How not to measure temperature (or climate) #97 – California’s warming air temperatures are population and site bias related

A couple of days ago, I highlighted a worst of the worst NOAA climate monitoring station in Arizona with the help of a scientist from the University of Washington. My friend Jim Goodridge, former California State Climatologist continues to be busy in his retirement, and sends this along today. He’s been tracking a group of…

How not to measure temperature part 95 – New temperature record of 102° in Wichita, but look where they measure it

Over at Weather Underground, they are all excited about a new monthly high temperature record. Christopher Burt writes: Wichita, Kansas Measures May Monthly High Temperature of 102° On Sunday, May 4th, the temperature peaked at 102° at Wichita’s official NWS site Mid-Continent International Airport. Not only was this the hottest temperature ever measured during the…

How not to measure temperature, part 93: the hottest weather station in the UK cited by the BBC has some interesting exposure

Over at Tallbloke’s Talkshop, moderator Tim Channon wondered about this regularly hot station reported in the news: An often appearing name in the BBC news as the hottest place in the country is Gravesend but the true location of the Met Office thermometer is a mystery. By chance I followed up today and discovered a…

How not to measure temperature in the GHCN, part 1

Yes, it’s back. Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.  and I have started looking at the GHCN to document the siting quality of surface stations that measure climate in the Global Historical Climatological Network (GHCN), the darling of NCDC’s Dr. Thomas Peterson who has recently added another level of processing to the mix. I’ll be offering some…

How not to measure temperature, part 92 – surrounded by science

Last week we had quite a row about temperature and temperature adjustments in Wellington New Zealand. One of the stations cited was the Kelburn district of Wellington, NZ. NIWA issued a response statement regarding the charges leveled by The NZ Climate Science Coalition here: http://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/climate/news/all/niwa-confirms-temperature-rise They say: Warming over New Zealand through the past century…

How not to measure temperature, part 90

People send me stuff. My Inbox bursts daily with ideas, suggestions, papers, and photos. Here is a climate monitoring station in Tremonton Utah. Notice anything peculiar about the placement of the temperature sensor? It is the white “bee hive” on the pole on the asphalt. Note the conduit for the cable to the MMTS. This…

How not to measure temperature, part 82, Friday the 13th: the Temperature Shelter

The surfacestations project has now surveyed over 70% of the USHCN. I keep telling myself that there probably aren’t many surprises left. We’ve seen climate monitoring stations in parking lots, next to parked cars, next to burn barrels, near air conditioners, at airports, at sewage treatment plants, at industrial facilities, in people’s front yards, back…

How not to measure temperature, part 76

Click for the Oberlin image gallery This is the USHCN station of record for Oberlin KS. COOP # 145906 It was installed at this location in March 2008. The idea behind the surface network is to measure the near surface temperature. Unfortunately, this one does it “nearer” to the surface than others. Thanks to surfacestations…

How not to measure temperature, part 75

Like tornados and trailer parks, USHCN temperature sensors and barbecues seem to have mutual attraction. This is the official NOAA USHCN climate station of record in Fairbury Nebraska. Click for a larger image Photo taken by surfacestations.org volunteer Eric Gamberg Here is the station temperature plot from GISS. Care to guess when the station was…

How not to measure temperature, part 69

Two weeks ago I posted about a story from the Orange County Register titled Urbanization Raises The Heat in Orange County. It was front page news that day, on Friday, August 8th. The article was fairly well written, citing JPL climatologist Dr. Bill Patzert who also was the source on a  previous story we examined looking at the…

How not to measure temperature, part 66

The MMTS system introduced by the National Weather Service in the mid 1980’s continues to be the Achilles heel of the surface observation network. Intrepid surfacestations volunteer Don Kostuch finds another poorly sited USHCN station in America’s midwest. Click for larger image Here we see measuring the official temperature for use in the US Historical…

How Not To Measure Temperature, part 65

Mike Smith, a meteorologist for Weatherdata Services Inc. surveyed Tuttle Creek Lake near Manhattan, KS. It is COOP-A station (#148259) at the US Army Corp of Engineers Office for the reservoir there. He had a little trouble getting photos: Click for a larger image He writes: “There was a silly level of security. Required to be escorted even though…

How not to measure temperature, part 63

One of the strangest things I’ve learned in the past year about the US Historical Climatological Network is the propensity for placement of weather stations at sewage treatment plants. The reason of course has to do with putting a thermometer at a facility that is staffed 7 days a week. That thermomter must be manually…

How not to measure temperature, part 60

A good number of official climate stations of record in the USHCN network used for climate studies are at airports. All have been converted to the automated ASOS systems, and the placement of these is often chosen to be away from the airport tarmac so that temperature and dewpoint readings aren’t biased. While climate monitoring…

How not to measure temperature, part 59

I’ve mentioned this before, but it is worth mentioning again. In the 30 years I’ve been involved in meteorology, I had no idea that water and sewage treatment plants were locations used for climate monitoring until I started the surfacestations.org project. Given the environment at these places, the idea seems simply absurd to me. Yet…

How not to measure temperature part 57

One of the surfacestations.org intrepid traveling volunteers, Eric Gamberg, has been traveling through Nebraska as of late, picking up stations as he goes. He recently visited the USHCN station of record, COOP # 256040, in North Loup, NE, not to be confused with Loup City, which he also visited. Records describe this station as being…

How not to measure temperature, part 56

Our newest volunteer at surfacestations.org is Keith Taylor, and he’s gotten off to a great start with 2 stations in 2 days. His first was the climate station of record for Williamsburg, KY, USHCN station #158709 (or maybe 158711). Like many USHCN stations, it is located at a sewage treatment plant. I’ve previously mentioned several times…

How not to measure temperature, part 55

Surfacestations.org volunteers Liz and Don Healy captured this official USHCN climate station of record (COOP ID #22659) in Douglas Arizona on their cross country trip this winter. As is typical with many USHCN stations using an MMTS instrument, cable laying issues put the sensor closer to the building. In this case the sensor is over…