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Weather and Climate Data

Science Reference Guide No. 9

SCOPE | SUBJECT HEADINGS | GUIDES TO SOURCES OF WEATHER AND CLIMATE DATA | ABSTRACTING AND INDEXING SERVICES | CLIMATIC DATA SOURCES | UNUSUAL WEATHER PHENOMENA| DICTIONARIES, ENCYCLOPEDIAS, AND HANDBOOKS | ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION

SCOPE

    The purpose of this guide is to help researchers at the Library of Congress identify resources containing weather and climate data. Not intended to be a comprehensive bibliography, it is designed to help the researcher use our catalogs effectively and to provide an introduction to basic reference sources on the topic.

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SUBJECT HEADINGS

Subject headings used by the Library of Congress, under which books and periodicals containing weather and climate statistics can be identified in most card, book, and online catalogs, include the following:

Geographic area--CLIMATE--format*
    e.g., CALIFORNIA--CLIMATE--STATISTICS--PERIODICALS
    Note: CLIMATE as a subheading usually implies that data are averaged over a period of time. This period may be as short as one day, as in the Climatological Data series.

Geographic area--METEOROLOGY--format*
    e.g., METEOROLOGY--BRAZIL--OBSERVATIONS
    Note that the following subheadings describing document format are often used in compilations of weather data. (Older materials such as those listed in the PREM file may not have been given format subheadings.)

   --CHARTS, DIAGRAMS, ETC.
   --MAPS
   --OBSERVATIONS
   --PERIODICALS
   --STATISTICS
   --TABLES
   --YEARBOOKS

Other related and narrower headings include the following, many of which may be subdivided by geographic area and/or format:

   ATMOSPHERE
   ATMOSPHERE, UPPER
   ATMOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE
   ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION
   ATMOSPHERIC DIFFUSION
   ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS
   ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE
   ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE
   CLIMATIC CHANGES
   CLIMATIC EXTREMES
   CLIMATIC NORMALS
   CLIMATOLOGY--format (no geographic subdivisions)
   DROUGHTS
   FLOODS
   GLOBAL WARMING
   GLOBAL TEMPERATURE CHANGES
   GREENHOUSE EFFECT, ATMOSPHERIC
   LONG-RANGE WEATHER FORECASTING
   METEOROLOGICAL SATELLITES
   METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES
   METEOROLOGY, MARITIME
   PALEOCLIMATOLOGY
   PRECIPITATION (METEOROLOGY)
   RAIN AND RAINFALL
   RAWINSONDES
   SEA ICE
   SNOW
   STATISTICAL WEATHER FORECASTING
   STORMS
   TIDES
   WEATHER
   WEATHER CONTROL
   WEATHER FORECASTING
   WINDS
   WINDS ALOFT

SEARCH TIPS

1. For materials cataloged before 1968, don't forget to search the card catalog or search by "title" instead of "serial title".

2. Remember to search broad as well as narrow subject headings. For example, precipitation data can be found in items retrieved under the heading CALIFORNIA--CLIMATE, as well as under RAIN AND RAINFALL--CALIFORNIA and PRECIPITATION (METEOROLOGY)--CALIFORNIA.

3. Remember to search broad as well as narrow geographic headings, e.g., UNITED STATES--CLIMATE and HILO (HAWAII)--CLIMATE. Many national data sources also contain detailed local data. Because of retrieval problems in using "UNITED STATES" as a subject heading, major U.S. data sources are listed in this guide.

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GUIDES TO SOURCES OF WEATHER AND CLIMATE DATA

The Air & space catalog. Joel Makower, editor; Marilyn P. Fenichel, senior editor. New York, Vintage Books, 1989. 332 p.
   TL553.A35 1989b <SciRR desk>
   Pages 135-188 include information on U.S. agencies involved with weather and climate data, state weather offices, private meteorology companies, professional weather organizations, forecasting systems, amateur weather clubs, sources for do-it- yourself weather equipment, publicly available on-line weather data services, sources of educational materials, and a bibliography.

Diaz, Henry F., Early Funderburk, and Michael G. Burgin. Inventory of sources of long term climatic data in microfilm and publication form. Asheville, N.C., National Climatic Center, 1982. 79 p. (Historical climatology series, 2-3)
   Z6683.C5D53 1982 <SciRR>
   A guide for locating and obtaining 19th-century climatic data. Some 20th-century data sources are also included.

