Laughable weather station maintenance causes highest ever temperature record in Spain

h/t to Dr. Ryan Maue

In Spain, Paco Eslava García has been following my lead on the poor quality of weather stations that produce record-high temperatures. I recently pointed out how the tentative all time high temperature in Africa could very well be due to being at an airport. I also pointed out that high temperature records in the Los Angeles area could be a product of poor siting. Such as this station on the roof of the Santa Ana fire station:

My study at AGU looked at how hundreds of such poorly sited stations are increasing the temperature trend of the United States.

But what Paco has found in Spain is truly laughable.

Here’s his Tweet showing why:


This is the meteorological station, which has the highest temperature record in Spain, is located in the municipal district of Montoro… maybe a little maintenance would not hurt!

What Paco is speaking of is the Stevenson Screen. The box with slats to allow airflow. That’s where the thermometer is located. It’s supposed to be white, to minimize the solar heating effect. But as you can see, it’s not white at all, it’s brown due to lack of paint, which seems to have worn off:

It also appears that the front door of the screen may be missing. The vegetation is too high near it, blocking wind, and there’s a large concrete structure nearby.

Paco adds this photo, where you can see the station in the distance just under the word “Vega”:

Here’s the rub as to why this station is a problem.The 2017 heat wave that brought a new all-time high temperature record.

Spain records hottest day at 47.3C (117F)

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Then the following afternoon, it was even hotter with Montoro setting a new national record of 47.3C surpassing the 1990 record of 47.2C. Cordoba also set a new all-time record with a high of 46.9C while Madrid set a new July record with 40.2C.

I wonder if the State Meteorological Service of Spain (AEMET) bothered to go look at the weather station at Montoro before they verified that all-time high record. Probably not. That’s an embarrassing failure of science either way.

Fortunately, it doesn’t appear that this station is part of GHCN, so it doesn’t make it into temperature trends. But it does make it into climatic citations for all-time-records, and plenty of headlines. That’s still unacceptable.

Surface albedo matters when it comes to high temperatures, and a Stevenson screen that has lost it’s paint and exposes darkened wood absorbs more incoming solar radiation during the day, making the interior warmer than it should be.

But hey, let’s just call it “climate change” and nod to the consensus, as AEMET apparently did.

A friend of Paco,  has found some other issues. He writes (translated):

Here you can see three central AEMet stations. The first manual, the second with two wind towers in the front of the building and between the Grove and the last, the automatic which is officially used on the terrace.

For example, here’s another Stevenson Screen with a dark roof.

Another freind,  writes of another poorly sited station (also with a dark roof and chipping paint) that set the previous record:

Be cautious about Tmax on some Spain stations in next days. I have doubts about Montoro (p.1) st. Every day is 1-2 °C warmer than other hottest st. in Spain P.2 Murcia Alfonso X measured 47,2 in 1995, BUT…


Measuring temperature in the street, on rooftops, and using poorly maintained equipment is just irresponsible, and isn’t what you’d expect of science. One wonders if AEMET is just lazy, incompetent, or both?



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August 6, 2018 8:27 am

I may be very naive but if there are standards for weather stations why are they not followed and if they fail to conform why are their readings used at all? Back in 70’s I use to pass in-flight weather reports via HF radio as I navigated across the pond. I took great care because that was before the large number of satellites were in place so military planes we a big source of weather data. We took it very serious.

Reply to  Sciwiz
August 6, 2018 9:26 am

The standards aren’t followed because those responsible for following them aren’t held accountable for the lack of maintenance. The readings are used by different people who trust those responsible for maintenance are doing their jobs. It’s a misplaced trust, but even when alerted to the problem, those in charge don’t do anything until publicly embarrassed (even then its usually a cover-up action). It’s a scandal Anthony has publicized many times. The mainstream media ignore it because it throws huge doubt on their alarmist agenda.

Reply to  Gary
August 6, 2018 9:43 am

Reminds me of another poster who has been assuring us that it doesn’t matter if the calibration data is missing, because these guys are professionals and would never neglect maintenance and proper calibration.

Reply to  MarkW
August 7, 2018 12:59 am

One wonders if AEMET is just lazy, incompetent, or both?

Hey , you do realise that this is southern Spain we are discussing, right?

Pablo, that Stevenson screen is looking very shabby, make sure it gets a new coat of lime otherwise our temperature records will not be valid.

Si, si, señor . Mañana mañana .

Reply to  Sciwiz
August 6, 2018 10:54 am

Good data , or ‘useful data ‘ gets used , bad data or useless data gets ‘adjusted ‘ to make it ‘good data ‘
The trick of course is on how you pick what is ‘good ‘ and what is ‘bad ‘ and how that relates to careers, grant funding and invites to events such has the IPCC.
You only have to look at the MET office to see that you need to make the ‘right choice ‘ if you want any career in the area.

Rich Davis
Reply to  knr
August 6, 2018 12:26 pm

Cold data is bad, hot data is good, DUH!

Reply to  Rich Davis
August 6, 2018 3:15 pm

It seems the opposite is true here.

Reply to  RyanS
August 6, 2018 3:38 pm

Accurate data is good here, Griff. After all this time you know this, but choose (are paid) to post nonsense.

