Luling, Texas weather station
A recent saga started by Paul Homewood over apparently excessive “homogenisation” for one of a vast number of US volunteer run weather stations led me to take a look. I’ll link Paul’s blog articles as an appendix.
The station is at Luling Foundation Farm, an agricultural station set up prior to WWII. The weather data runs from 1949.
Luling station house looking south
They have a good web site which gives a history, starting the unravelling of the situation. http://lulingfoundation.org/our-history
The official NOAA site describes the location
GENTLY ROLLING WOODED HILLS. TERRAIN SLOPES GENTLY TO THE SOUTH TO SAN MARCOS RIVER
That is not true. The Luling history says it was a former cotton plantation and was cleared pre-WWII which means it cannot have been wooded during the life of the station starting 1949. Aerial images confirm the area is not wooded but probably was long ago.
We don’t know the original weather site setup, probably manual. Today there is the usual US thermistor in a small screen on a pole and it has a rain gauge.
Google Earth has images but also a Google Street view camera car drove right past the weather station.
Lat/long 29.6755, -97.6577
Thermometer screen and rain gauge circled, looking east, sun from right.
Now things get murky.
Turning to Bing aerial images This view, look very carefully right above the weather instruments.
Or Google Earth
This is a small field, imaged dated 2008, looks like cut grass. Earlier images are unclear but show little sign of much there.
Image dated 2011, has acquired an orchard, a microclimate producer.
Their website provides PDF of the monthly report sheet, seem to be neat in recent years. Temperature is whole degrees only, these are not precision sites.
On examination I spotted some readings marked M. These turn out to be maintenence, mostly monthly. Computed monthly mean takes this into account on the sheets.
Then something notable turned up which might explain why automatic adjustment seems to have malfunctioned. A bizarre fault February 2011 starting marked “Electricity out” on the 1st but readings for January and March are normal, unit replaced later in March.
That might cause autoadjust troubles.
I’ve combined the three sheets in a PDF here. (2MB)
Other sites writing on this
Anthony Watts has commented and of course is very interested in US in weather stations as part of his surfacestations project.