2B.6 Standardizing In-Situ Soil Moisture Observations to Improve Hydrological Monitoring

Monday, 26 June 2017: 11:45 AM
Mt. Roan (Crowne Plaza Tennis and Golf Resort)
Ronald. D. Leeper, NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Information/North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, Asheville, NC; and J. E. Bell

Antecedent soil moisture conditions can provide important information to decision makers prior to and during hydrological events. For instance, the lack of available soil moisture during drought conditions has been found to enhance sensible heating, and increase heat wave severity with undesirable impacts on air quality and other societal risks. Additionally, moist soils prior to heavy precipitation can be an indicator of flooding potential and improve early warnings. While soil moisture conditions can provide important insights to decision makers managing societal risks, interpreting soil moisture observations is often challenging, considering the sensitivity of observations to local soil properties, topography, and climate. This is further compounded by often short term data records that making placing observations into historical context challenging. In this study, a methodology to standardize soil moisture observations from a limited observational record was explored. It is anticipated that standardizing soil moisture observations will improve the usability of soil moisture observations in local and regional decision management.
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