The Iowa Environmental Mesonet (IEM) collects environmental data from cooperating members with observing networks. The data are stored and made available on this website.

IEM Daily Feature

Ames to Boone

Posted: 23 Feb 2024 05:30 AM, Views: 1790
The distance between the Ames and Boone airport weather stations is only about twelve miles, but sometimes the weather difference between the two can feel like many more. The featured chart is a bit of a deep dive into the difference between the two station's air temperature readings. The top left panel is a simple hourly difference plot between the two sites so far this February. It is not too exciting, but does show some instances of the temperature difference reaching 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The other three panels are where things get a bit more interesting. The bottom left shows the bulk annual statistics of temperature difference with a noticeable smoothing out over recent years, since about 2014. It seems that instrumentation changes are likely to be in play to cause that change in performance, but that is speculation. The top right panel is where things get very interesting and shows the frequency of Ames being warmer than Boone by week of the year and by hour. There is clearly a landuse effect showing up toward the end of May with the Boone station likely feeling the impact of having a large agricultural field to its immediate south. The top right panel also shows a neat effect happening during the early morning hours with the lowest frequencies of having Ames being warmer than Boone found. This has to do with subtle topography issues at the Ames site causing cold air drainage past the site. The bottom right panel shows the distribution of differences by month, which denotes some enhanced variability during the late summer and early fall months. You can generate this chart for two arbitrary airport sites of your choice and for other variables, like mean sea level pressure, which has interesting applications in mountainous regions.
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