I wonder how this dedicated weather observer feels about having his readings adjusted by NCDC?

In my travels surveying weather stations around the United States, I met many dedicated observers like this one. It is sad indeed that their painstakingly recorded data by observers like this one gets adjusted by NCDC to give results that aren’t the same as what they observed. I have some comments, data, and photos about the station that follow, but let me say to Mr. Hendrickson first; thank you sincerely for your service and dedication.

Richard G. Hendrickson taking weather observations at his farm in Bridgehampton, New York. Photo: NOAA, 2008.NOAA honors New York farmer for 84 years of service as volunteer weather observer (press release)

When Richard G. Hendrickson (seen at right) logged his first weather observation for the U.S. Weather Bureau, the precursor to NOAA’s National Weather Service, Herbert Hoover occupied the White House. Since then the Bridgehampton, New York, farmer has filed twice daily reports, tallying more than 150,000 individual weather observations – playing a critical role in building our nation’s climate history.

As part of the National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program, Hendrickson collects data from the weather observing station on his farm and calls in his observations – temperature, precipitation, wind and any other significant weather factors – to the weather service.

On July 27, Hendrickson, age 101, will receive an award for his long standing service – 84 years – to the nation. Since Hendrickson is first in the history of the program to serve for more than eight decades, the new 80-year service award will be named in his honor.

“Volunteer observers are the bedrock of weather data collection,” said I. Ross Dickman, meteorologist-in-charge of the New York weather forecast office. “Richard has contributed thousands of weather measurements to build the climate record for Long Island, and after 84 years, holds the title of the nation’s longest-serving volunteer weather observer. With this award, we honor Richard for his selfless dedication to his community and the country.”

Hendrickson started volunteering as a weather observer when he was 18 years old. His lifelong commitment stems from personal interest in weather and a sense of patriotism. “I enjoy observing the weather, it’s what I do for my country,” he said.

Hendrickson’s enthusiasm for weather extends beyond collecting data. In 1996 he authored, Winds of the Fish’s Tail, which highlights his years of observing the weather on Long Island’s east end. Hendrickson also writes a column on weather that is published in two eastern Long Island newspapers.

The award presentation will take place before an open house at the weather forecast office in Upton, New York. Throughout the day; residents are invited to tour the forecast operations floor, meet meteorologists and learn how forecasters track storms and issue warnings. The open house is an opportunity for the public to learn how to become weather-ready, become a storm spotter and see a weather balloon launch.


Sunday, July 27, 9:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. EDT

New York Weather Forecast Office

175 Brookhaven Avenue, Upton, NY 11973

NOTE: Media must register with Tim Morrin to attend the ceremony, 631-924-0227

The National Weather Service’s Cooperative Observer Program has given scientists and researchers continuous observational data since the program’s inception more than a century ago. Today, over 8,700 volunteer observers participate in the nationwide program to provide daily reports on temperature, precipitation, and other weather factors such as snow depth, river levels and soil temperature. Long and continuous weather records provide an accurate picture of a locale’s normal weather and give climatologists a basis for predicting future trends. These data are invaluable for scientists studying floods, droughts, and heat and cold waves.

The first extensive network of cooperative stations was set up in the 1890s as a result of a Congressional Act that established the U.S. Weather Bureau. Many historic figures maintained weather records, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson maintained an almost unbroken record of weather observations between 1776 and 1816, and Washington took weather observations just a few days before he died.

The National Weather Service New York forecast office located in Upton, New York, is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for about 18.6 million people in southeast New York, northeast New Jersey and southern Connecticut. Visit us at weather.gov/nyc and join us on Facebook and Twitter. For more on how to become weather-ready, visit Weather-Ready Nation.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.


First a look at the station itself from above. The coordinates are the ones given in NCDC’s HOMR metadata.


