A comment by Ralph Allen
I read with interest your discussion on variability of rainfall over the last 100 years. You may be interested to know that due to the introduction of a new automated weather observation system by the National Weather Service, rainfall figures over the past few years have been reported inaccurately. ASOS (Automated Surface Observation System) has replaced human weather observers in nearly every weather office in the United States over the past 4 years, and unfortunately, there are significant systematic inaccuracies in its measurements of several weather parameters, including rainfall. In my own experience comparing ASOS rainfall totals to a simple bucket raingauge, ASOS underreports rainfall by 5-20%. This is a significant factor for researchers. Do you have any plans to address this problem?