Impact of Climate Change and Land Use on the Southwestern United States

Climatic variability

This page is a discussion of
Precipitation Trends and Water Consumption in the Southwestern United States


Inaccuracies in Rainfall Measurements

A comment by Fred Svetz

I read with interest your discussion on variability of
rainfall over the last 100 years.  You may be interested
to know that due to the introduction of a new automated
weather observation system by the National Weather
Service, rainfall figures over the past few years have
been reported inaccurately.

ASOS (Automated Surface Observation System) has replaced
human weather observers in nearly every weather office in
the United States over the past 4 years, and
unfortunately, there are significant systematic
inaccuracies in its measurements of several weather
parameters, including rainfall.  In my own experience
comparing ASOS rainfall totals to a simple bucket
raingauge, ASOS underreports rainfall by 5-20%.

This is a significant factor for researchers.  Do you have
any plans to address this problem?

Link to USGS home page

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