A descriptive survey of meteorological observing systems in Mississippi (1).An extensive survey is given of the wide range of weather data collected by various agencies and private interests within the state of Mississippi. Routine surface weather observations are collected in Mississippi by the National Weather Service, Federal Aviation Administration Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), component of the U.S. Department of Transportation that sets standards for the air-worthiness of all civilian aircraft, inspects and licenses them, and regulates civilian and military air traffic through its air traffic control , military bases, individual airports, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mississippi Forestry Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Army Corps of Engineers, National Data Buoy Center The National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS). NDBC designs, develops, operates, and maintains a network of data collecting buoys and coastal stations. , and specialized research programs. Both Jackson State University Jackson State University, often abridged as Jackson State or by its initials JSU is a historically black university located in Jackson, Mississippi founded in 1877. and Louisiana State University Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, generally known as Louisiana State University or LSU, is a public, coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the main campus of the Louisiana State University System. operate networks of weather stations. Privately owned stations are managed by AWS AWS Amazon Web Services
AWS American Welding Society
AWS Advanced Warning System
AWS Advanced Wireless Services
AWS Automatic Weather Station
AWS Alien Workshop (skateboard company)
AWS Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH WeatherBug, the APRSWXNET/Citizen Weather Observer Program, and wunderground.com. The National Weather Service also has responsibility for "upper air" observations and the publicly owned Doppler radar network. Data from these publicly available networks are appropriate for various research and operations-oriented applications. The types of weather data represented are either in situ or ground-based remotely-sensed data (i.e., excluding satellite data). Significant aspects of the network-specific operational constraints and communications paradigms are briefly documented. In those cases of meteorological data that are publicly available through a website, the URLs for data access are referenced. Emphasis is particularly placed on data that are available in near real-time.
1. INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Meteorological data are valuable to a wide variety of scientific disciplines and related applications. However, lack of awareness among potential users in academia, government, agriculture, and industry of the various data sources and their relative merits is often an obstacle to full and appropriate utilization of these resources. The purpose of this document is to provide an exhaustive survey and description of meteorological data sources within Mississippi, including procedures for data access. Much of the impetus for providing such documentation to a general audience came from a workshop held at Jackson State University on Oct. 29-30, 2002, to discuss the possibility of building a new state-level "mesonet" of automated meteorological observing stations that would vastly improve the spatial and temporal availability of surface weather data (White, 2002; Alonso et al., 2003). Although there have been meaningful steps taken toward that goal, the intent of this paper is to serve as a benchmark of what data are currently available within the state.
The data sources vary in their use of metric or English units, and in terms of timekeeping conventions. These issues will be addressed only in general terms for each observing system. Meteorologists most commonly use UTC (Coordinated Universal Time, Temps Universel Coordonné) The international time standard (formerly Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT). Zero hours UTC is midnight in Greenwich, England, which is located at 0 degrees longitude. time (Universal Time Coordinate; also known as "Z" or "Zulu" time), i.e. the standard time at Greenwich, England (0[degrees] longitude). However, some observing networks in Mississippi report in terms of Central Standard Time, usually without changing to Daylight Saving Time daylight saving time (DST), time observed when clocks and other timepieces are set ahead so that the sun will rise and set later in the day as measured by civil time. (DST (1) (DeSTination) Contrast with SRC, which is an abbreviation of "source."
(2) (Digital Signal Trust Company, Salt Lake City, UT, www.digsigtrust.com) An organization that sets up and manages PKI systems for companies and industry groups. ) during the warm season. Central Standard Time is six hours earlier than UTC, and Central DST is five hour earlier.
2. SURFACE OBSERVING SYSTEMS
For purposes of this survey, we will define surface observing systems to be those systems of sensors which are primarily used to describe the state of the atmosphere within 100 m of the earth's surface, as well as related sensors to describe temporal variations in the surface itself. These data are most commonly of interest to a typical user, and are usually the most easily accessible. Emphasis will be given to permanent sites that typically record data at least once per hour. The availability of such data within at most one hour of the observation time will be referred to as "real-time" access.
