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 Objectives
Outline • 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: 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 • 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 WeatherCurrent Weather and Forecasts • Environment Canada: Meteorological Service of Canada • http://weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/canada_e.html • Canada • Current plus 5-day forecast • The Weather Network • http://www.theweathernetwork.com • Worldwide but focus on Canada • Current plus 7-day forecast
Canadian WeatherPast weather on the Web • Environment Canada: National Climate Data and Information Archive • http://climate.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/climateData/canada_e.html • Hourly, daily, monthly data for 7,785 weather stations across Canada • Climate normals and averages: 1961-1990 and 1971-2000
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 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 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 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 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 • Normals: values of climatic elements averaged over a fixed, standard period of years.
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 * • Canadian climate normals or averages, 1971-2000 • Available via the library’s e-reference collection • Data can be exported to Excel
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 • 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) • Accessible only in UMD Library • Why use the CD ROM? • Covers more parameters – compared to the Web version
US WeatherCurrent weather and Forecasts • NOAA: National Weather Service • http://www.nws.noaa.gov/ • 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 WeatherPast weather on the Web • NOAA: National Climatic Data Center • http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/ncdc.html • Hourly, daily, monthly data for weather stations across US • Climate normals and averages: 1971-2000 • Free or a small charge for these datasets
US WeatherPast weather: Hourly • http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/climatedata.html • 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 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 WeatherPast weather: Monthly • Global Historical Climatology Network (free) • http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/climatedata.html#MONTHLY • 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 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.) • 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 WeatherCurrent, Forecasts, Normals • World Meteorological Organization: World Weather Information Service • www.worldweather.org/ • 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 WeatherNormals for Cities • WorldClimate.com • www.worldclimate.com • 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 • 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)