Climate Data Networks
There are many climate data collection networks in the U.S. The two most commonly used in the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are described below.
National Weather Service Cooperative Station Network
In the National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative Station Network cooperator stations generally record daily precipitation and/or maximum and minimum temperature. Several other weather parameters may also be observed, such as evaporation, wind movement, and soil temperature.
Natural Resources Conservation Service Snow Telemetry Network
The NRCS operates the automated Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) network of over 800 stations in the western U.S. Begining October 1, these stations report accumulated seasonal precipitation, snow water equivalent, and temperature (maximum, minimum, current and average) daily. This network was established in the late 1970s to support water supply forecasting. It uses meteorburst technology to transmit data from remote sites to data gathering locations. SNOTEL augmented and partially replaced the cooperative network of manual snow courses that NRCS acquired and established the mid 1930s.