Effects of Recent Thermometer Changes in the Cooperative Station Network

Effects of Recent Thermometer Changes in the Cooperative Station Network During the past five years, the National Weather Service (NWS) has replaced over half of its liquid-in-glass maximum and minimum thermometers in wooden Cotton Region Shelters (CRSs) with thermistor-based MaximumMinimum Temperature Systems (MMTSs) housed in smaller plastic shelters. Analyses of data from 424 (of the 3300) MMTS stations and 675 CRS stations show that a mean daily minimum temperature change of roughly 0.3C, a mean daily maximum temperature change of0.4C, and a change in average temperature of 0.1 C were introduced as a result of the new instrumentation. The change of 0.7C in daily temperature range is particularly significant for climate change studies that use this element as an independent variable. Although troublesome for climatologists, there is reason to believe that this change (relative to older records) represents an improvement in absolute accuracy. The bias appears to be rather sharp and well defined. Since the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) station history database contains records of instrumentation, adjustments for this bias can be readily applied, and we are reasonably confident that the corrections we have developed can be used to produce homogeneous time series of area-average temperature. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society American Meteorological Society

Effects of Recent Thermometer Changes in the Cooperative Station Network

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0477
D.O.I.
10.1175/1520-0477(1991)072<1718:EORTCI>2.0.CO;2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

During the past five years, the National Weather Service (NWS) has replaced over half of its liquid-in-glass maximum and minimum thermometers in wooden Cotton Region Shelters (CRSs) with thermistor-based MaximumMinimum Temperature Systems (MMTSs) housed in smaller plastic shelters. Analyses of data from 424 (of the 3300) MMTS stations and 675 CRS stations show that a mean daily minimum temperature change of roughly 0.3C, a mean daily maximum temperature change of0.4C, and a change in average temperature of 0.1 C were introduced as a result of the new instrumentation. The change of 0.7C in daily temperature range is particularly significant for climate change studies that use this element as an independent variable. Although troublesome for climatologists, there is reason to believe that this change (relative to older records) represents an improvement in absolute accuracy. The bias appears to be rather sharp and well defined. Since the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) station history database contains records of instrumentation, adjustments for this bias can be readily applied, and we are reasonably confident that the corrections we have developed can be used to produce homogeneous time series of area-average temperature.

Journal

Bulletin of the American Meteorological SocietyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Nov 1, 1991

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