The all time record high temperatures for Los Angeles are the result of a faulty weather stations and should be disqualified

With those hot weather records in Los Angeles being set, it’s important to remember where measurements are taken. I’ve done an investigation and found that every “all time high” reported by the LA Times is from a station compromised by heat sources and heat sinks. In my opinion, the data from these stations is worthless.

It’s been going on for some time, for example, back in 2010, because there’s been a questionable high reading reading at USC of 113°F. This 2010 LA Times article tells why:

L.A.’s hottest day ever

How hot was it? The National Weather Service’s thermometer downtown reached 113 degrees for the first time since records began being kept in 1877 — and then stopped working. The record highs follow a summer of record lows.

September 27, 2010 | By Bob Pool and Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times

It was so hot Monday that it broke the all-time record — and the weatherman’s thermometer.

The National Weather Service’s thermometer for downtown Los Angeles headed into uncharted territory at 12:15 p.m. Monday, reaching 113 degrees for the first time since records began being kept in 1877.

Shortly after that banner moment, the temperature dipped back to 111, and then climbed back to 112. Then at 1 p.m., the thermometer stopped working.The weather service office in Oxnard rushed an electronics technician 60 miles southeast to the USC campus to repair the thermometer, which is actually a highly sensitive wire connected to electronic equipment. Because of the snafu, officials said it’s possible Monday’s temperature actually was hotter than 113 — but they might never know.

Or, the data was just bogus because the sensor was failing…but we’ll never know.

Here’s the USC weather station that had ‘all time record high’ surrounded by cars and asphalt. I wonder what it looked like when original record was set?

The ASOS type station used at USC is notorious for producing false record highs where there aren’t any. For example, Honolulu and Tucson.

And just look where the USC weather station is located: (click to enlarge)

Here is a close-up view.   [This is near the intersection of Vermont and 36th.]


Look at all the service vehicles parked around it. One wonders recent record high that was claimed there is just another result of a vehicle being parked to close to it like the Ice Cream Truck debacle that denied a new all-time record high for Scotland a few days ago.

Then there’s the downtown Los Angeles station, which set a record high the other day. It’s on top of the parking garage at the LA Department of Power and Light, which I first identified in 2008.

More vehicles right next to the weather station…Downtown L.A. set a new record of 104 degrees on Saturday, from this station.

Let’s look at some of the other locations for record high temperatures set in LA this past week. According to this LA Times article:

Among the places that hit that milestone Friday were Van Nuys Airport (117 degrees), Burbank Airport (114), UCLA (111) and Santa Ana (114).

Let’s have a look at those stations.

Van Nuys Airport:

It’s another ASOS station snuggled between an industrial park, runway, road, and taxiway. Note the row of planes and private homes near the taxiway.


Street view of Van Nuys airport weather station:

I wonder, did a plane come out of the driveway and blow hot exhaust fumes that day? if so, we can apparently blame the Germans for this one.

Burbank Airport:

Yes, the weather station is virtually surrounded by asphalt runways, taxiways, and aircraft parking ramps. The likelihood for the station to get in the middle of a 400F jetwash is almost a certainty, being so close to taxiways with turns. This is a ridiculous place to measure for high temperatures.

Back in the day, the Burbank airport didn’t have as much of these biasing factors.

UCLA’s weather station is on the roof of the Math Sciences/Atmospheric Sciences building. Why? there’s no place else to put it. There’s hardly a free and open space left. Here’s the ground view from Google Street View

And the rooftop view. Note the squirrel cage blower and exhaust vent nearby.


And here’s the piece d’ resistance, Santa Ana:

Yes that’s right, it’s on a rooftop at the fire station there.

Here is a closeup view:

A rooftop with air conditioners, a perfect place for measuring high temperature records that are guaranteed to be wrong becuase they are upwardly biased by the roof, the building, and the AC heat exchanger exhausts. But let’s just ignore all that and blame “CO2 induced warming” and demand people stop driving, using so much electricity, and eating meat. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

A reminder, NOAA’s own requirements for the placement of thermometers to record climate data has been violated on every one of these stations.


Thermometers should be shielded from the sun, rain, snow and other sources of light, heat, or cold that can cause erroneous readings. If an instrument shelter is used, it should be designed to allow the maximum possible free flow of air while providing protection from heat, precipitation and light. A shady location on the northeast side of the school is a preferred site.

The thermometer should be 4.5 to 6 feet above the ground and in a grassy location. (You may need to keep a step stool nearby for short people because readings are taken at eye level to minimize parallax error.) A flat, open clearing is desirable so that the thermometer is freely ventilated by the flow of air. Stay at least 100 feet away from concrete or paved surfaces. Avoid balconies, patios, enclosed porches, and beneath eaves.

This is why every one of these high temperature readings made by the stations above should be disqualified.

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