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Climate Division Database Transition
For years, the Climate Divisional Database has been the only long-term temporally and spatially complete database from which to generate historical climate analyses (1895 to the present) for the contiguous United States. Traditionally, the monthly values for all of the Cooperative Observer Network (COOP) stations in each division are averaged to compute divisional monthly temperature and precipitation averages/totals.
NCDC's Climate Monitoring Branch plans to transition from the traditional dataset to the more modern 5km gridded divisional dataset (GrDD) by 2013. The GrDD is based on a similar station inventory as is currently used. However, new methodologies are used to compute temperature, precipitation, and drought for United States climate divisions. These are expected to improve the data coverage and the quality of the dataset, while maintaining the current product stream.
While this transition will not disrupt the current product stream, some variances in temperature and precipitation values may be observed in the new data record. A visualization toolkit can help users examine snapshots of both datasets. Changes in monthly, seasonal and annual variability can be examined through the use of the interactive time series plots.