The Stevenson Screen (white box between the row of trees and the house) is about 25 feet from the asphalt driveway, would would make it a Class 4 station, unacceptably sited:

Climate Reference Network Rating Guide – adopted from NCDC Climate Reference Network Handbook, 2002, specifications for siting (section 2.2.1) of NOAA’s new Climate Reference Network:

Class 1 (CRN1)- Flat and horizontal ground surrounded by a clear surface with a slope below 1/3 (<19deg). Grass/low vegetation ground cover <10 centimeters high. Sensors located at least 100 meters from artificial heating or reflecting surfaces, such as buildings, concrete surfaces, and parking lots. Far from large bodies of water, except if it is representative of the area, and then located at least 100 meters away. No shading when the sun elevation >3 degrees.

Class 2 (CRN2) – Same as Class 1 with the following differences. Surrounding Vegetation <25 centimeters. No artificial heating sources within 30m. No shading for a sun elevation >5deg.

Class 3 (CRN3) (error >=1C) – Same as Class 2, except no artificial heating sources within 10 meters.

Class 4 (CRN4) (error >= 2C) – Artificial heating sources <10 meters.

Class 5 (CRN5) (error >= 5C) – Temperature sensor located next to/above an artificial heating source, such a building, roof top, parking lot, or concrete surface.”

That’s not the fault of the observer, Mr. Hendrickson is working with what he has. NOAA/NWS actually installed and placed the station, and is responsible for its maintenance. The station is also boxed in by vegetation on three sides, along with the house for the fourth side, making it warmer than it should be due to wind inhibition.

What is even more interesting though is what happened to the data in 2012, according to this plot from NASA GISS of the station, there was quite a spike.


Yet amazingly, even though Mr. Hendrickson has been dutifully reporting the daily data, and it is up to date, as seen in his May report below…


…NASA GISS run by Gavin Schmidt, can’t seem to find the time to get their data set current for Bridgehampton, as seen here, only going to 2012. You’d think Gavin could tear himself away from Twitter long enough to at least get the data updated, especially since this man is so dedicated to the task.

More on all this in a later post.

UPDATE: 7/24/14 9AM I sent a Tweet yesterday to Gavin asking why Bridgehamptoon has not been updated at GISS since 2012, and as far as I know there has been no response.

Nick Stokes in comments thought that the lack of GISS updating was a GHCN problem, not a GISS problem.

I also asked the BEST team (who also use GHCN) and Zeke Hausfather responded almost immediately:

Looks up to date to me, as a file was just compiled this morning and is available up on the FTP site: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v3/ . I believe they have a system that automatically compiles it daily.

Here is a chart of station observations in GHCN by month from today’s file. There are 2297 stations reporting so far for June 2014 (none for July, obviously, since its not over yet). If you check GHCN-daily instead of GHCN-monthly, you will find much more data from last month.


My thanks to Zeke for that.

Also of interest are these notes in the status file for GHCN:

GHCNM, V3, status file (users can use this file to determine overall current status, including information related to previous changes and errata). ******************************************************************************** 07/14/2014 On or around 06/06/2014, there was an ingest problem with the “C” source data, (unpublished MCDW), and this caused a signficant reduction of data from that source. However, much of the data were still available through an alternate source (UK Met Office, “K” source flag). The ingest problem was resolved on 07/10/2014, and the expected frequency of “C” source data was restored. ******************************************************************************** 10/17/2013 Government operations have been restored, and regular monitoring of GHCN-Monthly will now resume. During the shutdown of government operations, some ingest of recent international data were not received. These data should be restored with the next processing cycle (e.g. 10/18/2013). ******************************************************************************** 10/01/2013 During the shutdown of government operations, GHCN-Monthly will continue to update automatically, but will not be monitored by the GHCN-Monthly team. We will also be unable to answer questions submitted to NCDC.GHCNM@noaa.gov until after government operations resume. ********************************************************************************

GHCN even continued to update during the “government shutdown” last year, and there is no note indicating late data for all of 2013.

So much for the Nick Stokes theory as to why GISS has not updated Bridgehampton. Now it’s back to Gavin and GISS.

