Salt Lake City Airport & Reno Nevada Airport

Well, this is an interesting graph…

Salt Lake CIty Airport 25 July 2012and 'nearby' in Wundergound list

Salt Lake CIty Airport 25 July 2012 and ‘nearby’ Wunderground list

So “what is it?”

On the 25th, at the middle of the night local time, I collected a sample of “major airports and ‘nearby’ list of stations from Wunderground”. About 30 pages of it (cut / past, cut / past, cut / past, coffee, cut / past, cut / past,..)

The idea being to look through it for any interesting patterns in the data.

Mostly I noticed that while a very few airports were “near the middle” of all the surrounding stations (often in Europe where there were not a lot of ‘nearby’ stations in the listings) there were many cases where the airport was nearer the high end than the low or middle. (Often in the USA which seems to have more stations than anywhere else).

There was a little bit of Cherry Picking, in that I tossed (i.e. didn’t bother with the cut / paste ) on those stations that were not interesting. (Usually those without much ‘nearby’). This is also ‘unscientific’ in that I’ve not done the niceties of a truly random sample (depending on my brain to just ‘pick a city’ of interest) and not statistically valid (maybe 20-something locations total). Also I have no idea how Wunderground chooses to pick ‘nearby’ stations nor what ordering process ‘ranks’ them down the page. Oh, and while I mostly picked the large “international” airport, sometimes I didn’t. So for Sacramento, they have 2 or 3 airports that are “in town” (including military bases) and the new Sacramento International Airport is some dozen odd miles north of town out in the middle of farms and fields. Any “nearby” station will be far far away… so I picked one of the stations “near town”. That way the “nearby” stations have some hope of actually being nearby.

So in this posting I just started looking at the very last station I picked. Salt Lake City International Airport.

And it is curious…

The first data item is the graph is Salt Lake City International Airport. The data snagged for it at that time is:

3:42 AM MDT on July 25, 2012 (GMT -0600)
Elev: 4226 ft
Lon: 112.0° W
Lat: 40.8° N
Source Rapid Fire Updates™
Updated 49 min 54 sec ago

I then took the listing of ALL stations given below it (after allowing a minute or two to stabilize on the loading of the page). Looking through that list, I tossed the highest and the lowest.

MesoWest NWS, Salt Lake City, UT 32 °F
1400 W 4700 S Taylorsville, Ut, Taylorsville, UT 75.4 °F

Which are the very first and sixth from last listed, respectively. MesoWest had a second entry in the table (item #3 in the graph) that made it pretty clear that the freezing temperature was bogus:

MesoWest North Salt Lake #2 , Salt Lake City, UT 74 °F

and prompted me to pitch the highest and lowest as likely spurious (and not contributing much anyway.

For each city, the remaining data are stuck in an Open Office spread sheet, the average of all values calculated, and a plot made. Yes, I’ve done all this in degrees F. Sometimes I remember to swap the settings on Wunderground over to C, but often I don’t. As I’m in the USA it comes up in F by default (and since what scale is used is, really, completely irrelevant, I typically just don’t care…) And at 2 AM and later I’m not at my “most likely to care about what folks in Europe do or like” state anyway ;-) If it bothers you, you are welcome to repeat the process in whatever scale you like.

Back at the graph

The average of all 26 data items is 68.81 and that makes the Airport 4.19 F to the hot side of the average ( or 2.313C if I’ve converted correctly).

Now IF the airport were representative of the sample area, one would expect it to be closer to the mean. Hmmm….

If, on the other hand, airports tend to be located in broad lower valley areas where it is warmer than the surroundings, have large vertical mixing from the air traffic (that is warming on cold still nights) and has acres (hectares) of tarmac and concrete that are not as cooling as plants with transpiration; one would expect them to be a bit warmer than representative.

Yes, I need to ‘plot up’ all the other stations I sampled. Yes, it ought to be done with more formal analysis and methods. Yes, it would be very interesting to take all the stations and plot them by geographical data like relative distance to airport and relative elevation. This is a starting point, not an end. There is only one of me and “things take time” working solo. (Anyone else who would like is welcome to “Dig Here!” into any of those, as it looks fruitful…)

But for now, what we have is this one station and this one graph… and it is interesting.

First off, it is pretty clear that the Airport is close to the top of the graph. Yes, there are other stations near the same value, but it’s not in the middle nor near the bottom. It’s near where a line connecting the “tops” would run. This is not a cool station; nor even a median one.

