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The project ARCIS (Climatological Archive for Central-Northern Italy) is currently being carried out by the Regional and Provincial Environmental Agencies (ARPA and APPA) and by the Operational Meteorological Centres of Civil Protection Agencies of Central-Northern Italy. ARCIS objective is to build a data-base for the daily climatological data of Central- Northern Italy.
This project was born out of the operational needs of the partners, so as to find a common platform for the production of climatological products. The main project objective is to reduce the impacts on the final climatological products of the partners, of the partition of the ownership of the operational meteorological monitoring network between different local administrations.
Presently ARCIS is carried out on a voluntary basis and does not imply direct financial obligations for the project partners. All the same, each partner should make all possible actions needed to contribute to the achievement of the project objectives. These actions include sharing the climatological data, improving the quality of the same data also in terms of time and spatial coverage, and participating to all project activities and meetings.
The official start of the project ARCIS coincided with the signing of the project description agreement by all official representatives of the project partners and dates 18 August 2008.
The final objectives to be reached by the project, the way to reach them and the resources to be deployed to carry them out are decided by the steering committee, which is made by the representatives of all project partners. Meetings of this committee are decided by the participants depending on the project needs.

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Project objectives:

1. Realization of a data-base of daily climatological data of precipitation, minimum and maximum temperature for the period from 1961 to 2005. This data-base is loaded on an ftp site internal to the project and maintained by ARPA-Piemonte. Data for different regions or provinces are uploaded on the site by the partner owing the local monitoring network. Each partner is responsible to improve the quality of the data and update them when needed.

2. The data are uploaded as ASCII files using the official format decided by the steering committee.

3. Evaluation of the space and time coverage of the observational data and possible digitalization campaigns aimed at improving them.

4. Identification of the methods to be used to control the quality of the data and their statistical homogeneity.

5. Production of a daily analysis over Northern Italy for the period covered by the data. This analysis will be used to fulfil all institutional duties of the project partners and to make available the information relative to the climate conditions and climate variability over Northern Italy to the external community.


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Current progress status of the project:

1. Precipitation data have already been uploaded by almost all regions. As for now, the data-set includes about 600 time series each one characterised by a time coverage of data in excess of 80% of the total period between 1961 to 2000.

2. Temperature data have been uploaded by some regions. Two regions are currently in the process of digitizing their historical data. The density of the temperature dataset is substantially lower than that of the precipitation data-set.

3. The analysis and visualization software PRAGA formerly used to produce a climatological analysis for Emilia-Romagna has been extended to the whole Northern Italian territory. The software applies a simple quality control procedure to the data and has been extended in order to be able to apply three different statistical homogeneity tests on the climatological time series uploaded by the project partners: the SNHT, the Craddock and the Vincent test.

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