From Mike Bastasch at The Daily caller and the “told you so, again, and again” department.
U.K. meteorologists won’t be declaring a June 28 temperature reading as the hottest recorded in Scotland since the early 20th century after discovering a car parked near the weather station may have contaminated the data.
The city of Motherwell, southeast of Glasgow, recorded a record-high temperature of 91.8 degrees on June 28, according to Met Office figures, breaking the previous record of 91.2 degrees set in Greycrook in August 2003.
The record temperature reading even found its way into the Washington Post. The Post’s Capital Weather Gang included Motherwell’s heat in a round-up of record-high temperatures around the world.
“No single record, in isolation, can be attributed to global warming,” the Post reported, trying to link summer weather to global warming. “But collectively, these heat records are consistent with the kind of extremes we expect to see an increase in a warming world.”
However, the Met Office posted a blog post on Thursday noting “subsequent information has cast some doubt on the Motherwell measurement for that day, meaning that we will not be able to accept it as an official new record for Scotland.”
So what happened? It turns out exhaust from a nearby vehicle may have heated up the weather station that reported the record-breaking heat.
“At first review the Motherwell record appeared plausible given the wider conditions on the day and was therefore reported as such. However for all new records we undertake further careful investigation to ensure that the measurement is robust. This investigation includes statistical analysis of the station data, evaluation against neighbouring sites, and in some cases an additional site visit to check for unexpected issues with the instrument enclosure or equipment to ensure the measurement meets our required standards.”
“Unfortunately in this particular instance we have evidence that a stationary vehicle with its engine running was parked too close to the observing enclosure and the Stevenson screen housing the thermometers during the afternoon of 28th June,” the Met Office explained.
“Although the measurement appears plausible given the weather conditions that day we cannot rule out the potential for contamination of the measurement by this non-weather-related factor,” officials wrote.
This is a common problem for weather stations. Many are located in urban areas, especially airports, where they’re susceptible to urban heat islands (UHI) — anomalous warmth present in cities.
In fact, a major study released in 2015 found the majority of weather stations National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) relied on for temperature readings were poorly sited, meaning they were contaminated by artificial heat sources.
“The majority of weather stations used by NOAA to detect climate change temperature signal have been compromised by encroachment of artificial surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and heat sources like air conditioner exhausts,” said Anthony Watts, a seasoned meteorologist and lead author of the study.
Read more at Daily Caller
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to locate the Stevenson Screen, to no avail. It’s somewhere in this complex if the lat/lon is accurate.
Anyone want to have a go?
Paul Homewood suuplied the Lat/Lon which he dug out of the Met Office page.
It’s 55.786, -4.022, which also corresponds with their site:
Nick stokes tries to minimize the importance of this station in comments.
Motherwell is not in any set of stations likely to be homogenised or used for homogenisation. Or used for any major temperature index.
But, the Met Office lists it as a “Manual” climate station: