In the discussion of my previous post, a reader posted a link to a fascinating picture of Tucson in 1923 – a picture complete with Stevenson screen in the foreground, if you can imagine, clearly visible on the right.
There have been some ongoing discussions of Tucson stations at various blogs, originally initiated by the observation that the Tucson U of Arizona had the highest TOBS of all USHCN stations. I reviewed the status of this about 10 days ago, which has posted more jibes from Atmoz and others regarding the ASOS station at Tucson International.
In response to criticism of U of Arizona’s station a la asphalt, Atmoz originally posted the image shown below of the Tucson ASOS station – a picture which definitely gives an impression of a rural setting and adeuqate quality control.
Figure 2. Tucson Intl Airport ASOS station (from Atmoz)
I looked up the location of the Tucson airport in Google Earth and posted up the image below, stating that the location of Tucson International did not appear to be as rustic as indicated in Atmoz’ picture, adding the following caveat that this was under the assumption that I’d used the right location, about which I was not certain based on the information then available to me:
He did not show a Google Earth image of Tucson airport, which (if Ive got the right location), and the overhead gives a different impression than Atmoz pictures.
Atmoz then now responded that the location indicated in the above graphic was incorrect. In his post, Atmoz omitted the caveat in which I allowed for the possibility of an incorrect location and using climate science methods typical of Schmidt or Hansen, criticized me without linking to climateaudit. He showed the Google image shown below, arguing that this vindicated the original rustic impression that he sought to convey in his original picture and stated that “The airport ASOS is located over natural terrain”, making it appear, especially with the omitted caveat, that I had grossly mislocated the airport, a refrain picked up commenters at Tamino (commenters who do not cavil at Mann’s use of Paris precipitation data in a New England gridcell).
However, the story is not quite so simple. I went back to Google Earth one more time to try to reconcile these pictures. Below is a wider view that encompasses both images. The ASOS station location is marked by the pin. It’s at the far end of one of the runways shown in the original overhead that I showed, slightly out of the original view, but hardly in a rustic location, as the station is surrounded by urban settings in all directions and is close to large asphalt runways (known to have an impact from the Asheville CRN experiment.) So yes, this site is slightly outside the original frame, but not by much, and it is hardly in a pristine rustic setting. Comrie included it as an “urban” site which he distinguished from non-urban sites and there is nothing in this wider overhead to cause one to disagree with Comrie’s classification.
The NOAA site description of this weather station (MI3) is rather amusing:
ON BROAD, RATHER FLAT PLAIN ON E SIDE OF SANTA CRUZ RIVER VLY 3.5 MI E OF SANTA CRUZ RIVER, ON S EDGE OF LARGE URBAN AREA, DRAINS NW. ASOS ON VERY FLAT LAND WITH SMALL GRASSY AREAS
I’m not sure that I’d say that this site can be presently characterized on being on the “south edge” of a large urban area. It looks well and truly encompassed in the Tucson urban area. However, I guess we can be grateful for small mercies: it is not classified by Hansen as an “unlit” site.