Reply to  Sciwiz
August 14, 2018 9:00 am

Why indeed. I see a lot if lazy work pretending to be science to wow the masses with alarm. Sameoldsame old.

Michael Goodman
August 6, 2018 8:39 am

A reading of 140 F some decades ago (which would have been THE world’s record), reported from Delta, Mexico, had to be disqualified because ofa similar question of overexposure to roof radiation!

August 6, 2018 8:41 am

My personal weather station is sited better than these.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  SteveB
August 6, 2018 10:28 am

Why does it look like it is in a bird bath?
Just kidding. Thanks for the view, Steve.
I should do one. We live in a rural setting about 5 miles north of a small airport (KLEN, Ellensburg, WA), so I could site one according to regulations.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
August 6, 2018 11:49 am

Ellensburg (KELN) is an interesting case. The KELN ASOS has been running about +5 to +7 warmer than surrounding sites on sunny afternoons. Here is an example from last week when KELN had 101 F while across the street at C1456 the temperature was 94 F:
comment image
Another ASOS with a warm bias may be Chino CA which recorded 120 F on July 6, 2018. But surrounding sites with Davis Vantage Pros reported highs of 118.6, 114.2, and 117.2.

Reply to  Mark Albright
August 6, 2018 2:10 pm

And it looks like C1426 is either in the lee of something, or its windgage is malfunctioning. It’s 90 degrees off from everything else.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  SteveB
August 7, 2018 1:24 am

looks very modern Steve but surrounded by trees. Don’t they shelter it a little? Shade and or wind

Peter Miller
August 6, 2018 8:43 am

The worst sited one I ever saw in Spain was at Seville airport – sited on tarmac in front of the terminal, bathing in the sun and reflected sun. Also, possibly subject to the occasional jet blast.

Reply to  Peter Miller
August 6, 2018 2:05 pm

The heat in Spain is caused mainly by the plane?

ray boorman
Reply to  Peter Miller
August 6, 2018 4:36 pm

Nothing wrong with that siting, Peter, for the use of it’s data by pilots about to land or take off at Seville.

It is only a problem IF the data is used to further the CAGW scam by being included in official temperature records of organisations such as GISS, or is used to create alarmist headlines in the msm.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  ray boorman
August 7, 2018 1:25 am

as most of those at airports seem to be

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  Stephen Richards
August 7, 2018 5:22 am

What do you mean? Most airport weather monitoring equipment tends to be close to the runway. Who woulda thunk it?

August 6, 2018 8:45 am

The fake heat in Spain is hard to beat, but stays mainly on the paper sheet.

old construction worker
Reply to  beng135
August 6, 2018 8:59 am

fake heat in Spain is hard to beat = Fake News.

Steven Fraser
Reply to  beng135
August 6, 2018 10:54 am

Sung to the Fandango, quite catchy.

August 6, 2018 9:02 am

Every year there will be some temperature records set. Has anyone done the math to figure out how many that would normally be?

For a new station, every maximum and minimum will be a record. There’s a 100% chance of setting records.

For a station that has been in place for 150 years, the chances of setting records is greatly reduced, but not zero. It depends on the system’s signal to noise ratio.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  commieBob
August 6, 2018 10:42 am

A year or 2 or 3 ago Luboš Motl (TRF) had a post about temperature records. The idea was that with a slowly rising or falling temperature — for whatever reason — records would be set in the direction of the change regardless of how small that trend was.
I look at these charts ( Yakima, WA ) and see that in our little corner of the world nothing out of the ordinary is happening. Note that our local atmosphere is part of the global atmosphere.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
August 6, 2018 6:46 pm

Waaaay off topic: Is Yakima Canutt remembered there?

Reply to  commieBob
August 7, 2018 7:49 am

Thanks for the memory.

Reply to  commieBob
August 6, 2018 12:30 pm

“For a new station, every maximum and minimum will be a record.”
This is claimed to be a record for Spain, not just Montoro.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 6, 2018 12:59 pm

Did anyone claim that Montoro was a new site?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 6, 2018 3:08 pm

These are the sort of sites that Nick prays for.

Quality does notmatter, so long as there is lots of it to adjust.

Reply to  Fred250
August 6, 2018 4:30 pm

The site at Montoro is not as described here.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 6, 2018 3:33 pm

Either way it is bogus

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 6, 2018 6:56 pm

Given that the climate is chaotic one would expect a lot of noise in the signal. So, there’s always a chance of a record based on that. For a new station the chance is 100%. For an old station chance is much less. I was trying to delimit the probabilities.

For any given Spanish station the chance of a record for all of Spain is small. On the other hand, the chance that some Spanish station will set a national record is much higher.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 7, 2018 4:58 am

Nick, the world’s highest recorded temp is easily beaten in my kitchen regularly…..

Matt G
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 7, 2018 5:59 am

If the new station isn’t there it wouldn’t had recorded the (fake) Spain record. If the station was there in the same site two hundred years ago it likely would have had the Spain record previously.

The simple fact being the more stations covers the surface area increase the chance of a record occurring.

