Gauging Your Thermometer

Posted at: 08/28/2013 5:50 PM
Updated at: 08/28/2013 10:30 PM
By: Ben Dery

In the middle of the Duluth's airfield there is a grassy field surrounded by runways and airplane traffic. Lying in this grassy field sits Duluth's official weather recording center. The weather center has equipment recording everything from humidity to cloud heights.  It can record visibility using blinking lights and receivers.  As for the deep-fryer-looking gadget.

Mike Stewart, Manager at the National weather Service says, "This is the all weather precipitation accumulation gauge. This is where we can measure rain, snow, any type of weather.  "On this side is the temperature sensor."

Stewart goes on to say where the best location is for an accurate temperature reading. "It is shaded, and also has a fan that constantly blows air in here so the temp of the air is very consistent."

There is no denying its been hot.  Pictures of thermometers showing incredible readings.  However, readings from schools, banks and cars are not considered official.

Stewart says, those thermometers that have been recording 100-110 are being measured in direct sun, and that's not an accurate measurement.

In Moose Lake science teacher Steve Mokros has taken the idea of having an accurate temperature reading to the class room.  He says they had to find a spot that wasn't in the sunshine. "We designed is so it has a roof. On the backside there's an official Rebel cushion for watching football games, and that helps shield the sun as well. We come out in the AM and PM, check the temperature, look at the difference, see how it has risen and fallen, says Mokros."

The National Weather Service says to keep your thermometer away from things that conduct heat like buildings, asphalt and concrete.   This is why the temperature reading at the Duluth International Airport is considered official.