I’m time limited for the next two days, so my promised update won’t happen until this weekend. Tony Heller has done some work in the meantime worth looking at here: http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/more-from-bridgehampton-ny/

The graph of adjustments show Bridgehampton’s data has been dramatically cooled in the past by as much as 1.5°F:

ScreenHunter_1270 Jul. 23 22.00

I have not double checked the graph above, but the spike at Bridgehampton in 2012 seems spurious, as I originally noted.

More on all this Saturday or Sunday when time permits.


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So, what does a plot of the raw data look like?


Presumably the trees and the house have been there for a while, so even though the siting is not great, the results should be consistent.


Hats off, a crisp salute, and a firm handshake to Mr Hendrickson!!! Having done what he did (at a Class 5 station no less) for just a short while, I can be appropriately awed by his dedication.
Tenacity is a wondrous thing!!!


More on all this in a later post….
Please don’t tell me this man has been doing this fo 84 years….and they’ve been infilling his data

Mac the Knife

‘Hats Off!’ to Mr. Hendrickson, a man of dedication, integrity, and self respect.
‘Old School’, indeed!


I never get tired of this quote:
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”


Hats off to Mr. Richard G. Hendrickson.
Tremendous amount of dedication exhibiting the American spirit.


“NASA GISS run by Gavin Schmidt, can’t seem to find the time to get their data set current for Bridgehampton, as seen here, only going to 2012. ”
when I click on the link,
I get this : Not found.
I hope you archived the page

Does he still have the raw data from when he started? That’s what I’d be most interested in, since changes have been made…


USHCN includes this station to the present day. May 2014 has an average temp of 14.41C in the USHCN “data”, which converts to about 57.9F. The average posted in your graphic….57.5F. Go figure…

So he started recording temperatures in 1931 – I’d love to see those records.

John Slayton

Last link doesn’t work for me.

THe stench of the adjustment algorithms continues to increase.


You can find month and annual averages here if it is accesible from non-government websites: http://xmacis.nrcc.cornell.edu/OKX/ and look for Bridgehampton. 2012 was very warm especially July, but 2013 turned out only 0.1 above the stations historical average. 2014 is not complete, but if the rest of the year is just average, the annual temperature average will end up well below the historical average.
REPLY: That’s a link with ACCESS DENIED attached – Anthony

David Ball

Thank you for your dedication, Mr. Hendrickson.

John in Oz

The graph looks fairly flat, possibly even a slight downward trend, until about 1970 and then starts a steady upwards climb.
It would be interesting to see what changes were made to the local environment since that time.
When was the asphalt driveway put in?
When were the screening trees planted?
What are the adjustments over the reporting period?
Hopefully Anthony’s “More on all this….” will explain.


That is an inspirational record of service Mr. Hendrickson; and for all its shortcomings, our temperature records are phenomenal. They are easily obtained online so we can examine them, discuss them and even make withering criticism with no fear of reprisal. We live in a great country. We need to keep it great. Mr. Hendrickson certainly has done his part!

Bob Koss

GISS supposedly uses the adjusted GHCN data. While the raw data file is fully up to date in GHCN, their adjusted file shows no readings past September 2012. They don’t even include a line in the file for the years 2013-2014. None of the raw data is flagged as erroneous, so I see no reason for leaving the adjusted data incomplete. They have done the same thing to many stations. One would think they’d leave some indication if they found defects while making the adjustments.
The GISS data page isn’t available unless the graphic has been recently called up. It is only temporarily generated and available for a limited period of time.

David Ball

Data collection is an issue. Recent “adjustments” are made in the wrong direction. But what do I know?

Rud Istvan

Double kudos. To farmer Hendrickson for his awesome persistance. To AW for ferreting it out.
And double negatives to Gavin and gang for not even bothering to keep his records up to date.
But then, Gavin, you probably thought your feeble efforts were good enough for government work.
The OBummer part is, they were. Which is why in the real world you would have been fired long ago, and looking for minimum wage jobs requiring no skills. Since you evidently have none.
Now I finally understand why OBummer wants to raise the minimum wage even if it increases unemployment. He wants to protect his borgs, like anyone associated with this embarrassment.

