Network of Weather and Climate Observing Networks (NOWCON)
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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 9:00 AM
Society increasingly demands weather and other environmental information on a fine spatial scale, and environmental modelers and applications scientists have significantly improved our ability to generate products meeting these demands. However, observations on which to base fine-scale numerical models and other applications are often not available because observations are not taken on the appropriate scale or the observations that are taken do not make it into appropriate databases. The recent National Research Council report, “Observing Weather and Climate from the Ground Up: A Nationwide Network of Networks,”  and other relevant studies  addressed this issue and provided recommendations on integrating various networks. The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research (OFCM), through its Committee for Integrated Observing Systems (CIOS), is working with the federal agencies to establish the Network of Weather and Climate Observing Networks (NOWCON). The goal of the NOWCON is to develop a federal national strategy to integrate disparate observing systems to meet multiple national needs in a cost-effective manner and to provide an organizational framework for coordination, integration and interoperability. The group has identified steps needed to network the existing networks of mesoscale observations into an integrated, flexible, adaptive, and multi-purpose national mesoscale network. This approach enables observations to be readily available for weather and climate prediction and for use by multiple clients for both operations and research in functional areas such as energy security, public health and safety, transportation, water resources, food production, and other relevant sectors. This paper reviews CIOS work done thus far and presents the committee's approach to implementing NOWCON.
 National Research Council (NRC), 2009: Observing Weather and Climate from the Ground Up: A Nationwide Network of Networks, Committee on Developing Mesoscale Meteorological Observational Capabilities to Meet Multiple National Needs, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council. Washington D.C.: National Academies Press, pp. 2-3.
 Other relevant studies include, but are not limited to: USGEO's Observing Earth's Vital Signs (draft); Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Research (CENR) Air Quality Research Subcommittee (AQRS) Survey on Air Quality Monitoring (draft); NWS' Assessment of Federal, State, and Local Meso/Micro Networks in the National Weather Service Eastern Region as Potential Candidates to become NERON Collaborators.