2.1 ASOS/AWOS systems. The most widely distributed real-time data are those observed by the system of automated weather stations operated jointly by the National Weather Service (NWS NWS National Weather Service
NWS Naval Weapons Station
NWS New World Symphony
NWS Nuclear Weapon State
NWS Not Work Safe
NWS National Watercolor Society
NWS North Warning System
NWS Nose Wheel Steering
NWS National Waste Strategy (UK) ) and the Federal aviation Administration (FAA). Typically these sites are located at airports and have their strongest mandate for aviation safety requirements during take-off and landing (http://www.faa.gov/asos). The Automated Surface Observing System The Automated Surface Observing System
The Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) program is a joint effort of the National Weather Service (NWS), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Defense (DOD). (ASOS ASOS Automated Surface Observing System
ASOS As Seen on Screen (fashion clothing site)
ASOS Air Support Operations Squadron (USAF)
ASOS A Saucerful of Secrets (Pink Floyd album) ) takes observations every minute, twenty-four hours a day (U.S. EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.
n.pr See acid, eicosapentaenoic.
n. , 1997). The current one-minute data are normally only available via dedicated phone line or through VHF radio. The routinely available (and archived) data are transmitted at least once per hour. The standardized hourly observation (referred to as "synoptic") normally occurs during the ten minutes before the top of the hour, and is transmitted through the Global Telecommunications System The Global Telecommunications System (GTS) is a global network for the transmission of meteorological data from weather stations, satellites and numerical weather prediction centres. (GTS GTS
gas turbine ship ) of the World Meteorological Organization World Meteorological Organization (WMO), specialized agency of the United Nations; established in 1951 with headquarters at Geneva. It replaced the International Meteorological Organization, which was established in 1878. (WMO Noun 1. WMO - the United Nations agency concerned with the international collection of meteorological data
World Meteorological Organization
UN agency, United Nations agency - an agency of the United Nations ) for use by NWS and other users. These are the data reports most often referred to in the news media. Under certain circumstances data may be provided more than once per hour, either due to significant changes in weather at the station (e.g. wind shifts or beginning of rain) or at the discretion of the local airport operations. These "special" reports are also transmitted through GTS, but are not as routinely accessed due to their temporal inconsistency.
A similar type of observing system, known as the Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS AWOS Automated Weather Observation System
AWOS Automated Weather Observing Station
AWOS Air War Over Serbia ), is basically the predecessor to ASOS (Harder and Dunlap, 1999). AWOS has been replaced at most commercial airports by ASOS since 1992. But there are still AWOS systems operating at some smaller airports. In most respects the differences will not be noticeable to the casual user. However, there are some AWOS sites that do not supply data through GTS, significantly limiting data access.
Manual observing sites report through GTS in the same format as ASOS/AWOS, with similar procedures. Practically all manual sites have been replaced by automated systems. The most important distinction for most users is that manual sites do not generally report 24 hours a day. The three remaining "manual" sites in Mississippi are all at military installations. Automated instrumentation is actually on-site, but the sensors differ from NWS equipment and observations are only reported when a human being is on duty since they are manually entered for transmission.
The data for both synoptic and special observations are normally provided in "METAR METAR Meteorological Aviation Report
METAR Meteorological Terminal Aviation Routine Weather Report " format. This compact text format reports all observed parameters (which may vary slightly according to location) along with various automated or manually entered remarks (e.g. thunderstorms visible to the southwest). The authoritative description of how to read a METAR report is the Federal Meteorological Handbook "FMH-1" (OFCM OFCM Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology , 1998), which may be accessed at http://www.ofcm.gov/fmh-1/pdf/ch12a.pdf or at http://metar.noaa.gov. Various tutorials on METAR may be found by searching the World Wide Web. For many users, there is no need to deal with actual METAR reports since many websites provide decoded observations. Only the most routine elements of an observation are typically decoded however.
A synoptic METAR report will normally include: station identification, UTC time, wind at 10 m above the ground, visibility, "present weather", temperature and dewpoint at 2 m, sea level pressure, cloud cover amount, cloud base heights, and precipitation. A typical ASOS site is shown in Fig. 1. Unfortunately the mixture of English and metric units in the U.S. version of METAR can lead to confusion. Operational limitations of ASOS preclude visibility being reported beyond 10 statute miles or clouds detected more than 12,000 feet above ground level. The latter may result in reports of "clear skies" even when the sky is overcast if the clouds are higher than 12,000 feet. "Present weather" refers to types of precipitation, causes of visibility obscuration, and other standardized qualitative observations.
