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Meteorology FAQ Part 4/7: Sources of CD-ROMs
Section - 4) Research data

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Top Document: Meteorology FAQ Part 4/7: Sources of CD-ROMs
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NMC gridpoint dataset ($150):
  Twice daily grids for the Northern Hemisphere at a resolution of about 381 km.  
  Contact: National Center for Atmospheric Research, PO Box 3000, Boulder, CO  80307.  303/497-1219, email

National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) discs:
  Various discs available, including:  Gulf of Mexico GLORIA data, 
Geophysics of North America, global ecosystems, global topography,
gravity data, solar activity, and more.  A catalog and price list are 
available via gopher or ftp (see part 1). 
  Contact:  NGDC, 325 Broadway E/GC4, Dept. 894, Boulder, CO  80303.  
303/497-6958, email

Global Ocean Temperature and Salinity (2 discs, $80 each or $124/both)
  Temperature and salinity in the world ocean for about 1900-1990, based on all available XBTs, MBTs, BTs, etc.
  Contact:  National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA/NESDIS E/OC21, 
Washington, DC  20235.  202/606-4549.

Global Upper Air Climatic Atlas (GUACA) ($240 for set):
  This two-volume CD-ROM set uses a 12-year (1980-1991) 2.5 degree upper air data base obtained from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).  This CD presents upper air statistics for 15 vertical levels in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere for dry bulb and dewpoint temperature, geopotential height, air density, and vector and scalar wind speed.  The disc provides access/display software for gridpoint data, contouring capability for user-defined areas, and vertical profiles.  
The climatology covers the 12-year period as well as individual year-months.
  This is a joint NCDC and U.S. Navy product.  DOS only.  An ASCII data 
CD-ROM (no graphic interface) is also available at a cost of $120.00. 
  Contact:  National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), Attn:  Climate Services Branch, 151 Patton Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801-5001.  704/271-4800, fax 704-271-4876, email  Add $5 service charge per order.

Radiosonde Data of North America 1946-1994. ($480):
  Contains all available radiosonde data for North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean Islands) through the 100-mb level on four disks.
Disk periods are 1946-1965, 1966-1979, 1980-1989, and 1990-1994.  Data 
includes significant, mandatory, and special wind levels for all observation times and includes geopotential height, temperature, dew point and wind direction, and scalar speed.  The user can select for output to printer, screen, or file, a single station or multiple stations for a defined time period, or all stations within a specified geographic region in either synoptic or station sort.  The CD also contains available station metadata. 
  Software is available to access the data for DOS, UNIX and VMS computer systems.  This is a joint NCDC and ERL product.  The latest single CD-ROM (1990-1994) is also available separately for 120.00.
  Contact:  National Climatic Data Center, see above.

Global Tropical and Extratropical Cyclone Climatic Atlas (GTECCA) ($120):
  This CD-ROM contains all global historic tropical storm track data 
available for five tropical storm basins.  Periods of record varies for each basin, with the beginning as early as the 1870s and with 1992 at the latest year.  Northern hemispheric extratropical storm track data will be included from 1965 to 1992.  Tropical track data includes time, position, storm stage (maximum wind, central pressure when available).  The user can display tracks,
track data for any basin or user-selected geographic area, or tracks passing within a user-defined radius of any point.  Narratives for all tropical storms for the 1980-1992 period will be included as well as basin-wide tropical storm climatological statistics.  
  Joint NCDC and U.S. Navy product, available for DOS only.
  Contact:  National Climatic Data Center, see above.

Global Daily Summary (GDS) ($120):
  This CD-ROM provides access to a 10,000-station set of daily maximum/minimum temperature, daily precipitation, and 3-hourly present weather for the 1977-1991 period of record.  Data can be selected for viewing or output to file for geographic areas or by a predefined user-selected list of stations.  
The dataset includes element flags for suspected erroneous data.  A data inventory contains station name, latitude/longitude, elevation, period of record, and the number of observations of available data.  
  Available for DOS only:  requires a bare minimum of 4 MB of RAM, with 8MB of RAM recommended for superior performance.
  Contact:  National Climatic Data Center, see above.

