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Sheldon Drobot, Amanda R. S. Anderson, Crystal Burghardt, and Paul Pisano

In 2008, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Board on Enterprise Planning (BEP) established the Committee on Mobile Observations to discuss the application and utilization of mobile weather and road condition data in the context of supporting the weather and transportation communities and how these data could be used to improve safety and mobility across the nation's surface transportation system. The goal of the committee is to articulate a clear vision for mobile data that captures the immense opportunities for these data to improve road weather services and transportation safety and mobility. The Committee on Mobile Observations is engaged in numerous activities to accomplish its goal, which includes a nationwide survey of the traveling public to obtain better information on their preferences for and interests in obtaining weather and road condition information, their willingness to share vehicle data, and their willingness to pay for enhanced services. This paper outlines the results of the survey. Working through Survey Sampling International, the survey obtained 1627 responses. Results show that people are strongly interested in obtaining road weather information, though they remain wary of sharing data, and they are disinclined to pay for the data. Stratifications note some regional differences in the level of interest in data, as well as dependencies between the amount of information desired, and the willingness to pay for it and to share vehicle information.

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Amanda R. S. Anderson, Michael Chapman, Sheldon D. Drobot, Alemu Tadesse, Brice Lambi, Gerry Wiener, and Paul Pisano

Abstract

The 2010 Development Test Environment Experiment (DTE10) took place from 28 January to 29 March 2010 in the Detroit, Michigan, metropolitan area for the purposes of collecting and evaluating mobile data from vehicles. To examine the quality of these data, over 239 000 air temperature and atmospheric pressure observations were obtained from nine vehicles and were compared with a weather station set up at the testing site. The observations from the vehicles were first run through the NCAR Vehicle Data Translator (VDT). As part of the VDT, quality-checking (QCh) tests were applied; pass rates from these tests were examined and were stratified by meteorological and nonmeteorological factors. Statistics were then calculated for air temperature and atmospheric pressure in comparison with the weather station, and the effects of different meteorological and nonmeteorological factors on the statistics were examined. Overall, temperature measurements showed consistent agreement with the weather station, and there was little impact from the QCh process or stratifications—a result that demonstrated the feasibility of collecting mobile temperature observations from vehicles. Atmospheric pressure observations were less well matched with surface validation, the degree of which varied with the make and model of vehicle. Therefore, more work must be done to improve the quality of these observations if atmospheric pressure from vehicles is to be useful.

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A. D. McGuire, J. E. Walsh, J. S. Kimball, J. S. Clein, S. E. Euskirchen, S. Drobot, U. C. Herzfeld, J. Maslanik, R. B. Lammers, M. A. Rawlins, C. J. Vorosmarty, T. S. Rupp, W. Wu, and M. Calef

Abstract

The primary goal of the Western Arctic Linkage Experiment (WALE) was to better understand uncertainties of simulated hydrologic and ecosystem dynamics of the western Arctic in the context of 1) uncertainties in the data available to drive the models and 2) different approaches to simulating regional hydrology and ecosystem dynamics. Analyses of datasets on climate available for driving hydrologic and ecosystem models within the western Arctic during the late twentieth century indicate that there are substantial differences among the mean states of datasets for temperature, precipitation, vapor pressure, and radiation variables. Among the studies that examined temporal trends among the alternative climate datasets, there is not much consensus on trends among the datasets. In contrast, monthly and interannual variations of some variables showed some correlation across the datasets. The application of hydrology models driven by alternative climate drivers revealed that the simulation of regional hydrology was sensitive to precipitation and water vapor differences among the driving datasets and that accurate simulation of regional water balance is limited by biases in the forcing data. Satellite-based analyses for the region indicate that vegetation productivity of the region increased during the last two decades of the twentieth century because of earlier spring thaw, and the temporal variability of vegetation productivity simulated by different models from 1980 to 2000 was generally consistent with estimates based on the satellite record for applications driven with alternative climate datasets. However, the magnitude of the fluxes differed by as much as a factor of 2.5 among applications driven with different climate data, and spatial patterns of temporal trends in carbon dynamics were quite different among simulations. Finally, the study identified that the simulation of fire by ecosystem models is particularly sensitive to alternative climate datasets, with little or no fire simulated for some datasets. The results of WALE identify the importance of conducting retrospective analyses prior to coupling hydrology and ecosystem models with climate system models. For applications of hydrology and ecosystem models driven by projections of future climate, the authors recommend a coupling strategy in which future changes from climate model simulations are superimposed on the present mean climate of the most reliable datasets of historical climate.

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