The 15th International Conference on Interactive Information and Processing Systems(IIPS) for Meteorology, Oceanography, and Hydrology


Patricia A. Miller, NOAA/FSL, Boulder, CO; and M. F. Barth

For several years, the National Weather Service (NWS) has been engaged in activities directed toward modernizing and restructuring its operations. The activities include as major components, the development of a new radar system (whose individual hardware units are known as WSR-88D), a new Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), and a new communications and forecaster workstation system, the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS).

The Local Data Acquisition and Dissemination (LDAD) system is vital to the success of AWIPS. LDAD automates NWS field office interactions with local automated observation systems, spotter networks, cooperative observers, and members of the local decisionmaking community. The system will enable each NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) to 1) provide support for the acquisition, quality control, and integration of weather observations into the AWIPS processing environment, 2) facilitate two-way communications between the WFOs and state and local government agencies; and 3) disseminate AWIPS weather information, using advanced visualization and integration techniques, to decisionmakers in local and state communities, and to the public at large.

This paper will describe the LDAD Quality Control and Monitoring System (QCMS), which was first implemented in AWIPS Build 4.1 to process standard Meteorological Aviation Reports (METARs), surface reports from the NOAA Profiler Network and buoy stations, as well as reports from the local surface mesonets available at each WFO.

Quality control checks utilized by the QCMS include validity checks, temporal consistency checks, internal consistency checks, and spatial consistency checks based on Optimal Interpolation (OI), a widely accepted method for objective analysis of meteorological data. Station monitoring statistics include: the total number of observations for each variable, the number of observations that failed various QC checks, the rms errors of the observations which failed the QC checks, the station names of the failed observations, and the error of each of the failed observations. The system also computes and stores daily, weekly, and monthly summaries of the percentage of failed observations, the average errors, and the rms errors for individual stations and for all stations combined.

QCMS output is available to the AWIPS internal systems to assist WFO personnel in assessing meteorological conditions, and also to data providers to assist in improving the efficiency and reducing the cost of sensor maintenance.

The paper will describe the current status of the QCMS system, give details on the quality control, monitoring, distribution, and visualization techniques utilized, and will briefly describe future plans.

The 15th International Conference on Interactive Information and Processing Systems(IIPS) for Meteorology, Oceanography, and Hydrology