GALE dataset (price not known):
  GALE (Genesis of Atlantic Lows), 1/15/86-4/15/86:  ship data, raobs,
aircraft, radar, etc off N Carolina coast.  Available through Dept. of 
Atmos. Sci. (AK40), University of Washington, Seattle, WA  98195.

ERICA dataset ($35):
  ERICA (Experiment on Rapidly Intensifying Cyclones over the Atlantic), 12/1/88-2/26/89:  rawinsondes, aircraft, radar, buoys, satellite data, etc. 
  Contact:  C. Kreitzberg, Dept. of Physics and Atmospheric Science, 
Philadelphia, PA  19104.  (215) 895-2726,

GEDEX (Greenhouse Effect Detection Experiment)(price not known):
  Two discs containing surface, upper air, and/or satellite-derived 
measurements of temperature, solar irradiance, clouds, greenhouse
gases, fluxes, albedo, aerosols, ozone, and water vapor, along with
Southern Oscillation Indices and Quasi-Biennial Oscillation statistics.
Many of the data sets provide global coverage.  The spatial resolutions
vary from zonal to 2.5 degree grids.  Some surface station data sets 
span more than 100 years;  most satellite-derived sets cover only the
past 12 years.  Temporal coverage is monthly for most sets.
  Contact:  NCDS/Goddard Distributed Active Archive Center, Code 935,
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD  20771.  301/286-3209, email 
  A more complete description of these discs may be obtained from 
the FTP site, in the file "other_resources/gedex".

HCDN (Hydro-climatic data network) streamflow dataset (price not known):
  Contains dataset, search software, and USGS Open-File Report 92-129
(Slack, J.R., and Landwehr, J.M., 1992, Hydro-climatic data network (HCDN): 
A U.S. Geological Survey streamflow data set for the United States for the study of climate variations, 1874-1988).  
  Contact:  USGS, National Water Data Exchange (NAWDEX), MS 421 - National Center, Reston VA  22092.
  The principal author of this dataset, James R. Slack, can be reached via email at
  The information on the CD-ROM is also available via anonymous FTP 
from in the directory "hcdn92". 

The following 6 discs/disc sets are available from NSIDC User Services, 
National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES - Campus Box 449, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO  80309-0449.  303/492-6199, FAX 303/492-2468, 
email:, Omnet: NSIDC.

DMSP F8 Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) Brightness Temperature 
Grids for the Polar Regions (Price on request):
  18 CD-ROM discs contain daily gridded brightness temperature (Tb) for 
the north and south polar regions (areas where sea ice occurs), on polar stereographic grids, 9 July 1987 through 31 December 1991.  Each CD-ROM contains approximately 3 months of data.  Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F8 platform carried this first functional SSM/I instrument.  
The SSM/I is a 7-channel, 4-frequency, linearly polarized, passive
microwave radiometric system; channels are 85.5 GHz Vertical/Horizontal, 37.0 GHz Vertical/Horizontal, 22.2 GHz Vertical, 19.3 GHz Vertical/Horizontal.
  Fortran program provided on diskette to extract single channel from 
inter-leaved storage format.  Images can be displayed using IDL or other Unix or PC software.  For 1992 and later data, see DMSP F11 SSM/I Brightness Temperature Grids for the Polar Regions, below.
  Contact NSIDC, information above.

DMSP F8 Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) Sea Ice Concentration Grids for the Polar Regions 1987 - 1991. (Price on request):
  DMSP F8 SSM/I Ice Concentration Grids for the Polar Regions consist of daily first-year, multi-year, and total ice concentration on 25 x 25 km polar stereographic grids for north and south polar regions.  SSM/I sea ice CD-ROMs contain two sets of grids, 1) NASA Team algorithm; 2) J.C. Comiso algorithm. Orbital antenna temperatures are processed to gridded brightness temperatures and then used to derive gridded ice concentrations.  The SSM/I sensor flies on U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite 

