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Station Metadata

Generally speaking, metadata are the data about data. Metadata help us understand the data, and represent the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how” for the data. The links below provide access to metadata information for NCDC’s data holdings and include elements such as siting, elevation, latitude, longitude, and equipment type for various weather and climate stations. Access to lists of available stations and dataset inventories is also available below.

Historical Observing Metadata Repository

NCDC’s Historical Observing Metadata Repository (HOMR) is an integrated station history database that provides land-based station metadata in support of research, reporting, data products, and web applications. HOMR tracks historical names, identifiers, locations, and equipment for stations located all over the world.

  • Search Tool
    HOMR’s search tool provides access to detailed histories for stations whose data are archived at NCDC. You can search for these stations by a variety of criteria, display summary information for stations matching those criteria, and drill down to high levels of detail for each individual station.
  • Station Metadata Reports
    NCDC generates a number of standard reports using the station history database. These reports provide historical information on every station in the database, and station lists with basic information for various observing networks. U.S. sites like those in the National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative Observer Program have the most extensive historical information in HOMR.

Geographical Information

NCDC provides a variety of location-based climate data. The information below describes some of these data, how they are analyzed, and how they are identified.

  • U.S. Climate Divisional Dataset
    The Climate Divisional Database contains temporally and spatially complete information on 344 climate divisions in the contiguous United States. These data are used to generate historical climate analyses for drought, temperature, precipitation, and heating/cooling degree data.
  • Area of U.S. Climate Divisions
    This text list provides the area for each of the U.S. climate divisions, by state, in square miles. These are the individual area weights applied to each division for climate summaries and reports. Note: If the area weight is zero for climatological purposes, then the square mileage is also zero.
  • Cooperative Stations State Codes
    This list includes the two-digit numbers for each state that correspond to the first two digits of their cooperative station identifiers.

Global Hourly Surface Data Information

The Integrated Surface Data (ISD) dataset consists of global hourly and synoptic observations compiled from numerous sources, into a single common format and data model. The list and inventories below provide information on the stations and volume of data available in the ISD.

  • ISD Station List
    This reference list shows identification numbers and information for each station in the Federal Climate Complex ISD.
  • ISD Inventory
    This inventory provides the number of observations available for each year and month by station in the ISD.
  • ISD Compressed Inventory
    This inventory provides the number of observations available for each year and month by ISD station in a compressed listing for quicker download.