NOAA National Upper-air Station Performance Scores

Objective

The performance score was devloped as an aid to help evaluate NWS upper-air station performance nationwide and improve data availability, quantity, and quality.

Method

The following equation is used to rank station performance, which includes appropriate weighting factors:

Score = A/2 + B + C + D/2 - E/5 - F/5   where,

A = Percentage of monthly soundings arriving at NCEP within 3 hours after balloon release (by 14:00 or 02:00 UTC). This is based on NCEP and FMH#3 requirements. To score in this category, all coded messages (with or without data) must be received. This percentage is divided by 2.

B = Percentage of monthly soundings achieving the minimum 400 hPa pressure level requirement or higher.

C = Percentage of monthly soundings achieving 50 hPa or higher.

D = Percentage of monthly soundings achieving 20 hPa or higher. This percentage is divided by 2.

E = Percentage of monthly temperature levels between surface & 400 hPa rejected by NCEP.  This percentage is divided by 5.

F = Percentage of monthly wind levels between 400 and 100 hPa rejected by NCEP. This percentage is divided by 5.

Starting with the August, 1999, data, element "A" above now includes soundings with AND without data.  Prior to this change, points were only given in this element if the coded messages contained data. Messages without data (i.e., no sounding taken) were not included in this element. This change will result in slightly higher average scores.

Elements B through F are compiled 6 hours or more after balloon release and before NCEP data deletions are applied to the soundings.  The maximum score a station can achieve with this equation is 300.  Histograms are available that show station performance for some of the above elements

Data Sources

Data used for generating the scores come from data quality reports provided by NCEP each month. 

Evaluation

Upper-air station managers should use the scores as only one of several tools for assessing how well their station is performing.

The performance score at an office does not solely reflect station staff performance. Factors such as equipment and communication failures, maintenance personnel performance, and support from NWS Regional office and Headquarters management, must also be taken into consideration when evaluating station scores.   While it is common that a low score is the result of a system failure (e.g., lightning strike on the tracking antenna) beyond the control of station staff, scores are not adjusted manually to take this into account.   The 92 NWS upper air stations launch a total of up to 5,700 radiosondes per month and thus generation of the scores is automated.  To manually go through this large amount of data each month and adjust the scores higher to take into consideration factors beyond the control of station staff would be an excessive workload and is beyond the scope of this performance measure.  This policy has been in place since development of the scoring system in 1998.

***IMPORTANT***

(1) Stations must not under inflate balloons in an attempt to reach higher sounding termination heights and a higher monthly score.  Likewise, over inflation of the balloon must be avoided as this wastes gas and can lower balloon burst heights.  Routine under inflation and over inflation of the balloon is unacceptable.   Stations should review balloon ascension rate graphics based on the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) archive and adjust the balloon gas amounts accordingly.  NWS stations should have no more than 5 soundings a month ascend outside the range of 275 to 350 meters/minute (average from surface to flight termination)

(2) Stations must not disseminate poor quality soundings that should have been terminated early or not even transmitted.   Dissemination of such soundings can erroneously increase the monthly score and is unacceptable for NWS operations.  Station staff should review the monthly NCEP Super-adiabatic Lapse Rate Report and other data to help identify poor quality soundings and take corrective action.

NWS upper-air station scores for the past 3 months and the 12 month running average.

300  =  Perfect Score.   .

