The Truckee Weather Station temperature data was used in a US Forest Service and UC Davis study of global warming the the Sierra. I wrote about the station and the study here.
Today Ellen and I drove up to Truckee to observe the snow pack and have lunch at the JAX Truckee Dinner. While there we decied to track down the COOP Weather Station associated used in the study. According to the NOAA/NCDC data base the staion is located at the Truckee Ranger Station.
We went to the new Truckee Ranger Station, at 10811 Stockrest Springs Road, just outside of Truckee, where I asked the Ranger at the Front Desk where the COOP weather station was located. She said that the station was not located at the Ranger Station, it has been located at Mr. Huber's home for years. According to the Ranger at the desk, after Mr Huber retired from the Forest Service he took the temperature and other readings at his home and brought in the monthy data for transmission to NCDC untill he died.
According to an Obituary in the Sierra Sun for Donald Peter Huber he died in October of 2009.
Don retired from the US Forest Service in 1985, but stayed active in the community . . . he was also known as the weather man, keeping accurate records of Truckee weather for almost 40 years. After nearly 50 years in the Truckee area, Don moved down to Carson City in June to relax and to be closer to his daughter, Christie, and her family.
This is inconsistent with the information given to me by the Ranger. I am goiing to assume that Mr. Huber stopped recording the weather in June of 2009. According the the NCDC the Period of Record is from 9/ 1/1904 to 5/31/2009.
Photo Sierra Sun.
The part of the story that interested me is that since 1985, Mr. Huber has been recording the weather, including the temepratures at his home in Truckee for 24 years. We have no idea of the environmental conditions surrounding the weather station sensor. Was it co-located with a BBQ? How close was it to his house? Was it near the A/C? According to the NCDC Record the station was moved in 1985, and then again in 2006. From the Obituary it would appear that when Mr. Huber moved the station moved. The problem is the NCDC record inidcates the COOP is located at the Ranger Station.
It is hard to put too much faith in the validity of the temperature record, when the station data is clearly wrong. The question is, what else was wrong? Mr. Huber may have done a great job, he certainly appears to be a dedicated weather observer, but there are unanswered questions. Since the Study Team did not evaluate at the meta data before declaring there is global warming in the National Forest, how valid was the study based on this weather station?