Weather and Climate Inventory, Klamath Network, National Park Service, 2007
5.0. Conclusions and Recommendations
5.1. Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network
Most of the KLMN park units are at least 40 km from any SAO or similar airport stations. Therefore, the primary source of automated weather data for these park units generally comes from RAWS or SNOTEL stations. RAWS stations are particularly common throughout KLMN park units. It is therefore beneficial for climate monitoring efforts in the KLMN that the NPS work closely with local agencies to continue the operation of existing RAWS stations within KLMN park units, as well as encourage the addition of new RAWS stations.
One place where the addition of such a station would be useful is along the north rim of Crater Lake in CRLA. There are currently no weather or climate stations in this area. The only active stations identified in this report for northern CRLA are down along the shore of Crater Lake, including manual and automated stations at Cleetwood Cove.
Crater Lake National Park is well known for its heavy snowfalls (Redmond 2007). However, it appears that the snowfall patterns in the park are severely undersampled. There are only two NRCS-SC sites and one NWAVAL station in the park unit, all near Rim Village. The NWAVAL station provides the only near-real-time observations of snowfall and snow depth in the park unit. Due to the interest in snowfall within CRLA, a useful strategy might be to partner with NRCS to convert one of the NRCS-SC sites near Rim Village (“Annie Spring Rev.” or “Park H.Q. Rev.”) into a SNOTEL station, providing additional near-real-time snowfall data for the park unit and providing another data point to compare snowfall patterns with other SNOTEL stations around CRLA. Additional SNOTEL stations in the park unit could be considered as funds become available.
All the stations we identified within LABE are near the main visitor center at Indian Wells, in the south-central portion of the park unit. With variations of several hundred meters across the park unit, topography is enough of a factor in LABE climate that monitoring efforts could likely benefit from installing additional automated stations. Locations in northern LABE would provide excellent candidates for one such station. The RAWS network already has a strong presence in the area, so NPS may want to consider working with local agencies to install a RAWS station.
With the exception of the COOP station at Mt. Harkness, almost all of the active stations identified within LAVO are located near the visitor center at the northwestern corner of the park unit. Much of southwestern and northeastern LAVO remains unsampled by weather/climate stations. This park unit contains significant, large topographical variations, containing a wide variety of local climate conditions that remain unsampled at the present time. Highway 89 in southwestern LAVO and an access road in southeastern LAVO both provide ready access to suitable locations for new automated station installations. Both RAWS and SNOTEL stations could be considered for such installations, due to substantial snowfall during the winter months and wildfire issues during the summer months.
The only station we identified within ORCA is a CWOP station. Although this is a real-time station, siting standards for the CWOP network are generally not well-defined and the reliability of CWOP data records is sometimes questionable. Therefore, ORCA may want to consider working with local agencies to install a RAWS site within the park unit. The RAWS network does have well-known standards for station siting (BLM 1997) and this strategy would also improve the coverage of the RAWS network, which already has a significant presence in the area surrounding ORCA.
There are no automated stations devoted to weather/climate measurements within the central portions of REDW. In addition, weather/climate station coverage is nonexistent to the east of the central portion of REDW. The park unit could consider adding a RAWS station at the same location as the existing GPMP and NADP stations, near the mouth of the Klamath River. A RAWS station is a natural choice for such an installation due to the RAWS network’s already significant presence in the REDW area.
Most of the KLMN park units have at least one long-term climate station either within the park (e.g., the COOP station “Crater Lake” at CRLA) or within 40 km of the park unit. Climate monitoring efforts within the KLMN will benefit by encouraging the continued operation of those active stations having longer climate records, as these records provide valuable documentation of ongoing climate changes within KLMN park units.