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World War II Era Data

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II and in honor of those who served, NCEI provides access to World War II Era Summary of the Day data. To access these files through anonymous FTP, follow the instructions at the bottom of this page. Some of these files are rather large, so special attention to the size is recommended before accessing them through your browser. Additional notes are also available below.

Available Files

  • World War II Era Summary of the Day Dataset File (15098.63 KB)
    Contains 1940–1945 data for 162 stations outside of the United States. The actual period of data availability varies depending upon the station's activity. Many stations in the European and Pacific theaters of operation are included.
  • Zipped Dataset File (1089.84 KB)
    Compressed World War II Era Summary of the Day file. The compressed file is downloaded to your hard drive and can be viewed using software such as 7-zip.
  • File Format Description (1.95 KB)
    Describes the format of the dataset file. See notes at the bottom of the page.
  • Station Locations (9.77 KB)
    A list of station locations included in the dataset file.
  • Country ID's (6.84 KB)
    Shows the country identifiers (2-character ID) to cross-reference stations in Station Locations.
  • Global Map (24.41 KB)
    Global map of the stations locations (GIF image).

Anonymous FTP Instructions

  1. Enter: open
  2. Login: FTP or anonymous
  3. Password: your email address
  4. You are now logged onto a UNIX workstation. Enter "help" if you'd like a list of available commands.
  5. To move to the correct subdirectory, enter: cd /pub/data/ww-ii-data
  6. To get a copy of the file descriptions, enter: get readme.txt destination (destination is your output location and name). For Example, "get readme.txt c:readme.txt" copies to drive c:
  7. Then, to get a copy of any of the remaining files, use the same procedure, such as "get format.txt c:format.txt"
  8. To logoff the system when finished, enter: bye


Simple FTP transfers of the six files will download the data. The data file has a "header record" that corresponds to the File Format Description file (format.txt). The format file also describes the included elements, such as maximum/minimum temperature, daily precipitation, snow depth, and peak wind gust.

If you have technical questions concerning these data or wish to order additional data, please contact customer service at 828-271-4800, option two, or email