Program (DMSP) platforms; the first operational SSM/I (Special Sensor Microwave/Imager) was that on DMSP F8.  Two CD-ROMs contain all F8 SSM/I ice concentrations, 9 July 1987 - 31 December 1991.  North polar files are 137202 bytes, south polar are 105922 bytes.  
  Data are in HDF format and can be read using software from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NSCA), available by anonymous ftp from NCSA ( or with commercial packages such as IDL.  
  The SSM/I is a 7-channel, 4-frequency, linearly polarized, passive microwave radiometric system: 85.5 GHz Vertical/Horizontal, 37.0 GHz Vertical/Horizontal, 22.2 GHz Vertical, 19.3 GHz Vertical/Horizontal.  DMSP F11 SSM/I ice concentrations for 1992 and later dates will be produced starting in late 1994, after the ice algorithms have been modified for F11 data.
  Contact NSIDC, information above.

DMSP F11 Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) Brightness Temperature Grids for the Polar Regions.  (Price on request):
  CD-ROM discs contain daily gridded brightness temperature (Tb) for the north and south polar regions (areas where sea ice occurs), on polar stereographic grids, beginning on 3 December 1991.  Each CD-ROM contains approximately 3 months of data in single-channel files, in HDF (Hierarchical Data Format).  As of 8/94, 5 volumes cover 12/91 - 2/93.  Inquire for latest available data. 
  Software to read and manipulate the data in HDF is available via ftp from National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA): ftp to; help is available from NCSA at  
Data can also be displayed and manipulated using commercial packages such as IDL.  
  The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F11 platform carries this SSM/I instrument, a 7-channel, 4-frequency, linearly polarized, passive microwave radiometric system; channels are 85.5 GHz Vertical/Horizontal, 37.0 GHz Vertical/Horizontal, 22.2 GHz Vertical, 19.3 GHz Vertical/Horizontal.
This product uses the same grid and projection as the NSIDC DMSP F8 SSM/I brightness temperature and sea ice concentration CD-ROMs (1987 - 1991, see above).
  Contact NSIDC, information above.

Nimbus-7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) Polar Radiances and Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Concentrations, 1978 - 1987.  (Price on request):
  Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) Polar Radiances and 
Sea Ice Concentrations on CD-ROM contain gridded brightness temperatures (Tb) and sea ice concentrations for 10/78 - 8/87 (the life of the Nimbus-7 SMMR scanner) for both polar regions on 12 CD-ROMs.  Data were collected at 6.60, 10.69, 18.00, 21.00 and 37.00 GHz in an alternate-day operating pattern due to spacecraft power limitations.  [NOTE: Input data set is SMMR TCT tapes; this is different from the previous SMMR CD-ROM product distributed by NSIDC in 1989.]  Tb (in Kelvins) and sea ice concentration 

(in percent) grids have 25 x 25 km grid elements in polar stereographic projection.  
Volume 7 contains all SMMR sea ice concentrations for both polar regions, plus 5 months of Tb grids for the north polar region.  The Tb grids are stored as 16-bit integers; one day of Tb data is 0.27 mbytes for the north polar region, 0.21 mbytes for the south.  Ice grids are stored as 8-bit integers, each file = 136192 bytes for the north, 104912 bytes for the south.
The NASA Team Algorithm (Cavalieri et al., 1984; Gloersen and Cavalieri, 1986) was used to calculate ice concentrations from the Tbs.  Data produced by Dr. P. Gloersen, NASA/GSFC, Oceans and Ice Branch.  
  Documentation is provided on the CD-ROMs, in a hard-copy User's Guide, and in the "SMMR Atlas", NASA Special Report SP-511 (Gloersen, et al., 1992.)  
  Contact NSIDC, information above.

Historical Arctic Rawinsonde Archive (HARA), 1947-1987. (Price on request):
  The Historical Arctic Rawisonde Archive on CD-ROM, volumes 1-3, contains over 1.2 million vertical soundings of temperature, pressure, humidity, and wind, representing all available rawisonde ascents from Arctic land stations poleward of 65 degrees North from the beginning of record through 1987.  For most stations the record begins in 1958, a few begin in 1947 or 1948.  The data are one file per year per station.  Coverage is relatively uniform, except in the interior of Greenland.  Typically 20-40 leve

ls are available in each sounding.  
  Documentation is provided on the CD-ROM volumes, and in hard copy (NSIDC Special Report 2, 1992).  Software (Fortran and C) is provided on the CD-ROM volumes to retrieve a subset of the sounding data.
  Data for 1988-1990, and monthly averaged data, will be distributed in late 1994.  Sounding data were obtained from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) of NOAA in Asheville, North Carolina.  Data from drifting ice islands, ships and aircraft dropsondes are being assembled as a separate archive.  
  Contact NSIDC, information above.