New records are meaningless anyway because of poor coverage and especially new stations that have barely covered 30-50 years never mind 200 years.

Reply to  commieBob
August 6, 2018 3:24 pm

The question to ask Bob is what is the ratio of hot to cold records and is it changing.

comment image

John M
Reply to  RyanS
August 6, 2018 3:29 pm

Then ask yourself if anyone’s ever documented an “Urban Cold Island” effect.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  RyanS
August 7, 2018 1:27 am

still using the same invalid thermometers.

August 6, 2018 9:08 am

I would hope a good number of these data collection sites would be rejected, but then where would the media get the false alarms from?

Reply to  rocketscientist
August 6, 2018 9:46 am

There might even be no warming if we factor only land stations active since at least 1918. Hachojima (Tokyo Station), Syowa (Antarctica Station) the USHCN stations show no warming trend in past 100 years.

August 6, 2018 9:16 am

This, in the 21st Century!

How can temperature records from 50 years ago be trusted to a fraction of a degree when no one actually gave a monkeys about global temperatures?

No one knew about UHI and mercury thermometers were used. A tall guy wouldn’t get the same reading as a short guy.

And what scientist wanted to go out in the snow and rain when they had a tea boy to do the job? He probably ran round the corner to shelter, had a smoke and took the figures from the previous day.

Reply to  HotScot
August 6, 2018 4:48 pm

There really is a difference between “scientist” and “academic.” Academics are the one’s with “tea boys.” Also, times change. Much of the original weather observations in the US were made by people who actually had reasons for observing. The National Weather Service supported commerce (in fact look what Federal department runs NASA and NOAA now). Useful forecasts were critical to harvest, shipping, planting, and many other real kinds of work. Now, well, in the US we hardly have shipping anymore. Agriculture is dominated by agribusiness and those guys frequently are simply collecting payments from DOA not to plant various crops. It is the real farmers who get bitten badly by crappy forecasts (like in the upper midwest this year and last year). Most other work is urban, “service,” provided indoors, and is not affected by weather to any great degree unless it becomes really extreme.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  HotScot
August 7, 2018 1:31 am

Those observers were truly dedicated and well trained. Yes there was an error possible in the angle of reading but that was minimised by training.

Also, it is not scientifically acceptable to alter past data without a full review, calculation of effect, proof that an error had occurred. None of these have been published, that I have seen, to justify the huge adjustments made by NOAA, NASA, UKMO

August 6, 2018 9:40 am

“But it does make it into climatic citations for all-time-records”

Makes me think of Alley blithely declaring that more high temperature records is proof that CO2 is causing dangerous warming.

August 6, 2018 9:42 am

But deniers simply deny because they believe the weather has changed before. Deniers do not know how to anaylyze…
hahahahahah. I think we know who the deniers are – the people allowing land stations to have as much UHI effect as possible with the belief C02 affect UHI.

August 6, 2018 9:49 am

And I absolutely believe that the ASOS stations in the US have issues. I follow the temperatures very carefully multiple times a day from the stations in my NWS region. I make note of the high and low temperature of these stations every day. And it is super obvious when the stations start to record anomalous readings, and when it happens they are always too hot. I am reminded about the bad ASOS at Reagan National which was replaced a few years ago after running too hot for years. And the data, including “record” high temperatures were never adjusted. And they become part of the global database that we use to track earth’s climate? And when you start to think about this issue globally, then wow. There was a peer reviewed science article published within the last year (can’t find it right now–maybe I found it here?) calling for a global network of 1000 weather stations, that would all be well sited and maintained, to track global temperature. What was funny about the article was how in the introduction they bent over backwards to claim that their proposal isn’t meant to mean in any way that the existing weather station network has problems.

Reply to  Jack
August 6, 2018 12:15 pm

I have been tracking warm bias problems with ASOS for years, like Yakima WA, Ellensburg WA, Chino CA, and Thermal CA too name a few from 2018. John, I would be interested in learning more about what you have found.

Clyde Spencer
August 6, 2018 9:58 am

“…high temperature in Africa could very well be due TO being at an airport.”

August 6, 2018 10:14 am

I recall some time ago a when glass clad sky scraper was put up in London and there were times when you could fry an egg in a surrounding street and some wing mirrors started melting on parked cars. – Never heard how they fixed that problem.

Reply to  Alasdair
August 6, 2018 10:51 am

Well, nobody at the time ever wondered if the Heathrow or Gatwick temperature readings would be “impacted”. They were right, weren’t they?

Steven Fraser
Reply to  Alasdair
August 6, 2018 11:00 am

Ah, yes, 20 Fenchurch, aka “the Walkie-Talkie,” Constructed with a concave glass wall, made the news in 2013 for melting cars.

In the fall of 2014, made the news again with a fix…. shades.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Alasdair
August 7, 2018 1:36 am

It actually melted the body work of what I think was a BMW Q series. Plastic cars are common to save fuel.

Reply to  Stephen Richards
August 7, 2018 5:01 am

Ban plastic cars now!

J Mac
August 6, 2018 10:21 am

Can’t wait to hear Stokes excuses about this one!

