News Releases 2004
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A new, easy-to-use observation data collection reporting system is now available to thousands of volunteer cooperative observers serving National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service nationwide. NOAA is an agency of the Department of Commerce.
The Interactive Voice Remote Observation Collection System is a simplified, telephone dial-in system that allows observers to report daily minimum, maximum and observation-time temperatures, as well as liquid and frozen precipitation readings, river stage levels and soil temperature data.
Currently in use by more than 900 cooperative observers in the NWS Southern Region, the new system simply requires keypad responses to voice prompts in English or Spanish to report the data. The data are verified when entered and are subject to automated quality control.
“This is a user friendly system that makes it faster and easier for cooperative observers to report their observations and helps insure greater accuracy of data for the National Weather Service,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, NWS director. “Cooperative observers play an important role in serving America. This new system gives them an even better tool to do their jobs.”
Prior to the development of IV-ROCS, the NWS Southern Region’s 1,200 cooperative observers used Remote Observation System Automation), which required them to learn a complex numerical code to enter data via a touch-tone telephone.
With the expansion of IV-ROCS, cooperative observers around the country may now choose between three methods of reporting daily observations. In addition to IV-ROCS and ROSA, they also have the option of entering observation data on the Internet via WXCODER (Web Xmitted Cooperative Observer Data Encoded Report).
“By the end of this calendar year, we expect to be processing more than 3,000 observations per day through IV-ROCS alone,” said Bill Proenza, director, NWS Southern Region. “That continuous stream of observation data is an extremely valuable resource for National Weather Service forecasters and researchers across the nation.”
The COOP network was first created in 1890 when Congress established the U.S. Weather Bureau. Today, the NWS Cooperative Observer Program has more than 11,000 volunteer observers.
NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA's National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.
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