Tropical cyclone (TC) best track data already exist as individual storm tracks at other agencies.
IBTrACS merges these data sets into a worldwide TC database.
The methods used in merging and maintaining the data will be so that all data quality revisions and additions will be recorded and open for review. Information about the integrity or quality of a storm track will also be provided back to the agencies providing the track data.
Changes to any data will be recorded. Versions of all data will be maintained and data provenance will be recorded to preserve traceability and to easily determine the source of all data. Reasoning behind changes and algorithms that merge and adjust the datasets will be recorded such that the data can be well understood for years to come.
The dataset production will be ongoing and updated annually (in the boreal summer following the completion of the Northern Hemisphere TC season).
NOAA's NCDC will maintain the official archive of this product in one format, but will provide the data set in the many formats already in use by the TC community.