Second, there looks to be more dispersion of values to the right than to the left. WUWT? One can only wonder. More of the graphs will need to be done to see if this is a “one off” or a common artifact. Are the stations laid out in physical distance order from the selected station? Is it a random artifact? Don’t know. All ‘future investigations’ and “Dig Here!” fodder.

I’m reminded of the way the long term graphs of GHCN have a bottle brush aspect where older data have more range and the later data (largely from airports) are more narrowly constrained in range and somewhat warmer. Could this, indirectly, be evidence that all airports are like that in some way? (“Dig Dig…here…”)

Finally, just the magnitude of the difference from the mean is surprising. 4 F warmer? 2 C is 4 x the IPCC “warming” so it would only take 25% of stations in this condition to account for all of the “warming” in the GHCN (and we know that airports are more than 1/2 of the GHCN stations). Yes, it will take looking at the rest of the sample and a formal analysis to figure out what impact this actually has; but on the face of it, it is clear that the Salt Lake City International Airport is unrepresentative of the actual average temperature measured in that area. (And as it cools into the evening, stations reporting ‘late’ ought to be high in comparison to the airport).

I’m sure there’s more that can come from this one little graph, but those are the big bits that stand out to me.

The Data Capture

Here is a copy of what I grabbed to make this graph. It’s just a straight cut / paste, so will be hard to read. Maybe someone can find an interesting pattern in it. If nothing else, it documents where the graph came from.

Salt Lake City International, UT
3:42 AM MDT on July 25, 2012 (GMT -0600)
Elev: 4226 ft 
Lon: 112.0° W
Lat: 40.8° N
Source		Rapid Fire Updates™		
Updated 49 min 54 sec ago 	Get Free Weather Stickers®	Share:				 	

Tropical Weather: Invest 98l  (North Atlantic) Invest 90e  (East Pacific) 
 
 Weather Summary 

Jessica Parker
Weather Underground Forecast for Wednesday, July 25, 2012. 

 A low pressure system over the Northern Plains is expected to move eastward 
Wednesday and Thursday and become the main weather producer for the nation. 
Showers and thunderstorms will continue from the Northern and Central Plains 
to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. In particular, a slight risk of severe 
thunderstorms is expected from the Upper Mississippi and Mid-Missouri valleys 
across the Great Lakes, with the main threat of hail and damaging winds. 

 Apart from this system, a frontal boundary will remain over the Mid-Atlantic 
and parts of the Tennessee Valley and Southeast. Showers and thunderstorms are 
anticipated with this system. 

 Elsewhere, unsettled weather will persist over portions of the Gulf States. 
Expect showers and thunderstorms to become more widespread in the afternoon 
and evening especially over the coastal region. In addition, monsoonal flow 
will keep scattered showers and thunderstorms going over the Four Corners 
region. Farther north, a weak front in the northern Intermountain West may 
trigger a few showers and thunderstorms. 

 Another hot day is in store for portions of the Central Plains, Mississippi 
Valley and Ohio Valley Wednesday and Thursday. Afternoon temperatures are 
expected in the 100s with possible heat indicies 105 to 110. Moreover, minimum 
nighttime temperatures will only fall into the mid-70s. 
Continue Reading…

Weather Underground Broadcast Network

 Salt Lake City International Weather at a Glance 
Weather Station
Salt Lake City (KSLC)
Elevation
4226 ft 
Station Select
Now

Scattered Clouds
Temperature
73 °F 
Feels Like 73 °F 
Wind(mph)
10
Sunrise / Set
6:18 AM
8:49 PM

