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  • CD-ROM Hints

    NCDC is the world's largest active archive of weather data. NCDC produces numerous climate publications and responds to data requests from all over the world. NCDC operates the World Data Center for Meteorology which is co-located at NCDC in Asheville, North Carolina, and the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology which is located in Boulder, Colorado.

    NCDC supports a three tier national climate services support program - the partners include: NCDC, Regional Climate Centers, and State Climatologists.

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    Go to top of page CD-ROM Listing

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    Top of Page International Station Meterological Climate Summary (ISMCS)

    • If the program loads and then hangs your PC causing you to have to reboot, there is probably not enough conventional memory available. See PC Memory Usage for more information.
    • Documentation and definitions are in help files.
    • The C-language program (cd_smos.c) which reads the CD-ROM data files is available from NCDC. This allows the user to develop their own software for accessing the data. See NCDC CDROM Software and Snippets for more detailed instructions.

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    Top of Page U. S. Navy Marine Climate Atlas of the World - Ver 1.1

    • Due to large conventional memory requirements this software probably will not run in a WINDOWS 95/98/ME environment, we recommend running in DOS version 6.x or earlier.
    • If the program loads and then hangs your PC causing you to have to reboot, there is probably not enough conventional memory available. See PC Memory Usage for more information.
    • A portion of the C-language programs (roseread.doc and sclrread.doc) which reads the CD-ROM data files are available from NCDC. This allows users to develop their own software for accessing the data. See NCDC CDROM Software and Snippets for more detailed instructions.

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    Top of Page Global Upper Air Climatic Atlas (GUACA)

    • Due to large conventional memory requirements this software probably will not run in a WINDOWS 95/98/ME environment, we recommend running in DOS version 6.x or earlier.
    • If the program loads and then hangs your PC causing you to have to reboot, there is probably not enough conventional memory available. See PC Memory Usage for more information.
    • A portion of the C-language program (uacgrid.doc) which reads the CD-ROM data files are available from NCDC. This allows users to develop their own software for accessing the data. See NCDC CDROM Software and Snippets for more detailed instructions.

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    Top of Page Global Gridded Upper Air Statistics


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    Top of Page Solar & Meteorological Surface Observation Network (SAMSON) CDROM Set

    • When running INSTALL, if you customize the ASAMSON.BAT@ file, limit the user defined data directory name to six (6) character or less. When the directory name is over six characters in length, data extractions appear to run successfully, but the data files DON=T get created.
    • Due to large conventional memory requirements this software probably will not run in a WINDOWS 95/98/ME environment, we recommend running in DOS version 6.x or earlier.
    • If the program loads and then hangs your PC causing you to have to reboot, there is probably not enough conventional memory available. See PC Memory Usage for more information.
    • To obtain the software and document files from the SAMSON CD-ROM development project see NCDC CDROM Software and Snippets.

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    Top of Page Radiosonde Data of North America 1946-1996

    • Access software are NOT on CD-ROMs. For DOS users the software and data files are provided on diskette. They may also be downloaded here.
    • Data records can be extracted in either a SHARP format or an FSL format. The SHARP format encodes the data in the NWS TTAA TTBB PPBB format. The FSL format is easier to read and displays the data in columns.
    • SHARP format files can be read by SHARP software which will display graphs of a sounding. The SHARP software is written in BASIC. There are several limitations when using SHARP which may cause the software to abort when reading an extracted file. Frequently it may be necessary to EDIT the extracted file to either fix a NODE ID or to reduce the number of data levels. NCDC provides documentation which describes the complete functionality of SHARP.
    • More detailed information about using this CD and accompanying software (including SHARP) is available here.

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    Top of Page Global Tropical & Extratropical Cyclone Climatic Atlas (GTECCA)

    • Access software executes on DOS only.
    • Due to large conventional memory requirements this software probably will not run in a WINDOWS 95/98/ME environment, we recommend running in DOS version 6.x or earlier.
    • If the program loads and then hangs your PC causing you to have to reboot, there is probably not enough conventional memory available. See PC Memory Usage for more information.
    • The GTECCA program will extract only one storm track at a time.
    • For those users when want to have access to all the storm track data values without have to extract them one storm at a time, call NCDC at (828) 271-4800 for assistance with ordering the data tape. It is available on exabyte, IBM 3480 cartridge, or 10-inch round tape.

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    Top of Page Global Daily Summary (GDS)

    • Due to large conventional memory requirements this software probably will not run in a WINDOWS 95/98/ME environment, we recommend running in DOS version 6.x or earlier.
    • The first time you use the CD-ROM, make a directory on your hard drive to store the various data files required by the access software.
    • From C:\, enter MKDIR GDS. (NOTE: You may use a different name than GDS)
    • To run the access software, make sure you are in directory C:\GDS. If your CD-ROM drive letter is D, type D:GDS D
    • If the program loads and then hangs your PC causing you to have to reboot, there is probably not enough conventional memory available. See PC Memory Usage for more information.
    • If your PC halts the access software load with the message "INCOMPATIBLE MEMORY MANAGER", the program EMM386.EXE in CONFIG.SYS usually has the wrong parameters to allow GDS to run. Program EMM386.EXE allows programs to use extended memory as expanded memory. To check the parameters: change your directory to C:\, Enter TYPE CONFIG.SYS | MORE
    • Usually the command looks like -
      . . . EMM386.EXE NOEMS
    • If you remove NOEMS and change the command to read:
      . . . EMM386.EXE 4096 M9 RAM
      we have found this to be successful.
    • Anything to the right of NOEMS should not be altered.
    • To select data by Country/Region:
      From Main Menu do the following:

