DCNet for Urban Meteorology

DCNet is a meteorology research program established by NOAA for the National Capital Region (NCR) as a response to potential threats following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. Initial goals of DCNet were to explore variations in model inputs for both numerical weather prediction (NWP) as well as atmospheric transport and dispersion models (AT&D), to assimilate urban observations into both numerical weather prediction and atmospheric transport models, and the provision of real-time meteorological observations over the greater NCR to support current numerical weather prediction models as well as provide the driving meteorological observations for atmospheric transport and dispersion models.

DCNet data provide information on large urban complex covering a broad spectrum of weather conditions, permitting an unparalleled description of the atmospheric flow behavior over a complex urban area largely unaffected by major terrain inconsistencies. The network collected standard meteorological data and measurement of characteristics of atmospheric turbulence at 16 locations; only one DCNet (U.S. Department of Commerce Herbert C. Hoover Building, USDOC HCHB) site within the NCR is currently active. HCHB was installed in 2003; HCHB has a primary (Hoover-North) and secondary (Hoover-South) monitoring station. Data archiving began in 2004.

NOAA and NIST installed a Doppler lidar instrument on top of the Department of Commerce’s Herbert Clark Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. on April 16, 2021, for a research project studying urban greenhouse gas emissions. Image Credit: NOAA's Scott Sandberg and NIST's Tyler Boyle.
Lidar Installed on Commerce Building