Weather Stations Station Location	Temp.	Windchill	Dew Point	Humidity	Wind	Precipitation	Elevation	Updated	Type	Website
MesoWest NWS, Salt Lake City, UT	32 °F 	32 °F 	 - 	-	 North   at   - 	0.00 in / hr	4220 ft	3 hr 42 min 54 sec ago	MADIS	
SLC Mosquito Abatement District, Salt Lake City, UT	73.2 °F 	-	53 °F 	49%	 South   at  7.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4229 ft	7 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
MesoWest North Salt Lake #2 , Salt Lake City, UT	74 °F 	-	 - 	-	 SE   at  7 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4208 ft	57 min 54 sec ago	MADIS	
BIGFOOT_SALTLAKE, Salt Lake City, UT	67.8 °F 	-	50 °F 	53%	 East   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4250 ft	48 sec ago	Normal	 
downtown SLC, SALT LAKE CITY, UT	69.9 °F 	-	55 °F 	60%	 NNW   at  6.8 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4266 ft	1 min 7 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
Decker Lake, West Valley City, UT	71.1 °F 	-	52 °F 	51%	 SE   at  5.8 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4243 ft	3 sec ago	Rapid Fire	
APRSWXNET Woods Cross UT US, Bountiful, UT	71 °F 	-	54 °F 	55%	 East   at  2 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4235 ft	27 min 54 sec ago	MADIS	
West Valley, West Valley City, UT	69.1 °F 	-	51 °F 	53%	 ENE   at  1.3 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4285 ft	5 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
West Valley , Centennial Park, West Valley City, UT	68.5 °F 	-	54 °F 	60%	 ESE   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4269 ft	4 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
MesoWest Hawthorne , Salt Lake City, UT	73 °F 	-	 - 	-	 East   at  3 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4304 ft	1 hr 57 min 54 sec ago	MADIS	
MesoWest WBB/U UTAH , Salt Lake City, UT	71 °F 	-	51 °F 	49%	 NE   at  7 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4806 ft	27 min 54 sec ago	MADIS	
University of Utah Campus, Salt Lake City, UT	68.4 °F 	-	48 °F 	48%	 SE   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4757 ft	55 sec ago	Normal	 
Chelsea Cove, Bountiful, UT	67.8 °F 	-	53 °F 	58%	 ESE   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	5130 ft	4 sec ago	Rapid Fire	
MesoWest BOUNTIFUL , Bountiful, UT	66 °F 	-	54 °F 	65%	 ENE   at  1 mph 	0.00 in / hr	5049 ft	27 min 54 sec ago	MADIS	
1922 E 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT	71.4 °F 	-	47 °F 	42%	NNE  at  0.9 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4693 ft	2 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
MesoWest U of U Mountain Met Lab , Salt Lake City, UT	67 °F 	-	49 °F 	52%	 ENE   at  9 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4996 ft	27 min 54 sec ago	MADIS	
Bountiful Bench, Bountiful, UT	63.5 °F 	-	48 °F 	53%	 NE   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4986 ft	0 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
MesoWest BOUNTIFUL/F G HOUSE , Bountiful, UT	67 °F 	-	60 °F 	78%	 East   at  1 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4760 ft	37 min 54 sec ago	MADIS	
MesoWest Natural History Museum Utah , Salt Lake City, UT	65 °F 	-	50 °F 	58%	 NNE   at  6 mph 	0.00 in / hr	5061 ft	27 min 54 sec ago	MADIS	
MesoWest Magna , Salt Lake City, UT	70 °F 	-	 - 	-	 SW   at  4 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4291 ft	57 min 54 sec ago	MADIS	
Bonneville Golf Course, Salt Lake City, UT	64.3 °F	-	46 °F 	51%	NE  at  7.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4865 ft	1 sec ago	Rapid Fire	
1400 W 4700 S Taylorsville, Ut, Taylorsville, UT	75.4 °F 	-	58 °F 	55%	 East   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4281 ft	3 hr 34 min 41 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
APRSWXNET West Bountiful UT , Woods Cross, UT	70 °F 	-	55 °F 	60%	 South   at  0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4330 ft	23 min 54 sec ago	MADIS	
Service Dog Equipment, Magna, UT	65.5 °F 	-	49 °F 	55%	 WSW   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4252 ft	0 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
Mueller Park Canyon, Bountiful, UT	60.1 °F 	-	34 °F 	37%	 NNE   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	5200 ft	7 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
Salt Lake Avenues, Salt Lake City, UT	67.1 °F 	-	51 °F 	56%	 NE   at  4.7 mph 	0.00 in / hr	5233 ft	2 min 9 sec ago	Normal	 
Magna, UT	74.3 °F 	-	51 °F 	44%	 SW   at  0.9 mph 	0.00 in / hr	0 ft	13 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 

Update

I just added Reno, Nevada as well. It has the same general pattern, but with what looks like even more range of nearby values. Analysis as above, pulled out highest and lowest outliers. They are:

MesoWest HIDDEN VALLEY 70
MesoWest BIG MEADOW 50

The graph:

Reno Nevada Airport vs Wundergound 'nearby' stations 25 July 2012

Reno Nevada Airport vs Wundergound ‘nearby’ stations 25 July 2012

Same general look to the data. I changed the range of the graph to start with the first station on the axis and end at the last station, stretched it out a bit so the number of each station can be seen (for easier comparison to the data listing below – but remember the two ‘left out’ station when counting…) but we get the same ‘dropping to the right’ effect.

Reno at 68 F compares with the average of all (other than the two outliers) data at 62.75 F is 5.25 F or 2.92 C hotter than the average.

