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

Mar Score

ID

Apr Score

ID

May Score

ID

12 Month Avg

DTX

300.00

BOI

300.00

TFX

300.00

ITO

298.46

ABR

299.95

KEY

299.98

SNP

300.00

BOI

298.06

OAK

299.94

NKX

299.97

APX

300.00

BUF

297.76

RIW

299.91

DNR

299.96

FFC

299.99

TFX

297.56

BIS

299.90

BIS

299.96

MHX

299.92

SLE

297.37

MCG

299.86

OTX

299.91

ABR

299.89

ABR

297.18

LCH

299.84

RIW

299.87

JAN

299.85

AFG

297.12

ITO

299.25

OME

299.17

LKN

299.84

DNR

297.12

BOI

299.19

INL

299.16

ITO

299.80

LIH

297.12

*11 month average

OME

299.18

BRW

299.14

GRB

299.19

NKX

297.03

OAX

299.16

GSO

299.13

CAR

299.19

MHX

296.90

BUF

299.15

GGW

299.13

BRW

299.19

RIW

296.89

CHH

299.14

GYX

299.13

BUF

299.17

GYX

296.61

MFR

299.12

ILX

299.10

AKN

299.17

ABQ

296.59

TOP

299.08

SLC

299.06

MPX

299.16

SLC

296.56

WAL

298.99

DRT

299.00

LZK

299.15

OAK

296.53

AMA

298.72

CDB

298.33

UNR

299.10

OTX

296.49

MAF

298.71

APX

298.33

DNR

299.07

MCG

296.48

OTX

298.37

AFG

298.33

YAK

299.06

LBF

296.34

MPX

298.37

ABQ

298.33

OME

298.85

MFR

296.27

MHX

298.33

MCG

298.32

LIH

298.43

MAF

296.09

DVN

298.31

UIL

298.31

BOI

298.39

BRO

296.02

MFL

298.30

SGF

298.29

BMX

298.38

GJT

295.94

LWX

298.28

TFX

298.27

MFR

298.38

SGF

295.93

SGF

298.27

REV

298.26

SGF

298.29

DRT

295.87

GYX

298.24

RNK

298.25

OUN

298.21

LCH

295.77

SLC

298.23

FWD

298.14

FGZ

297.73

BRW

295.67

ADQ

297.81

LWX

298.13

AFG

297.58

APX

295.63

CDB

297.58

YAP

298.12

REV

297.56

DTX

295.62

UIL

297.57

DVN

298.03

RNK

297.56

OHX

295.59

GRB

297.56

BET

297.50

SLE

297.56

GGW

295.48

BRO

297.56

AFC

297.50

WAL

297.52

DVN

295.47

ANN

297.53

ABR

297.48

TOP

297.39

AMA

295.44

YAK

297.52

ITO

297.48

MAF

297.37

RNK

295.41

LKN

297.40

BUF

297.48

EPZ

297.36

WAL

295.34

LIH

296.85

SLE

297.47

CHH

296.77

ADQ

295.29

SJU

296.77

OKX

297.43

OTX

296.76

UNR

295.29

INL

296.72

UNR

297.40

GGW

296.72

AFC

295.12

AFC

296.72

BRO

297.36

ABQ

296.72

OKX

295.00

GSO

296.68

GJT

297.33

ROR

296.72

PBZ

294.96

JAX

296.66

FGZ

296.91

NKX

296.71

LKN

294.66

TBW

296.62

SNP

296.67

ADQ

296.68

FWD

294.54

DNR

296.59

YAK

296.64

BET

296.67

TOP

294.47

GJT

296.53

ILN

296.64

VEF

296.60

FGZ

294.46

RNK

296.51

OHX

296.50

MCG

295.97

GRB

294.41

EPZ

296.17

ADQ

296.18

AFC

295.97

LWX

294.37

TFX

296.13

CAR

295.83

DTX

295.96

YAK

294.24

FGZ

296.05

MHX

295.78

OHX

295.94

INL

294.18

KEY

295.91

TBW

295.74

MFL

295.86

DDC

294.16

ABQ

295.87

GRB

295.00

RIW

295.85

GSO

294.09

AFG

295.79

MAF

295.00

SHV

295.79

OAX

294.00

ILX

295.72

WAL

294.98

GJT

295.74

EPZ

293.93

DRT

295.70

ANN

294.98

GYX

295.16

LZK

293.90

PBZ

295.68

VEF

294.96

GSO

295.16

CDB

293.88

CAR

295.16

BMX

294.96

ILN

295.14

AKN

293.71

SLE

295.12

LBF

294.67

DVN

295.09

ILN

293.67

OHX

294.94

LZK

294.52

CRP

295.08

JAX

293.66

FWD

294.93

LKN

294.39

LBF

294.95

VEF

293.39

BMX

294.92

PBZ

294.17

BRO

294.38

MPX

293.28

PPG

294.92

CHH

294.17

PBZ

294.35

ILX

293.22

BET

294.35

MFR

294.13

ILX

294.34

REV

293.15

BRW

294.31

LCH

294.05

OAK

294.31

CHH

293.07

DDC

294.19

OAX

293.20

CDB

294.28

BIS

292.55

OUN

294.13

OUN

293.16

AMA

294.24

BMX

292.51

LIX

294.06

DDC

292.27

DRT

294.20

SHV

292.43

LBF

293.95

PNI

291.92

GUM

293.55

ROR

292.30

PNI

293.87

AKN

291.67

PNI

293.51

CAR

292.30

FFC

293.43

OAK

291.65

OTZ

293.50

SNP

291.99

ILN

293.37

SHV

291.56

OKX

293.43

MFL

291.95

UNR

292.71

AMA

291.53

PPG

292.74

TWC

291.69

TAE

292.50

EPZ

291.49

UIL

292.69

JAN

291.64

SNP

291.94

TOP

291.15

TWC

292.68

KEY

291.31

AKN

291.94

MFL

290.70

OAX

292.68

ANN

291.29

OKX

291.89

JAN

290.67

JAX

292.41

SJU

291.01

OTZ

291.88

OTZ

289.79

INL

291.89

FFC

290.98

VEF

291.74

TKK

289.17

SLC

291.84

OME

290.78

ROR

291.63

SJU

289.10

LIX

291.83

TBW

290.38

CRP

291.13

ROR

288.75

TBW

291.08

LIX

290.04

TWC

290.84

JAX

288.23

KEY

291.07

TLH

289.31

JAN

289.60

TAE

288.18

BIS

290.86

OUN

289.09

REV

289.39

GUM

287.50

LCH

290.76

CHS

288.16

SHV

287.27

TWC

287.43

TAE

289.45

PNI

287.92

NKX

287.10

CRP

286.67

ALY

288.69

OTZ

287.09

GGW

287.04

CHS

286.67

LWX

288.65

CRP

287.05

ALY

286.27

MPX

286.62

YAP

288.58

BET

286.93

MAJ

285.15

LIX

286.52

CHS

287.10

YAP

285.96

APX

283.87

MAJ

286.50

FWD

286.86

TKK

285.32

GUM

282.24

DTX

283.31

MAJ

286.27

GUM

284.55

LZK

277.15

FFC

278.20

DDC

286.16

PPG

284.50

TKK

276.51

ALY

271.62

TKK

275.81

UIL

283.56

CHS

263.66

PPG

269.06

SJU

275.81

ALY

278.21

YAP

237.89

ANN

244.35

MAJ

272.64

Nat'l Avg

294.03

Nat'l Avg

293.82

Nat'l Avg

294.56

LIH

Not Available

 

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