Expansion of U.S. climate reference network capabilities

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010: 8:45 AM
B302 (GWCC)
Michael Palecki, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC; and B. B. Baker

Presentation PDF (289.4 kB)

Since completing network deployment in the continental U.S., several important initiatives have been taken to both improve and expand the set of observations made by the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). The foremost of these changes is the establishment of the nation's first soil moisture / soil temperature network with triplicate measurements at each site. Instruments are installed in three locations within five meters of the site tower, providing three independent samples of soil moisture and soil temperature measured at 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 cm. In addition, single relative humidity sensors are being added to each station. Finally, improved data loggers with robust removable data storage units are also being installed. New programming reduces data latency for real-time data users by providing temperature and precipitation calculations for the last hour ending five minutes before transmission time. This new portion of the data stream is called the “rolling 12”, and is currently being utilized by the National Weather Service through the Hydrometeorological Automated Data System.

New data types and increasingly lengthy records for our standard temperature and precipitation measurements now provide a substantial basis for climate science research. Therefore, a strong effort is being made to make these data more available to the scientific community through our own facilities and those of partners. The types of science work being done with USCRN data will be described.