ESRL Global Systems Division

CWOP Supplies Weather Data for California Wildfire Situation

The Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) supplied a significant amount of the surface weather data that National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters could access on their AWIPS workstations during the recent wildfires in southern California. For example, on November 1, 2003, CWOP data represented 15% of the NOAA surface mesonet data within 25 miles of each of three major fires east of Los Angeles, near San Bernardino. For the fires north and south of Los Angeles, CWOP generally supplied 10-15% of the surface mesonet data for NWS forecasters.

CWOP is a volunteer program that acquires real-time surface weather data from amateur radio operators and interested citizens who supply and operate their own home weather stations. These data are collected and made available to a wide range of federal agencies and educational institutions through the FSL Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS). For example, all of the NWS Weather Forecast Offices near the southern California fires received these real-time data throughout the duration of the fires. More information on CWOP can be obtained from the Web site. More information on MADIS is at the web site below.

NOAA staff who can provide specific information include,, and

More information:

Contact information
Name: Russell B Chadwick
Tel: (303) 497-6318