Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baltimore hits record high temperature...maybe

Yesterday, Baltimore recorded a new record high of 105 degrees F.  This beat the old record high of 101 set in 1999.  Ah, global warming.

But wait.  While the "official" sensor measured 105, most of the other sensors around Baltimore measured less:
  • Columbia hit 102F at Clemens Crossing ES.
  • Ellicott City hit 100F at Veterans ES.
  • Owings Mills hit 100F at The Harbour School.
The official Baltimore measurement is clearly an outlier.

At the Baltimore airport, the sensor that measured 105 is located between runways, was downwind of an air conditioner exhaust at the time, and has significant asphalt pads around it.  According to an article here, the asphalt at the Albany NY airport reached 192 degrees yesterday.

Below is a Bing photo of the Baltimore temperature sensor:

click for a larger image

And here is a zoomed in view showing the problems, including the hot air-conditioner exhaust from the Instrument Landing System building.  ASOS is the sensor.
click for a larger image

The only similar record high nearby was in Frederick Maryland.  Not surprisingly, it was at an airport too, surrounded by hot asphalt and near the hot ILS exhaust.  (In this case AWOS is the sensor.)

click for a larger image

Over the last 20 years, more and more rural stations have been shut down, and most have been replaced in the world-wide database with stations at airports.  This is one of many problems with the ground temperature record, biasing it toward an indication of global warming.

See the post at Watts Up With That? for more information.


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