C.Bruce Baker, NOAA/NCDC, Malcom Gifford, NOAA/NWS
The U. S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) is a NOAA sponsored network and research initiative. During the initial phases of the program (FY 02 and FY 03), a number of instrumentation suites will be deployed to test and evaluate the initial configuration of the system in locations across the United States in order to expose the instrumentation to various climate regimes. Eventually, a much larger network of these high quality climate-observing systems will be deployed throughout the nation.
The first and foremost objective of the USCRN instrument suite is to provide high quality surface air temperature and precipitation measurements. . The reference point for all the measurements of air temperature and precipitation are sensor calibrations and procedures that are traceable to well documented standards. The documented independent calibration of each USCRN sensor to a traceable standard provides a common reference methodology for developing a transfer function relating the output of each sensor to engineering units. It is this common traceable reference that sets the USCRN apart from all other networks
The NWS Sterling test facility will be used for the USCRN Precipitation Intercomparison. The primary goal of the intercomparison of precipitation gauges and windscreens is to determine the biases between these systems for frozen and liquid precipitation and windspeed. The quantification of these biases will improve the initialization of hydrological models and forecasts, as well as provide a higher degree of confidence in long term trends of precipitation. This study is a cooperative effort with NOAA/ARL/ATDD, NOAA/NWS, and NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC. Candidate instruments will include the present configurations of raingauge/shield used by the USCRN, ASOS, and COOP networks. In addition there will be the candidate replacement for ASOS, the NWS manual 8" gauge and the proposed backup USCRN gauge.
First Author: C. Bruce Baker e-mail: Bruce.Baker@noaa.gov Phone: 828-271-4018