NCDC Climate Atlas Of The United States, Version 2.0

Overview | Data Sources | NCSU Access | CD-ROM Access | Documentation


The Climate Atlas of the United States was developed by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, NC. Version 2.0 of this CD-ROM, released September 2002, replaces a popular paper Atlas last published in 1968, and supersedes version 1.0 published on CD in 2000.

 From NCDC -- "The new CD Atlas contains 2023 color maps of climatic elements such as temperature, precipitation, snow, wind, pressure, etc., chosen to portray the climate of the US. The period of record of the data for most of the maps is 1961-1990.

"The user may install the Atlas onto a local drive, or run the Atlas from the CD. From the Atlas interface, the user chooses an element type (Temperature, or Precipitation, or Snow, etc.), an element (mean, or maximum, or record extreme, etc.), and a geographic area (Lower 48, Alaska, or Hawaii). The Atlas displays maps of the selected element and area using ESRI's ArcExplorer, which is included on the CD. ArcExplorer provides GIS capabilities, such as zoom, query, identify, and theme layering."

Data Sources:

From NCDC--"Several data sources were used for generating the atlas maps including Daily Cooperative Summary of the Day (NOAA, 1995), Climatic Data Normals (NOAA, 1994), Snow Climatology (NOAA, 1997), Hourly First-Order Observations (NOAA, 1999), Daily Summaries of Hourly First-Order Observations (NOAA, 1999), Monthly Normals for Atypical Elements (NOAA, 1997), and the Monthly Normals of Temperature, Precipitation, and Degree Days for the U.S. (Clim81) (NOAA, 1994)."

Station Selection Criteria

From NCDC--"The number of stations used for generating the various grids was dependent on the data source: 3779 stations from the snow climatology data set, 6662 precipitation stations from the Clim81 set, 4775 temperature stations from Clim81, 8198 temperature stations from the cooperative observer data set, and 230 stations from the first-order data set."

Data Elements

Descriptions of the various elements and filenames may be found online: NCSU NCDC.

NCSU Access

The Climate Atlas Of The United States data and ArcExplorer projects are downloadable from:

The CD-ROM is not required to run the application after it has been installed.

CD-ROM Access

The Climate Atlas Of The United States, version 2.0 CD-ROM is available in DH Hill Library Reference Area, Govt. Documents CD Cabinet. Call number: C 55.281/2-2:C61/CD/2002.

The Climate Atlas Of The United States, version 1.0 CD-ROM is available in DH Hill Library Reference Area, Govt. Documents CD Cabinet. Call number: C 55.281/2-2:C61/CD/DISK.1. Full documentation is on the CD.


Full documentation is available on the CD-ROM under the DOCS folder, and online: NCSU NCDC.

Full documentation of other NCDC datasets may be found at:

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