I can't get to the the 'checkout' page. What's wrong?
This is most likely a firewall issue on your end. You will need to
have your system administrator remove the restrictions from port 443.
To explain further: On the Internet, port often refers to a number that is part of a URL, appearing after a colon (:) right after the domain name. Every service on an Internet server listens on a particular port number on that server. Typically, the nonsecure server instance is on port 80, which is the default port for http:// connections; and the secure server instance is on port 443, which is the default port for https:// connections. The 's' in the https://prefix identifies it as SSL, port 443, unless otherwise noted. Since these port numbers are the standard defaults, the port number does not need to be displayed within the URL. For more information on the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology see the Security Issues section.
- How do I get back to the online data I ordered?
The URL for an online order's Online Data Retrieval page is presented on the Order Receipt page when the order is originally placed and again provided in the confirmation email. If you did not 'Bookmark'/'Add to Favorites' the Online Data Retrieval Page for your order and do not have the confirmation email, you can use the Check Order Status feature to have this link emailed to you again. When the Order Status page is returned to your screen, click on
The email is sent to the email address that was specified when the order was placed.
- When I try to get back to my data I get a 'page not found' error. What is wrong?
Several things could be causing the problem. If you are trying to return to the Online Data Retrieval page and are typing the url into your browser, it is most likely a typing error. We strongly recommend you copy and paste the url from the confirmation email. This avoids any typing mistakes. Once you have the Online Data Retrieval page on your screen, we also suggest you 'Add to Favorites'/'Bookmark' this page for future reference.
If you have ordered a PDF file or a Digital ASCII product, these files are deleted from our server after 11 days. IF it has been more than 11 days and you click on a link to your data, you will get an error such as 'page not found'.
If neither of these appear to be the problem, please email email@example.com or call Customer Service at (828) 271-4800 for further assistance.
- I haven't received the data I ordered online. Will it be delivered in the mail?
If you have your order number, you may check the status of your order on the Order Status page. If you ordered data to be delivered online, the data was delivered online as soon as the order was submitted to NCDC. After clicking on
an Online Order Receipt page was returned to the screen with the following statement:
YOUR ONLINE DATAFILE ORDER IS READY. PLEASE CLICK HERE
The URL (web address) provided is the location of the Online Data Retrieval page for the order. This is the page with the links to the data. You may follow the steps for How do I get back to the online data I ordered? to get to the data. If you ordered ASCII data from the Climate Data Online system or PDF files (publications), these data are only available for 11 days after purchase. After 11 days, the files are deleted from our server.
- The data I ordered is not complete. Will the data be updated?
If you ordered one of the Form Generated Products (Unedited Local Climatological Data, Surface Weather Observations, COOP/Record of Climatological Observations, or Annual Climatological Summary) your access will always allow you to see the latest data available. The database is updated 3 times a week. Your access to the data is not removed. You should check back regularly for the most recent updates.
If you ordered ASCII Data Files (Surface Summary of the Day-TD3200/3210, Surface Data, Monthly U.S.-TD3220, Precipitation Data, Hourly - TD3240, Precipitation Data, or 15-Minute -TD3260, Surface Data, Monthly Global - TD 3500), a View Inventory link is provided after making the station/element/date selection and PRIOR to submitting the order. This is provided to assist the user in deciding if the order should be placed should any of the requested data not be available. For more information on ASCII files see the help for Digital ASCII Files.
- The data I ordered is just a bunch of numbers. What's wrong?
You have most likely ordered a Digital product. These data are delivered in an ASCII text file. For more information on ASCII files see the help for Digital ASCII Files.
- I can't view the publication I ordered. What's wrong?
Publications are provided in PDF (Portable Document Format) and you will need to have downloaded and installed Adobe's free Acrobat Reader software in order to view/download the publication. When you click on the link the Adobe software will open and the publication will open within Adobe if your PC has the file association created between .pdf files and Adobe Reader software. If you get an error message, either you have the wrong version of Adobe (must be 4.0 or higher) or the file association does not exist. You can right-click on the link, use 'save as'/'save target as' from the shortcut menu and save the file to disk. Open the Adobe software, then open the file from where it was saved.
