Stations used to populate the new database for Huntsville
Though observations begin in 1894 at Madison (014976), information from station history files indicate thermometers were mounted on the north side of a residence until probably 1906. In Feb. 1907 the first reference to the use of a cotton region shelter (CRS) is documented, so it was decided that the POR for temperatures should begin at that point. The POR for precipitation will be 1894.
For the most part, all Madison observations were taken in large, rural yards of homes on Church St., with the CRS usually positioned on grass at least 7 to 15 m from any structure. The longest single site was that of the Carter family who observed from 1917 to 1950 from the same location, providing an exceptionally consistent record during the period of significant warm temperature extremes of the 1920’s through the 1940’s. All Madison observations were taken in the evening except for a period in 1911-1914 and 1950-1962.
Observations of temperature and precipitation began in 1937 for the then small town of Huntsville on the property of the electric utility company (Alabama Power Corp., 1937-1940, Tennessee Valley Authority 1940-1941). All daily summaries from this station are based on midnight observations. The station was moved on 21 Feb. 1941 to a rural crossroads just south of the city limits, being less than 2 km from the original utility company. On 21 Nov. 1945 the site was moved to the Huntsville Municipal Airport, about 6 km south of the original site. All sites appear to be open and unobstructed. The airport station was closed 14 Jul 1954, though indications exist that the weather station was indeed operating for aviation puposes.
Huntsville (014064, KHSV)
The Weather Bureau commissioned a station at the Huntsville Municipal Airport in 1958 on the same site as the previous station. It was moved short distances in late 1958 and 1964. On 29 Oct 1967, the station was moved 17 km WSW to the new Huntsville-Decatur International Airport where observations continue to this day. The most significant event since 1967 was the commissioning of the ASOS in 1994 at its new location over 1 km W of the airport offices.
Period of Record
The Madison stations (014976) were all located at a distance of about 6.5 km and within an elevation of 20 m of the current KHSV ASOS. Indeed, the comment made on WS Form B-44 regarding the closure of Madison when the latest observer died was “This station located [near the] WSO/Huntsville. Station no longer needed.” Thus, geographically, the Madison stations would be viewed as compatible and consistent with KHSV.
The early Huntsville stations of 1937-1945 (014068) were located about 20 km NE of the present KHSV ASOS before moving to the Municipal Airport in 1945 at 18.1 km ENE from the ASOS. The entire set of 014068 stations taking observations during 1937-1954 were compatible and consistent as indicated by a single station ID and that their largest separation was less than 7 km. The fact the newly commissioned Weather Bureau station (014064) began operation on the same site as the final station of 014068, certainly makes it compatible with 014068. All 014064 and 014068 stations were within 15 m elevation of the present ASOS.
The 1967 move from the Municipal Airport to the new airport was significant (17 km), however with virtually no change in elevation, latitude or surrounding topography, the 014064 stations could be considered as a set of continuous records.
This provides a combination as follows:
Madison (014976) -- 02/01/1894-12/31/1936
Huntsville (014064) -- 01/01/1937-07/14/1954
Madison (014976) -- 07/15/1954-08/31/1958
Huntsville (014068) -- 09/01/1958-present