Comparison of co-located DCNet and AWS/Weatherbug urban temperature observations
In 2004, the Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration initiated a research program involving the private sector, to explore the utility of using local meteorological data from private as well as government sources in forecasting for urban areas. The program is referred to as UrbaNet. The first studies have focused on the National Capital Region using ARL's DCNet system of urban observations as the core public observation network. The work has been in collaboration with AWS Convergence Technologies, Inc. (AWS/Weatherbug), which operates a private/commercial meteorological network with a large array of meteorological measurement sites within the United States known as the Weatherbug Network.
While the focus of the UrbaNet program continues to be on the forecasting of personal exposures to hazardous materials, the suite of observations can be used to address a wide range of issues, including temperature measurements of the urban climate. In this study, aspirated temperature systems as currently deployed within NOAA's Climate Reference Network were installed at three DCNet stations collocated with AWS. Before installation, for quality assurance the DCNet CRN temperature systems were calibrated against NOAA's CRN standard. The data considered within this study represent one year of observations from both monitoring networks. While there is considerable scatter between individual 15-minute average temperatures, long term means yield correlation coefficients above 0.98.