Locations of ASOS and AWOS sites in Mississippi (or within 20 km of the state line) are shown in Fig. 2. The official location for current METAR data reported through GTS is http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/metar.shtml. More convenient access is available through http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/MS_cc_us.html or the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research's (UCAR UCAR University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
UCAR Unmanned Combat Armed Rotorcraft
UCAR Utility Cost Analysis Report ) Research Applications Program (RAP) http://www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/surface. The official repository for all NWS data is at the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/ncdc.html). Since most of NCDC's data are not available for free, some users may also find the "Detailed History" feature (after selecting a location) at http://www.wunderground.com to be useful for data from the last few years. Other offices worth checking with are the Office of the State Climatologist cli·ma·tol·o·gy
The meteorological study of climates and their phenomena.
clima·to·log (http://www.msstate.edu/dept/GeoSciences/climate) and the Southern Regional Climate Center (http://www.srcc.lsu.edu). The current list of phone numbers for direct access to current ASOS/AWOS observations is available at http://www.faa.gov/asos/map/ms.cfm. Toll-free access is currently available through the privately operated service described at http://www.anyawos.com.
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2.2 RAWS RAWS Remote Agent for Windows Servers (Veritas Software)
RAWS Remote Automated Weather Station
RAWS Remote Automated Weather System
RAWS Ranger Antitank Weapons System
RAWS Research and Welfare Staff (UK) . The major federal land management agencies (U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) have for the last several years operated their own network of automated weather observing sites known as RAWS (Remote Automated Weather Stations) (http://www.fs.fed.us/raws). The primary purpose has been fire management (Zeller et al., 2001). Hourly observations are reported of temperature, dewpoint (or relative humidity), wind, precipitation, and solar radiation. Fuel moisture and temperature are also observed, in order to better describe the combustibility of the local vegetation. Due to communications constraints of the GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (or GOES) program is a key element in United States' National Weather Service (NWS) operations. GOES weather imagery and quantitative sounding data are a continuous and reliable stream of environmental information used to ) satellite through which data are transmitted, different sites may report at a different number of minutes after the hour (although many report on the hour). There are also a few RAWS sites that still only upload their data once a day via phone line. Observation times are reported in UTC.
In Mississippi, RAWS observing sites are located on National Forest, National Park, and National Wildlife Refuge National Wildlife Refuge lands (Fig. 4). There are also several sites recently installed by the Mississippi Forestry Commission to give better coverage of the state. Since sites are typically collocated with work centers or agency communications infrastructure, the data may be more representative of forested environments than of the large clearings in which ASOS/AWOS stations tend to be sited (e.g., Fig. 3). Data from the last 24 hours may be obtained from http://raws.wrh. noaa.gov/roman. Limited access to archived data is available at http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/wraws/al_msF.html. The HADS HADS Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale
HADS Helicopter Air Data System
HADS Hellenic American Dental Society, Inc.
HADS Humans Against Dragon Stereotypes
HADS High Altitude Defense System
HADS Hawaiian Air Defense System system (described below in Section 2.4) also provides access to RAWS data.
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2.3 SCAN. The Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA USDA,
n.pr See United States Department of Agriculture. ) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS NRCS Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA)
NRCS Nepal Red Cross Society
NRCS Normalized Radar Cross-Section
NRCS Namibia Red Cross Society
NRCS New Ross Consolidated School (Canada) ) was developed primarily for agriculture. Currently Mississippi has the most SCAN sites of any state. Hourly observations include temperature, relative humidity, wind, precipitation, and solar radiation. Additionally, measurements of soil temperature and soil moisture are made at various depths under bare soil. Data are transmitted via meteor burst telemetry (Puterbaugh et al., 2003) to a central processing center for real-time access via the internet: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/scan/Mississippi/mississippi.html. All measurements are reported in metric units, and observation times are referenced to Central Standard Time. A typical site is shown in Fig. 5, and locations of observation sites in Mississippi are shown in Fig. 6.
