Temperatures will rise to or near the triple digit range over the weekend, and lighter winds will settle into the region. Those lighter winds will help ease the thick smoke here in the Reno area, but we will still likely have to deal with hazy skies. The lighter winds will also allow the airmass to destabilize a bit, which could bring some thunderstorms back into the picture starting on Sunday afternoon, and possibly repeating on Monday afternoon. It looks like the record setting streak of 90+ degree days (now at 36 days and counting) will continue for another week at least.

reno-airport

We’ve been talking about how you have to be careful trusting car thermometers because of the heat that is emitted from concrete and asphalt roads, among other things. But Steve wrote in with another issue. “I can understand why no one would want to measure temps on a freeway. To me it seems fairly obvious that one would get a major heat island effect on them. But to use the Airport complex for the official temperature seems to me to provide the same issue.”

My response is I couldn’t agree more. One must be very careful here in Reno looking at temperature records and comparing them to previous years. When they started taking temperatures at the airport, it was surrounded by irrigated alfalfa fields instead of the present day tarmac. That greatly changes average temperatures… especially nighttime lows, but it also affects the highs as well. The “urban heat island” has had a definite influence on the historical temperature records here and other places for a long time.

reno asos

Location of the Reno Automated Surface Observing System

But when it all comes down to it, the reason they have the official readings at the airport is quite simply that they have to have it somewhere. Is there really any spot in the valley that would give you a better reading than where it is now? Not really, because wherever they choose, with all the different microclimates around, it will probably be different by some degree that where you are. So we make do with what we’ve got.

 

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