As Bob Koss says above, this isn’t a GISS issue. They use only GHCN adjusted data. Here is the GHCN page for Bridgehampton. As you can see, they have unadjusted data up to date, but adjusted only to September 2012. Evidently something has been blocking the adjustment algorithm.

Actually if GISS were on the ball they’d be asking why the GHCN data isn’t updated yet, but…they don’t. At one time GISS imported USHCN and GHCN separately IIRC.
In any event, just one more indication that the surface temperature record is a mess – Anthony

Gunga Din

Thank you, Mr. Hendrickson, for what you’ve done and do and why you do it.

This is a link to the record (text). it seems the 12 is now a 14. The record only goes through 2012
And this is the link to the graph:

Seems the trend for raw data is about 0.4C, after adjustment…about 1.7 C

…referring to warming trend on GHCN page for Bridgehampton

…sorry that should be about 0.8C for raw data!

Mike McMillan

Nick Stokes says: July 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm
…. As you can see, they have unadjusted data up to date, but adjusted only to September 2012. Evidently something has been blocking the adjustment algorithm.

A well earned thank you and a hat tip to Mr Hendrickson.

If Mr. Hendrickson took a reading twice a day, without missing a single one as he claims, then why are there so many 999.9 entries for the whole month?
year 999.9’s
1939 11
1940 8
1949 4
1950 12
1951 4
1985 1
1989 1
2002 11
2003 10
2012 3
The record stops in December 2012


Anthony, try this link instead:
Under station selection, choose OKX, then under station choose bridgehampton and then select variables of interest

Ed, Mr. Jones

Maybe WUWT should start an annual award for dedication to Climate Science Integrity named in honor, “The Hendrickson Award”.
What say yous?


If only he had known that in 2014 there would be computer models that could generate all the data we need he could have saved himself a lot of bother…

Rob Dawg

Eighty fours years? Why back in the 1990s it was only 70 something years. I see a trend. And kudos to farmer Hendrickson.


Nick Stokes,
your link, ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v3/products/stnplots/4/42500300889.gif ,
shows that the pre-1980 recorded observations have been adjusted to colder temperatures, and the post-1980 recorded observations have been adjusted to warmer temperatures.
These have been observed and recorded by the same observer for the last 80 years!
What evidence about this observation site or what evidence about this observer requires these changes of the recorded data? Specifically.


Nick Stokes,
Absent any location or observer specific reasons for the GHCN adjustment of the recorded data from this observation site, the GHCN adjustments are just destruction of observation data.


Destruction of recorded data, or ‘constructive alteration’ of recorded data; it is the same thing. Deception.

jim says: July 23, 2014 at 9:08 pm
“Absent any location or observer specific reasons for the GHCN adjustment of the recorded data from this observation site, the GHCN adjustments are just destruction of observation data.”

Why not try to find out, then?
The first thing you’ll find is that data is undestroyed. In fact, it is graphed in the page you refer to, which shows what is on the unadjusted file. And as the head post indicates, you can get the original docs on line.
But in fact if you look at the adjustment history, there is just one sustained change in the early 1980’s. And sure enough, the metadata tells you there was a station move around that time.

Bob Koss

Dennis Kuzara,
Those missing months of data are due to the adjustment algorithm GHCN employs. In the unadjusted(raw) file his record is perfect since 1931. No missing months.


Alan says:
July 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm
“Presumably the trees and the house have been there for a while, so even though the siting is not great, the results should be consistent.”
Trees and vegetation grow, air conditioners became more common, regional climate conditions could have changed…there is no such thing as stasis. It would be interesting to see pictures of the area from past years. Looking at the chart I would expect that a degree increase would reflect these changes since the 60s, and would have nothing to do with an increase due to AGW.

Jack Hydrazine

“The Stevenson Screen (white box between the row of trees and the house) is about 25 feet from the asphalt driveway, would would make it a Class 4 station, unacceptably sited:”
I remember visiting the campus of the University of Oklahoma one time way back around 1989 and quite distinctly remember seeing their weather observing station on the grounds. It was within 10 or 20 meters of a building which I believe might have housed the meteorology department there. This would make it a Class 4 station. It’s possible that the station might have been relocated since that time to a place that meets their guidelines a little closer.

