Establishing Coop Stations - General Policy

Prior approval from Regional Headquarters is required to establish, close, or move cooperative stations except under the following conditions for stations that are not automated or telemetered.

1) Established stations may be moved/relocated without approval from Regional Headquarters, if the new location of the station is climatologically compatible with the previous location. Approval for such moves must be obtained from the MIC responsible for the station.

2) Stations may be re-established if they were closed and a new observer is located within a climatologically compatible area and the observing equipment and station offset from the closed site or another site is available. No new equipment shall be installed and the equipment that is installed is equipment that was removed from a closed station.

3) Stations may be closed without Regional Headquarters approval for data default (observations that do not meet established standards) or if the observer quits.

4) Equipment may be moved around an observer's yard to improve exposure or at the request of the observer, without obtaining approval.

Prior approval from Regional Headquarters is required to make changes in the observing program or equipment at cooperative stations except under the following conditions.

1) The time that observations are taken may be changed at the request of the observer. If the station is in the "b" hydrologic network, the change in observation time must be coordinated with the Service Hydrologist/Hydrologic Focal Point and the applicable River Forecast Center. If the station is in the "a" or "c" network, the change in observation time must be coordinated with the MIC responsible for the station.

2) Equipment may be added to a station provided it is surplus equipment and is not replaced from NLSC or other sources, if the equipment is used to enhance existing observation programs.

For example, a thermograph may be installed in order to obtain maximum and minimum temperatures when the observer is not available to make the observations when scheduled. If a thermograph is needed and one is not available, then a WS Form B-43 is required to obtain the approval to order one from NLSC.

Coordination of Changes

Changes in program at cooperative stations shall be coordinated with all applicable NWS offices and other cooperating agencies prior to submitting a WS Form B-43 to the Regional Headquarters. If a WS Form B-43 is not required, coordination with other NWS offices and agencies is still required. Coordination efforts and the results of such coordination shall be documented on the WS Form B-43.

1) For example, if a change is proposed at a "b" network station that is sponsored by a reimbursable agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), then the proposed action would first be coordinated with the applicable River Forecast Center (because of the "b" network designation) and then with the applicable office of the USBR (because of the reimbursable designation).

2) If a change of program may impact the operation of another NWS office, then that office should be coordinated with before implementation of the change request.

The WS Form B-43 Approval/Disapproval Process

Proposals for changes at cooperative stations are prepared by the NWS office responsible for the station and are signed by the MIC. They are then submitted to the Regional Headquarters for processing. Authority to approve or disapprove changes, rests with the applicable services Division Chief (MSD or HSD). If the proposed action requires the expenditure of funds not offset by previous actions, then approval must also be obtained from the Regional Director or Deputy Regional Director. Once approval or disapproval for the proposed action is obtained, the Chief of the Systems Operations Division (SOD) sends a letter of authorization or denial to the requesting MIC. Proposed changes may not be implemented prior to receiving authorization from the Chief of (SOD).

General Guidance for Completing a WS Form B-43

The WS Form B-43 is the vehicle used to relay a proposal for establishment, closure, or change at a cooperative station. It is therefore essential that the form and attached sheets describe in detail what your proposal is. There is little room on the form for explanations, so additional sheets should be used as necessary to relay all available information about the requested change. Your request can be processed without long delays if all applicable information is included with your request. The following are helpful hints for making a decision regarding your request for change.

1. If your request is for a new station or expanding the program at an existing station, be sure to include in detail what programs and products the new station or service will support. Do not use general terms; be very specific.

A. This new station will support the flood forecast and warning program for the city of Jonesville. Precipitation data will also be used for water supply forecasts in the Sacramento River drainage.

B. Station will fill a previously vacant grid in the "a" network.

C. Daily reporting of maximum and minimum temperatures and 24 hour precipitation will be used in our public service program and will be included in the State Temperature and Precipitation Bulletin. Data will also be relayed to other offices via AFOS.

D. Precipitation reporting is required to support WSR-88D precipitation algorithms.

2. Be sure to include all details on how reporting services are going to be relayed to your office.

A. Observer will call daily at 7 a.m. via incoming voice telephone.

B. Our office will call the observer daily at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.

C. Observer will call Salt Lake City ROSA daily at 8 a.m.

D. Observer will telephone our office via 800 voice line at 9 a.m. on Saturdays.

3. If you are requesting telemetry services, be sure to describe in detail just what it is your want. Many times we receive requests that say "request for ALERT station". This type of request does not provide enough detail to act upon.

A. Request establishment of a telephone telemetered river and rainfall station at Jonesville. Data will be collected by CADAS every 6 hours and by the WFO WHFS computer at other times as needed. Data will be sent to other offices via AFOS in our XXXXX product.

B. Request establishment of a satellite telemetered precipitation station at Jonesville. Station will observe data every hour and transmit data every 3 hours. Random reports will be generated whenever the precipitation gage observes an additional 0.1 inches of precipitation.

C. Request radio ALERT station that reports temperature and precipitation on event. Temperature events will be for every one degree change in temperature and precipitation events will be for accumulations of each millimeter. ALERT radio will transmit on frequency XXX to the base station at WFO Billings, MT. Data will be relayed to other offices via AFOS every x hours with product heading of XXXXX.