Click image for a live interactive view of the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, NC
Today started off terrible. I slipped in the bathtub last night at the hotel, and strained a back muscle and was so sore that just getting dressed and into the car was a chore. As a result, I was late getting to NCDC this morning. I’ve been popping Aleves today. Fortunately, they had slack built in so the day got started cheerfully with a review of the new Climate Reference Network with the principal scientists. It was a super meeting and I took many notes, I’ll have much to share later.
Next came a briefing on “Climate Science” from Tom Peterson, but I’m afraid I stole his thunder a little bit when I announced that I had already seen his presentation, which included an analysis of the Marysville USHCN Station. See the powerpoint he presented here:aapg-san-antonio-peterson
Then came a personal tour of the Asheville CRN station by Dr. Bruce Baker. In addition to taking visible light photos, I also took matching IR photos from many angles. Bruce and his team were quite impressed with the IR camera I use, and he says he plans to buy a couple in use for siting surveys. He also plans to post the IR photos I took today on the CRN site to show how well the design and siting is free of IR influences.
I’ll have much more on all of this but I still have 8 more stations to survey plus an unexpected customer detour service call Friday to WDNN-TV in Dalton, GA which has some trouble with our weather display system there. So stay tuned for more details on the visit and questions that were asked and answered.
But the big news came with Dr. Baker providing me with a press release (new today) to post here for you all to see. CRN is getting completed and USHCN modernization is starting:
NOAA today announced it will install the last nine of the 114 stations as part of its new, high-tech climate monitoring network. The stations track national average changes in temperature and precipitation trends. The U.S. Climate Reference Network (CRN) is on schedule to activate these final stations by the end of the summer.
NOAA also is modernizing 1,000 stations in the Historical Climatology Network (HCN), a regional system of ground-based observing sites that collect climate, weather and water measurements. NOAA’s goal is to have both networks work in tandem to feed consistently accurate, high-quality data to scientists studying climate trends.
See the full press release here:
What this means: No more adjusted data, the raw data from CRN and from HCN-M is the real data and will be pristine, assuming the network is maintained. No more torturous gyrations of FILNET, SHAP, and TOBS. The downside is that a track record needs to be built up, the older data is also going to be revised with USHCN2 algorithms soon, and I’ll touch on that later.
One thing that Debra Braun said to me today in the meeting hit home: “our funding had been cut for the last two years, and we were unable to move forward until this year”. This made me think that perhaps some of the focus the surfacestations.org project brought to illuminating the deplorable condition of the network may have helped a little bit in convincing some legislators that it was time to get serious about allocating funding to complete the CRN and fix the USHCN. A little public embarrassment of the USHCN provided by all of us that have contributed to surfacestations.org may have helped. I’d sure like to think so.
I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Baker, Debra Braun, Grant Goodge, and the entire CRN science team, plus Jeff Arnfield, and Steven Del Greco for answering all my questions and taking such careful time with me. Additionally I wish to thank Dr. Karl, and Assistant Director Sharon LeDuc for hearing my concerns and offering ideas.
Everyone there at NCDC made me feel welcome and appreciated.
Most importantly, I want to thank you, my loyal readers and volunteers, because without your help, the trip and presentation I made would not be possible.