The Data (minus the weather report as it is largely a repeat):

Reno, NV
2:35 AM PDT on July 25, 2012 (GMT -0700)
Elev: 4534 ft 
Lon: 119.8° W
Lat: 39.5° N
Source		Rapid Fire Updates™		Updated 40 min 42 sec ago 	

Tropical Weather: Invest 98l  (North Atlantic) Invest 90e  (East Pacific) 

Weather Underground Broadcast Network
 Reno Weather at a Glance 
Weather Station
Reno (KRNO)
Elevation
4413 ft 
Station Select
Now

Clear
Temperature
68 °F 
Feels Like 68 °F 
Wind(mph)
9
Sunrise / Set
5:53 AM
8:17 PM

Weather Stations Station Location	Temp.	Dew Point	Humidity	Wind	Precipitation	Elevation	Updated	Type	Website
MesoWest UNR CAMPUS , Reno, NV	66 °F 	44 °F 	45%	 East   at  0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4479 ft	1 hr 15 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	
MesoWest RENO RAIL YARD , Reno, NV	67 °F 	40 °F 	37%	 SW   at  2 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4460 ft	34 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	
University Heights, Reno, NV	66.9 °F 	42 °F 	40%	 West   at  4.5 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4852 ft	1 min 21 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
MesoWest DRI - NNSC , Reno, NV	67.0 °F	37 °F 	34%	 NNW   at  6.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4950 ft	29 sec ago	MADIS	
MAP DRI_RENO (P090), NV , Reno, NV	67 °F 	39 °F 	36%	 North   at  8 mph 	0.00 in / hr	5009 ft	35 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	
Cashill / Caughlin Ranch, Reno, NV	60.6 °F 	40 °F 	47%	 WNW   at  3.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	5040 ft	20 sec ago	Rapid Fire	
South West Reno, Reno, NV	58.3 °F	34 °F 	40%	 WSW   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	5005 ft	16 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
Panther Valley, Reno, NV	63.9 °F 	40 °F 	42%	 North   at  6.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4988 ft	3 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
Juniper Hills, Reno, NV	57.9 °F	40 °F 	50%	 North   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4820 ft	4 sec ago	Rapid Fire	
Lakeridge Springs, Reno, NV	67.4 °F 	41 °F 	38%	 WSW   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4930 ft	3 hr 33 min 28 sec ago	Normal	 
MesoWest Sparks - UNR Ag. Exp. Farm , Reno, NV	59 °F 	48 °F 	68%	 SE   at  3 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4390 ft	45 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	
Northwest, Reno, NV	61.2 °F 	32 °F 	34%	-  at   - 	0.00 in / hr	5270 ft	5 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
MesoWest HIDDEN VALLEY , Reno, NV	70 °F 	 - 	-	 North   at   - 	0.00 in / hr	5321 ft	3 hr 0 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	
MesoWest Sparks Boulevard , Sparks, NV	68 °F 	42 °F 	39%	 NW   at  0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4385 ft	37 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	
North West Reno, Reno, NV	62.0 °F 	38 °F 	42%	 WNW   at  3.0 mph 	 - / hr	5295 ft	10 min 39 sec ago	Normal	
MesoWest DRY CREEK , Reno, NV	61 °F 	 - 	-	 North   at   - 	0.00 in / hr	4760 ft	40 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	
Sparks - Shadow Mountain Area, Sparks, NV	60.7 °F 	47 °F 	59%	 SE   at  0.0 mph7	0.00 in / hr	4401 ft	6 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
Sun Valley, Sun Valley, NV	65.3 °F 	40 °F 	39%	 SSW   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4770 ft	4 min 12 sec ago	Normal	
MesoWest BLACK SPRINGS , Sun Valley, NV	62 °F 	42 °F 	48%	 NNW   at  0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	5172 ft	46 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	
APRSWXNET Reno NV , Sun Valley, NV	63 °F 	38 °F 	39%	 West   at  0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	5140 ft	22 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	
Sparks, off Vista/Satellite Dr., Sparks, NV	64.9 °F 	37 °F 	36%	 NNE   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4511 ft	0 sec ago	Rapid Fire	
APRSWXNET Sparks NV , Sparks, NV	67 °F 	41 °F 	38%	 West   at  0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4596 ft	16 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	
Golden Valley, Reno, NV	59.4 °F	39 °F 	47%	 WNW   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	5370 ft	2 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
Sunset Pointe, Sparks, NV	64.8 °F 	23 °F 	20%	 NW   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4739 ft	41 sec ago	Normal	 
APRSWXNET Reno NV , Reno, NV	62 °F 	37 °F 	40%	 South   at  1 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4786 ft	17 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	
Sparks-Kiley Ranch, Sparks, NV	67.0 °F 	42 °F 	40%	 South   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4469 ft	9 min 27 sec ago	Normal	
APRSWXNET Reno NV , Reno, NV	62 °F 	35 °F 	37%	 SSE   at  5 mph 	0.00 in / hr	5186 ft	28 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	
Double Diamond Ranch, Reno, NV	60.4 °F 	43 °F 	53%	 North   at  0.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4442 ft	15 sec ago	Rapid Fire	
Reno South Hills, Reno, NV	59.7 °F 	44 °F 	56%	 South   at  2.2 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4545 ft	6 min 38 sec ago	Normal	
MesoWest SOUTH RENO - WOLF RUN GOLF COUR, Reno, NV	61.0 °F	33 °F 	34%	 SW   at  4.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4879 ft	28 sec ago	MADIS	
Thomas Creek Estates, Reno, NV	59.5 °F 	33 °F 	37%	 SSW   at  3.0 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4984 ft	1 min 30 sec ago	Normal	
Damonte Ranch, Reno, NV	58.1 °F 	42 °F 	55%	South  at  1.6 mph 	0.00 in / hr	4465 ft	1 sec ago	Rapid Fire	 
MesoWest BIG MEADOW , Reno, NV	50 °F 	 - 	-	 North   at   - 	0.00 in / hr	8299 ft	1 hr 35 min 47 sec ago	MADIS	

