Humorous Weather Station Abbreviations
Sometimes, weather station names (abbreviations) generate chuckles from otherwise serious scientists within the weather and climate community. Some are silly, some are funny, some are head scratchers, and some are naughty. This is a brief look at some of them.
Weather stations across the globe are assigned abbreviations is a quick, easy to access identification code. Since weather stations are usually, but not always, co-located with airports, the station names typically mirror the three-letter airport code. A key difference is that airport stations have three letters (or letters and numbers) while weather stations have four. In the Contiguous U.S., the letter "K" is added to the beginning of the airport code for use as a weather station code. For example, John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City has the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) designation "JFK." If you have ever flown into that airport, the tag on your checked baggage has the letters JFK in large print. The weather station at the airport is designated as KJFK. Again, the letter K is appended to the front. In Alaska and Hawai"i, things are a little different. All weather stations in Hawai"i begin with the letters P and H; while in Alaska, all weather stations begin with the letters P and A.
Fun With Letters
As humans, when we see a group of letters, we try to associate it with a word that we are familiar with. Sometimes the letters arrange themselves as a word naturally; other times the letters are close enough to resemble a word. For example, the Annette Island, Alaska, stations is abbreviated PANT. This is obviously an actual English language word. Since not many words begin with the letter K, we usually enunciate Lower 48 stations with the Letter K followed by a combined three-letter word (if it makes a real word. For example, Fresno, California is KFAT. Many people read this as "K Fat."
There are over 3,000 weather stations in the U.S., approximately 172 of them have initials that spell our 4- or 3-letter words. Many are not terribly interesting (e.g., K PIT - Pittsburgh) while others are more humorous (e.g., PAIN - McKinley Park).
Since a list of weather stations is not very interesting, a Google Maps page was put together to show all 172 stations.
My Top 20 Favorite Station Abbreviations
- KRAP (Rapid City, SD)
- PAIN (McKinley Park, AK)
- KGRR (Grand Rapids, MI)
- KYUM (Yuma, AZ)
- KSUX (Sioux City, IA)
- PAWS (Wasilla, AK)
- KBAD (Barksdale AFB, LA)
- KINK (Wink, TX)
- PHOG (Kahului, HI)
- KBUM (Butler, MO)
- KRAD (Warroad, MN)
- KGOO (Grass Valley, CA)
- KEYE (Indianapolis, IN)
- KBFD (Bradford, PA)
- KATY (Watertown, SD)
- KOVE (Oroville, CA)
- KFLY : (Colorado Springs Meadow, CO)
- KKEY (Key West, FL)
- KNIP (Jacksonville NAS, FL)
- KASH : (Nashua/Boire Fld, NH)
While science is usually serious business, a little levity from time-to-time never hurts.Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianbrettschneider/2018/07/09/humorous-weather-station-abbreviations/