Exaggerated Dew Point

Tuesday evening, the automatic sensor at the Moorhead Airport reported a dew point temperature of 88 degrees.  This was prematurely reported by a number of local and national media as a new state record.

It was premature because the quality of the reading must be evaluated before it can be proclaimed a record, and it appears that the reading had a few problems.  We went out to the site on Wednesday and found the sensor surrounded by moisture-producing corn, sugar beets, and very tall clover without a buffer as is required.  Also, the field had standing water all around which doubtlessly added greatly to the humidity and would not be considered representative of the surrounding countryside as a whole.

Finally, the sensor at Fargo’s Hector Airport was simultaneously registering a dew point of 83 which, although very high, was five degrees lower than the Moorhead reading.  Just like when track and field records do not count if they are wind aided, this dew point record will also fail to qualify as a record.

A couple of links you may want to read:

Hottest Place on Earth?

Unreliable Dew Points