COVID-19 Stay-at-home Orders Result in a Decrease in the Number of Missing Daily Precipitation Observations

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  • 1 Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14850
  • 2 CoCoRaHs, Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 80523-1371
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Abstract

The number of missing daily climate data observations reported by U.S. stations in the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) is assessed since mid-March 2020 when most states implemented lock-down requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to the same period March15-April 30 in previous years, an interesting pattern of missing data emerges. For stations in the citizen-science Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) the percentage of missing data declined by approximately 5%, with the largest declines typically in states most affected by the pandemic. Conversely, at NWS Observer Network stations, missing data observations did not show a systematic increase or decrease. Presumably the as a result of stay-at-home orders CoCoRaHS observers were away from home less frequently and thus were able to maintain a series of uninterrupted observations. At CoCoRaHs stations, a reduction in the number of missing weekend observations was noted during the stay-at-home period.

Corresponding Author Address: Dr. Art DeGaetano, 1119 Bradfield Hall Ithaca, NY 14850. Email: atd2@cornell.edu

Abstract

The number of missing daily climate data observations reported by U.S. stations in the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) is assessed since mid-March 2020 when most states implemented lock-down requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to the same period March15-April 30 in previous years, an interesting pattern of missing data emerges. For stations in the citizen-science Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) the percentage of missing data declined by approximately 5%, with the largest declines typically in states most affected by the pandemic. Conversely, at NWS Observer Network stations, missing data observations did not show a systematic increase or decrease. Presumably the as a result of stay-at-home orders CoCoRaHS observers were away from home less frequently and thus were able to maintain a series of uninterrupted observations. At CoCoRaHs stations, a reduction in the number of missing weekend observations was noted during the stay-at-home period.

Corresponding Author Address: Dr. Art DeGaetano, 1119 Bradfield Hall Ithaca, NY 14850. Email: atd2@cornell.edu
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