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Nathaniel B. Guttman
and
C. Bruce Baker

The Automated Surface Observing System is currently replacing conventional observations at the National Weather Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, and other stations that report hourly observations. From a climatological viewpoint, it is necessary to compare the data from the old and new measuring systems in order to gain an understanding of their differences. These differences may become important when using time series for applications such as the computation of climatic normals, the development of homogeneous datasets for long periods of record for the investigation of climatic change, the placing of events into historical perspective, or the analysis of extreme weather events. This exploratory study of temperature data was undertaken to determine first whether there is a data continuity problem between the two observing systems and second, if there is a problem, to identify the magnitude of the problem. The most important conclusion from this study is that differences in site characteristics, even at the same airport, play as much, if not more, of a role in assessing the comparability of measurements from the two observing systems as does the instrument system bias. The instrument bias at most stations is on the order of a few tenths of a degree Fahrenheit, but the siting differences can lead to biases on the order of a couple of degrees. Not only is there a difference in the magnitude of the biases, but there is also a difference in the direction; the instrument bias is usually negative, but the siting biases can be either positive or negative.

Full access
Howard J. Diamond
,
Thomas R. Karl
,
Michael A. Palecki
,
C. Bruce Baker
,
Jesse E. Bell
,
Ronald D. Leeper
,
David R. Easterling
,
Jay H. Lawrimore
,
Tilden P. Meyers
,
Michael R. Helfert
,
Grant Goodge
, and
Peter W. Thorne

The year 2012 marks a decade of observations undertaken by the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) under the auspices of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center and Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division. The network consists of 114 sites across the conterminous 48 states, with additional sites in Alaska and Hawaii. Stations are installed in open (where possible), rural sites very likely to have stable land-cover/use conditions for several decades to come. At each site a suite of meteorological parameters are monitored, including triple redundancy for the primary air temperature and precipitation variables and for soil moisture/temperature. Instrumentation is regularly calibrated to National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) standards and maintained by a staff of expert engineers. This attention to detail in USCRN is intended to ensure the creation of an unimpeachable record of changes in surface climate over the United States for decades to come. Data are made available without restriction for all public, private, and government use. This article describes the rationale for the USCRN, its implementation, and some of the highlights of the first decade of operations. One critical use of these observations is as an independent data source to verify the existing U.S. temperature record derived from networks corrected for nonhomogenous histories. Future directions for the network are also discussed, including the applicability of USCRN approaches for networks monitoring climate at scales from regional to global. Constructive feedback from end users will allow for continued improvement of USCRN in the future and ensure that it continues to meet stakeholder requirements for precise climate measurements.

Full access
C. Bruce Baker
,
Michael Cosh
,
John Bolten
,
Mark Brusberg
,
Todd Caldwell
,
Stephanie Connolly
,
Iliyana Dobreva
,
Nathan Edwards
,
Peter E. Goble
,
Tyson E. Ochsner
,
Steven M. Quiring
,
Michael Robotham
,
Marina Skumanich
,
Mark Svoboda
,
W. Alex White
, and
Molly Woloszyn

Abstract

Soil moisture is a critical land surface variable, impacting the water, energy, and carbon cycles. While in situ soil moisture monitoring networks are still developing, there is no cohesive strategy or framework to coordinate, integrate, or disseminate these diverse data sources in a synergistic way that can improve our ability to understand climate variability at the national, state, and local levels. Thus, a national strategy is needed to guide network deployment, sustainable network operation, data integration and dissemination, and user-focused product development. The National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network (NCSMMN) is a federally led, multi-institution effort that aims to address these needs by capitalizing on existing wide-ranging soil moisture monitoring activities, increasing the utility of observational data, and supporting their strategic application to the full range of decision-making needs. The goals of the NCSMMN are to 1) establish a national “network of networks” that effectively demonstrates data integration and operational coordination of diverse in situ networks; 2) build a community of practice around soil moisture measurement, interpretation, and application—a “network of people” that links data providers, researchers, and the public; and 3) support research and development (R&D) on techniques to merge in situ soil moisture data with remotely sensed and modeled hydrologic data to create user-friendly soil moisture maps and associated tools. The overarching mission of the NCSMMN is to provide coordinated high-quality, nationwide soil moisture information for the public good by supporting applications like drought and flood monitoring, water resource management, agricultural and forestry planning, and fire danger ratings.