One is interesting.
Two is an oddity.
Three is a pattern… I’m working on #3 now…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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11 Responses to Salt Lake City Airport & Reno Nevada Airport

  1. BobN says:

    I think you may have found the problem, Airports! If we get rid of airports out global worming may just go away. I recently read that Greenland is melting. I don’t know the specifics, but I’m guessing they have airports.
    I read a science journal the other day that had the resent release of a 2000 year study on global temperatures. The conclusion was that there was a detectable down trend in long term temperatures. A couple articles below was another global warming post. They just ignore everything contrary to what they want. Global warming is an agenda, no science.

  2. Pingback: Airports Atlanta and Chicago MIdway vs Wunderground Nearby List | Musings from the Chiefio

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    With W underground amateur weather stations everywhere reporting there may be a way to check up on nearby airport thermometer reports to demonstrate this over temperature reporting trend without fighting the argument over thermometer graft change bias and creeping UHI. Just prove that an airport is a bad place to measure local weather conditions “for the record”.
    Large airfield conditions are only good for that airport pilotage needs. pg

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    @BobN:

    There’s a graph I regularly put up that shows the holocene temperatures from several ice cores and such. Spike up at the start, then a long slow downtrend, but with “wobbles” in it. We’re on a minor up wobble of periodic nature and natural cause inside a very long term drop…

    @P.G.Sharrow:

    Just put up some more stations. A few more left in my random data grab yet to go. But enough so far to certainly justify doing an AHI “bubble” analysis on selected stations from the GHCN.

    What I will most likely do is pick a collection of a dozen or two representative stations from the GHCN that have decent ‘nearby’ coverage in Wunderground and do graphs, like these, for those stations. A quick sample of foreign airports showed not so much data available for some (like Russia…) so I may need to be selective about overseas coverage. Still, UK, Australia, and perhaps some parts of Latin America and Europe ought to be good. Japan is gadget crazy too so perhaps some decent coverage there.

    To do it properly would require daily data for all of those (not just one shot samples) and comparisons to find relative behaviour on ‘weather’ days vs sunny days. (How much do clouds, rain, snow, etc. change the values of offset from sunny?) Then, in an ideal world, some of the same stations could be found in the “baseline” period to show how much airports have warmed over time… but I’m not expecting that data to be very available or existent…

    At any rate, I think that just what I’ve done in the three postings here pretty much shows bias measured in 1 C to 3 C to the hot side at airports in the late night (i.e. nearing ‘min’ times) so will bias the mean by 0.5 C to 1.5C and pull the whole data set high by about 0.25 C to 0.75 C at a bare minimum (and potentially even more) when compared to grass fields and cloth fabric wing days…

    IMHO, what the Global Warming folks have found is that pavement gets hot in the sun and stays hot into the night…

  5. Pingback: More Airports Hotter Than ‘nearby’ Stations | Musings from the Chiefio

  6. philjourdan says:

    2 Related comments.

    #1 – I was amused you picked Salt Lake City Airport as your first one. Not having anything to do with climate or weather, only that I have flown in and out of there. And it is not for the faint of heart! The mountains make the take off very interesting (almost vertical).

