Climatic Data Quality Control Procedures

IDEMS was funded by UK Met Office to develop quality control procedures for climatic data as part of R-Instat’s tailored climatic facilities. 

Errors in climatic data can come from various sources including data entry (particularly as historical paper records are computerised) and faults or problems with measuring instruments. Therefore, good quality control procedures are essential to ensuring accurate information is obtained from the available data. National metrological services must ensure data collected from each of their stations across the country are as accurate as possible before being used for analysis and applications which lead to decision making.

R-Instat’s tailored climatic facilities are designed to be easy to use for staff at national meteorological services. This project extended R-Instat’s climatic facilities to include easy to use quality control procedures for daily climatic data from multiple stations. 

A particular focus was on quality control of rainfall and temperature records, the most commonly collected and used in Africa. The procedures implemented align with and extend those which are recommended for daily climatic data. Visualisations can also form part of quality control and within this project we also implemented facilities to map stations within a country and display station metadata.

This project also included documenting the new facilities in guides and tutorials and we were excited to test these out in our work with Lesotho Meteorological Service, who used the temperature quality control for the first time, and with Meteo Rwanda, who were the first to use the mapping facilities. 

We are already seeing the impact of this project as in both these countries they have already been able to improve the quality of their data through the use of R-Instat.