Fleming, James Rodger. Guide to historical resources in the atmospheric sciences: archives, manuscripts, and special collections in the Washington, D.C. area. Boulder, Colo., Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, 1989, c1988. 167 p. (NCAR technical note, NCAR/TN-327+IA)
   QC861.2 <SciRR desk>
   Alternative call number: QC880.B67 no. 327

Hatch, Warren L. Selective guide to climatic data sources. Washington, D.C., U.S. Dept. of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, 1988. 1 v. (various pagings) (Key to meteorological records documentation, no. 4.11)
   Z6685.U64 no. 4.11, 1988 <SciRR desk>
   Rev. ed. of Selective guide to climatic data sources, by Keith D. Butson and Warren L. Hatch (1979). Title on spine reads Key to meteorological records documentation. Indexed by type of data, e.g., snow (daily, monthly, annual, or long period); wind direction and speed (hourly, daily, monthly/annual, long period). Mostly U.S., some international.

Lamb, H. H. Climatic history and the future. Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, [1985] c1977. 835 p.
   Bibliography: p. 713-802.
   QC884.L36 1985
   Originally published as Climate: present, past and future, v. 2 (London, Methuen; New York, Barnes & Noble, 1977) [QC 981.L28 <SciRR>]
   A review of historic and prehistoric climate research, with extensive bibliographies. Supplementary tables and figures, p. 551-652, contain summaries based on referenced studies.

United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Environmental Analysis. Global climate trends and greenhouse gas data: federal activities in data collection, archiving, and dissemination. Report to the Congress of the United States. Washington, D.C., U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Environmental Analysis, Deputy Under Secretary for Policy, Planning, and Analysis; Springfield, Va., Available from the National Technical Information Service, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 1990. 1 v. (various pagings)
    Includes bibliographical references.
    QC981.8.C5U5137 1990
   "DOE/PE-0094P."
  
   Basically a policy and planning study; includes information on national and world data centers, data sets, and research needs.

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ABSTRACTING AND INDEXING SERVICES

Abstracting and indexing services that index relevant journal articles, technical reports, and government publications are listed below.

Meteorological and Geoastrophysical Abstracts. 1950-
   QC851.A62 <SciRR>
   Suggested subject headings: ANNUAL CLIMATIC DATA SUMMARIES; DAILY WEATHER MAPS; HISTORIC WEATHER RECORDS; LONG-PERIOD TEMPERATURE RECORDS.

Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications. 1895-
   Z1223.A18 <SciRR, MRR, N&CPR>
   Use Library of Congress subject headings listed on p. 1-2 of this guide.

The three indexes listed below are also available in CD-ROM format in the Main Reading Room, under the combined title Statistical Masterfile. Many of the documents indexed can be found in microfiche collections held in the Microform Reading Room. Relevant subject headings include WEATHER and STORMS.

American Statistics Index. 1973-
   Z7554.U5A46 <B&E, MRR, N&CPR>

Index to International Statistics. 1983-
   Z7552.I53 <B&E, MRR, N&CPR>

Statistical Reference Index. 1980-
   Z7554.U5S73 <B&E, MRR, N&CPR>
   The following three indexes are based on bibliographic records of technical reports indexed by the National Technical Information Service. Ask a librarian for assistance in developing your search strategy.

Government Reports Announcements and Index (1946-)
   Z7916.G78 <SciRR>

NTIS Bibliographic Database. National Technical Information Service. Silver Platter. CD-ROM format.
   <Ask in SciRR> <Computer Format>

NTIS Title Index on Microfiche (1964-)
   Uncataloged <SciRR>

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CLIMATIC DATA SOURCES

TRENDS, LONG-TERM AVERAGES AND EXTREMES
INTERNATIONAL:

Monthly climatic data for the world. Asheville, N.C., National Climatic Data Center, 1948- monthly.
   QC982.U442
   For 1979-present, recommend use of Government Documents
   Collection in N&CPR
   (SuDocs C 55.211:year, month).
   Contains monthly mean values of surface temperatures, pressure, vapor pressure, and precipitation, along with other data for hundreds of locations throughout the world. No annual cumulation.

