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Weather and Climate Resources UW Information Services Training Retreat 27 April 2004 Margaret Aquan-Yuen Richard Pinnell Review selected Web-based weather and climate resources for Canada, US, and worldwide

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weather and climate resources

Weather and Climate Resources

UW Information Services Training Retreat

27 April 2004

Margaret Aquan-Yuen

Richard Pinnell

Review selected Web-based weather and climate resources for Canada, US, and worldwide

Identify a few useful starting points for Canadian and US data (candidates for E-Ref collection)

Demonstrate the Global Daily Climate Network (GDCN) networked CD-ROM

  • Weather versus Climate
  • Canadian Weather
    • Current and forecasts
    • Hourly, daily, monthly, and normals
  • US Weather
    • As above
  • Global Weather
    • Current and forecasts
    • Daily, normals
    • Monthly (discussed under US Weather)
weather versus climate
Weather versus Climate
  • Weather: conditions prevailing over a short period of time or at a specific time, at any one place, and as affecting human beings. An hour to hour, or day to day condition
  • Climate: average weather conditions through the seasons over a fairly wide area of the earth’s surface and considered over many years (usually 30 to 35 years)
factors to consider
Factors to consider
  • Location: e.g., Canada or South America?
  • Frequency: e.g., hourly or averaged over 30 years?
  • Time Period: e.g., 5 January 2004 or 1990?
  • Variables: e.g., temperature or hours of sunshine?
canadian weather current weather and forecasts
Canadian WeatherCurrent Weather and Forecasts
  • Environment Canada: Meteorological Service of Canada
    • Canada
    • Current plus 5-day forecast
  • The Weather Network
    • Worldwide but focus on Canada
    • Current plus 7-day forecast
canadian weather past weather on the web
Canadian WeatherPast weather on the Web
  • Environment Canada: National Climate Data and Information Archive
  • Hourly, daily, monthly data for 7,785 weather stations across Canada
  • Climate normals and averages: 1961-1990 and 1971-2000
canadian weather past weather hourly
Canadian WeatherPast weather: Hourly
  • Hourly Data Variables
    • Temperature, dew point temp
    • Relative humidity, pressure, visibility
    • Wind chill, wind direction and speed
  • Hourly Data are:
    • Collected hourly; published for a day at a glance
    • Recorded or captured by thermometer, hygrometer, barometer, wind gauge
canadian weather past weather daily
Canadian WeatherPast weather: Daily
  • Daily Data Variables
    • Maximum, minimum, mean temp
    • Degree days (cooling, heating)
    • Total rain, total snow
    • Wind direction and speed (maximum gust)
  • Daily Data are:
    • A daily weather summary; published for a month at a glance
    • Daily extremes (e.g., minimum temp, max wind gust)
    • Averages (e.g., mean temp)
    • Daily totals (e.g., rainfall, snowfall)
  • Monthly Meteorological Summaries (in UMD)
canadian weather past weather monthly
Canadian WeatherPast weather: Monthly
  • Monthly Data Variables
    • Mean maximum, mean minimum, mean temp
    • Extreme max, extreme minimum temp
    • Total rain, total snow
    • Wind direction and speed (maximum gust)
  • Monthly Data are:
    • A monthly summary; published for a year-at-a-glance
    • Monthly averages (e.g., mean maximum temp, mean temp)
    • Monthly extremes (extreme minimum temp, max gust)
    • Monthly totals (e.g., rainfall, snowfall)
canadian weather past weather monthly con d
Canadian WeatherPast weather: Monthly (con’d)
  • Web versus CD-ROM
    • Web
      • Data are current (previous day, previous month)
      • Data are in tables but can be exported to Excel
    • CD-ROM disc in UMD Library (not networked)
      • For the period ending 1994
      • Data : export in ASCII text format or Excel format
      • More variables than on Web: e.g., pressure, humidity, cloud cover
your turn try one of these
Your turnTry one of these 
  • Find temperature at Victoria Airport (BC) at 4 PM on 16 July 2002
  • Find amount of snowfall at Kingston Airport on 7 January 1995
  • Find mean min temp at Waterloo-Wellington Airport in Feb 2000 (Hint: do a customized search)
climate normals
Climate Normals
  • Normals: values of climatic elements averaged over a fixed, standard period of years.
formats for climate normals
Formats for Climate Normals
  • WebCD-ROMprint
  • 1971-2000 X
  • 1961-1990 X X X (Davis)
  • 1951-1980X (Davis)
  • 1941-1970 X (Davis)
  • 1931-1960 X (Guelph)
1971 2000
1971-2000 *
  • Canadian climate normals or averages, 1971-2000
  • Available via the library’s e-reference collection
  • Data can be exported to Excel
your turn
Your turn!
  • Using the Canadian climate normals or averages, 1971-2000 (web) find -