- How do I print the data I ordered?
If you are printing one of the Form Generated Products (Unedited Local Climatological Data, Surface Weather Observations, COOP/Record of Climatological Observations, or Annual Climatological Summary) make sure your printer is set to print landscape. Then use the File, Print option from your browsers menu bar. Digital data provided in an ASCII file format is best suited for downloading into a database or importing into a spreadsheet application. If you must print the data, import into a spreadsheet application and print from there. For more information on ASCII files see the help for Digital ASCII Files.
- The data I received is not what I wanted. How do I get a credit?
As stated on the Order Summary page presented prior to submitting an order:
"NOTE! You have ordered Online data, which means that you will be able to access
a link to your datafiles soon after your order is placed.
Please take note of the link to these datafiles on the Order Receipt screen.
**It is NNDC policy to NOT provide refunds for online data ordered via the Online Store.**
Exceptions to this policy are made in certain cases such as errors in processing of the order, missing data, etc. If you feel the problem with your order justifies a credit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Customer Service at (828) 271-4800. Please have your order number and the exact nature of the problem. If a valid problem exists, the order will be voided and a credit issued to the credit card.
- How do I get a receipt for my online order?
An Online Order Receipt page is presented on the screen once your order is submitted and processed through the online store. If you did not print this page for your records, you can regenerate the page by clicking on the "Regenrate my web order receipt page" button on your Online Data Retrieval page. If you do not have your online data retrieval page marked, see How do I get back to the online data I ordered?
The NCDC DOES NOT keep paper copies of receipts for online orders.
- How do I order certified copies of the data contained in my online order?
Certified copies of the Unedited or Quality Controlled Local Climatological Data Edited Local Climatological Data-Online, COOP/Record of Climatological Observations, and the NCEP Weather Charts are now available through the online store. You must first
purchase one of these products through the online store. On the Online Data Retrieval page for the order, click on
order will be created
- you will only be charged the certification fee for the new order.
For more information and instructions, refer to the ONLINE ORDERING OF CERTIFIED
DATA!!! portion of the Ordering NCDC Data & Products web page.
- How can I acquire expert testimony or the services of a certified consulting meteorologist?
Even though the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) supplies certified copies of meteorological
data for a given weather station on a given date, that data may not be representative of a nearby
location. It is common knowledge that weather can be quite variable over short distances, and additional
information and analysis may be needed to adequately describe the weather at the secondary
location. A qualified meteorological consultant can supply the expert testimony needed to describe
and verify that location's weather. The NCDC is frequently asked by the public if it can supply
professional meteorologists who can testify in court and render their opinions regarding the
weather at a given location and time. However, such activity is outside the scope of NCDC's
governmental responsibilities, and would be in direct competition with private enterprise.
Please visit The AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist Program web page at
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/about/amscert.html for complete information.
- How do I access my subscription?
Subscription access is allowed through the Subscription Login page. You must have a user name and password to access the subscription data.
- I have forgotten my username and password. How can I find out what it is?
If you have forgotten your UserId/Password combination, please access our USERID/PASSWORD lookup system. If you wish to change your Password (User ID's can NOT be changed) or are still experiencing
problems, please call our Customer
Service Branch at (828) 271-4800 Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00 EST.
- How do I renew my existing online subscription?
To renew an existing online subscription, simply log in to your subscription. Choose the product/site you wish to renew, click continue. On the next page there will be a "RENEW" button
for each site that is available for renewal. Click the "RENEW" button and continue through the online store. You will need to do this for each item you wish to renew. You must use the same email address as was used on the original subscription.
Please email email@example.com or call Customer Service at (828) 271-4800 for further assistance.
- I would like an online subscription but do not have a credit card. Is there another option?
We prefer that you purchase your subscription by using our Online Store and pay by charge card. Prepayment is required and the accepted forms of payment are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, wire transfers and Automated Clearing House. Please refer to the NNDC Non-Federal Customer Payment Policy for additional information. If payment must be mailed for the purchase of an online subscription product, there is a significant service and handling charge that will be added for these orders. You must include the credit card number, name on the card, expiration date and signature of person whose name is on the card with your correspondence.