Reply to  J Mac
August 6, 2018 12:19 pm

They are here.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  J Mac
August 6, 2018 10:05 pm

J Mac said:

“Can’t wait to hear Stokes excuses about this one!”

Can’t wait to hear your response to Stokes “excuses” !

Ed Zuiderwijk
August 6, 2018 10:22 am

The center of the extreme heat halfway between Madrid and Lisbon (July 2017 map) is an area called ‘Extremadura’. There’s more than a hint in the name.

steven mosher
August 6, 2018 10:34 am

over 30 people died today where i live.
from the poorly measured temperature.

Reply to  steven mosher
August 6, 2018 10:46 am

How did you manage to xcape?


Rich Davis
Reply to  Anthony Watts
August 6, 2018 12:37 pm

No doubt, everybody in the world who dies of old age, disease, or traffic accidents this summer will be counted as a victim of extreme heat?

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  steven mosher
August 6, 2018 10:52 am

You must have been the lucky one.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
August 6, 2018 1:46 pm

And we are the unlucky ones.

Reply to  steven mosher
August 6, 2018 11:28 am

They died today … before noon …?

Holly Molly that’s scary. please update us tonight as to how many have died from the afternoon heat.

Reply to  steven mosher
August 6, 2018 11:42 am

“Well ma’m, we have the results, we have measured you core body temperature 115 degrees F and … I am sorry to inform you … you are deceased.”

“No!, No Doctor, can assure you I am not dead; look, I can wiggle my eyebrows.”

“I’m sorry Ma’m, we’ll have no more of that. I’ve had 29 other complainers just like you this morning and I am getting a bit tired of it. We’ve used this same thermometer for the last 45 years and have never had a problem … there is no reason to expect that there would be a problem now. Please, just climb into the body bag so’s I can zip you up and get onto my next patient.

How the hell can I be expected to do my job with all these comments & complaints from the peanut gallery!?”

Happy Crab
Reply to  steven mosher
August 6, 2018 12:00 pm

Mosh, this is just sad. Are you OK? I’ve been a lurker here for many years and though I disagree with you almost 100% of the time, you used to at least make me take pause and think now and again. Lately though you seem to be reduced to throwing out intellectually lazy stink bombs.

[The mods note the irony of a self described lurker being drawn into the conversation by Mr. Mosher. 🙂 -mod]

Reply to  steven mosher
August 6, 2018 12:10 pm

Nobody’s said it hasn’t been hot, just questioning the accuracy. Total red herring

Reply to  sunderlandsteve
August 6, 2018 1:02 pm

When red herrings are all you got …

Richard of NZ
Reply to  MarkW
August 7, 2018 4:13 am

Eat them for breakfast. Hang on, haven’t kippers been determined to be so bad for people that they are not recommended for human consumption.

Reply to  steven mosher
August 6, 2018 1:01 pm

Are you trying to argue that every time someone dies from heat, it’s proof that it’s a record?
Do you take the same stance whenever someone dies from cold?
Or do you just exist to make inane comments?

Reply to  steven mosher
August 7, 2018 7:14 pm

30 people huh, can we see the official data. I cast doubt because in the whole of USA (330 million people) the figures for 2016 for instance was 94 deaths, 2017 it was 107 deaths.

So you have an amazing death rate to heat where you live.

Now lets give you perspective on that number … USA car deaths in 2017 were 40,100 and USA deaths to fire arms was 15,549.

I suspect what you have fallen for is the typical Climate Change junk invent a statistic.

So can we see the data?

August 6, 2018 10:49 am

In the past these issue where known about but not consider significant because weather prediction is a bit ‘hot and miss ‘ by nature and a measurement in one place . such has airports ,may not tell you much about a greater area anyway.
What changed is the idea of ‘settled science’ where now same problematic data has been given the status of ‘straight form the mouth of god’ and where PR impact is valued far above scientific accuracy .
With all the money that has poured into the area , and given we told its ‘the most important thing ever and there is no time to lose ‘ you think that one thing they would do is create a first class and scientifically valid means to collect such important data. But no the have not , and large parts of the world still have NO data for there is nothing to measure them, but instead use ‘smearing ‘ over hundreds or even over a thousand mile to claim one place gives you valid data for another . When that is not even the case in the same city given local variations .

Reply to  knr
August 6, 2018 11:12 am

A year or so ago I suggested that it wouldn’t be beyond the wit of man, no pun intended, to drop an automatic weather station from a plane flying over the areas where there are no weather records. Has this ever been done?
If it can be done with the Argo floats, why not something similar on land?
It would at least provide better data than extrapolating figures over hundreds of miles.

ray boorman
Reply to  StephenP
August 6, 2018 4:56 pm

Sounds good, but in practise it is a very bad idea.
First, you would have to land & position the station securely, so a chopper would be used – slow & expensive.
Second, there may be no towns, but there are still people living in these areas, who would likely not respect the integrity of this bizarre device they discovered a few weeks or months after it was installed. And if the local humans did not interfere with it, the first antelope to come along would scratch itself on the thing & probably damage it.

