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Weather Data Quality Control Procedures in the Alberta Agriculture Drought Monitoring Network (AGDMN)

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:   No Citation available.
Authors:   Daniel Itenfisu, Ralph Wright

Quality controlled weather data is a key component of a modern agricultural and environmental protection program. In order to meet the need for near- real-time quality weather data in Alberta, the Alberta Agriculture Drought-Monitoring program initiated the development of a standard automated weather station network across Alberta, known as Agricultural Drought Monitoring Network (AGDMN). The network started with 21 stations in 2001, and has grown to 37 stations with current plans under way to build more than 60 new stations. Alberta Agriculture also makes use of historical and near- real- time reported weather data collected by different agencies in the province. Effective design and operation of a modern weather monitoring networks should take a systems approach that considers all aspects of the weather stations network system ranging from station siting, operation, maintenance and quality data reporting that meets the needs of potential users. A science based, reliable quality control and assurance procedure is vital in delivering credible quality data to the users. While establishing and implementing quality control and assurance procedure, it is important to build on the experience of existing networks. This paper discusses the quality control assurance procedure adapted by AGDMN to provide a research quality, standard weather data to be delivered to users online. The quality control and assurance procedure consists of field and laboratory inspections, computerized prescreening procedure, flagging suspect and invalid data points, followed by manual data inspection, which are tied together with efficient communication.

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