Please mail to:
Attn: User Engagement & Services Branch
Veach-Baley Federal Building
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
- I subscribed to the wrong product/site. How can I change it to the correct one?
If you wish to change your subscription product/site you must contact Customer Service at (828) 271-4800, option 4 or 5.
- I already receive a subscription in the mail. May I access this data online also?
The offline subscription is a completely separate item from the online subscription access. If the dollar amount remaining in the current mailed subscription is sufficient, it may be changed to the online access. Please contact the subscription department at (828) 271-4800, opt 4 or 5 for more information.
- I can't open any of the .gz files. What do I need to do?
To save the files, simply right-click on the filename, choose Save As/Save Target As from the shortcut menu and save to disk. You can then uncompress these files using WinZip (Microsoft Windows/NT environment) or standard UNIX gunzip/tar. After uncompressing these files, you will be able to read these into a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel (specify delimited by comma) or any standard database application. See the Downloading or Uncompressing Files help for more information.
Free access to NNDC and NCDC data is granted to certain users. Please read the revised Online Data Access Policy to see if you may be one of these users.
Free Access is granted using reverse domain lookup. If the domain of the PC being used resolves back to our system as a designated free user you will be allowed access into the data files. Your network administrator will need to verify that the PC being used to access our system resolves to a domain name and not just an IP address. A Listing of REMOTE Environment variables script can be run from your browser and the output from this will indicate the REMOTE_ADDR (ip address) and REMOTE_HOST (domain name) for the PC. The "remote_host" address will tell exactly how the PC or workstation being used is "seen" from the outside and by NCDC. For example, if your email address ends in .edu, but "remote_host" says something else, your domain is not resolving to .edu. If you are having problems getting free data from the NCDC website, please make sure that you or your DNS administrator check for the following. In most cases, fixing one or both of the items below resolves any issues when trying to access free online data.
1.) The ip address that you have configured on your computer must have a DNS "A" record.
2.) The name that is associated with your ip address must have a PTR record that points back to the SAME ip
address in the "A" record.
123.45.678.901 has host name of jdoe.ncdc.noaa.gov
and jdoe.ncdc.noaa.gov points back to 123.45.678.901
Show this to your system/dns administrator, who should then be able to correct the problem on your end.
*** IMPORTANT ACCESS INFORMATION ***
There are two types of data that can be accessed free for certain users: Publications and 'Form Generated' products.
PUBLICATIONS: The publications must be accessed through the NCDC - Image and Publications System. To access these you can click on the title of the publication. If your domain resolves correctly access will be allowed.
FORM GENERATED PRODUCTS: Access to the data products Unedited Local Climatological Data (ULCD/data prior to Jan 2005),
Controlled Local Climatological Data (QCLCD/data after Jan 2005), COOP/Record of Climatological
Climatological Summary, and the digital ASCII files from the Climate Data Online System
(CDO) is granted through the online store. Although access is through
the store, if the domain resolves correctly you should never see this button:
Instead, you will be provided links to access the data you have selected.
Digital ASCII Files
Orders placed through the Climate Data Online system for any of the digital products such as Surface Summary of the Day-TD3200/3210, Surface Data, Monthly U.S.-TD3220, Precipitation Data, Hourly - TD3240, Precipitation Data, or 15-Minute -TD3260, Surface Data, Monthly Global - TD 3500 are delivered as ASCII Data Files. You will need to download these files as soon as possible. They are deleted from our server after 11 days.
The Online Data Retrieval page for these orders presents two links for each product: (please note the links below are only samples to aid in the help process):
The CDO00115917 link provides a Request Summary:
| Date Range (Year / Month ):
1999/01 to 2000/04
| Selected Output Format:
Comma Delimited, without station name
| Selected Output Media:
| Total Data Rows Available:
16 - View Inventory
| Output File Size (bytes):
The http://www5.ncdc.noaa.gov/prod/cdohtml/CDO341888428.html link is the data access page:
The 1st link (...dat.txt) is the data.
The 2nd link (...inv.txt) is the inventory.
The 3rd link (...stn.txt) is the station list.
