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Localizing Climate Assessment Tools

Stonie R Cooper, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Reliance on nationally produced normalized climatological products that are, within themselves, reliant upon observations that are geographically static and long term, places a burden on local climate services for providing consistently current climate updates. Within the need for current normalized climate data is the potential use for normalized extremes climatologies to provide automated quality control ranges for locally implemented weather networks. In this study, three questions are explored with the goal of increasing capacity of locally produced climate services: Can a locally normalized climatology be created that exhibits acceptable agreement with nationally produced normalized climatological products, yet provides the potential to be adapted for more frequent generation and alternative time periods? Can a locally produced normalized climatology be created for the purpose of assessing the viability of observations from a local weather network, such as the Nebraska Mesonet, providing a value-added first-pass quality control test? Does a reference grid of a locally produced climatology provide any quality control advantage over simply comparing near real-time automated observations, such as from the Nebraska Mesonet to external sourced manual observations, such as nationally maintained and quality-controlled collectives? Using nationally recognized official climate data, local climatologies were prepared and compared to national data sets for validation of process and utility for use as a quality control tool for local observations and local climatological data sets for climate services. The locally normalized climatology was found to show high correlation and is adaptable to time frame and periodicity. The normalized climatology illustrates success in providing a first pass automated quality control test for a local weather network. Furthermore, the reference grid is shown to be advantageous from a quality control perspective when compared to observations from neighboring nationally maintained datasets. Additional advantages of locally normalized climatologies are the generation of descriptive climate products to augment and enhance local climate services.

Subject Area

Environmental science|Climate Change|Meteorology

Recommended Citation

Cooper, Stonie R, "Localizing Climate Assessment Tools" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI30489469.