Eastern Arctic Ice, Ocean and Atmosphere Data, Volume 1, CEAREX-1 ($50):
  Contains sea ice acceleration, deformation and stress; hydrography
(CTDs); meteorology; bathymetry; acoustics and ambient noise (sample
data) from Coordinated Eastern Arctic Experiment (CEAREX).  Includes
meteorology from Marginal Ice Zone Experiment (MIZEX), 1983, 1984, 1987. Experiment location: Arctic Ocean north of Svalbard; Fram Strait, September 1988 - May 1989.  Amount of data: 460 mbytes.  
  Data format: ASCII files.  Associated software: none.  Additional volumes are planned; content not yet determined. 
  Contact NSIDC, information above.

NWS/NOHRSC snow cover data ($50 each year):
  Airborne snow water equivalent and satellite areal extent of snow cover data for 1990-1993 are now available on CD-ROM for major portions of the U.S., Alaska, and Canada. The CD-ROMs include: (1) airborne snow water equivalent data and the digitized flight line network, (2) calibrated AVHRR and GOES satellite data used to map snow cover, (3) the classified snow cover images (4) national and regional snow cover image products, and (5) ancillary data sets including digital elevation data, digitized NWS bas

in boundaries, and the alphanumeric results of the satellite snow cover mapping by basin and by elevation zone.
  Contact:  CD-ROM Snow Cover Data, National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC),  National Weather Service, NOAA,
1735 Lake Drive West, Chanhassen, Minnesota  55317-8582
612/361-6610, FAX 612/361-6634, email (Tim Szeliga) dial-up bbs 612/361-6632

STORM-FEST data (3 discs, price unknown):
  Data from the STORM-FEST experiment -- surface observations and rawinsonde, satellite, radar, NOWRAD, and profiler data -- plus Zeb software for viewing the data.  
  Contact Steve Williams,

AVHRR monthly global MCSST / CZCS data (5 discs, price on request) 
  The AVHRR MCSST and CZCS phytoplankton pigment concentration data set 
contains monthly averaged sea-surface temperatures (day and night) derived from NOAA satellite AVHRR which are temporally and spatially coregistered with phytoplankton pigment concentration data acquired from the CZCS instrument on Nimbus-7.  The CZCS data cover 1978-1986 and AVHRR data cover the period from 1981-1986, giving 5 years of coregistered data. 
  Contact:  PO.DAAC at JPL. Contact the User Services Office at for more details.

TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter merged geophysical data record (Price on request)
   Global coverage data from the TOPEX/POSEIDON mission from both the U.S. and French altimeters with high precision orbits and environmental corrections.
The data are distributed on CD-ROMs (ISO 9660) and in an integer format usable on VAX, UNIX, PCs, and Macs.  Each CD-ROM contains two ten-day cycles of data, precision orbit, and cross-over files for each cycle and read software for VAX and UNIX. As of May '94  cycles 1-52 exist on CD-ROM. 
  Contact:  PO.DAAC, information above. 

TOGA related satellite and in-situ data CD-ROM '85-'90. (Price on request).  
  PO.DAAC has produced a set of seven CD-ROMs which contain satellite, 
in-situ, and model derived data pertaining to atmospheric and oceanographic parameters. Parameters include ocean currents, sea-surface temperature and salinity, air temperature and pressure, cloud, and precipitation. Software will be included. The data have been provided by agencies worldwide. (Available in June '94.)
  Contact:  PO.DAAC, information above. 

