Better Coverage of Arizona's Weather and Climate
Many areas that use agricultural and environmental science for management and planning – ecosystem conservation, crop and livestock systems, water resources, forestry and wildland fire management, urban horticulture – often need historical records of daily weather for activities that range from modeling forage production to determining the frequency of freezing temperatures or heavy rainfall. In the past, such applications primarily have used station-based observations of meteorological variables like temperature and precipitation. However, weather stations are sparsely and irregularly located throughout Arizona, and due to the highly variable terrain across the state (Figure 1), information recorded at these sites may not represent meteorological conditions at distant, non-instrumented locations or over broad areas. This issue, along with others related to quality, length, and completeness of station records, can hinder the use of weather and climate data for agricultural and natural resources applications.