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Climate Division Dataset Transition
For years, the Climate Divisional Dataset was the only long-term temporally and spatially complete dataset from which to generate historical climate analyses (1895-2013) 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 transitioned to a more modern 5km gridded divisional dataset in early 2014. This dataset is based on a similar station inventory as was the former dataaset. However, new methodologies are used to compute temperature, precipitation, and drought for United States climate divisions. These improve the data coverage and the quality of the dataset, while maintaining the current product stream. More detailed information on the transition and the resulting impacts can be accessed here: Gridded Division Dataset Transition.
While this transition did not disrupt the product stream, some variances in temperature, precipitation and drought 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.