    #2 – Not all Airports suffer this, and if you get a chance, check out RIC. After many years, the airport is still rural. A local TV station has set up weather stations at many area schools. Having done some cursory observations of the temperatures from those stations and the airport, I have noticed that most in my area always read a few degrees warmer than the “official” reading at RIC. I know from experience that the TV station’s weather stations at the schools are not set in a scientific position (in other words, they are around a lot of concrete), but the normal UHI does not seem to be a problem here at least. That is merely a factor of blind luck when the airport was located way back in the day (much of the area around it is swampy, so there will never be a lot of development).

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @PhilJourdan:

    Interesting… right now it’s reading hotter than the nearby stations. 78 vs a lot of 73-76 ish:

    Richmond International Weather at a Glance Updated 56 min 51 sec ago
    Weather Station
    Richmond (KRIC)Elevation
    164 ft
    Report Station You are about to report this weather station for bad data.

    Please select the information which is incorrect and click ‘Submit’ otherwise click ‘Cancel’.
    Temperature Pressure Wind Forecast Submit — Cancel

    Station Select Now
    Mostly CloudyTemperature
    78 °F
    Feels Like 78 °F Wind(mph)
    6 Sunrise / Set
    6:09 AM8:21 PM

    Weather Stations
    Station Location Temp. Heat Index Dew Point Humidity Wind Precipitation Elevation Updated Type Website
    Varina – Waynes Corner, Henrico, VA 75.7 °F 77 °F 68 °F 78% South at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 155 ft 4 min 23 sec ago Normal
    Varina – Strath Road, Henrico, VA 75.7 °F 74 °F 75 °F 97% WNW at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 151 ft 2 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Cold Harbor, Mechanicsville, VA 75.6 °F 74 °F 74 °F 96% WSW at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 154 ft 14 min 32 sec ago Normal
    North Church Hill, Richmond, VA 75.8 °F 75 °F 74 °F 94% WSW at 0.0 mph – / hr 160 ft 29 min 52 sec ago Normal
    Sledd Run, Mechanicsville, VA 75.2 °F 73 °F 75 °F 98% SW at 2.0 mph – / hr 177 ft 8 min 37 sec ago Normal
    Church Hill, Richmond, VA 75.7 °F 75 °F 73 °F 90% WSW at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 150 ft 2 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Travellers Run, Mechanicsville, VA 75.1 °F 74 °F 73 °F 94% WSW at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 174 ft 0 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Woodland Heights, Richmond, VA 76.3 °F 76 °F 75 °F 97% West at 0.7 mph 0.00 in / hr 144 ft 6 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Quinton, VA 76.0 °F 75 °F 76 °F 100% ENE at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 105 ft 22 sec ago Normal
    VADOT Varina_Enon, Chester, VA 76 °F 76 °F 73 °F 92% WSW at 7 mph 0.00 in / hr 159 ft 50 min 26 sec ago MADIS
    Laburnum Park/Ginter Park, Richmond, VA 75.1 °F 74 °F 72 °F 91% West at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 195 ft 4 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Bellevue/Ginter Park, Richmond, VA 75.4 °F 77 °F 43 °F 31% North at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 195 ft 2 min 10 sec ago Normal
    Chickahominy Bluffs, Richmond, VA 77.0 °F 78 °F 76 °F 97% SW at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 197 ft 0 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Windsor Farms, Richmond, VA 76.4 °F 77 °F 74 °F 91% SE at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 250 ft 48 min 50 sec ago Normal
