An evaluation of the time of observation bias adjustment in the U.S. Historical Climatology Network



[1] The U.S. Historical Climatology Network (HCN) database contains statistical adjustments that address historical changes in observation time at each observing station in the network. A paper in 2002 suggested that these adjustments cause HCN temperature trends to be “spuriously” warm relative to other datasets for the United States. To test this hypothesis, this paper evaluates the reliability of these “time of observation bias” adjustments in HCN. The results indicate that HCN station history information is reasonably complete and that the bias adjustment models have low residual errors. In short, the time of observation bias adjustments in HCN appear to be robust.