August 6, 2018 11:05 am

But global climate policy inertia must continue because debate has ended. I’m sure peasants in feudal systems faced situations like this with dictators going in opposite directions from the growth of factual information or quality concerns. The emperors have no clothes and the surface temperature stations have no paint. This is the point where you call in the online message manager trolls to claim surface temperature measures are more accurate that satellite measures.

August 6, 2018 11:25 am

Purposely placing and leaving stations they know are poorly cited, is is um FRAUD yeah FRAUD

August 6, 2018 12:04 pm

“This is the meteorological station, which has the highest temperature record in Spain”
Are we sure of that? There is an interesting article here on Met stations in Montoro. It says there are four that are defunct, and that AEMET has an automatic weather station in the town, from 2008. And here is a page which does look very like AWS data for Montoro. It gives temperatures with times to the nearest ten minutes.

Here is a graph of temperatures during a previous hot day in Montoro. They don’t look like readings from that screen:

comment image

ray boorman
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 6, 2018 5:00 pm

Nick, do you want to vouch for the proper siting of the AWS?

Reply to  ray boorman
August 6, 2018 5:21 pm

I don’t know where it is sited. But they clearly have one, and are not getting the data from the old screen pictured.

ray boorman
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 6, 2018 11:16 pm

I agree, Nick.

DW Rice
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 6, 2018 9:32 pm

Seems a correction for this article is now required.

Luc Ozade
Reply to  DW Rice
August 6, 2018 11:50 pm

Ohhhh my! “DW Rice” (known previously as ‘Pud’ !) I didn’t know you were still around. I haven’t seen your name since the days of James Delingpole on the Telegraph blogs – years ago. Seems you haven’t altered your stance much, lol.

DW Rice
Reply to  Luc Ozade
August 7, 2018 12:58 am

That’s right Luc, still asking people to be reasonable 😉

Peter Langlee
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 7, 2018 2:09 am

The “all-time record” should then be changed to “decade record”.

Reply to  Peter Langlee
August 7, 2018 2:21 am

No, it’s a record for Spain, not just Montoro.

Matt G
Reply to  Peter Langlee
August 7, 2018 8:11 am

It is only a record for Spain because it is a relatively new station in hot spot of Spain and wasn’t able to record previous records before.

Even this is only a record because of previous records discarded, not supported.

Like the 38.5c record in Faversham, Kent, England back in 2003. This location was a relatively new station in a hot spot when it comes to the source coming from the continent.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 8, 2018 6:08 pm

Nick are you sure about that? The place pictured in Paco’s tweet can be found on Google maps here,-4.3301106,3a,75y,12.55h,86.86t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1suffI9c8cSBoZCG_AZPBmfw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
It is a hydroelectric station on the banks of the river Guadalquivir. It is quite some distance from the town of Motoro proper. From the article you cited, it seems that the AWS is located somewhere there too.

Reply to  JCalvertN(UK)
August 8, 2018 6:11 pm

I have attempted to translate that article.
Montoro: town of extremes
If there is a place where extremes in both maximum and minimum are really remarkable, this is Montoro, in the province of Córdoba, about 50 km from the capital.
Some time ago I wanted to comment on this curious place, [site] of one of the highest temperatures recorded in Spain. And, despite its low elevation (below 200 m), it [also] holds the record of minimum [temperature] for the province of Córdoba – an impressive -14.5ºC in February 2005. [ . . . ]
Regarding the maximum, note that there have been several stations [ . . .] in Montoro, in different locations along the valley between the town and Villa del Río. So the data is somewhat irregular and scattered. [They are:]
Montoro (C. de A.): Index No: 5366; Altitude: 195 mAMSL; Active period: 1955-2006
Montoro (I.N.M.): Index No: 5366A; Altitude: 200 mAMSL; Active period: 1985-2013
Montoro (Presa de Yeguas): Index No: 5348D; Active period: 1991-2007
Estación automática (Aemet)
Montoro Vega Armijo: Index No: 5361X; 155 mAMSL; Active period: 2008-2013
I do not know of any town that has had so many stations.
In any case, what is very clear is that in the Upper Guadalquivir [valley], in an area between the municipalities of El Carpio and Andújar, they have registered the highest temperatures in Spain, being even warmer than the airport area, (where the Aemet station) is located and as torrid as the capital itself.
The maximum registered in 1995 was at station ‘Montoro (C. de A)’, (now defunct), when 48ºC were measured. [ . . .] On August 1, 2003, 47.1ºC was recorded at station ‘Montoro-Presa de Yeguas’ (or Montoro Yeguas Dam – a large reservoir some 10km NE of Montoro) [ . . .]
However, the 48oC record is in doubt – because the adjacent stations [recorded much lower temperatures – as shown below.
5366 MONTORO C. DE A. 48,0
5366A MONTORO INM 44,5
5402 CORDOBA 46,6
There have been many debates among amateur meteorologists as to whether these records are true or not, (i.e. if there has been a decalibration of the current Aemet station, etc.) But it is clear that the Aemet station, which has been in operation since 2008 and which is located next to a meander of the Guadalquivir, on the outskirts of the town, is a real basin where heat accumulates and it increases when the wind blows west. It is a zone very protected from the winds because it is surrounded by hills between 300m and 400m AMSL. [Furthermore] in winter, mists are the norm – as cold air collects in some truly spectacular thermal inversions. This [phenomenon] occurs in the so-called Hoya de Villa del Río (marked in yellow on the map – halfway between Montoro and Villa del Rio). The Aemet Montoro station is located [right there]. [ . . .]
There can be a difference of several degrees between the upper part of the village and the lower part, 50 meters below, (as documented by amateurs living in the village). Weak frosts above become much harder frosts below, and the same goes for the heat. [ . . .]
This same phenomenon has been seen [at Cordoba] between the Airport Aemet station on the river flats, and the Cordoba PCE stations located at the top of a 6-storey building. The latter is almost always a few tenths of a degree more than the Aemet station [ . . .]
The 2 stations of Montoro that appear on the [above] map are located 1.5 km [apart], and there are [bloggers] like ‘Vigorro’ who have studied the maxima of both and [found] a 1-1.5 ° C [difference] in favour of Aemet station. The confinement of the [Aemet] station in the river, in the lowest part of the basin (155 mAMSL), [ . . .] can explain this marked difference. [The ‘Board station’ on the other hand is at 200mAMSL and lies outside the basin of the Hoya de Villa del Río.
The total thermal range is (48 + 14.5 = ) 62.5oC – really exceptional.
[It may be that in] the last 2 years there may have been a decalibration of the Aemet Montoro sensor, or a loss of tightness of the housing, because maxima have been triggered more than necessary. Or at least that is what is believed, because Aemet continues to report that the station is correctly calibrated and that these differences may be due to local factors. [. . .] With these data we could say that Montoro is [indeed] the [frying pan] of Andalusia.
(Posted by Francisco Jesús García Delgado on Friday, July 31, 2015)