The 4th link (...doc.txt) is the documentation.
Please note that most digital dataset documentaion is also available here.
The documentation is very important for interpreting the data file. Users of these data usually download the data into an existing database or spreadsheet application. There are both documentation and data samples available to the user from the point a particular digital dataset is selected. These are available throughout the pages in the on-line store. Once the station(s)/element(s) are selected, an inventory is provided showing what is available based on those selections. This is provided to assist the customer in deciding if the order should be placed should any of the requested data not be available. The Dataset Documentation is also available in several places throughout the on-line store and here. The documentation describes the placement of the elements within the file and also describes the allowed values and codes. For more information please visit the HELP page for the NCDC Climate Data Online system.
SPECIAL NOTE: If you receive a "Server not Responding" error after choosing the station(s) and period of record, it is probably due to slow query time to build the inventory page. You should limit the selection of stations, period of record, or elements until able to get to the next page and the browser does not time out. Some queries for a large chunk of data may take an hour or more to process. Files are only provided if the compressed size is <40 megabytes. if the filesize is > 5 megabytes, then the file is compressed using tar and gzip. You may download the file by right-clicking on the filename, 'save as' to your local machine. After downloading the file, unzip the file by using either WinZip in a windows environment or using gunzip/tar in a unix environment. See the Downloading or Uncompressing Files help for more information.
- I'm not sure about putting my credit card on the
web. How secure is your site?
- Your site wants to set a 'cookie' on my machine.
What is this?
- I'm not sure about putting my
credit card on the web. How secure is your site?
The online store is very secure and we have hundreds of users placing orders every day. The Checkout page and subsequent pages from the online store are sent using a Verisign Digital Id which incorporates Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, which is the industry-standard protocol for secure, Web-based communications. This basically means that all pages from the Checkout page onward in the Online Store are sent encrypted across the internet so that if the data, as it travels from point to point, is viewed, it would be unreadable. The SSL technology is the algorithm that encrypts the data and the 'trust' that we are NCDC to you, the customer, as you transmit your credit card. The encrypted credit card data when it arrives to us on our web server is ONLY unencrypted by that server and cannot be unencrypted by any other machine in the world! To further explain this visit the Verisign web site.
- Your site wants to set a 'cookie' on my machine. What is this?
A "cookie" is a small amount of information that a web site copies to your hard disk. Cookies are used extensively throughout most web sites (especially e-business sites) for relating shopping cart entries to specific machines. Since the web is a stateless entity, we need a method to track items that may be added to an individual's shopping cart. Cookies are the method that is used to accomplish this. The cookie that NNDC and NCDC set consists of a random number that identifies only the machine, not any personal information about the individual. The cookies set by NNDC & NCDC are deleted immediately after the items are purchased or within 10 days which ever is less. No historical database is maintained. You can find an explanation of cookies and their intent at the Brief Explanation of Cookies web site. If you wish to order data through the online store at the discounted price, your PC must be set to accept cookies. Otherwise, you may contact NCDC for other ordering options.
Downloading or Uncompressing Files?
Some of our files are large and require that we compress them to save our disk space and your time in transferring them to your site. Because of this fact, you will need special software to uncompress these files. This softwareis public domain software and you may download it to your PC or Workstation free of charge.
It is impossible to document the usage and syntax of all of these utilites, however, several of these do have a link to a document explaining their usage and syntax in detail.
Further questions about compressing/uncompressing files may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional links that may be useful:
System Help and Detailed Information - Receipt and Usage of Data
Utility Software links
Finding Data, Information, and Assistance
by Category/Type--Our developing page to narrow your search
Products--A categorized listing of products
by State, County, City, etc--Our Climate Data Online (CDO) system for
full period of record weather data
NNDC system help page
Software--Our new software links page, for viewers, browsers,
Climatic Data--Our central
page for all online climate data and images
central page for all online satellite data and images
Radar Data--Our central page for all online radar data and images
Inventories, Station Lists--Pertaining to online and off-line data
Publications--Online and off-line publications and reports
Extremes, Events, Climate Change, El Nino/La Nina, Etc
Top of Page