92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Monday, 23 January 2012
U.S. Climate Reference Network Metadata Quality Assurance
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Devin Thomas, STG, Inc., Asheville, NC; and M. Palecki
Manuscript (115.8 kB)

The U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) is a network of climate stations developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide long-term homogenous temperature and precipitation observations that will help detect present and future climate change in the United States. The USCRN is comprised of 114 commissioned stations deployed across the continental U.S., with an ongoing effort to add 29 more Alaska stations. The work described here involves the quality assurance of USCRN metadata and photos generated at the time of station installation, annual maintenance visits and unscheduled maintenance visits. Quality assurance checks are made to detect site exposure changes in climate observing station photos and associated metadata, specifically noting any major changes in the observing station site environment. The metadata photos are also examined for compliance with established procedures and required content. If any site photo or metadata discrepancies are found, the network partner conducting the maintenance, NOAA's Atmospheric Turbulence & Diffusion Division (ATDD), is notified and works to resolve these errors. Quarterly station reviews are held with NOAA science and network managers focusing on evidence of notable changes, and on any lowering station site quality ratings over time. The metadata and photos are then ingested and archived at the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

The quality assurance of metadata for the USCRN is unmatched when compared to other networks recording similar observations. These high quality metadata confirm that the climate data that are received and that will continue to be received for years to come, will reliably measure climate change in the United States.

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