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Sunday, February 22, 2009

How not to measure temperature, part 83: No smoking please

The USHCN Climate station of record in Milton-Freewater, Oregon. Note the beige smoking stand.

The casual way that NOAA treats quality control of the measurement environment of the surface network has been evident for some time. The above photo is of course just one of many examples. Now before anyone jumps to a conclusion thinking that I’m suggesting heat from cigarettes might affect the temperature reading, let me be clear, I am not.

But a couple of guys hanging around the temperature sensor on a cold day shooting the bull and puffing, maybe. Body heat carried by wind to then nearby MMTS sensor “could” be an issue in making Tmax just a bit higher than it might normally be.

But that is likely swamped by the larger local signal near the temperature sensor -

Click for larger image

- the waste heat from the sewage treatment plant.

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