J4.1 Quality Control Methods for the North Carolina Environment and Climate Observing Network

Friday, 13 June 2014: 10:00 AM
Salon A-B (Denver Marriott Westminster)
Sean P. Heuser, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC; and A. P. Sims, J. A. McGuire, H. A. Dinon Aldridge, and R. P. Boyles

The process of assuring quality observations is an important part of maintaining a healthy and robust mesoscale envrionmental observing network. The State Climate Office of North Carolina (SCO) maintains such a network called the Environment and Climate Observing Network (ECONet). The ECONet consists of research grade weather stations throughout North Carolina. Each station measures atmospheric and soil parameters that decision makers throughout the state consider critical. Here, we detail the methods for observational data quality control (QC) employed for the ECONet.

Currently, four different types of automated QC routines are performed on ECONet data: range check, buddy check, intersensor check, and trend check. Each check is run twice an hour to ensure up-to-date QC of near real-time data. The range check uses climatology to test the validity of observations. The buddy check utilizes data from neighboring stations to test whether a value (and its rate of change) are consistent with that of surrounding locations. The intersensor test is run on stations that have co-located parameters to cross check sensor performance. The trend check uses the values from previous hours to validate the current observation given the present state of the atmosphere.

These QC processes help SCO scientists and ECONet technicians quickly detect potential sensor problems so they can investigate and repair sensors as needed. Daily e-mails with QC scores broken down by station help with this process and allow SCO scientists to alert end users of possible faulty data.

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