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Old 05-23-2012, 10:03 AM
 
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This is something I haven't given much thought about, but how do different countries calculate sunshine hour totals? What are the criteria for 1 hour of sunshine, and which country has the most accurate observations? Also, please be unbiased in your opinions, I don't want to hear from Brits and Europeans that European agencies calculate hours best, from Australians/Kiwis that the BOM does it best, etc. Also what are the differences between each agency? Does agency A have more liberal criteria than agency B, etc.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:14 PM
 
Location: London, UK
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What I've noticed is that sunshine in the US always seem abnormally high by a few hundred hours. Can anyone confirm this and/or explain why?
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhdh View Post
What I've noticed is that sunshine in the US always seem abnormally high by a few hundred hours. Can anyone confirm this and/or explain why?
Detroit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Windsor, Ontario - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

170 sunshine hours difference. 35 km apart.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Mid Atlantic USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhdh View Post
What I've noticed is that sunshine in the US always seem abnormally high by a few hundred hours. Can anyone confirm this and/or explain why?

Being a civil engineer, and not a meteo, am not really sure, but I will use the analogy of infrastructure. The USA uses cheap, crap asphalt when constructing roads because Americans don't like to pay taxes. Europeans use the best asphalt and their road surfaces for the most part are butter smooth in comparison and last longer.

Probably the same with sunshine and meteo measurements. I've recently heard quite a few Americans grumbling about why we even need a national weather service, just let private industry do it, yadda yadda. Cool, let us let Accuweather keep all our weather records.

Just guessing, not really sure, but it does seem as if the US sunshine totals are much higher than elsewhere. I tried to find out about this and it seems that sunshine measurement is simply not a priority for NOAA. Not sure why, as it seems every other country considers it an important climatic statistic. Good luck trying to get any latest information for any city on sunshine hours.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
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If it was just a sloppy job, I'd expect US sunshine hours to be all over the place. Not have a consistent high bias. Might be lack of care but likely there's also something choice involved that makes the sunshine hours high.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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I have no idea how sunshine hours are measured here in Argentina. Maybe marlaver or sanfel know about it, since they know much more about climate.

What i do know is that i "feel" that BA haves more than 2500 hours of sun, but of course what do i know? i grew up and lived till i was 20 in a city with only 1900 hours, so of course the 2500 hours will feel super sunny to me. I just feel BA is a very sunny city, and if it only haves 2500 sunshine hours, i cant even imagine how those 4000 sunshine hours places in USA must be!.
I do think USA is abnormally sunny compared to the rest of the world. I mean, the least sunny places have like 2500 hours?? thats a lot! But it could be, of course, just that such a huge country is so sunny all over the place its remarkable.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Mid Atlantic USA
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
If it was just a sloppy job, I'd expect US sunshine hours to be all over the place. Not have a consistent high bias. Might be lack of care but likely there's also something choice involved that makes the sunshine hours high.
It most def was a lack of care. Many of the instruments sat idle and weren't even repaired, recalibrated or even used. I think someone that actually worked for NOAA commented on this on a previous thread about a year ago. He even commented on the Detroit vs Windsor thing if I remember right. You will never see real time sunshine data anymore as NOAA quite measuring it a couple years ago.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Loidis
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US sun hours are only for 1961 - 1990, and in Canada they're more recent, so maybe the sun hours at Detroit for example have gone up, but since they're not recording anymore we'll never know.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
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Unless pieces of sunshine recording equipment are equally calibrated I can imagine quite wild variations on a day like we've had today. The sunshine recorder I use gave a figure of 10h28m but so much of that was borderline haze/sunshine I can imagine a different machine giving anything a few hours or so either side of that.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Mid Atlantic USA
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Originally Posted by ben86 View Post
Unless pieces of sunshine recording equipment are equally calibrated I can imagine quite wild variations on a day like we've had today. The sunshine recorder I use gave a figure of 10h28m but so much of that was borderline haze/sunshine I can imagine a different machine giving anything a few hours or so either side of that.
You have your own sunshine recorder at your place, or do you mean your local govt weather station?
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