2.4 Hydrological Networks (HADS). There are several sites in Mississippi (mostly in Jackson County) where the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS USGS United States Geological Survey (US Department of the Interior) ) and Army Corps of Engineers measure temperature and/or wind to complement a larger network of precipitation and streamflow Streamflow, or channel runoff, is the flow of water in streams, rivers, and other channels, and is a major element of the water cycle. It is one component of the runoff of water from the land to waterbodies, the other component being surface runoff. observations. These data are accessed by NWS for flood forecasting using the Hydrometeorological hy·dro·me·te·or·ol·o·gy
The branch of meteorology that deals with the occurrence, motion, and changes of state of atmospheric water.
hy Automated Data System (HADS) (Glaudemans et al., 2002). Typically instrumentation (e.g., a rain gauge) is mounted on the side of a bridge over a major stream where river stage and discharge are being observed. Reporting intervals and times vary from station to station, with transmission via GOES satellite. Observation times are reported in Central Standard Time. Direct access to data through HADS is possible through http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hads, though the user interface is relatively inconvenient. Data may also be obtained from http://ms.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt or http://ms.water.usgs.gov/rt/biloxi/imap.html (for coastal counties). A USGS observing site that measures temperature, wind, and precipitation is shown in Fig. 7. All stations in Mississippi currently reporting meteorological data through HADS are shown in Fig. 8.
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2.5 Other Publicly Owned Real-time Sites. There are at least two marine weather sites relevant to Mississippi. Although technically within the waters of Louisiana, the buoy operated by the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC NDBC National Data Buoy Center
NDBC National Dry Bean Council
NDBC National Duckpin Bowling Congress (Washington, DC, USA)
NDBC National Data Broadcasting Committee
NDBC National Data Broadcast Center (digital TV) ) south of Biloxi (Fig. 9) provides hourly data (on the hour) for temperature, dewpoint, wind, and pressure. Additional data include winds every 10 minutes, and wave statistics and water temperature every hour. Data are transmitted via GOES satellite. Current and archived data may be accessed through http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/Maps/WestGulf.shtml. Another marine buoy site located near the Mississippi barrier islands is part of the Wave-Current-Surge Information System (WAVCIS) operated by Louisiana State University's Coastal Studies Institute (http://www.wavcis.lsu.edu). It observes temperature, wind, and pressure hourly on the hour, but data are only transmitted once every three hours. Additional marine observations describe waves, currents, and sea surface temperature Sea surface temperature (SST) is the water temperature at the surface. In practical terms, the exact meaning of "surface" will vary according to the measurement method used. . Transmission is by cellular phone to a Coastal Studies Institute lab.
Temperature, relative humidity, and pressure are reported for diagnostic purposes at three sites in Mississippi of the Ground-Based GPS Meteorology
(GPS-MET) demonstration network operated by NOAA's Forecast Systems Lab (FSL FSL - Formal Semantics Language.
A language for compiler writing.
["A Formal Semantics for Computer Languages and its Application in a Compiler-Compiler", J.A. Feldman, CACM 9(1) (Jan 1966)].
[Sammet 1969, p. 641]. ) (Wolfe and Gutman, 2000). Data are available every five minutes relative to UTC time from http://www.gpsmet.noaa.gov. The surface meteorological conditions are primarily monitored for use in calibration of ground-based integrated (i.e., total column) precipitable pre·cip·i·ta·ble
Capable of being precipitated. water retrievals using differential GPS technology.
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The NOAA Climate Reference Network (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/servlets/crnmap) is designed to provide very reliable long-term climate measurements at select sites around the United States (Baker, 2002). Data collected via GOES satellite upload include air temperature, radiative surface temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and solar radiation every hour. There is one station located in Mississippi near Newton.
The SURFRAD SURFRAD Surface Radiation network (DeLuisi et al., 2000) exists primarily "to support climate research with accurate, continuous, long-term measurements of the surface radiation budget over the United States." These sites provide ground truth surface radiation budgets for validation and calibration of satellite-based estimates. Temperature, relative humidity, wind, pressure, and various radiation measurements are stored every three minutes in UTC time. The data are uploaded to http://www.srrb.noaa.gov/surfrad once a day. There is one site in Mississippi, near Batesville.