Pearce, E. A., and Gordon Smith. The Times Books world weather guide. Updated ed. New York, Times Books/Random House, 1990. 480 p.
   QC982.P43 1990 <SciRR>
   Multi-year monthly and annual average maximum and minimum temperatures, relative humidity, and precipitation for major U.S. and foreign cities. Monthly extreme maximum and minimum temperatures and average number of days of precipitation are also given. Maps and descriptions of geography and climate are provided for most countries.

Trends '91: a compendium of data on global change. 2nd ed. Edited by T. A. Boden, R. J. Sepanski, and F. W. Stoss. Oak Ridge, Tenn., Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1991. 700 p.
   (ORNL/CDIAC-46)
   QC879.8.T74 <SciRR>
   Contains maps, graphs, data tables, and descriptions of measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide, methane, and other trace gases measured at specific locations. Provides global and regional measurements of carbon dioxide emissions, temperature anomalies and trends.

The Weather handbook: a summary of climatic conditions and weather phenomena for selected cities in the United States and around the world. Edited by McKinley Conway and Linda L. Liston. Rev. ed. 1990. Norcross, Ga., Conway Data, 1990. 548 p.
   QC982.W38 1990 <SciRR>
   Multi-year monthly and annual average maximum and minimum temperatures, relative humidity, and precipitation for major U.S. and foreign cities. Monthly extreme maximum and minimum temperatures and average number of days of precipitation are also given. For U.S. cities, year of occurrence of extremes is noted, as well as average wind speed and average number of days of specified weather conditions. Major weather-related disasters are listed on p. 504-534.

World weather records. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1921/1930- decennial.
   QC982.W6 <SciRR>
   Contents: v.1. North America--v.2. Europe--v.3. South and Central America--v.4. Asia --v.5. Africa--v.6. Antarctica, Australia, Oceania. SciRR has: 1941-50, 1951-60 (v. 1-6), 1961-70 (v. 1-2, 6), 1971-80 (v.1-2). Tables present monthly, yearly, and decennial means for selected weather station pressure, sea level pressure, temperature, and precipitation. Does not provide records of extremes. Earlier title, World weather records collected from official sources (1927. Q11.S7, vol. 79), covers mid-1800's through 1920.

UNITED STATES:

Climates of the states. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. New material by James A. Ruffner. 3rd ed. Detroit, Mich., Gale Research Co., c1985. 2 v.
   QC983.C56 1985 <SciRR>
   Published also as no. 60, pts. 1-52 (pt. 50 vacant) 1976-78, in the series Climates of the States, Climatology [i.e., Climatography] of the United States. Narrative summaries, tables, and maps for each state, with overview of state climatologist programs. Contains means and extremes (1951-80) for more than 2000 small and large U.S. cities where cooperative weather stations are located.

The Weather almanac. Detroit, Gale Research Co., c1974- irregular updates.
   Includes bibliographical references and index.
   QC983.W38, 9th, 1999, <SciRR>
   General information and data covering a broad scope, including encyclopedic descriptions of phenomena such as storms, severe weather, air pollution, and geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanoes, with statistics and maps. Includes averages and extremes for major U.S. cities, including wind, heating and cooling degree days, and snowfall.

Weather of U.S. cities. Richard A. Wood, editor. 5th ed. Detroit, Gale Research Co., c1996. 1075 p.
   QC983.W393 1996 <SciRR>
   A compilation of weather narratives and statistics for 281 key cities and weather observation points in the United States and its island territories. Quantifies normals, means, and extremes, including wind, heating and cooling degree days, and snowfall.

DAILY AND HOURLY WEATHER RECORDS
UNITED STATES:

Climatological data. [State]. Asheville, N.C., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, National Climatic Data Center, 1914-
   QC983.A5
   Monthly station data with annual summaries. For 1914-75, state reports are combined under one title. From 1976, issued separately for each state, with the exception of combined volumes for New England; Maryland and Delaware; Hawaii and Pacific Islands; and Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. Specify month, year, and state needed. After 1979, recommend use of the Government Documents collection in N&CPR. Microfiche since 1980. See Selective guide to climatic data sources for list of previous titles since mid-1880's.