Bill Illis

It bugs me that they seem to have no fear. That they can just keep doing what they are doing and there won’t be any repercussions. Some day this has to change.
From the NCDC current monthly global surface temperature record here (not advertised but I thought some might want to know where the NCDC monthly anomalies are now saved – in the 1971-2000 base period versus the 1901-2000 or the 1981-2010 base period they commonly quote from).
To the archived data only going back to September 2011 (all other copies on the internet have been deleted).
They have added about 0.08C to the trend. In just 2.5 years. And they started on the adjustment path about 1989, 25 years ago. 2.5 years = 0.08C, 25 years = ?.
The co-op volunteers and the regular observers have been betrayed.


Nick Stokes,
You should be proud of the work that you have done and all that you have written about climate, on the internet.
So if some guy called Rick Rokes comes alone in the future, and says “The internet made a mistake, some letters were observed incorrectly, so when the letters “Nick Stokes” were recorded on the internet, those recorded letters were actually systemic erroneous observations of the letters “Rick Rokes”.
So,in remedy of that systematic error, hence forth in all of the internet where the letters “Nick Stokes” are recorded, those letters will be changed to “Rick Rokes”. So the past will be correctly recorded for the future internet users. Past observations need to be corrected for comparison to the measure stick of the future present. GHCN style.


Nick, please forget the cant that I posted last. Sorry. I went over the top, it’s not personal…
Metadata. Station move. That lowers past temperature observations how or why? Site specifically.


Site move can lower or raise corrections of the observational record. Why does the “station move” indicate that this observational record should be corrected to higher ‘observed’ temperatures? What specifically happened?
Do you know (can you explain) anything more specific than some BEST style jackknife algorithm?
I’ll take back everything that I wrote, if you can specifically show the quantified reason for the adjustment.


Saying to me, “Why not try to find out, then?”, is lame, when your link,
doesn’t say anything significant about the reason for the correction. Smoke.

Mr. Hendrickson is quoted saying, “We have polluted the stratosphere and because of that we have had warmer weather in the summer and milder weather in the winter and the potential of having heavy precipitation in the summer time increases– if not more rains, maybe they will be a little heavier than they have been in the past – you’ll notice your basement floods a little easier, your roof might leak a bit. We are in a period in the cycle of global warming. We have polluted our stratosphere with our big factories and it will happen.”
NOAA says Mr. Hendrickson’s Bridgehampton weather station observation times weren’t recorded until the late 1940s. Then up until May 2008, the observations were taken at 8:00 pm. From then till now they were taken at 8:00 am. Mr. Hendrickson probably would not mind the data being adjusted to allow for the change in time of observation.


Arctic ocean temperature anomalies indicate that this year winter ice growth will be large.


Back in 1995 I was asked by specialists who had actual reading for large area of Sweden to forward those to scientists at Tema, Linköpings University. Those so called scientists told me they didn’t need correct readings – it was easier to interpolate and/or extrapolate in computers……


@ Avery Harden:
You got a link for that quote ?, or did I miss it.


It is not obvious from your link that there was an actual change of the station location. The measurement of the station’s location changed. Can we ask the hundred year old gentleman to find the facts of any station relocation? (Before you put me down, did you know the actual locations of the station? Do you know it/them now? I don’t. So you’re right, if it did move, and if the move changed the observational temperatures that were measured.)

jim says: July 23, 2014 at 10:42 pm
“Site move can lower or raise corrections of the observational record. Why does the “station move” indicate that this observational record should be corrected to higher ‘observed’ temperatures? What specifically happened?”

According to the location history, on 17 July 1985, the station moved 0.1 miles N. According to the equipment history, on the same day an MMTS system was installed. According to another note I saw, the CRS system was kept as a backup.
The change to MMTS itself requires an adjustment, which usually has warming effect. As to the relocation, it seems that the MMTS is further from the asphalt mentioned in the head post as a warming factor. If that is important, it means that the older readings were warmer than they should have been, relative to later.
But as I said, you could try to find some of this out yourself.