Who Can Benefit

  1. Program Overview
  2. Why A USCRN is Needed
  3. Who Can Benefit
  4. Site Selection Criteria
  5. What is Measured
  6. Station Instruments
  7. Site Photos

The USCRN cooperates with many federal, state, and local governmental entities and some private non-profit groups who provide sites and host services for stations. Local site hosts can access the climate data at their locations for their own needs as well. This joint effort can minimize the cost of operating the USCRN while maximizing the benefits and information obtained from the network. Beyond the site hosts, many government and commercial entities benefit from access to USCRN observations currently, including the Departments of Commerce, Interior, and Agriculture; NASA; and various firms needing high quality environmental measurements. The USCRN system is designed for future expansion, with data logger ports available for expansion, such as when soil moisture/soil temperature and humidity instruments were added to the stations in 2009-2011 through a cooperative venture with the National Integrated Drought Information System. The USCRN data has application to weather forecasting, agriculture, hydrology, and commercial interests, among others, in addition to its primary purpose of operationally monitoring climate anomalies and detecting climate change.

Examples of Potential Benefits

benefit icon Commercial Sector

Over the last decade, the amount of money in our economy that is directly impacted by the reliability of NOAA's climate data has increased dramatically. Errors in the data which might not have mattered a decade ago can now cost individuals and corporations millions of dollars. The Climate Reference Network would be able to provide various sectors of the economy with reliable data.

The USCRN could provide important information to the energy sector.

  • A power company assessing changes in demand needs to accurately determine how much of this year's increase or decrease in demand over last year is due to the differences in the climate between the two years versus changes in their consumers.
  • The weather insurance and derivative industries, which provide a mechanism for energy producers and energy users to hedge their risks due to unusual climate, use NOAA temperature data to settle accounts.
  • Some public utilities have contracts for natural gas which specify that prices are raised or lowered depending on the severity of the winter as determined by NOAA data.
  • Global solar energy data from USCRN stations can be used to determine solar loads on structures for heating and cooling, or can give some information useful to the solar energy industry.

The USCRN could provide important contributions to agricultural and natural resource development.

  • Private industry often uses regional numerical models to provide these forecasts. Having the highly accurate USCRN data will help them improve the forecasts used by agribusiness and other weather sensitive sectors of the economy.
  • Accurate USCRN 5-minute precipitation data would be used in hydrographic models to delineate flood zones and determine water resources.

benefit icon Department of Interior/Department of Agriculture

  • NOAA has a long history of cooperation with the National Park Service, placing COOP stations and now USCRN stations within parks to better monitor climate in these locations.
  • Many USCRN stations are located in National Wildlife Refuge area, monitoring climate at these locations.
  • Further use of USCRN soil moisture observations with USDA soil moisture observations benefits drought monitoring

benefit icon National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • USCRN in situ data are useful for:
    • calibration & validation of the satellite observations (surface IR, surface air temperature, precipitation, soil moisture),
    • creating value-added satellite products,
    • input into climate models used for long term prediction and attribution, and validation of climate model output.

benefit icon Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

  • Real-time USCRN data could help identify the location of a current weather-related health crisis, such as Valley Fever in the Southwest U.S.
  • Monitoring a changing climate is important for tracking the spread of disease potential.

benefit icon National Weather Service

  • USCRN hourly data transmission will provide the NWS with additional real-time observations for forecast verification and weather monitoring, as well as for issuing weather forecasts, watches, and warnings, and updating flood forecasts.