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Climate Services Professional Development Series

PCU 6: Understand Principles for Conducting Timely, Accurate, and Consistent Climate Data Observations and the Broad Range of Their Applications

Producer: Jim Zdrojewski, AFS Climate Services

Training need: NWS field staff is responsible for the collection and quality control of observations that constitute the backbone of the national climate database and climate services. The quality of these observations must be monitored and evaluated in order to provide decision support within the climate and other communities. This is especially important as the NWS continues to ingest observations from not only Federal systems but privately owned observing systems as well. The field staff needs to identify and understand the requirement for sufficient documentation as well as the continuity and quality of the data as it pertains to the usability of the information.

Training objective: NWS field staff will learn the need of accurate, consistent, timely, and quality controlled observational data. They will also learn that the stewardship of this data is important not only for the current users but also for those that will be looking at the archive of the observational record. This will include learning how the observational record fits into the NOAA mission and who the users of the data are.

Specific Job Task Skills and Knowledge:

  1. Deliver quality controlled climate observations to include identifying the factors, which affect the accuracy and continuity of these observations, and providing timely distribution of data.
  2. Be familiar with the "Ten Guidelines for Climate Monitoring" that is recommended by NOAA to assist NWS personnel in managing observing networks.
  3. Know how the local surrounding can affect observing instrument readings. This includes both physical obstructions as well as the actual practice of taking observations, whether manual or automatic.
  4. Be familiar with how NOAA and NOAA partners and customers use observational data.

PCU 6 Instructional Components:
Please note, updated modules for each instructional component are in development.
Links will be added as they become available.
Instructional Component 6.1: Climate Quality of Weather Data Observations
  • Introduction to Data Stewardship
  • Applying Ten Principles of Climate Monitoring
  • Tools for Climate Data Quality
    • Datzilla
    • Historical Observing Metadata Repository (HOMR)
    • AWIPS Tools
Instructional Component 6.2: Factors Affecting Climate Observations
  • ThreadEx Explained!
  • xmACIS
  • Training Module (Web Version | LMS Version)
  • NOWData
  • Overview of NCEI Data Mining Services
    • Climate Data Online (CDO)
Instructional Component 6.3: NOAA and non-NOAA Users of Climate Data