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Web Services at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. AGU Fall Meeting 2007. Steve Ansari, Rich Baldwin, Stephen Del Greco, Neal Lott, Glenn Rutledge NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Background. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) currently archives over 1.5 petabytes of data.

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web services at noaa s national climatic data center

Web Services at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center

AGU Fall Meeting 2007

Steve Ansari, Rich Baldwin, Stephen Del Greco, Neal Lott, Glenn Rutledge

NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center

  • National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) currently archives over 1.5 petabytes of data.
  • Sources include in-situ networks, numerical models, radar, satellite and more.
  • Manual access through web pages
implementing soa
Implementing SOA

Different approaches for different datasets

  • In-situ data:

REST, WaterML, OGC GIS Services

  • Severe Weather Data Inventory: REST
  • Model/Radar/Satellite:

REST via THREDDS Data Server

in situ data
In-Situ Data
  • Network examples:


  • Metadata (station locations) in ArcSDE / Oracle Spatial
  • Time-series data stored in Oracle
  • Metadata: OGC GIS Web Services (WMS and WFS)


  • Data: Implementation of CUAHSI Web Services

Web Services will be available soon!

http://cdo.ncdc.noaa.gov/ - interactive web pages

in situ data5
In-Situ Data
  • Consortium of Universities for Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences (CUAHSI)
  • Partners with state and federal agencies
  • Defines WaterML – a specialized schema definition for water resources
in situ data6
In-Situ Data
  • REST Web Services
    • Simple access to archive data in early 2008
    • Provides access to data at a station or within a country, state, county, climate division, watershed
    • Easily extendable
    • Uses common names or FIPS identifiers
    • Authentication token
    • http…/servlet/network/type/location/variable/startdate/enddate/output
  • Output types (waterML, xml, text, csv)
severe weather data inventory
Severe Weather Data Inventory
  • Geospatial database of weather phenomena represented as point, line or polygon

Current layers: Prelim. Local Storm Reports, NEXRAD Level-III Storm Attributes (TVS, Meso, Hail, Structure)

  • REST Web Service Access:

Search based on location, data range, within area, etc…

Statistics – count, summarize by hour, day, month

Output types (csv, xml, kmz, Shapefile, GeoRSS)

  • Basis for SWDI interactive web pages / applications


severe weather data inventory9
Severe Weather Data Inventory


(Almost a Virtual File System – hopefully intuitive!)


model radar satellite
Model / Radar / Satellite
  • The NOMADS project
  • Utilize NetCDF and Common Data Model for interoperability, decoders, etc…
  • THREDDS Data Server – access to data via OPeNDAP, NetCDF Server and OGC Web Coverage Service (WCS)
  • GrADS Data Server and the Live Access Server

Current datasets in THREDDS:



The NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System


  • Provide distributed access to models and associated data
  • Promote model evaluation and product development
  • Foster research within the geo-science
  • communities (ocean, weather, and climate)
  • to study multiple earth systems using
  • collections of distributed data
  • Develop institutional partnerships via distributed open technologies
  • Ease of use
  • Interoperability with existing tools
  • Flexible, distributed architecture
  • Data stewardship to multiple user communities
  • Efficient use of hardware and bandwidth
data usage a few samples
Data Usage - A Few Samples
  • Engineering design:  Ice loads for towers, cables, wires, etc

Wind loads for buildings, etc

Heating/cooling requirements

Drainage/runoff extremes (pipes, culverts)

  • Aircraft operations: Crosswinds (runway design), instrument landing systems, etc
  • Space shuttle accident investigation: Nexrad data
  • Ship routing and oil rig placement
  • Global re-analyses for climate trends assessment, etc
  • HAZMAT operations and studies: oil spills, toxic release, etc
  • Weather risk management industry (now > $40 billion per year)
  • Insurance investigations and verification
  • Court cases and criminal investigations
  • Aircraft accident investigations
  • Wind energy studies: Wind farms, US and overseas
  • Commercial innovation and design: Typical and extreme conditions for a new market
contact info
Contact Info

Steve Ansari – steve.ansari@noaa.gov

NCDC Web Services website