Accurate, long-term records of precipitation are required for the
development of climate-informed decision support tools for agriculture. But
rain gauges are too sparsely located to meet this need, and radar-derived
precipitation measurements are too recent in duration. Using all readily
available station records, spatiotemporally continuous estimates of
precipitation were created by the PRISM Climate Group to address this problem.
As with all interpolated data, the validity of the gridded PRISM product
requires validation, and given the extreme spatiotemporal variability of precipitation,
such validation is essential. Previous work comparing the monthly precipitation
product against contributing rain gauge data revealed inconsistencies that
prompted the analysis reported herein. As a basis for checking the accuracy of
the PRISM product, independent precipitation data gathered at a USDA research
laboratory in central Oklahoma
were quality controlled, including comparison to a co-located automated rain
gauge operated by the Oklahoma Mesonet. Results indicate that the independent
USDA gauge data are of sufficient quality to use in the evaluation of the PRISM
product. The area average of the independent USDA data over a matching size
area was then used to validate colocated gridded PRISM estimates. The
validation results indicate that the monthly gridded PRISM precipitation
estimates are close to the independent observed data in terms of means (smaller
by 3% to 4.5%) and cumulative probability distributions (within ~4%), but with
variances too small by 7% to 11%. From the point of view of agricultural
decision support, these results indicate that PRISM estimates might be useful
for probabilistic applications, such as downscaling climate forecasts or
driving weather generators, assuming appropriate corrections to the
higher-order statistics were applied. However, the number of months with
potentially significant differences precludes the use of PRISM estimates for
any retrospective month-by-month analyses of possible interactions between
climate, crop management, and productivity.
Cite this paper
J. Schneider and D. Ford, "An Independent Assessment of the Monthly PRISM Gridded Precipitation Product in Central Oklahoma," Atmospheric and Climate Sciences
, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 249-258. doi: 10.4236/acs.2013.32026
 J. M. Schneider and J. D. Garbrecht, “Dependability and Effectiveness of Seasonal Forecasts for Agricultural Applications,” Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural and Biolological Engineers, Vol. 49, No. 6, 2006, pp. 1737-1753.
 J. D. Garbrecht and J. M. Schneider, “Climate Forecast and Prediction Product Dissemination for Agriculture in the United States,” Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, Vol. 58, No. 10, 2007, pp. 966-974.
 NOAA National Climatic Data Centers, “Cooperative Summary of the Day TD3200/NCDC Cooperative Station Data,” 2006.
 C. Daly, W. P. Gibson, G. H. Taylor, M. K. Doggett and J. I. Smith, “Observer Bias in Daily Precipitation Measurements at United States Cooperative Network Stations,” Bulletin of the American Meteorologica Society, Vol. 88, No. 6, 2007, pp. 899-912. doi:10.1175/BAMS-88-6-899
 C. Daly, G. H. Taylor, W. P. Gibson, T. W. Parzybok, G. L. Johnson and P. Pasteris, “High-Quality Spatial Climate Data Sets for the United States and beyond,” Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural and Biolological Engineers, Vol. 43, No. 6, 2001, pp. 1957-1962.
 C. Daly, W. P. Gibson, M. Doggett, J. Smith and G. Taylor, “Up-to-Date Monthly Climate Maps for the Conterminous United States,” Proceedings 14th AMS Conference on Applied Climatology, Seattle, 13-16 January 2004, Paper 4.3.
 C. Daly, M. Halbleib, J. I. Smith, W. P. Gibson, M. K. Doggett, G. H. Taylor, J. Curtis and P. Pasteris, “Physiographically-Sensitive Mapping of Temperature and Precipitation across the Conterminous United States,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 28, No. 15, 2008, pp. 2031-2064. doi:10.1002/joc.1688
 C. Daly, “Guidelines for Assessing the Suitability of Spatial Climate Data Sets,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 26, No. 6, 2006, pp. 707-721.
 PRISM Climate Group, “PRISM Products,” Oregon State University, 2010.
 Colorado Climate Center, “Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network,” Colorado State University, 2010. http://www.cocorahs.org/
 R. A. McPherson, C. A. Fiebrich, K. C. Crawford, J. R. Kilby, D. L. Grimsley, J. E. Martinez, J. B. Basara, B. G. Illston, D. A. Morris, K. A. Kloesel, A. D. Melvin, H. Shrivastava, J. M. Wolfinbarger, J. P. Bostic, D. B. Demko, R. L. Elliott, S. J. Stadler, J. D. Carlson and A. J. Sutherland, “Statewide Monitoring of the Mesoscale Environment: A Technical Update on the Oklahoma Mesonet,” Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol. 24, No. 3, 2007, pp. 301-321.
 Oklahoma Mesonet, “Mesonet: Instruments, Moisture Measurements, Rain,” 2010.
http://www.mes onet.org/index.php/ site/about/ moisture_measurements
 NOAA Climate Prediction Center, “Probability of Exceedance Outlook,” 2010.
http://www.cpc.ncep. noaa.gov/pacdir/ NFORdir/NHOME3.html
 J. M. Schneider and J. D. Garbrecht, “A Blueprint for the Use of CPC Precipitation Climate Forecasts in Agricultural Applications,” Proceedings 3rd Symposium on Environmental Applications, Orlando, 14-17 January 2002, pp. J71-J77.
 PRISM Climate Group, “PRISM Data Explorer,” Oregon State University, 2010. http://prismmap. nacse.org/nn/
 PRISM Climate Group, “PRISM Products Matrix,” Oregon State University, 2010.
http://www.prism. oregonstate.edu/ products/matrix. phtml?vartype=ppt&view=data