U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Weather
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-23-2012, 02:47 PM
 
25,058 posts, read 25,861,624 times
Reputation: 11728

Advertisements

With reading the posts on here, I always thought that the US used looser defined criteria for measuring sunshine totals. So, what do you guys think? A good estimate about real sunshine hours to be about 10% less than what's stated on Wikipedia? I wish NOAA kept better records, but government here is pretty lazy about things like this. Could culture have something to do with it? Not with lack of maintenance, but maybe most Americans don't care much for sunshine hours the way Brits, Canadians, and Kiwis do? I've lived in northern PA before, where gray skies dominate most of the season, but I've never heard anyone complain about it. It was always more it's too cold or snowing too much, I've never heard Americans comment on how sunny or cloudy it is.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-23-2012, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
5,599 posts, read 9,534,138 times
Reputation: 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom77falcons View Post
You have your own sunshine recorder at your place, or do you mean your local govt weather station?
Neither. I use an unofficial station about ten miles away for real-time sun data as the official Met Office one which is nearer (at Hampstead, the longest-standing London site still in operation) doesn't publish its numbers until a lot later (I think there's some independent verification involved to some extent).
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-23-2012, 04:17 PM
 
641 posts, read 934,640 times
Reputation: 523
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom77falcons View Post
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.
The someone you`re refering to Tom is a poster from
East Grand Forks,MN
CD name: DaninEGF
He is a meteorologist with NOAA.
Yes, he did mention that NOAA doesn`t bother with keeping
accurate sunshine hours totals anymore, that`s why wiki
climate stats for US cities, sunshine hrs are usually 1961-1990

And yes, I personally believe that US sunshine hours are high,
I would say they`re off by about 150 to 200 hrs
US threshold of what constitutes a sunshine hour is slightly looser
than in alot of other countries, hard to prove, just my opinion
Best examples would be places close to US-Canada border.
Buffalo,NY has approx 200 hrs more than Toronto but
Toronto has 8 inches less precip and rarely gets lake effect snow
Same thing, Burlington,VT compared with Montreal, again
Burlington has approx 200 hrs more sunshine hrs
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-23-2012, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Mid Atlantic USA
12,609 posts, read 12,272,420 times
Reputation: 5785
Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
With reading the posts on here, I always thought that the US used looser defined criteria for measuring sunshine totals. So, what do you guys think? A good estimate about real sunshine hours to be about 10% less than what's stated on Wikipedia? I wish NOAA kept better records, but government here is pretty lazy about things like this. Could culture have something to do with it? Not with lack of maintenance, but maybe most Americans don't care much for sunshine hours the way Brits, Canadians, and Kiwis do? I've lived in northern PA before, where gray skies dominate most of the season, but I've never heard anyone complain about it. It was always more it's too cold or snowing too much, I've never heard Americans comment on how sunny or cloudy it is.
France, Germany, and it seems a whole host of other countries, Japan, etc measure sunshine hours. I don't think that is the reason. I think it has to do with trying to do everything on the cheap. To NOAA, it is just one less device at many stations they have to bother worrying about. Plus, their funding is always under threat by cost cutting.

Looks like in reality where you used to live in PA probably averages closer to 2300 hours or less. Maybe Cambium, at his home weather station, has a sunshine recorder that is well kept up. It would be interesting to see what his annual totals were if he had one.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-23-2012, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Paris
8,199 posts, read 7,863,632 times
Reputation: 3521
Yeah sunshine hours comparisons between different countries have to be taken with a pinch of salt, and it's not only with the US. Here are the sunshine totals from the last 12 months in some close weather stations in Europe (one can check other years, the result is similar):

Berlin, Germany: 1789 hours
Poznań, Poland (230 km to the east): 2035 hours

Warsaw, Poland: 2408 hours (!)
Brest, Belarus (180 km to the east): 1863 hours

These cities aren't separated by any significant relief and I can't believe that there are such differences between them as far as sunshine duration is concerned.