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2.6 AWS. The largest single network of privately owned weather stations is operated by "AWS WeatherBug." Many of the observing sites are located at schools. AWS works with a local television station to manage sites within a given television market. Significant limitations are imposed on data access and redistribution due to the commercial nature of the observing network. Observations are available of temperature, dewpoint (or relative humidity), wind, pressure, precipitation, and (in some cases) "light" (as a percentage of potential). Scientific integrity of data may be compromised in some cases by placement on the tops of buildings (Fig. 10). The network as of April 2004 is shown in Figure 11.
At many locations observations are available every minute, although some sites report only sporadically. Time is either Central Standard Time or DST, according to time of year. Northern Mississippi stations may be accessed at http://www.instaweather.com/WREG; central Mississippi stations at http://www.aws.com/wlbt; and coastal Mississippi stations at http://www.aws.com/wlox. For stations in northern Mississippi, archived hourly data can also be obtained freely from the website. As a reflection of the complexity of partnerships between multiple schools, businesses, and television stations, there is a wide variety of consistency in sensor calibration and communications reliability. As a consequence, data reliability and availability may range from fairly good to practically useless depending on the site.
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2.7 APRS APRS Automatic Position Reporting System
APRS Automatic Packet Reporting System (GPS technology)
APRS Automated Position Reporting System
APRS Amateur Position Reporting System
APRS American Parks and Recreation Society and "wunderground." Automated weather stations owned by individuals exist at various locations with the state. There are two primary places to look for these data. The APRSWXNET/Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP CWOP Citizen Weather Observer Program
CWOP Child Welfare Organizing Project
CWOP Community and Worker Ownership Program
CWOP Child Workers Opportunities Project
CWOP canceled without prejudice
CWOP catalytic wet-oxidation process
CWOP Centrum Wspierania Organizacji Pozarzšdowych ) has grown out of efforts to collect weather data observed by ham radio operators. Parameters reported can include temperature, humidity/dewpoint, wind, precipitation, and pressure. Data are available essentially instantaneously, although frequency of reports varies by station. Times are reported in UTC. As with AWS, there is a fair amount of flux from day to day of which stations are actually reporting. Since individual "observers" may purchase observing systems from several commercial vendors and maintain the equipment differently, there is no guarantee of consistency between sites. A list of sites with current observations may be found at http://www.wxqa.com/states/MS.html. Sites reporting on 8 April 2004 are shown in Fig. 12.
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Another source for data from privately operated weather stations is "wunderground.com" ("Weather Underground"). Variables observed include temperature, humidity/dewpoint, wind, pressure, and precipitation. Observation frequency varies, with times reported in Central Standard Time or DST. In many cases, individually owned websites exist that provide additional data, though not in a standardized format. Sites reporting in Mississippi are listed at http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/List Stations.asp. In a few cases, the sites also report data through APRS. Archived data are available through the website, both for the private sites and for ASOS observations.
2.8 NWS "COOP" sites. The backbone of NWS climatic observations for more than a hundred years has been the Cooperative Observer Program (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/coop). Relying primarily on manual observations by "cooperative observers," observations are normally made at over 100 sites in Mississippi once a day of maximum/minimum temperature, 7 am temperature, and daily precipitation. Temperatures may either be from manual liquid-in-glass thermometers or from an electronic Maximum-Minimum Temperature System (MMTS MMTS Multilingual Machine Translation System
MMTS Medical Material Transfer System
MMTS Missile Maintenance Test Set ). In the manual case, the thermometers are shielded from sunlight within a white wooden instrument shelter (also known as a "cotton region shelter") (Fig. 13). The COOP network is the primary climate observing system in the United States and is used to generate most NWS official climate statistics. Approximately 40 stations also record hourly precipitation, and about 15 have supplemental observations of evaporation or soil temperature. Data are not routinely available to the general public in real time. In some cases, recent observations may be obtained from the closest NWS Weather Forecast Office. All data are eventually archived at NCDC, from whom they may be purchased. They may also be obtained from the state climatologist (http://www.msstate.edu/dept/GeoSciences/climate) or from the Southern Regional Climate Center (http://www.srcc.lsu.edu).