“Days with measurable bright sunshine” (total for the year) for Hamilton. Hints: use the Location search to find Hamilton and then consult the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) station.

web version 1971 2000 versus 1961 1990
Web version: 1971-2000 versus 1961-1990
  • The 1971-2000 Climate normals covers more parameters
  • e.g. Using the Waterloo-Wellington A Station –compare the “Days with” parameter
canadian monthly climate data and 1961 1990 normals cd rom
Canadian Monthly Climate Data and 1961-1990 Normals (CD ROM)
  • Accessible only in UMD Library
  • Why use the CD ROM?
  • Covers more parameters – compared to the Web version
us weather current weather and forecasts
US WeatherCurrent weather and Forecasts
  • NOAA: National Weather Service
    • Current weather and 5-day forecast
    • Search by city and state name
    • Map-zoom search with mouse-over
    • Search by NWS station then map-zoom
us weather past weather on the web
US WeatherPast weather on the Web
  • NOAA: National Climatic Data Center
  • Hourly, daily, monthly data for weather stations across US
  • Climate normals and averages: 1971-2000
    • Free or a small charge for these datasets
us weather past weather hourly
US WeatherPast weather: Hourly
  • US Climate Reference Network data (free)
    • for 45 US stations since 2002 or 2003
    • Data in tables or plotted as graphs
  • NNDC Climate Data (small charge)
    • Worldwide including US; over 10,000 stations
    • Data: ASCII text or Web tables
    • Data since 2003
us weather past weather daily
US WeatherPast weather: Daily
  • NCDC’s Global Summary of Day (free)
    • Worldwide including US; over 8,000 stations
    • Compare with GDCN (Margaret)
    • 12 weather elements
    • Data: from 1994 to present
    • Data for 1 or 2 stations: image format (GIF) or ASCII text
    • Data for all stations in one file: ASCII text
  • NWS Summary of the Day (free)
    • Similar to above but for US only (500 stations)
us weather past weather monthly
US WeatherPast weather: Monthly
  • Global Historical Climatology Network (free)
    • Worldwide including US; over 20,000 stations
    • Data: from 1800 (if available) to present
    • Includes precip, max temp, min temp, mean temp
    • GHCN Version 2 released in 1997 and 1999
    • Regularly updated
    • Data available for download via ftp (large files)
    • Data is in ASCII text
global weather past weather daily
Global WeatherPast Weather: Daily
  • GDCN Global Daily
    • Stations: 32,000 stations worldwide
    • Frequency: daily
    • Period: 1840 -
    • Data Elements: precipitation

maximum temperature

minimum temperature

gdcn global cont
GDCN Global (cont.)
  • 10 cds – (5 regions: Africa; Asia….)
  • Region 4:4 North America – Canada
      • Mounted on network – terminal services
  • All other CDs for other regions available only on UMD workstation.
global weather current forecasts normals
Global WeatherCurrent, Forecasts, Normals
  • World Meteorological Organization: World Weather Information Service
    • Worldwide
    • Provided by many meteorological organizations
    • Forecast: varies from 2 to 5 days
    • Normals for some countries/stations
  • What is mean total rainfall for Berlin in January?
global weather normals for cities
Global WeatherNormals for Cities
    • Worldwide
    • Provided by many data sources
    • Monthly long term averages for major cities
    • Focus: US cities
  • What is the normal monthly temp in July at Gatwick Airport, London, Eng?
answers to practice questions
Answers to Practice Questions
  • Victoria Airport: temperature at 4 PM on 16 July 2002:   20.4 deg C
  • Kingston Airport: snowfall on 7 Jan 1995:  6.2 cm
  • Waterloo-Wellington Airport: mean minimum temp in Feb 2000:  -8.9 deg C
  • Hamilton-RBG: 302 days with measurable bright sunshine
  • Berlin: mean total rainfall in January:  43.0 mm
  • Gatwick Airport, London, Eng: normal monthly temp in July:  16.5 deg C (61.7 deg F)