Local climatological data. [City, State]. Asheville, N.C., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, National Climatic Data Center, 1939-
   <N&CPR>
   Issued monthly and annually for each of approximately 290 National Weather Service stations. The monthly issue includes daily and monthly temperatures, heating and cooling degree days, precipitation, pressure, wind, sunshine, and sky cover. Three- hourly weather observations and hourly precipitation data are also presented for most stations. The annual issue summarizes all of the above, and includes tabular summaries for approximately the last 30 years. None in LC general collections. After 1979, use Government Documents collection in N&CPR. SuDocs call numbers can be identified in LOCIS. To identify which local data publications are available for Iowa, for example, search "find t climatological data iowa".

Local newspapers are also good sources for historical weather data.

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UNUSUAL WEATHER PHENOMENA

Holford, Ingrid. The Guinness book of weather facts & feats. 2nd ed. Enfield, Middlesex, Guinness Superlatives, c1982. 253 p.
   Bibliography: p. 243-245.
   QC981.H593 1982 <SciRR>
   A compilation of historical facts and extreme weather records.

Ludlum, David M. The American weather book. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1982. 296 p.
   QC983.L825 1982
   Discusses weather phenomena and extremes for the United States, including a monthly breakdown of typical weather patterns, records, and historic weather events. Compares U.S. weather records with world extremes.

Storm data. Asheville, N.C., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, National Climatic Data Center, 1959-
   QC943.5.U6S82
   Monthly descriptions of storms in each state, with death, injury, and damage statistics. Includes a variety of types of storms and extreme weather conditions. LC general collections contain: 1959-62 (incomplete), 1970-79 (under call number QC943.5.U6S825, published by Gale), 1978-87. For 1979- , recommend use of Government Documents collection in N&CPR (SuDocs no. C 55.212: ). For references to earlier storm coverage, consult Selective guide to climatic data sources.

Local newspapers are also good sources of reports on storms and storm damage.

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DICTIONARIES, ENCYCLOPEDIAS, AND HANDBOOKS

Dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks that contain information on weather and climate include:

Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather. Stephen H. Schneider, editor in chief. New York, Oxford University Press, 1996. 2 v.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   QC854.E523 1996 <SciRR>

The Encyclopedia of climatology. Edited by John E. Oliver, Rhodes W. Fairbridge. New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold, c1987. 986 p. (Encyclopedia of earth sciences, v. 11)
   QC854.E525 1987 <SciRR>

Proulx, Gerard J. Standard dictionary of meteorological sciences: English- French/French-English. Montreal, McGill-Queen's University Press, 1971. 307 p.
   Bibliography: p. xv-xix.
   QC854.P76 <SciRR Dict>

Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian meteorological tables. 6th rev. ed., prepared by Robert J. List. Washington, 1951. 527 p., diagrs. (Smithsonian miscellaneous collections, v. 114)
   QC873.S6 1958 <SciRR>
   Publication 4014.
   Numerous conversion factors and tables included.

Tîstea, Dumitru, Dumitru Bacinschi, and Radu Nor. Dictionar meteorologic: romîn, rus, francez, englez, german, spaniol. Bucuresti, C.S.A., Institutul Meteorologic, 1965. 320 p.
   QC854.T57 1965

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ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION

American Meteorological Society
45 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108-3693
Telephone: 617-227-2425
Fax: 617-742-8718
E-mail: webadmin@ametsoc.org
Website: http://www.ametsoc.org
Can furnish names and addresses of private consulting meteorologists, expert witnesses, etc.

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Building 1000, MS-6335
P.O. Box 2008
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6335
Telephone: 865-574-0390
and 865-574-3645
Fax: 865-574-2232
E-mail: cdiac@ornl.gov
Website: http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov
Provides information support to the international research, policy, and education communities for the evaluation of complex environmental issues associated with elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, including potential climate change. Provides publications and numeric data sets.

National Climatic Data Center Meteorologists
National Climatic Data Center
Federal Building
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, N.C. 28801-5001
Telephone: 828-271-4800
Fax: 828-271-4876
E-mail: NCDC.info@noaa.gov
Website: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov
For a fee, can provide copies of weather records. Certified copies, written interpretation of records, and other professional meteorological services may be provided at an additional cost.

Weather Vertical File in the Science Reading Room includes selected pamphlets and publications of the National Climatic Data Center and the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. Other relevant materials can be found in vertical files under Global Warming and Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere.

April 1992, updated 8/28/95 (MC)

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