618 Visualization and Analysis Tools for the North American Monsoon: Connecting Citizen Science Data and Observations for Research, Policy, and Decision Support

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Ben McMahan, Climate Assessment for the Southwest, Tucson, AZ; and P. Bunn, G. McGowan, W. F. Holmgren, M. Crimmins, and H. I. Chang

The North American Monsoon precipitation in the Southwest U.S. varies in intensity over the season, is highly spatially variable, and can be difficult to forecast and analyze. Researchers, forecasters, and climatologists assess the monsoon using daily and seasonal precipitation, often from a single regional weather station in comparison to long term seasonal averages. Numerous other sources of precipitation data could be integrated to form a more accurate assessment framework for monsoon precipitation. These sources include observations from networks including the flood control district networks, Mesowest station data, Rainlog.org (a citizen scientist precipitation monitoring network), CoCoRaHs (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network), and the Citizen Weather Observer Program; and from gridded datasets such as MRMS (Multi-Radar/Multi-Sensor System), the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS), and PRISM. Station data form a dense network of observations and offer additional precision on regional precipitation patterns, with implications for long term water management and short term extreme event planning, while gridded data provide comprehensive regional estimates of precipitation but may not capture the highly variable nature of monsoon events (spatially or temporally). Our poster will present results of ongoing efforts to integrate these data sources and compare their observations and estimates to assess the accuracy of point source observations and the quality of gridded estimates, and to integrate these data to develop novel visualizations that capture the spatial heterogeneity of monsoon events, as well as comparisons of seasonal totals. We will also discuss ongoing collaborations focused on analysis and visualization products (including operational tools) that integrate these data for use by local agencies, with an emphasis on how these enhance community resilience and regional preparedness by partnering with local agencies (e.g. National Weather Service-Tucson). We will also discuss our efforts to make these visualizations accessible to the general public, decision makers, and other researchers - with a focus on basic research ,as well as hazard mitigation and emergency management.
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