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2.9 Sources of multiple datastreams. NOAA's Forecast Systems Lab (FSL) maintains an interactive webiste (http://www-frd.fsl.noaa.gov/mesonet) for graphical access to real-time quality-controlled data from several observing systems. They store the full observational database in the Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS MADIS Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (US NOAA) ) (Barth et al., 2002). Recent data from several networks are provided by AnythingWeather at http://www.anythingweather.com/state.aspx?id=ms. Other online resources dedicated to Mississippi weather data have been developed by Jackson State University, and may be accessed via links from http://weather.jsums.edu.
3. UPPER AIR OBSERVING SYSTEMS
Most knowledge of the state of the atmosphere above 10 m is from radiosondes. Commonly referred to as "weather balloons", radiosondes are typically launched by the National Weather Service at locations near their Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) (Peterson and Durre, 2004). As the balloon rises, temperature, relative humidity, and pressure are measured and sent back to a base station by radio. Winds at the different heights are determined from radar tracking of the balloon. Data are gathered from several mandatory pressure levels, as well as additional "significant" levels where atmospheric changes are noted. Usually it is possible to get data from throughout the troposphere troposphere: see atmosphere.
Lowest region of the atmosphere, bounded by the Earth below and the stratosphere above, with the upper boundary being about 6–8 mi (10–13 km) above the Earth's surface. and lower stratosphere, in some cases as high as 30 km (about 10 hPa). Radiosondes are launched twice a day at 00 and 12 UTC (approximately sunrise and sunset Sunrise and Sunset are a pair of pegasi in the Dungeons & Dragons-based Forgotten Realms setting. The pair were rescued from giants by the moon elf Tarathiel a few years prior to 1370 DR, and after this they served as winged mounts for him and his partner, in Mississippi), with additional launches during special circumstances. One of the most comprehensive online sources for radiosonde radiosonde (rā`dēōsŏnd), group of instruments for simultaneous measurement and radio transmission of meteorological data, including temperature, pressure, and humidity of the atmosphere. data is maintained by FSL at http://raob.fsl.noaa.gov. There are many websites that present most recent radiosonde data in "skew-T ln p" graphical form or spatial analyses of mandatory level data from across the North America, such as UCAR RAP (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research's Research Applications Program): http://www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/upper. Although the only radiosonde site in Mississippi is at Jackson, others within surrounding states are close enough to be useful for some parts of the state. Locations are shown in Fig. 14.
To provide temporal resolution between radiosonde launches, ground-based radar wind profilers have been developed. For the most part these are part of FSL's National Profiler Demonstration Network (http://www.profiler.noaa.gov) (Benjamin et al., 2004). Wind speed and direction are sampled at regularly spaced vertical levels, and displayed as a time-height cross-section with a time increment of one hour. In Mississippi there is one site, at Okolona (Fig. 14).
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The National Weather Service's "NEXRAD NEXRAD Next Generation Weather Radar " Doppler radar network serves a dual purpose of estimating rainfall rates and winds within storms. Based on radar reflectivity re·flec·tiv·i·ty
n. pl. re·flec·tiv·i·ties
1. The quality of being reflective.
2. The ability to reflect.
3. , rain rates can be determined. However, this relationship varies with the size distribution of droplets, which in turn depends somewhat on the character of the weather system. Accuracy of radar-derived rainfall estimates also depends on distance from the radar site. Very close to the site useful data are difficult to retrieve due to electromagnetic interference effects and the "ground clutter" of nearby buildings, trees, and topography. At distances too far away, the curvature of the earth results in the radar beam sampling too high above the ground to give a reliable representation of surface precipitation rates. In general, comparison with surface measurements of precipitation should be used to ensure calibration of radar estimates when quantitative precipitation is required. Radar back-scatter may also occur due to non-precipitation effects such as migrating birds, dust clouds, or atmospheric ducting. The major value of radar lies in its high spatial and temporal resolution.
