32 Appendix D. General design considerations for weather/climate-monitoring programs

Weather and Climate Inventory, Klamath Network, National Park Service, 2007

 Appendix D. General design considerations for weather/climate-monitoring programs

The process for designing a climate-monitoring program benefits from anticipating design and protocol issues discussed here. Much of this material is been excerpted from a report addressing the Channel Islands National Park (Redmond and McCurdy 2005), where an example is found illustrating how these factors can be applied to a specific setting. Many national park units possess some climate or meteorology feature that sets them apart from more familiar or “standard” settings.

D.1. Introduction

There are several criteria that must be used in deciding to deploy new stations and where these new stations should be sited.

  • Where are existing stations located?
  • Where have data been gathered in the past (discontinued locations)?
  • Where would a new station fill a knowledge gap about basic, long-term climatic averages for an area of interest?
  • Where would a new station fill a knowledge gap about how climate behaves over time?
  • As a special case for behavior over time, what locations might be expected to show a more sensitive response to climate change?
  • How do answers to the preceding questions depend on the climate element? Are answers the same for precipitation, temperature, wind, snowfall, humidity, etc.?
  • What role should manual measurements play? How should manual measurements interface with automated measurements?
  • Are there special technical or management issues, either present or anticipated in the next 5–15 years, requiring added climate information?
  • What unique information is provided in addition to information from existing sites? “Redundancy is bad.”
  • What nearby information is available to estimate missing observations because observing systems always experience gaps and lose data? “Redundancy is good.”
  • How would logistics and maintenance affect these decisions?

In relation to the preceding questions, there are several topics that should be considered. The following topics are not listed in a particular order.