ID

Feb Score

ID

Mar Score

ID

Apr Score

ID

12 Month Avg

GRB

299.99

DTX

300.00

BOI

300.00

ITO

298.44

SGF

299.98

ABR

299.95

KEY

299.98

BOI

297.73

TOP

299.94

OAK

299.94

NKX

299.97

TFX

297.56

BRO

299.91

RIW

299.91

DNR

299.96

ABR

297.18

ILN

299.88

BIS

299.90

BIS

299.96

AFG

297.11

LZK

299.85

MCG

299.86

OTX

299.91

SLE

297.11

ABQ

299.72

LCH

299.84

RIW

299.87

RIW

297.04

ITO

299.41

ITO

299.25

OME

299.17

BUF

297.02

MFL

299.14

BOI

299.19

INL

299.16

GYX

297.01

SNP

299.14

OME

299.18

BRW

299.14

SLC

296.97

DVN

299.14

OAX

299.16

GSO

299.13

OAK

296.91

CDB

299.14

BUF

299.15

GGW

299.13

MHX

296.76

SLE

299.12

CHH

299.14

GYX

299.13

NKX

296.70

UNR

299.06

MFR

299.12

ILX

299.10

OTX

296.62

SLC

299.02

TOP

299.08

SLC

299.06

LCH

296.52

LCH

298.94

WAL

298.99

DRT

299.00

DNR

296.45

ROR

298.90

AMA

298.72

CDB

298.33

MCG

296.41

GYX

298.28

MAF

298.71

APX

298.33

LBF

296.36

ABR

298.25

OTX

298.37

AFG

298.33

MFR

296.33

INL

298.22

MPX

298.37

ABQ

298.33

ABQ

296.25

OTX

298.22

MHX

298.33

MCG

298.32

GJT

296.15

GGW

298.18

DVN

298.31

UIL

298.31

SGF

295.94

DNR

297.97

MFL

298.30

SGF

298.29

ANN

295.93

LKN

297.85

LWX

298.28

TFX

298.27

MAF

295.81

SHV

297.25

SGF

298.27

REV

298.26

DTX

295.75

YAP

297.22

GYX

298.24

RNK

298.25

BRW

295.60

MCG

297.13

SLC

298.23

FWD

298.14

ADQ

295.53

LWX

296.55

ADQ

297.81

LWX

298.13

APX

295.49

APX

296.55

CDB

297.58

YAP

298.12

DRT

295.46

OAK

296.49

UIL

297.57

DVN

298.03

OHX

295.45

BUF

296.44

GRB

297.56

BET

297.50

OKX

295.45

OKX

296.40

BRO

297.56

AFC

297.50

PBZ

295.42

LIH

296.29

ANN

297.53

ABR

297.48

DVN

295.34

JAN

296.26

YAK

297.52

ITO

297.48

AFC

295.25

AFG

296.22

LKN

297.40

BUF

297.48

GGW

295.21

LBF

296.22

LIH

296.85

SLE

297.47

DDC

295.15

MPX

295.65

SJU

296.77

OKX

297.43

LWX

295.10

TFX

295.64

INL

296.72

UNR

297.40

WAL

295.07

TAE

295.58

AFC

296.72

BRO

297.36

UNR

294.96

NKX

295.57

GSO

296.68

GJT

297.33

RNK

294.93

JAX

295.50

JAX

296.66

FGZ

296.91

INL

294.79

DRT

295.46

TBW

296.62

SNP

296.67

LKN

294.60

MAF

295.44

DNR

296.59

YAK

296.64

AMA

294.42

AMA

295.42

GJT

296.53

ILN

296.64

OAX

294.21

ILX

294.83

RNK

296.51

OHX

296.50

EPZ

294.14

BIS

294.79

EPZ

296.17

ADQ

296.18

GSO

294.09

BOI

294.79

TFX

296.13

CAR

295.83

TOP

294.07

CAR

294.78

FGZ

296.05

MHX

295.78

FGZ

293.94

VEF

294.62

KEY

295.91

TBW

295.74

ILN

293.86

WAL

294.57

ABQ

295.87

GRB

295.00

FWD

293.71

RIW

294.49

AFG

295.79

MAF

295.00

CDB

293.68

EPZ

294.37

ILX

295.72

WAL

294.98

YAK

293.64

YAK

293.97

DRT

295.70

ANN

294.98

AKN

293.45

OAX

293.97

PBZ

295.68

VEF

294.96

LZK

293.36

BRW

293.94

CAR

295.16

BMX

294.96

BIS

293.30

KEY

293.90

SLE

295.12

LBF

294.67

JAX

293.29

OUN

293.88

OHX

294.94

LZK

294.52

ILX

293.22

GJT

293.88

FWD

294.93

LKN

294.39

MPX

293.21

REV

293.79

BMX

294.92

PBZ

294.17

CHH

293.07

DDC

293.76

PPG

294.92

CHH

294.17

LIH

293.06

AFC

293.10

BET

294.35

MFR

294.13

GRB

292.93

DTX

293.00

BRW

294.31

LCH

294.05

VEF

292.93

MFR

292.90

DDC

294.19

OAX

293.20

BRO

292.51

SJU

292.82

OUN

294.13

OUN

293.16

SHV

292.36

UIL

292.22

LIX

294.06

DDC

292.27

BMX

292.18

RNK

292.10

LBF

293.95

PNI

291.92

REV

292.07

OHX

292.05

PNI

293.87

AKN

291.67

SJU

291.94

ANN

291.35

FFC

293.43

OAK

291.65

ROR

291.90

FFC

291.15

ILN

293.37

SHV

291.56

MFL

291.82

BMX

291.08

UNR

292.71

AMA

291.53

SNP

291.79

AKN

290.52

TAE

292.50

EPZ

291.49

CAR

291.50

FWD

290.31

SNP

291.94

TOP

291.15

TWC

291.43

CHH

289.66

AKN

291.94

MFL

290.70

JAN

291.31

OME

289.62

OKX

291.89

JAN

290.67

KEY

290.98

MHX

289.61

OTZ

291.88

OTZ

289.79

TBW

290.79

ADQ

288.46

VEF

291.74

TKK

289.17

OME

290.67

PNI

288.41

ROR

291.63

SJU

289.10

FFC

290.63

PBZ

287.02

CRP

291.13

ROR

288.75

LIX

290.58

TKK

287.00

TWC

290.84

JAX

288.23

TLH

289.86

TWC

286.65

JAN

289.60

TAE

288.18

CHS

288.09

GUM

285.32

REV

289.39

GUM

287.50

OUN

287.82

GSO

285.24

SHV

287.27

TWC

287.43

OTZ

287.30

MAJ

285.21

NKX

287.10

CRP

286.67

CRP

287.05

OTZ

283.58

GGW

287.04

CHS

286.67

BET

286.60

FGZ

283.55

ALY

286.27

MPX

286.62

PNI

286.09

CHS

283.46

MAJ

285.15

LIX

286.52

TKK

285.59

PPG

280.95

APX

283.87

MAJ

286.50

PPG

284.37

ALY

280.15

GUM

282.24

DTX

283.31

GUM

284.21

TBW

279.25

LZK

277.15

FFC

278.20

UIL

284.10

BET

258.56

TKK

276.51

ALY

271.62

YAP

283.92

LIX

253.37

CHS

263.66

PPG

269.06

ALY

277.13

CRP

214.53

YAP

237.89

LIH

248.60

MAJ

271.63

Nat'l Avg

292.29

Nat'l Avg

294.03

Nat'l Avg

293.82

 

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