The Doppler effect makes it possible to detect variations in the component of the wind radially toward or away from the radar site. This is dependent though on there being sufficient scatterers in the atmosphere. The most common application is for severe storm detection in association with lines of strong wind shear. NWS Doppler wind data are not routinely available to the general public.
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NEXRAD radar sites serving Mississippi are shown in Fig. 15. In addition, several television stations operate their own radars. Real-time displays of NEXRAD data are available through the web pages of the individual NWS WFOs, which are linked from http://www.rap.ucar.edu/weather/radar.
5. SUMMARY AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS
The various meteorological data sources relevant to Mississippi each have their own strengths and weaknesses. This paper has attempted to give a comprehensive snapshot of the current state of these data sources. Spreadsheets of basic station metadata on each of the networks in Mississippi are available to the public by following the appropriate links from http://weather.jsums.edu. Although large amounts of data are available, it remains that there are many situations in which the desired data simply do not exist or can not be accessed in a satisfactory manner. In many cases this reflects the spatial and temporal gaps in the observing networks. As mentioned earlier, there is currently an effort to significantly improve the meteorological data availability by building a Mississippi Mesonet. Having been designed to meet the needs of a wide user constituency, the mesonet is planned to have at least one station in each county and to provide real-time access to one-minute research-quality data.
This work was supported by the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Science (NCAS NCAS National Capital Area Skeptics
NCAS National Consortium for Academics and Sports (Orlando, FL)
NCAS Non-Call Associated Signaling (Telcordia)
NCAS National Cyber Alert System ) under grant number NA17AE1623. The comments of two anonymous reviewers were helpful in improving readability and usefulness.
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Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology (OFCM), 1998. Federal Meteorological Handbook No. 1: Surface Weather Observations and Reports. OFCM Report #FCMH FCMH Fayette County Memorial Hospital (Washington Court House, Ohio) 1-1998.
Peterson, T.C., and I. Durre, 2004. A climate continuity strategy for the radiosonde replacement system transition. 8th AMS Symposium on Integrated Observing and Assimilation Systems for Atmosphere, Oceans, and Land Surface, Seattle, WA, Jan. 10-15, 2004.
Puterbaugh, T.L., R.P. Motha, G.L. Schaefer, T.B. Freeland, Jr., H.C. Pringle III, and H.L. Crowley, 2003. Operations of the Joint USDA/OCE/WAOB and MSU/DREC Agricultural Weather and Data Center. 12th AMS Symposium on Meteorological Observations and Instrumentation, Long Beach, CA, Feb. 8-13, 2003.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and , 1997. Analysis of the Affect [sic] of ASOS- Derived Meteorological Data on Refined Modeling. EPA-454/R-97-014, Research Triangle Park Research Triangle Park, research, business, medical, and educational complex situated in central North Carolina. It has an area of 6,900 acres (2,795 hectares) and is 8 × 2 mi (13 × 3 km) in size. Named for the triangle formed by Duke Univ. , NC, 100 pp.
White, L.D., 2002. Methodology for design of a Mississippi Mesonet. 7th AMS Symposium on IOS (1) (Internetwork Operating System) An operating system from Cisco that is the primary control program used in its routers. IOS is widely used and robust system software that supports the common functions of all products under Cisco's CiscoFusion architecture. : The water cycle, Orlando, FL, Feb. 8-13, 2002.
Wolfe, D.E., and S.I. Gutman, 2000. Development of the NOAA/ERL ground-based GPS water vapor demonstration network: Design and initial results. J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech., 17, 426-440.
Zeller, K.F., J. Zachariassen, and T. McClelland, 2001. Forest Service RAWS review and upgrade study. 4th AMS Symposium on Forest and Fire Meteorology, Reno, NV, Nov. 12-15, 2001.
APPENDIX OF ACRONYMS
APRS: Automatic Position Reporting System Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) is an amateur radio based system for digital communications, most commonly used to automatically report the position (GPS coordinates) of a person or object, or weather data at a remote location.
