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Weather and Climate Resources

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  1. Weather and Climate Resources UW Information Services Training Retreat 27 April 2004 Margaret Aquan-Yuen Richard Pinnell

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. 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)

  5. 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?

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. 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)

  13. Climate Normals • Normals: values of climatic elements averaged over a fixed, standard period of years.

  14. 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)

  15. 1971-2000 * • Canadian climate normals or averages, 1971-2000 • Available via the library’s e-reference collection • Data can be exported to Excel

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Comparison of “Days with Parameter”1971-2000 vs 1961-1990

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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)

  24. 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

  25. Global WeatherPast Weather: Daily • GDCN Global Daily • Stations: 32,000 stations worldwide • Frequency: daily • Period: 1840 - • Data Elements: precipitation maximum temperature minimum temperature

  26. 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.

  27. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  28. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  29. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  30. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  31. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  32. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  33. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  34. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  35. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  36. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  37. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  38. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  39. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  40. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  41. GDCN Global Daily (cont.)

  42. 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?

  43. 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?

  44. 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)