87th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 17 January 2007: 4:00 PM
Use of Non-NOAA Data Sets for Emergency Response and Forecast Operations: Implications on NOAA Policy
209 (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Roger V. Pierce, OAR, Silver Spring, MD; and J. O'Sullivan
Poster PDF (25.3 kB)
Historically, data collected and used by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) research laboratories for research and development and daily operations of NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) for forecasting and emergency response activity was primarily owned, operated, quality controlled, and archived by NOAA. This allowed NOAA to have complete and total control of the data collection and quality checking. As the science of meteorology matures, customer needs change and the need to address emerging hazards, impacted by weather with higher temporally and spatially resolution data are required. The cost of expanding data collections in the way it has been done historically to meet these requirements is prohibitive.

In an attempt to effectively meet these requirements, NOAA has begun to develop additional partnerships with other Federal, state, and local government agencies and the private sector. The NOAA's Earth Systems Research Laboratory (ESRL) has been collecting, evaluating, and using data from multiple entities experimentally for a number of years and developed the Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS) as a tool for ingest, quality control, and distribution of this data. NOAA's Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) and NWS have evaluated this data set to support its requirements for basic weather parameters in high spatial and temporal resolution, for operations, research, and development activities supporting emergency operations and hazard response, such severe weather conditions, bio-chemical spills, nuclear accidents, or terrorist threats. NOAA found these data sets valuable, yet limited in use for some of their requirements.

A new program, UrbaNet, funded through an earmark in the 2006 budget and in cooperation with NOAA's ARL, uses private sector weather data from existing data networks. The sensors are already collecting high temporal and spatial resolution data. Initial review of these data by NOAA indicate that additional development will be required to make these data appropriate for operational application in order to address the variability in the collection methodology, sensor exposure, sensor types, quality control, and assurance. The long term plan for this program is to expand the data collection to include other data networks and to increase the regions of the country where these types of additional data may be applied. Use of non-NOAA weather data poses a number of scientific and policy concerns for NOAA's operational and research components. This paper will explore some of these problems and solutions that are being proposed.

Supplementary URL: