This online training was mandated in 2003 by NWS Director, Jack Kelly. The curriculum was developed by the National Weather Service Headquarters Climate Services Division.
The purpose of this training is to equip you with the knowledge needed to produce the most timely, accurate, and consistent climate observations possible in support of NOAA's lead mission for climate in the federal government. In particular, this unit relates to the management and operation of in-situ surface weather and climate observing networks (Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) & Cooperative Observer Program (COOP)). The basic principles presented here can also apply to other weather/climate networks, including the NWS upper air network, mesonets, state, and private networks, etc.
To meet the course objectives, this online tutorial covers:
1) Factors that can introduce unwanted uncertainty and discontinuities
into the climate record, and,
This lesson builds on information presented in PCU6 - Unit No. 1, "Applying the Ten Principles of Climate Monitoring to NWS Observing Systems." Additionally, some of the materials contained here are covered in the NWS Training Center (TC) training course "CPM01- Cooperative Network Operations." There is some overlap of content with both of these training activities. Completion of PCU6 - Unit No. 1 is encouraged before taking this training, but it is not a required prerequisite.
Climate records are based on meteorological data collected over a long period of time. Figures 1 through 3 illustrate the primary NOAA/NWS observing systems that produce climate data. They are the primary systems targeted for this training although the principles presented here are applicable to any climate/weather monitoring systems.
Figure 1 depicts a typical airport ASOS installation equipped with automated meteorological sensors. Figure 2 depicts a Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) site equipped with manual instruments. Figure 3 depicts a radiosonde in the upper air network.