One of the curiosities about weather data is the difference between misreported highs and misreported lows. Quillayute logged a record temperature this week on Tuesday. I blogged about it this in a earlier post. I should have suspected something. Its reported daily high came at 12:15 am. It is totally possible for temperatures to drop through the night and not recover the next day. But according to the thermometer at Quillayute Airport in Washington State, it was 34 degrees 15 minutes before and after.
I tried to find a blog post about temperature measurements that go awry from another site. I couldn’t find the more comprehensive article I wanted, but this will do: Watts Up With Nuuk? Goofy things happen in the measurement and reporting of data. Oddly, most errors result in elevated temperature measurements. Manually entered data ends up missing minus signs for negative temperatures. Heat sources like trucks are parked nearby. Occassionally a tree is planted nearby and slowly grows to shade the station. For the United States, this has been documented very well at SurfaceStations.org.
I looked for images of the weather station at Quillayute to see if the siting would have made it susceptible to errors from jet blast or other sources. A similar event happened on January 23, 2012.
December’s record had a downward spike. There are lots of data missing for the station. The good news is that it looks like someone is removing the bad data from the record before making the official record. The bad news is that the station is probably failing. This station isn’t part of the official climate data network in the US. But there are lots of other stations that have similar issues. Take a look at SurfacesStations.org.