Both Germany and Poland use electronic sensors, yet numbers differ significantly. Not sure about Belarus.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-23-2012, 06:29 PM
 
6,916 posts, read 6,870,069 times
Reputation: 2559
What are the differences between the Canadian and Australian recording of sunshine?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-23-2012, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Wellington and North of South
5,127 posts, read 7,731,419 times
Reputation: 2629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superduy View Post
What are the differences between the Canadian and Australian recording of sunshine?
Probably none. Both sets of 1971-2000 normals are based on Campbell-Stokes "manual" recording, as far as I recall.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-23-2012, 08:31 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,818 posts, read 10,285,076 times
Reputation: 3616
Quote:
Originally Posted by burloak View Post
The someone you`re refering to Tom is a poster from
East Grand Forks,MN
CD name: DaninEGF
He is a meteorologist with NOAA.
Yes, he did mention that NOAA doesn`t bother with keeping
accurate sunshine hours totals anymore, that`s why wiki
climate stats for US cities, sunshine hrs are usually 1961-1990

And yes, I personally believe that US sunshine hours are high,
I would say they`re off by about 150 to 200 hrs
US threshold of what constitutes a sunshine hour is slightly looser
than in alot of other countries, hard to prove, just my opinion
Best examples would be places close to US-Canada border.
Buffalo,NY has approx 200 hrs more than Toronto but
Toronto has 8 inches less precip and rarely gets lake effect snow
Same thing, Burlington,VT compared with Montreal, again
Burlington has approx 200 hrs more sunshine hrs
Hi there

This is Dan, the one who talked about sunshine in a prev thread a while back.

Yes, one of my first duty stations was WSO Detroit (Metro Airport) from 1991-1994. At the time we had a sunshine switch, and we reported sunshine minutes for the previous day during the overnight hours. The data was sent to the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville NC for archiving. There were many such sites throughout the country that did this. This was in the day of manual observations, when folks at most NWS offices located at airports, did observations themselves. Problem at that location is that the sunshine switch often was out and maintenance had a hard time finding any parts to fix it. It would often go bizerk at sunrise and sunset and start clicking off minutes very rapidly for some odd reason. It was meant to be a sensitive machine and thus you would have full sunshine minutes recorded on days with even the faintest of sunlight (say dim sun visible through high clouds).

During my work there, the machine broke down for good and wasnt repaired due to lack of parts. I was not an Electronics Tech there so I wasnt privy on maintenance issues much. It still had to be recorded however even without a machine, so the minutes were estimated each hour and the person working would make a note on a sheet, and then the total would be added up. Problem was often that was forgotten or some hours left blank, so the observer overnight had to look back at the observation and make an educated guess at what the minutes would be.

Fast forward a few years, to my current location in Grand Forks ND. We had a functioning one here, which I was surprised to see when I started here in 1998. The ET staff here did a great job with it....though it too had its times of rapid minute counts at sunrise and sunset. But the unit was quite old and parts you couldnt find for it. Eventually, with increasing automated equipment deployed at airport locations which previously had human observers, there was no one to take the sunshine minutes record and sent it out. Thus ours was removed I think about 5, 6 years ago or close to it. Reason I got was NCDC climate folks noted that there is hardly any use by the research community for the data. So right now I am not aware of any NWS office or airport that measures sunshine like the old days.

Now, other departments or organziations may have set up over the years their own more automated equipment at a few sites. That I dont know about, but certainly the days of measuring sunshine at a place such as Detroit is long gone.

Dan
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-23-2012, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Toronto
3,338 posts, read 6,497,255 times
Reputation: 2400
Anyone know if Canada logs sunshine hours?

I can't find data online anywhere it seems but I have come across an example of an article or two like this before (from last year): Soggy GTA to get a little sunshine on holiday weekend | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun, which was mentioning how many hours of sun below average there was that week, which seems to imply that they do keep track.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-23-2012, 08:56 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,818 posts, read 10,285,076 times
Reputation: 3616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumbler. View Post
Anyone know if Canada logs sunshine hours?

I can't find data online anywhere it seems but I have come across an example of an article or two like this before (from last year): Soggy GTA to get a little sunshine on holiday weekend | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun, which was mentioning how many hours of sun below average there was that week, which seems to imply that they do keep track.
I know several folks who work at the Prairie and Arctic Storm Prediction Centre in Winnipeg and I will ask them. In the meantime, like the U.S. I did see they are included in normals in past years.

Here is the climate site for Canada, via weatheroffice.

Home | Canada's National Climate Archive
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Weather

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top