• identify priority areas where training and outreach can be developed to broaden the number and types of users and uses of network data;

  • develop ways to acknowledge and broaden the uses of environmental monitoring information, beyond weather, to include examination of societal vulnerability and resilience to a broader range of hazards;

  • examine whether and how one state, group, or region’s applications and partnership agreements can be used elsewhere;

  • discover metrics that measure how well current initiatives meet the data needs of the citizenry, e.g., teachers, students, hospital administrators, golfers, homeowners, and individuals of all ages; and

  • identify novel ways to build capacity for using environmental monitoring data in society.


While this report recognizes longer-term, larger-scale, full tropospheric/stratospheric applications, it is the first report to focus specifically on observational needs for high-impact mesoscale meteorological and chemical weather events. The Committee has surveyed needs for mesoscale observations in six application areas: weather and climate, energy, public health and safety, transportation, water resources and food production, and research. Commensurate with the Committee’s charge, our surveys have emphasized regional and urban short-term applications, paying special attention to the atmospheric boundary layer within the continental U.S. and adjacent coastal areas.

A baseline need is to do those things necessary to enable broader and more effective use of existing observations. While an important first step, these remedial actions alone are insufficient to meet all the requirements for any of the applications surveyed. The major findings resulting from Chapters 2, 3, and 4 are distilled in Table 8.1. An “X” in the box means that the observational capability was considered for the application. Red means that the observational capability is primitive or that the techniques and/or the infrastructure to make the observations do not exist. Where the box is empty, the type of observation for a specific application area was not discussed or is not relevant.

The most sorely needed observations stand out in this table as two or more red entries in a single row:

  • Height of the planetary boundary layer

  • Soil-moisture and soil-temperature profiles

  • High-resolution vertical profiles of humidity

  • Measurements of air quality and atmospheric composition above the surface layer

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