Free access
J. K. Andersen
,
Liss M. Andreassen
,
Emily H. Baker
,
Thomas J. Ballinger
,
Logan T. Berner
,
Germar H. Bernhard
,
Uma S. Bhatt
,
Jarle W. Bjerke
,
Jason E. Box
,
L. Britt
,
R. Brown
,
David Burgess
,
John Cappelen
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
B. Decharme
,
C. Derksen
,
D. S. Drozdov
,
Howard E. Epstein
,
L. M. Farquharson
,
Sinead L. Farrell
,
Robert S. Fausto
,
Xavier Fettweis
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Bruce C. Forbes
,
Gerald V. Frost
,
Sebastian Gerland
,
Scott J. Goetz
,
Jens-Uwe Grooß
,
Edward Hanna
,
Inger Hanssen-Bauer
,
Stefan Hendricks
,
Iolanda Ialongo
,
K. Isaksen
,
Bjørn Johnsen
,
L. Kaleschke
,
A. L. Kholodov
,
Seong-Joong Kim
,
Jack Kohler
,
Zachary Labe
,
Carol Ladd
,
Kaisa Lakkala
,
Mark J. Lara
,
Bryant Loomis
,
Bartłomiej Luks
,
K. Luojus
,
Matthew J. Macander
,
G. V. Malkova
,
Kenneth D. Mankoff
,
Gloria L. Manney
,
J. M. Marsh
,
Walt Meier
,
Twila A. Moon
,
Thomas Mote
,
L. Mudryk
,
F. J. Mueter
,
Rolf Müller
,
K. E. Nyland
,
Shad O’Neel
,
James E. Overland
,
Don Perovich
,
Gareth K. Phoenix
,
Martha K. Raynolds
,
C. H. Reijmer
,
Robert Ricker
,
Vladimir E. Romanovsky
,
E. A. G. Schuur
,
Martin Sharp
,
Nikolai I. Shiklomanov
,
C. J. P. P. Smeets
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
Dimitri A. Streletskiy
,
Marco Tedesco
,
Richard L. Thoman
,
J. T. Thorson
,
X. Tian-Kunze
,
Mary-Louise Timmermans
,
Hans Tømmervik
,
Mark Tschudi
,
Dirk van As
,
R. S. W. van de Wal
,
Donald A. Walker
,
John E. Walsh
,
Muyin Wang
,
Melinda Webster
,
Øyvind Winton
,
Gabriel J. Wolken
,
K. Wood
,
Bert Wouters
, and
S. Zador
Free access
Richard L. Thoman
,
Matthew L. Druckenmiller
,
Twila A. Moon
,
L. M. Andreassen
,
E. Baker
,
Thomas J. Ballinger
,
Logan T. Berner
,
Germar H. Bernhard
,
Uma S. Bhatt
,
Jarle W. Bjerke
,
L.N. Boisvert
,
Jason E. Box
,
B. Brettschneider
,
D. Burgess
,
Amy H. Butler
,
John Cappelen
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
B. Decharme
,
C. Derksen
,
Dmitry Divine
,
D. S. Drozdov
,
Chereque A. Elias
,
Howard E. Epstein
,
Sinead L. Farrell
,
Robert S. Fausto
,
Xavier Fettweis
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Bruce C. Forbes
,
Gerald V. Frost
,
Sebastian Gerland
,
Scott J. Goetz
,
Jens-Uwe Grooß
,
Christian Haas
,
Edward Hanna
,
-Bauer Inger Hanssen
,
M. M. P. D. Heijmans
,
Stefan Hendricks
,
Iolanda Ialongo
,
K. Isaksen
,
C. D. Jensen
,
Bjørn Johnsen
,
L. Kaleschke
,
A. L. Kholodov
,
Seong-Joong Kim
,
J. Kohler
,
Niels J. Korsgaard
,
Zachary Labe
,
Kaisa Lakkala
,
Mark J. Lara
,
Simon H. Lee
,
Bryant Loomis
,
B. Luks
,
K. Luojus
,
Matthew J. Macander
,
R. Í Magnússon
,
G. V. Malkova
,
Kenneth D. Mankoff
,
Gloria L. Manney
,
Walter N. Meier
,
Thomas Mote
,
Lawrence Mudryk
,
Rolf Müller
,
K. E. Nyland
,
James E. Overland
,
F. Pálsson
,
T. Park
,
C. L. Parker
,
Don Perovich
,
Alek Petty
,
Gareth K. Phoenix
,
J. E. Pinzon
,
Robert Ricker
,
Vladimir E. Romanovsky
,
S. P. Serbin
,
G. Sheffield
,
Nikolai I. Shiklomanov
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
K. M. Stafford
,
A. Steer
,
Dimitri A. Streletskiy
,
Tove Svendby
,
Marco Tedesco
,
L. Thomson
,
T. Thorsteinsson
,
X. Tian-Kunze
,
Mary-Louise Timmermans
,
Hans Tømmervik
,
Mark Tschudi
,
C. J. Tucker
,
Donald A. Walker
,
John E. Walsh
,
Muyin Wang
,
Melinda Webster
,
A. Wehrlé
,
Øyvind Winton
,
G. Wolken
,
K. Wood
,
B. Wouters
, and
D. Yang
Free access