The CRS/LIG Tmax observations are about 0.4K warmer than MMTS in the central part of the distribution. However, there are differences on the extreme tails. At Fort Collins, for extreme low values of Tmax, specifically below the 5th percentile threshold, the CRS/LIG observations average nearly 1.0K warmer than the MMTS values. Observations of snow depth indicate that snow cover is on average highest on days with the lowest Tmax values, indicating that snow cover is likely one of the causes for the larger differences. At the Rutgers station, for extreme high values of Tmax, above the 95th percentile threshold, the CRS/LIG observations average about 0.6K warmer than the MMTS values. For extreme values of Tmin, the differences between CRS/LIG and MMTS are small (around 0.1K or less) for both extreme high Tmin and extreme low Tmin at Fort Collins and slightly larger (0.1-0.2K) at Rutgers. A comparison of time series of extreme metrics between the official record (with the change to MMTS) and a homogeneous record consisting solely of LIG/CRS observations shows substantial differences. Specifically, the changeover to MMTS artificially diminishes both recent upward trends in heat waves and downward trends in cold waves.
A sensitivity study for the entire U.S., using various daily temperature adjustment values applied to daily observations for a set of long-term COOP stations, indicates similar noticeable quantitative effects on extreme temperature metrics for the nation as a whole. Most important, the differences between variations in metrics separately calculated with Tmax and Tmin are substantially diminished and conclusions about different behavior of extreme nighttime vs daytime extremes may need to be re-examined.