TABLE B.1 Inventory of U.S. surface-based observing networks

Network Type

Number of Sites

Operating Agencies

Collective or Archive Location


Cooperative observing climate network




Includes ~75 modernized sites in the northeast U.S.

Climate reference network


Federal agencies


Placed to be representative of climate change


~900 ASOS

~1000 AWOS

~15 AWSS

Mostly federal, some state.

Many at NCDC, some MADIS and MesoWest

ASOS, AWOS, and follow-on AWSS

Road transportation networks

2400 stations in 34 networks

Mostly state departments of transportation, some cities

MADIS MesoWest FHWA Clarus upcoming

RWIS. More states have observations, but they are not on the database. Meteorological data plus pavement temperature, etc. (Only meteorological data typically available.)

Railway networks

450 sites

Union Pacific Railroad

MADIS MesoWest

Primarily air temperature; winds and water level also of interest

Agriculture/evapotranspiration and mesonets

61 networks, ~1700 stations

State, local, universities, private sector (many TV stations), Bureau of Reclamation

Some MADIS, MesoWest

General monitoring of weather and agricultural conditions. Meteorological plus ET, radiation data at some sites. Includes Oklahoma Mesonet, which has 120 stations, plus 35 stations in two rural micronets and 40 stations in the new OKC mesonet (revised August 08)

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement