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Gap in Riverside Municipal Airport rainfall data restored with help from WeatherCurrents

Posted March 1, 2011, 10:48 AM.

Rainfall totals from the Riverside Municipal Airport, which are published in the Press-Enterprise among other places, were mysteriously under for the much of the epic December rain event.

The error was spotted and reported to WeatherCurrents (and we're sure to the Press-Enterprise as well) by several viewers in December, and ultimately was the topic of a news article in the Press-Enterprise. In the article, Phil Gonsalves, a weather service forecast, lamented that the record for the season for Riverside may need to be pulled.

Thankfully that didn't happen, and data from WeatherCurrents' Riverside station in Canyon Crest, which is sent hourly to the National Weather Service, was utilized to help fill in the blanks.

"Back in December the transmission of the Riverside airport's (RAL) data was disrupted for several days during the heavy rain period. Our technicians assured me the transmission of that data was the reason for the loss of data, not a rain gauge failure," said Miguel Miller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's San Diego office. "They got me most of the missing data, except for a couple wet days."

The remaining two days of rainfall were extrapolated with data from WeatherCurrents' Riverside station, which ended up being very close to the Riverside Municipal Airport total, especially for the two missing days. The rainfall record was restored.

"I thought of RVS (The NWS name for WeatherCurrents' Riverside station) and went to Mesowest to look up your past data. I knew one thing about RAL's December total: it was going to be 6.88 inches (a record wet December by the way). As I plugged in your RVS numbers for those missing days, I totaled 6.91. Wow."

"Thanks to you (WeatherCurrents) and your solid Riverside Canyon Crest observations, we fixed a huge problem that has been causing the Press Enterprise some serious customer service issues", said Miller. "And it was able to restore the integrity of the climate record at RAL."

Thanks to Charlie Johnson, Philip J. Coleman and Jim Ness of for contributing to this article.

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