Rich Davis
August 6, 2018 12:25 pm

“One wonders if AEMET is just lazy, incompetent, or both?”

Lazy or incompetent are overly-kind assessments. We are supposed to believe that somebody ACCIDENTALLY painted the roof black on one and dark green on the other, but didn’t bother to do anything with the sides? Probably because white paint is so uncommon and expensive, right? /sarc

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  Rich Davis
August 6, 2018 9:03 pm

Do you even know if that site is actually in use? Are you taking it on faith that the person taking the picture, or the person writing the article, actually bothered to check before publishing?

richard verney
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 7, 2018 1:17 am

Whilst you might be right that the station is no longer in use, is there any documentary evidence that it is not in use?

Reply to  richard verney
August 7, 2018 2:22 am

As Ray Boorman noted, the long undisturbed grass is a good sign.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 7, 2018 3:00 am

On the contrary, the fact that the grass in front of the screen is cut and trampled while the grass behind is out of control, would be evidence both that the screen is still in use and that it is not being properly maintained. Take another look at the picture Nick.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  Rich Davis
August 7, 2018 5:25 am

That’s just evidence that the outside area has been mowed. Doesn’t look much like regular foot traffic to me. And, yes, I grew up on a farm.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 7, 2018 2:51 am

The CAGW faithful are vigorously defending their latest “miracle” I see.

Look, the weather has been hot lately and that’s not my point to claim otherwise. What I ask is why, if the screen has been abandoned, would anybody paint any part of it? Isn’t it less labor just to tear it down? And if it hasn’t been abandoned, why only paint the top a dark color? It could be gross incompetence but I’m skeptical.

If the article is mistaken, that should be acknowledged but the same “incompetents” who paint screens black are likely to be siting the automatic weather stations?

Donald Kasper
August 6, 2018 1:32 pm

The Spaniards are broke.

August 6, 2018 1:50 pm

If you tossed a lighted match into all that grass you would set a new record. I’m sure that the temperature record would make the headlines before the grass fire would.

Cmo Silva
August 6, 2018 2:58 pm

Don’t forget the Portuguese record. It happened at Alvega. Check the GPS position at IPMA. Insert it into Google Maps and have a great laugh! Not sure if the ice cream truck was there though…

bit chilly
August 6, 2018 3:38 pm

has there ever been a temperature record broken in the last twenty years by a bona fide well maintained and correctly sited station ? it seems this situation occurs every single time a record is “broken”. i thought the “broken” part was supposed to be the temperature record, not the equipment doing the recording.

August 6, 2018 4:10 pm

The standards of temperature monitoring are not followed because the decrepit installations are giving the Warmistas exactly the sort of high temperatures that they are wanting in order to terrify the population.
No one is held accountable for the lack of maintenance as it is giving the Warmistas the desired outcome.
The mainstream media ignores it because it provides them with scary headlines.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
August 6, 2018 4:32 pm

The reason for the lack of maintenance is that this is not the equipment currently in use at Montoro.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 6, 2018 8:48 pm

Anthony said:

“I wonder if the State Meteorological Service of Spain (AEMET) bothered to go look at the weather station at Montoro before they verified that all-time high record. Probably not. That’s an embarrassing failure of science either way.”

An embarrassing failure of science? How about failing to find out if a station is actually in use before creating an article claiming that it’s use, and the failure to check it’s condition, are an example of an embarrassing failure of science?

Not the best look when you’re complaining about other people not being careful enough in gathering data and forming conclusions from it.

Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 7, 2018 1:10 am

Nick Stokes debunking is the only thing keeping this site sane.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  RyanS
August 8, 2018 8:09 am

Well, not the only thing, but definitely an important part. The accusations that get thrown at him are amazing. Imagine if the conduct of those who relentlessly attack him were assessed by the same standard that he is judged by. That is explained away by examples of him refusing to agree with someone about something.

Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 9, 2018 2:16 am

Indeed Philip.

ray boorman
August 6, 2018 5:13 pm

Anthony, I love the work you do, but a close look at the photo of Montoro provided makes it appear to me that no-one has walked inside that enclosure for years. The grass is almost waist high, even immediately inside the gate where the operator would have top walk to get to the screen.

The same applies to the Stephenson Screen in the 1st photo supplied by Juan Salado. Look at the gate & the grass growing up around it, & the grassy area near the gate. If someone was reading instruments in that station daily, there would be a visible path worn into the grass, & you would be able to see the effect of the gate being opened & closed on the grass growing up around it.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
August 6, 2018 9:07 pm

Excellent piece of work. Without bothering about such scenarios researchers “take it granted” attitude present sensational articles in reputed journals. In real sence have no meaning. Let me give my experience in Niger in West Africa. I went with Ethiopian delegation to look at agriculture scenario as ICRISAT/Hyderabad established a sub-centre. I saw the met observation in a delapadated condition under trees in front of the airport. International agencies take flights from this airport including UN agencies never bothered on relocating the station or modernizing the observatory.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
August 6, 2018 9:45 pm

Excellent piece of work? What is excellent about taking a photo of a station, and claiming that it’s use, and failure to check it’s condition are an embarrassing failure of science, when the reason the station is in such bad condition is that it is no longer in use?

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
August 6, 2018 11:14 pm

Also, what was that station in Niger for? Was it for climate analysis, or was it a dilapidated weather system for a dilapidated airport?

Mark Hansford
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 7, 2018 3:18 am

Phillip the only way you or Nick or whoever are going to gain the high ground here is to show a picture of the new installation because at the moment the comments are pure conjecture. You are assuming that the gate is the access used to approach that station – as we have only one view, any body is guessing. Whats to say that automatic equipment has
not been installed here as there is a mast and a solar panel right next to it.

This isnt a court of law but science is all about proof. You have suggested that the photograph shows a disused station but you dont say how you came to this conclusion and show no evidence of the new siting – nor does Nick.

I agree that there is an element of doubt properly raised initially, what you need to carry it through is a picture of the current station or complete proof that this station is not still in use

Reply to  Mark Hansford
August 7, 2018 3:34 am

The Aemet page for Montoro is here. If you scroll down, you will see that they plot the recent hourly data, 24 hrs a day (click Table for numbers). You don’t do that with a thermometer in a Stevenson screen. They have an AWS, and it is the basis of the temperatures they report.

So what on earth would they do with this dilapidated, overgrown CRS?

DW Rice
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 7, 2018 7:42 am

The sign on the gate in García’s photo identifies that site as ‘C. H. La Vega’. One of the previous Montoro weather station sites listed in the article you linked to is ‘Montoro Vega Armijo’. This was operational 2008-2013. That would seem to fit with the general state of dereliction at the site in García’s photos.

Don’t know if you noticed, but in the AEMET page for Montoro there is a link to a map of the current site’s location, Presa de Yeguas. It appears to be sited in the grounds of a pumping station or similar, connected to the Guadalquivir river.

Mark Hansford
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 7, 2018 5:30 pm

Im not saying anybody is right or wrong here Nick but scroll down to position and location, change to the satellite map and zoom in and the indicated position seems to exactly correlate with the stevenson screen picture (picture yourself by the gate you can see across the road) and the building to the right with the tin roof and tower exactly corresponds with the photo through the gate. I agree with you that precise readings from a derelict site are most likely not manual but where have they put the automatic station – looks to me like right on the edge of a tarmac roadway if its part of the new looking solar panel pole or perhaps still contained within the delapidated stevenson screen. Either way the position indicated on the sites web page seems to be unchanged from the old position

Reply to  Mark Hansford
August 7, 2018 6:01 pm

“the indicated position seems to exactly correlate with the stevenson screen picture”
It’s not that exact. The lat/lon is to the nearest second, which is 30 m, and it looks to me something like the distance from the marker to the old CRS. But there is plenty of room on the site to locate an AWS, which would have the same coords, or very near (they probably wouldn’t correct). Anyway, as you say, the hourly data they are posting is clearly not manual, so that rules out the box pictured as the source.

Incidentally, the article here isn’t very clear, but it seems the record in question isn’t from the current heat wave, but is from 14 July 2017. The graph I showed above, clearly AWS, is from that day, and the maximum shown is indeed 47.3°C. So the record in question was measured by AWS.

August 6, 2018 10:38 pm

The abuse of the station locations amounts to conspiracy to make them read higher. They’re leaving babies in hot cars on purpose now.

Gerald the Mole
August 7, 2018 2:38 am

I live in the middle of a small town, ca 15k people, in central England. last night I went out for a walk across some fields that are close to my home. On entering the edge of the town on my return the increase in temperature was most noticeable. This was a most striking demonstration of the UHI that I have ever experienced.