APRSWXNET: APRS Weather Network
ASOS: Automated Surface Observing System
AWOS: Automated Weather Observing System
BLM BLM n abbr (US) (= Bureau of Land Management) → les domaines : Bureau of Land Management
COE See common operating environment. : Corps of Engineers
COOP: Cooperative Observer Program
CRN CRN Computer Reseller News
CRN Council for Responsible Nutrition
CRN Community Recycling Network
CRN Course Reference Number
CRN Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
CRN Cornish (SIL code, UK) : Climate Reference Network
CSI CSI Crime Scene Investigator
CSI CompuServe, Inc.
CSI Commodity Systems, Inc.
CSI Commodity Systems Inc. (Boca Raton, FL)
CSI Crime Scene Investigation (CBS TV show)
CSI Christian Schools International : Coastal Studies Institute
CWOP: Citizen Weather Observer Program
DST: Daylight Savings Time
FAA: Federal Aviation Administration
FMH FMH Faculdade de Motricidade Humana
FMH Foederatio Medicorum Helveticorum (Swiss Medical Association)
FMH Federal Meteorological Handbook
FMH Frederick Memorial Healthcare System (Frederick, Maryland) : Federal Meteorological Handbook
FSL: Forecast Systems Lab
GOES: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite
GPS: Global Positioning System Global Positioning System: see navigation satellite.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Precise satellite-based navigation and location system originally developed for U.S. military use.
GPS-MET: Ground-Based GPS Meteorology
GTS: Global Telecommunications System
HADS: Hydrometeorological Automated Data System
JSU JSU Jacksonville State University
JSU Jackson State University (Jackson, MS, USA)
JSU Jewish Student Union : Jackson State University
LSU: Louisiana State University
MADIS: Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System
METAR: Routine Surface Weather Report
MFC (Microsoft Foundation Class) An application framework for writing Microsoft C/C++ and Visual C++ applications. See application framework.
MFC - Microsoft Foundation Class : Mississippi Forestry Commission
MMTS: Maximum-Minimum Temperature System
NCAS: NOAA Center for Atmospheric Science
NCDC: National Climatic Data Center
NDBC: National Data Buoy Center
NEXRAD: Next Generation Doppler Radar
NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Noun 1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - an agency in the Department of Commerce that maps the oceans and conserves their living resources; predicts changes to the earth's environment; provides weather reports and forecasts floods and hurricanes and
NPDN NPDN National Plant Diagnostic Network : National Profiler Demonstration Network
NPS NPS National Park Service
NPS Naval Postgraduate School
NPS Net Promoter Score (customer management)
NPS Non-Point Source pollution
NPS Native Plant Society
NPS Norfolk Public Schools (Virginia) : National Park Service
NRCS: Natural Resources Conservation Service
NWS: National Weather Service
RAP: Research Applications Program
RAWS: Remote Automated Weather Station
SCAN: Soil Climate Analysis Network
SRCC: Southern Regional Climate Center
SURFRAD: Surface Radiation network
UCAR: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1960 by research institutions with doctoral programs in the atmospheric and related sciences.
in full Uniform Resource Locator
Address of a resource on the Internet. The resource can be any type of file stored on a server, such as a Web page, a text file, a graphics file, or an application program. : Uniform Resource Locator See URL.
(World-Wide Web) Uniform Resource Locator - (URL, previously "Universal") A standard way of specifying the location of an object, typically a web page, on the Internet. Other types of object are described below.
USDA: U. S. Department of Agriculture
USFS USFS United States Forest Service
USFS U.S. Franchise Systems, Inc. : U. S. Forest Service
USFWS USFWS United States Fish and Wildlife Service : U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service
USGS: U. S. Geological Survey
UTC: Universal Time Coordinate
WAVCIS: Wave-Current-Surge Information System
WFO WFO Weather Forecast Office
WFO Wirtschaftsförderung Osnabrück Gmbh
WFO Western Field Ornithologists
WFO Washington Field Office
WFO Work for Others (USACE)
WFO World Federation of Orthodontists
WFO Wide Full Open : Weather Forecast Office
WMO: World Meteorological Organization
Loren White (2) and James Finney
Department of Physics, Atmospheric Science, and General Science, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS 39217
(1) See appendix at the end of this article for a list of acronyms.
(2) Author for Correspondence: P.O. Box 17660