238 A Comparison Of 20 Years Of Automated And Manual Rainfall Observations At Over 250 Locations Across Oklahoma

Monday, 11 January 2016
Monique A. Sellers, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Norman, OK; and C. A. Fiebrich and C. R. Luttrell

The Oklahoma Mesonet is a dense automated network of environmental monitoring stations spanning the 77 counties that make up the state of Oklahoma. Since being commissioned in 1994, this network has recorded rainfall from its 120 locations across the state every 5 minutes using an automated Met One rain gauge. During the same 20-year period, the National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) has recorded manual rainfall observations at over 150 locations in Oklahoma. In 2008, a subset of Mesonet sites were officially integrated into the COOP network further enhancing the state's climate data archive. This presentation will discuss the results of an analysis of the overlapping rainfall datasets for these two networks in Oklahoma during the period of January 1994 to December 2014. Differences between the datasets are evaluated geographically by climate division as well as temporally by season. Changes in the number and distribution of COOP network observers through time will also be evaluated. Most recently, the Mesonet has installed a second automated Met One rain gauge at each location in the network. This dual gauge setup at all Oklahoma Mesonet sites ensures the completeness of the state's rainfall archive and is used as an important quality assurance tool.
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