Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



2004 American Meteorological Society


A new U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) was officially and nationally commissioned by the Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2004. During a 1-yr side-by-side field comparison of USCRN temperatures and temperatures measured by a maximum-minimum temperature system (MMTS), analyses of hourly data show that the MMTS temperature performed with biases: 1) a systematic bias–ambient-temperature-dependent bias and 2) an ambient-solar-radiation- and ambient-wind- speed-dependent bias. Magnitudes of these two biases ranged from a few tenths of a degree to over 1􏰈C compared to the USCRN temperatures. The hourly average temperatures for the USCRN were the dependent variables in the development of two statistical models that remove the biases due to ambient temperature, ambient solar radiation, and ambient wind speed in the MMTS. The model performance was examined, and the results show that the adjusted MMTS data were substantially improved with respect to both systematic bias and the bias associated with ambient solar radiation and ambient wind speed. In addition, the results indicate that the historical temperature datasets prior to the MMTS era need to be further investigated to produce long-term homogenous times series of area-average temperature.