History of Reno's Weather Observation System
It's been a hot summer with lots of records being broken, but before we're quick to say it's been the hottest July on record for example, it's important to consider the history of the weather station and how it has moved around a lot.
It's been a hot summer with lots of records being broken, but before we're quick to say it's been the hottest July on record for example, it's important to consider the history of the weather station and how it has moved around a lot. As the city of Reno continues to grow temperature readings can change as well. Urban areas tend to be hotter than rural ones and with the weather observation station changing spots so many different times there can be a variation of a few degrees between spots.
"Development, always development moving things around, stuff like that. It's hard to keep a weather station intact unless its in a residential area," said Rudy Cruz, a former meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
Measurements were a little bit hotter to begin with before moving to the airport because the station was located in a more industrial area such as the old Reno post office. At one point it was even located at Morrill Hall at UNR. Temperature readings went down a couple degrees when they moved to the airport which used to be called Hubbard Field. It was much more rural back then. It's been at it's current spot since 1998 and is located next to lots of rocks and concrete with temperatures slightly hotter now as a result.
The airport is usually the hottest spot in the area, especially at night. It can be a difference of several degrees even within a minutes drive.
"When you're looking back at the records and you say it's the hottest July ever can you really say that? You could cause there's always a margin for error maybe a degree or two," said Cruz.
So the next time a record is broken you can believe it, just keep in mind where the observation is coming from.