Software atlas and plotting tool for oceanographic sections (diskettes)
  ATLAST, a PC software atlas and plotting tool for oceanographic sections (Rhines) OCEANATLAS, a Macintosh software atlas and plotting tool for oceanographic sections (Swift et al.) are available on diskettes. 
  Contact:  PO.DAAC, information above. 

TOGA/COARE GMS-4 images (2 discs, $75 for the set):
  GMS-4 images during the TOGA/COARE Intensive Observation Period
(November 1992 to March 1993) regridded over 135E - 175E, 10S - 10N,
5km square pixel size.  1910 infrared and 877 visible images of albedo and brightness temperature with overlays of the geographic grid and the 
positions of moorings and ships.  Images are in compressed PostScript 
format but tools are included to uncompress and convert the data
into other formats.
  Contact:  Satellite Oceanography Laboratory, University of Hawaii, 1000 
Pope Road, Honolulu, HI 96822.  The check should be made to the order
of "RCUH".

Surface Radiation Budget (SRB) Global Datasets (price not known):
  Contains Version 1.1 SRB shortwave products for the period March 
1985 through December 1988 as produced by the World Climate Research
Programme's (WCRP) SRB Satellite Data Analysis Center (SDAC). 
Inputs to the Version 1.1 product are results from the International
Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) and the Earth Radiation
Budget Experiment (ERBE).  SDAC uses two methods (known as the
Pinker and Staylor algorithms) to estimate surface downward and
net irradiances, surface albedo, downward direct/diffuse ratio,
surface cloud forcing, and daylight cloud fraction.  In addition,
various other radiation, cloud, meteorological and diagnostic  
parameters are provided to aid the user in understanding variations 
in the SRB parameters.
  The SRB CD-ROM has been formatted and produced to work with IBM PCs,
Apple Macintoshes and Unix systems with ISO-9660 CD-ROM driver support.
In addition, read and display software for IBM PCs and Apple Macintoshes 
are available upon request.  
  Contact:  Langley DAAC User Services, MS 157B, NASA Langley Research
Center, Hampton, VA, 23681-0001. (804)864-8656,

SAM II Aerosol Data (no cost):
  Contains Stratospheric Aerosol Measurement (SAM) II data collected from October 1978 - January 1993, documentation, and read software.   The SAM II instrument, aboard the Earth-orbiting Nimbus-7 spacecraft, was designed to measure solar irradiance attenuated by aerosol particles in the Arctic and Antarctic stratosphere.  The scientific objective of the SAM II experiment was to develop a stratospheric aerosol database for the polar regions by measuring and mapping vertical profiles of the atmospheric exti

nction due to aerosols.  This database allows for studies of aerosol changes due to seasonal and short-term meteorological variations, atmospheric chemistry, 
cloud microphysics, and volcanic activity and other perturbations.  
  Contact:  Langley DAAC, information above.

United Kindom Digital Marine Atlas V2.0 (UKP56.40):   (Floppy disk)
  This is an IBM compatibile PC based Marine Atlas covering the Northeast Atlantic and mainly centered on the British Isles.  It comes on five 1.4MB floppies and runs under DOS (V3.0 or higher).  It has several sections covering areas such as general Bathymetry, Marine Geology, Marine and Coastal Nature Conservation in Breat Britain, Marine Biology, Physical Oceanography, Marine Chemistry, Fisheries and the BODC data catalogues amongst others.
  Contact:  UKDMAP Project Manager, British Oceanographic Data Centre,
Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Bidston Observatory, BIRKENHEAD,
Merseyside L43 7RA United Kingdom.  +44 51 653 8633, Fax: +44 51 652 3950.

Stratospheric Ozone ($39.95, $49.95 beginning March 1 1995) *COMMERCIAL*
  This is a multimedia CD-ROM for the Apple Macintosh from Lenticular Press (College Station, TX).  It includes the huge Nimbus 7 TOMS database of stratospheric ozone measurements; global and hemispheric daily, monthly, and climatological maps, and numerical data for the entire 14.5-year record, more than 16,000 maps and 500 MB of data in all.
  Contact:  Lenticular Press, P.O. Box 10413, College Station, TX  77842-0413.
409/693-0622, 409/693-0729 fax,

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