    APRSWXNET Richmond VA , Richmond, VA 76 °F 76 °F 73 °F 90% WSW at 0 mph 0.00 in / hr 212 ft 39 min 26 sec ago MADIS
    TWO HQ, Chester, VA 79.2 °F 81 °F 63 °F 58% South at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 164 ft 2 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Oak Forest, Mechanicsville, VA 75.2 °F 74 °F 73 °F 93% North at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 206 ft 5 sec ago Rapid Fire
    mountcastle, Providence Forge, VA 74.4 °F 71 °F 74 °F 97% SSE at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 115 ft 17 sec ago Normal
    West End near Patterson & Three Chopt, Richmond, VA 74.1 °F 71 °F 73 °F 97% SSW at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 229 ft 0 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Arbor Landing, Chester, VA 75.2 °F 74 °F 73 °F 93% North at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 192 ft 38 sec ago Normal
    Glen Allen, VA 74.1 °F 70 °F 74 °F 99% North at 1.1 mph 0.00 in / hr 200 ft 35 sec ago Rapid Fire
    VADOT I-295_@_Woodman, Glen Allen, VA 76 °F 76 °F 72 °F 89% WSW at 0 mph 0.00 in / hr 229 ft 49 min 26 sec ago MADIS
    Laurel Lakes, Glen Allen, VA 75.0 °F 74 °F 72 °F 91% WSW at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 220 ft 0 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Tall Timbers, Glen Allen, VA 75.7 °F 74 °F 75 °F 98% South at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 213 ft 37 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Haleys Hollow, Glen Allen, VA 74.8 °F 74 °F 71 °F 88% NW at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 202 ft 1 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Courtney Farm, Glen Allen, VA 75.7 °F 74 °F 76 °F 99% SW at 1.6 mph 0.00 in / hr 276 ft 1 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Regency Mall, Henrico, VA 74.0 °F 71 °F 73 °F 97% WNW at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 243 ft 11 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Skywarn Spotter CFD0022, Colonial Heights, VA 76.3 °F 76 °F 76 °F 99% North at 0.7 mph 0.00 in / hr 60 ft 4 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Beach Road, Chesterfield, VA 74.5 °F 71 °F 74 °F 99% SE at 1.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 240 ft 5 sec ago Rapid Fire
    APRSWXNET Midlothian VA , Midlothian, VA 73 °F – 72 °F 97% WNW at 0 mph 0.00 in / hr 351 ft 39 min 26 sec ago MADIS
    Midlothian (2 Miles SSE), Midlothian, VA 73.2 °F 74 °F 18 °F 11% West at 0.0 mph – / hr 266 ft 50 sec ago Normal
    Shady Oak Ridge, Glen Allen, VA 76.8 °F 78 °F 46 °F 34% SSW at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 253 ft 6 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Innsbrook, Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 74.6 °F 73 °F 73 °F 93% South at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 273 ft 4 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Swift Creek Crossing, Midlothian, VA 74.5 °F 72 °F 73 °F 96% North at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 210 ft 3 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Brandermill Weather, Midlothian, VA 73.3 °F 71 °F 71 °F 92% NW at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 254 ft 1 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Charter Colony, Midlothian, VA 72.7 °F 71 °F 68 °F 86% WSW at 2.7 mph 0.00 in / hr 384 ft 2 sec ago Rapid Fire
    Riverdowns, Midlothian, VA 73.8 °F – 74 °F 99% North at 0.0 mph 0.00 in / hr 176 ft 6 sec ago Rapid Fire