August 7, 2018 5:13 am

Here is a novel thought( I am too lazy to look up its true novelty)…how about WUWT creates a temperature logger and station design and whoever wants to participate joins the temperature gathering mob?
Standards of device, let’s say a raspberry pi zero and thermistor or two; a housing design, placement, importance of verifying and validating the placement and nearby geological and houses and other features.
Get enough people and see what sort of results can be captured over time.
I am sure there would
Be some cheating by AWG crowd, but it would be a fascinating attempt to do real science without political agendas.

Matt G
August 7, 2018 6:34 am


The 850hpa barely peaked 24c for this so called Spain record temperature on 13th July 2013.

Unofficial 51c for Seville was recorded for July 30th 1876, where below the 850hpa temp touching ~29c.

On 4th August 1881 when the official for over a century 50c was recorded in Seville, during the day 850hpa temp reached 28c.

On both occasions 850hpa temperatures were around 4/5c above the peak reached on 13th July 2013. The record temperatures back on those days are easily supported being 4/5c above this record of 47.3c would be of course 51.3c/52.3c. Even if the old records were still 1c/2c out they still support hottest record temperatures.

This is another example why this supposed record 47.3c in Spain was fake.

Reply to  Matt G
August 7, 2018 8:16 am

The AEMET website gives the location of the Montoro weather station as 38° 00′ 48″N, 4° 19′ 49″W. This seems to be the site shown in the above article.

Matt G
Reply to  Matt G
August 7, 2018 12:33 pm

It makes no difference that this station is not next to Seville. Montoro weather station is near Cordoba around 100 miles NE from Seville. The whole region recorded temperatures around 44c or higher. (the near surface temperature easily being 20c to 23c higher than 850hpa temps)

My point being the whole region was around 4/5c higher with 850hpa temperatures centuries ago, so what would the near surface temperatures be if this had occurred on 13th July 2013?

For that reason record temperatures in the past are verified because this proves that those record temperatures can occur. Not only can they occur, but Seville did have the official record Europe temperature of 50c until only recently.

Matt G
Reply to  Matt G
August 7, 2018 4:19 pm

“Who measured that at 850hpa?”

Part of the NOAA reanalysis v2.0.

Reply to  Matt G
August 7, 2018 2:31 pm

“On 4th August 1881 when the official for over a century 50c was recorded in Seville, during the day 850hpa temp reached 28c.”
Who measured that at 850hpa?

August 7, 2018 12:18 pm

Finding an accurate location for an Outside Air (OSA) sesnor on a building is close to impossible for HVAC operations. This sensor is used to enable and disable central plant chillers and boilers, airside econimization on air handlers, etc.
Found one recently that was on the roof, just downwind of the cooling tower discharge plume. Based on wind direction, you could get a 10-degree differential in just a few minutes. This was driving the entire 600,000SF building HVAC system, and has been for better part of 20 years. As a result, the past enrgy use profile has no real connection to what should be happening. Yet, many HVAC-industry engineers will grab the bad data and mangle it to produce good-looking backup for a large energy project where they make a lot of money.

Carey Bailey
August 8, 2018 5:45 pm

So, let me see if I get this right, we’re basing our entire global economic policy on bad data from these poorly sited and maintained weather stations???

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  Carey Bailey
August 9, 2018 2:10 am

Do you know which of these poorly sited and maintained weathers stations are actually in use, and what they are used for?

I think you should go back through the discussion and pay close attention to the information presented by Nick Stokes.

Dudley Horscroft
August 8, 2018 8:05 pm

I remember a Mythbusters program which looked at the possibility of temperature rise in parked cars being sufficient to explode aerosol cans. They used two identical cars – completely identical except that one was black and the other one white. The internal temp of the black car rose, IIRC about 10F more than in the white car.

So if you want a high temp record, paint your Stevenson Screen black – or at least allow the paint to discolour over time.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
August 9, 2018 1:17 am

Cars are made of metal.
Stevenson screens of wood.
Of course you are correct, but the effect is tiny and in the case of this article, mute, as it is an abandoned site.
I see that that fact has been amended to the post (sarc)

ray boorman
Reply to  Anthony Banton
August 9, 2018 6:01 pm

Yes, Anthony Banton. I am saddened that the WUWT moderators, & our host, have not paid sufficient attention to comments on this article. Nick Stokes, myself, & Philip Schaeffer, have all pointed out that the images which instigated this post are of no-longer-operational Stephenson Screens.

The lack of an update to the post concerning this puts WUWT in the same league as the climate alarmists – a victim of confirmation bias.

Not enough background research was undertaken before the post went up, & very few of us who have viewed the post have looked sufficiently close at the photo’s to realise that there is a problem with it’s content.

August 14, 2018 9:06 am

Faversham in Kent is the Met Office and BBC ‘ darling fir record UK temps. It keeps coming up which caught me attention. I did a hunt on the interweb and found a picture proporting to be the station. Can anyone confirm the concrete road way I saw right next to the weather station?

August 14, 2018 9:07 am

See below

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