      1. Select RETRIEVE/DISPLAY
      2. Select Filter Station Database
      3. Select Country/Region
        Window: Country/Region
      4. Use Page Up/Page Down, Up Arrow/Down Arrow to locate country/region. DOUBLE CLICK to select. If "Total # Stations In Selected Area" is greater than 250, selection must be performed by LAT/LONG.
      5. Select OK
      6. Select RETRIEVE/DISPLAY
      7. Select Retrieve Data
        Window: Build Station List
      8. Move stations to "Selected Station List" by:
        A. Either select MOVE ALL,
        B. or selectively move highlighted (blue) station(s).
      9. Select Begin Retrieval
        Window: Retrieve DATA To DISK
      10. Verify Target Directory, Enter File Name For Station List.
      11. Select Begin Retrieval Data Retrieval SHOULD begin, returning to Main Menu when finished.

    • To select data by Latitude/Longitude:
      From Main Menu do the following:

      1. Select RETRIEVE/DISPLAY
      2. Select Filter Station Database
      3. Select Lat/Lon Square
        Window: Lat/Lon Square
      4. Enter coordinates. For example, for Northern United Kingdom enter:
        60 00 North Lat 009 00 West Lon
        55 00 North Lat 000 00 West Lon
      5. Select Show Station Count. If count is OVER 250, redefine the Lat/Lon square.
      6. Select OK
      7. Select RETRIEVE/DISPLAY
      8. Select Retrieve Data
        Window: Build Station List
      9. Move stations to "Selected Station List" by:
        A. Either select MOVE ALL,
        B. or selectively move highlighted (blue) station(s).
      10. Select Begin Retrieval
        Window: Lat/Lon Square
      11. Enter File Name For Station List.
      12. Select Begin Retrieval. Data Retrieval SHOULD begin, returning to Main Menu when finished
      13. To perform a second selection for the United Kingdom, change coordinates in step 4 to:
        55 00 North Lat 007 00 West Lon
        49 50 North Lat 002 00 East Lon
        Perform the other steps as shown above.

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    Top of Page Global Historical Fields (GHF)

    • Due to large conventional memory requirements this software probably will not run in a WINDOWS 95/98/ME environment, we recommend running in DOS version 6.x or earlier.
    • If the program loads and then hangs your PC causing you to have to reboot, there is probably not enough conventional memory available. See PC Memory Usage for more information.

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    Top of Page U. S. Divisional & Station Climatic Data & Normals Vol 1.0

    • No software is provided for data extraction or data manipulation.

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    Top of Page NCDC Cooperative Station Data

    • Extraction software should be included with COOP CD's purchased from NCDC. A FORTRAN source program and executable are provided for DOS users, and a FORTRAN source program for UNIX users is provided. The extraction software allows the user to extract one or more stations at a time specifying any or all data element codes. Data files can be written to diskette(s) or to a hard disk. Extracted data records are in the same format (402 bytes) as the input records.
    • Extraction software may also be downloaded from NCDC CD ROM Software and Snippets.
    • NOTE: Occasionally data records in the CD data files have special control characters within data fields which cause sequential read operations in DOS to do strange things. The extraction software detects and replaces the invalid characters with either question marks or data codes for missing data so that subsequent use of the data will not cause read problems.

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    Top of Page Hourly Modeled Sounding Data

    • Due to large conventional memory requirements this software probably will not run in a WINDOWS 95/98/ME environment, we recommend running DOS version 6.x or earlier.
    • If the program loads and then hangs your PC causing you to have to reboot, there is probably not enough conventional memory available. See PC Memory Usage for more information.

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    Top of Page Hourly U.S. Weather Observations (HUSWO)

    • Due to large conventional memory requirements this software probably will not run in a WINDOWS 95/98/ME environment, we recommend running in DOS version 6.x or earlier.
    • If the program loads and then hangs your PC causing you to have to reboot, there is probably not enough conventional memory available. See PC Memory Usage for more information.
    • Information about installing on Windows ME/98/95 systems is available here.

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    Top of Page Checking Your PC's Memory Usage (DOS)

    • For programs that experience lack of memory problems, NCDC recommends having 520K or more bytes of free conventional memory. To check your memory usage: from C:\, type MEM/C | MORE. This tells how conventional memory, high memory, and extended memory are used. To make more conventional memory available, the user must either move an application from conventional memory to high memory or eliminate a program that is loaded in conventional memory. Most of the programs are REQUIRED and cannot removed. Programs that we suggest as being possible candidates for removal is SMARTDRV.EXE and SETVER.EXE.
    • Where are the instructions located for loading these programs? In CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. IF YOU DO NOT FEEL FAIRLY COMFORTABLE WITH MODIFYING THESE TWO FILES, SEEK ASSISTANCE BEFORE PROCEEDING. REGARDLESS, WE RECOMMEND CONSULTING YOUR DOS USER'S GUIDE. CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT are located in C:\ (the root directory of your hard drive). FIRST, make a backup copy of each file:

      COPY CONFIG.SYS CONFIG.BAK
      COPY AUTOEXEC.BAT AUTOEXEC.BAK
      (The extension on the output (.BAK) can be anything the user desires.)

    • Optionally, you may want to print the two files for reference purposes.

      TYPE CONFIG.SYS PRN
      THEN, to edit a file enter:

      EDIT CONFIG.SYS
      Consult the DOS User's Guide for instructions on loading programs in high memory

      EDIT AUTOEXEC.BAT
      Type REM {space} at the beginning of a program to be deactivated

      To save a file: Press ALT+FILE+SAVE
      To exit a file: Press ALT+FILE+EXIT

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