  8. George says:

    Salt Lake airport is an interesting condition. First of all, it is just about on the shore of the Great Salt Lake just South of what amounts to a swamp. To the East of the airport is Salt Lake City and East of that is the Wasatch Front which is a rather high range of the Rocky Mountains.

    You get some interesting weather conditions and the temperature can vary dramatically depending on which way the wind is blowing. At 3am, if it is coming in off the lake (the airport is near the lake) it can be quite warm. If the breeze is from the due east, it can be cooler.

  9. philjourdan says:

    @ E.M – Even more interesting is that those “Varina” readings are right next door (almost). Varina is right next to Sandston, which is where the airport is located. So while they are both rural in nature, apparently the airport has enough asphalt to bump it a few degrees.

  10. Gary P Smith says:

    Based on the Weather Underground API, I would say your hypothesis that the ones further down in the list are farther away. You can use the API to get the actual distance in miles or kilometers using the geolookup for an airport, as shown in the results for Salt Lake City below.

    {
    “response”: {
    “version”: “0.1”
    ,”termsofService”: “http://www.wunderground.com/weather/api/d/terms.html”
    ,”features”: {
    “geolookup”: 1
    }
    }
    , “location”: {
    “type”:”CITY”,
    “country”:”US”,
    “country_iso3166″:”US”,
    “country_name”:”USA”,
    “state”:”UT”,
    “city”:”Salt Lake City International”,
    “tz_short”:”MDT”,
    “tz_long”:”America/Denver”,
    “lat”:”40.78833389″,
    “lon”:”-111.97750092″,
    “zip”:”84122″,
    “magic”:”4″,
    “wmo”:”99999″,
    “l”:”/q/zmw:84122.4.99999″,
    “requesturl”:”US/UT/Salt_Lake_City_International.html”,
    “wuiurl”:”http://www.wunderground.com/US/UT/Salt_Lake_City_International.html”,
    “nearby_weather_stations”: {
    “airport”: {
    “station”: [
    { "city":"Salt Lake City", "state":"UT", "country":"US", "icao":"KSLC", "lat":"40.79000092", "lon":"-111.98000336" },
    { "city":"Ogden Hill AFB", "state":"UT", "country":"US", "icao":"KHIF", "lat":"41.11999893", "lon":"-111.97000122" },
    { "city":"Ogden", "state":"UT", "country":"US", "icao":"KOGD", "lat":"41.20000076", "lon":"-112.01000214" }
    ]
    }
    ,
    “pws”: {
    “station”: [
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest NWS",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MSLCBY",
    "distance_km":2,
    "distance_mi":1
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"SLC Mosquito Abatement District",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTSALTL50",
    "distance_km":4,
    "distance_mi":2
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest North Salt Lake #2 UT US AQ",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MQN2",
    "distance_km":5,
    "distance_mi":3
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"BIGFOOT_SALTLAKE",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTSALTL33",
    "distance_km":5,
    "distance_mi":3
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest Garfield UT US UPR",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MUP069",
    "distance_km":6,
    "distance_mi":3
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest I15 @ 600S UT US UTAH DOT",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MUT21",
    "distance_km":6,
    "distance_mi":4
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest I15 500S WB (Gateway) UT US UTAH DOT",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MUT20",
    "distance_km":7,
    "distance_mi":4
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"downtown SLC",
    "city":"SALT LAKE CITY",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTSALTL18",
    "distance_km":7,
    "distance_mi":4
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"Northcrest",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTSALTL49",
    "distance_km":9,
    "distance_mi":5
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"Decker Lake",
    "city":"West Valley City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTWESTV7",
    "distance_km":9,
    "distance_mi":5
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"Salt Lake Avenues",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTSALTL54",
    "distance_km":9,
    "distance_mi":5
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"APRSWXNET Woods Cross UT US",
    "city":"Bountiful",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MAU031",
    "distance_km":9,
    "distance_mi":5
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest I-15/2400 S Spaghetti UT US UTAH DOT",
    "city":"South Salt Lake",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MUT23",
    "distance_km":10,
    "distance_mi":6
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"West Valley , Centennial Park",
    "city":"West Valley City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTWESTV5",
    "distance_km":10,
    "distance_mi":6
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest Hawthorne UT US AQ",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MQHW",
    "distance_km":10,
    "distance_mi":6
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest WBB/U UTAH UT US UUNET",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MWBB",
    "distance_km":11,
    "distance_mi":6
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"University of Utah Campus",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTSALTL45",
    "distance_km":11,
    "distance_mi":6
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"Chelsea Cove",
    "city":"Bountiful",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTBOUNT7",
    "distance_km":12,
    "distance_mi":7
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"Hunter",
    "city":"West Valley City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTWESTV8",
    "distance_km":12,
    "distance_mi":7
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest BOUNTIFUL UT US KSL",
    "city":"Bountiful",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MBOUNT",
    "distance_km":12,
    "distance_mi":7
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"1922 E 900 South",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTSALTL42",
    "distance_km":12,
    "distance_mi":7
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest U of U Mountain Met Lab UT US UUNET",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MMTMET",
    "distance_km":12,
    "distance_mi":7
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"Bountiful Bench",
    "city":"Bountiful",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTBOUNT6",
    "distance_km":12,
    "distance_mi":7
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest BOUNTIFUL/F G HOUSE UT US SNOWNET",
    "city":"Bountiful",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MSNZ",
    "distance_km":13,
    "distance_mi":7
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest Natural History Museum Utah UT US UUNET",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MNHMU",
    "distance_km":13,
    "distance_mi":7
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"",
    "city":"Magna",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTMAGNA2",
    "distance_km":13,
    "distance_mi":8
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"Bonneville Golf Course",
    "city":"Salt Lake City",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTSALTL15",
    "distance_km":13,
    "distance_mi":8
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"1400 W 4700 S Taylorsville, Ut",
    "city":"Taylorsville",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTSALTL32",
    "distance_km":14,
    "distance_mi":8
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"APRSWXNET West Bountiful UT US",
    "city":"Woods Cross",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MD5382",
    "distance_km":14,
    "distance_mi":8
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"Service Dog Equipment",
    "city":"Magna",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTMAGNA1",
    "distance_km":14,
    "distance_mi":8
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"MesoWest Legacy Parkway UT US UTAH DOT",
    "city":"Woods Cross",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"MUTLGP",
    "distance_km":14,
    "distance_mi":8
    },
    {
    "neighborhood":"Mueller Park Canyon",
    "city":"Bountiful",
    "state":"UT",
    "country":"US",
    "id":"KUTBOUNT4",
    "distance_km":14,
    "distance_mi":8
    }
    ]
    }
    }
    }
    }

  11. Gary P Smith says:

    This script might make it easier for you to download the Weather Underground data.

    http://www.conceo.com/WunderDown.asp

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