the 1913 location of the station in Greenland Ranch? What date was the Greenland Ranch station decommissioned, and were there other intermediate locations before the station resided behind the NPS visitor center?
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to the event.