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  • World Data Center for Meteorology

    Welcome to the WMO Page

    Please hover your mouse over the links to the upper left, or simply scroll down the page to select and view more content from this area of the NCDC website. This is the first in a series of steps we're taking to improve our site. Should you have something specific to look for, submit a search in the golden search bar above.

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    Top of Page Introduction

    World Data Center(WDC) for Meteorology, Asheville is one component of a global network of discipline subcenters that facilitate international exchange of scientific data. Originally established during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957, the World Data Center System now functions under the guidance of the International Council of Scientific Unions ( ICSU).

    The WDC for Meteorology, Asheville is maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is collocated and operated by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

    In accordance with the principles set forth by ICSU, WDC for Meteorology, Asheville acquires, catalogues, and archives data and makes them available to requesters in the international scientific community. Data are exchanged with counterparts, WDC for Meteorology, Obninsk and WDC for Meteorology, Beijing as necessary to improve access. Special research data sets prepared under international programs such as the IGY, World Climate Program (WCP), Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP), etc., are archived and made available to the research community. All data and special data sets contributed to the WDC are available to scientific investigators without restriction.

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    Top of Page Data Exchange Policy

    WDC for Meteorology, Asheville services requests for WDC holdings either in exchange for contributions or at a cost not to exceed that of processing and shipping. For certain type of requests, limitations in funding, personnel, or facilities may preclude direct or free provision of data or information by WDC. For requests for unusually large amounts of data, for specifically formatted data, for derived products, or for data outside of the WDC System, WDC will normally be required to recover the costs of processing and shipping.

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    Top of Page Facilities

    All WDC functions and services are performed by the NCDC utilizing NCDC automated data processing facilities and services. These facilities are open on a limited basis to visiting research scientists for the purposes of preparing data sets contributing to Global Change research or for training in data management when sponsored by parent organization/country, research grant or international program.

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    Top of Page Climatic Research Support

    WDC for Meteorology, Asheville is cooperating with internationally sponsored programs to archive research data sets. Global data sets destined to be archived by the WDC as they become available from contributors include those from the World Climate Research Program, World Climate Data and Monitoring Program, and World Climate Applications Program. Cooperating with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and with contributions from counterpart discipline WDC and WDC centers, Global Baseline Data Sets are being prepared for global change monitoring.

    WDC is open to visitors during normal working hours. Advance notice is recommended. Available facilities include computers, microfilm and microfiche readers, printers and copiers. Services include data and map reproduction, statistical analysis, library searches and certification of records.

    Visiting scientists spending extended visitation periods are usually supported by parent organization or country, WMO training program, or by competitive grants from U.S. National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council.

    Inquiries for data or information not held by the WDC are referred to known data sources. For additional or more specific information about available data or products direct inquiries as listed below.

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    Top of Page Contact

    General inquiries about NCDC participation in international activities, regarding specific functions and services of World Data Center for Meteorology, Asheville or requests for data should be directed to:

    World Data Center for Meteorology, Asheville
    National Climatic Data Center
    Federal Building
    151 Patton Ave., Room 120
    Asheville, NC 28801-5001

    Telephone Numbers:
    Data Inquiries: 828-271-4800
    Satellite Data Requests: 828-271-4850
    FAX: 828-271-4246

    Email: Internet
    Homepage URL:

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    Top of Page Available Datasets


    Various data sets and data products from international programs and/or experiments, including meteorological and nuclear radiation data for International Geophysical Year (IGY)(see IGY Annuals, Vol.26); meteorological data and data products from Global Atmospheric Research Program, World Climate Research Program, World Climate Data and Monitoring Program; and data (including data publications) exchanged with the WDC by participating countries. Quality control is performed and documentation prepared by designated experiment centers or contributors before submission to WDC.

    The Alpine Experiment (ALPEX). Last major GARP experiment. Data and data products for the primary observing period March and April 1982 in the general area of the Alps in Europe.

    The Comprehensive Aerological Reference Dataset (CARDS). Data and data products from radiosonde and rawinsonde flights for the global atmosphere for the period 1948-1995, including station history information.

    The Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Dataset (COADS). Data and data products from meteorological surface observations from ships of opportunity and buoys available for the global ocean, with ship observations from 1850s.

    First GARP Global Experiment (FGGE). Data and data products from meteorological data collected for the globe for the period 1 January 1978 to 31 December 1979.

    Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP). Data and data products are available from the following GARP Experiments:

    GARP Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE). Includes data and data products from meteorological data collected for the tropical Atlantic, generally for the period June 1974 through September 1974.

    Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment(GEWEX) GEWEX was initiated in 1988 by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) to observe and model the hydrologic cycle and energy fluxes in the atmosphere, and at the land and ocean surface. GEWEX is an integrated program of research, observations, and science activities ultimately leading to the prediction of global and regional climate change. The International GEWEX Project Office (IGPO) is the focal point for the planning and implementation of all GEWEX Projects and activities. The following links are experiments under the GEWEX program:

  • Global Precipitation Climatology Project ( GPCP ). Global analyses of monthly precipitation derived from satellite and surface measurements. The 1-Degree Daily (beginning 1997), Version 2 (2.5-deg gridded monthly, beginning 1979), and Pentad data products available from NCDC can be found by going to: GPCP Products at NCDC. Additional information can be found at the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre( GPCC ). which provides global precipitation analyses for investigation of the earth's climate. The centre is a German contribution to the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

  • GEWEX Continental-Scale International Project (GCIP). The GEWEX Continental-Scale International Project (GCIP) is a multifaceted group of activities designed primarily to improve scientific understanding and the ability to model, for climate prediction purposes, the coupling between the atmosphere and the land surface on a continental scale. The operational or enhanced observing period (EOP) of GCIP will run for approximately 5 yr commencing in late 1995. The GCIP activities are focused on the Mississippi River basin to take of the existing meteorological and hydrological networks that are being upgraded with new Doppler radars, wind profilers, and automatic weather stations. The GCIP model archive can be found at NCEP/NCAR. This archive will include gridded model products, model data derived for specific station sites, and actual precipitation values. Data will come from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Eta model, the Forecast System Laboratory (FSL) MAPS model, and the Canadian GEM model.

  • The GCIP (Satellite Data Source Module), part of the GCIP Data Management and Service System (DMSS), coordinates the satellite data sets associated with GCIP. The Principal Research Areas formulate research plans and provide data specifications to the GCIP Office. The specifications are then used by the GCIP Office and the Satellite Data Source Module to arrange access. If you would like further information about any of the products listed on the page or to request particular satellite data sets or products, please contact Adrian Ritchie at the Global Hydrology resource Center which is part of NASA's Global Hydrology and Climate Center (GHCC).

  • International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP). Global analyses of satellite radiance measurements beginning 1 July 1982 and is planned to continue through 30 June 2000. All ISCCP data products are archived at the ISCCP Central Archive (ICA), at the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and available from the NCDC or WDC for Meteorology, Asheville.

    Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) was established in 1992 to ensure that the observations and information needed to address climate-related issues are obtained and made available to all potential users. It is co-sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Council for Science (ICSU). GCOS is intended to be a long-term, user-driven operational system capable of providing the comprehensive observations required for monitoring the climate system, for detecting and attributing climate change, for assessing the impacts of climate variability and change, and for supporting research toward improved understanding, modelling and prediction of the climate system. It addresses the total climate system including physical, chemical and biological properties, and atmospheric, oceanic, hydrologic, cryospheric and terrestrial processes.

    Please visit the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) GCOS page for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) information.

    In response to requirements from the climatological community, the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) program developed the GCOS Surface Network (GSN) which consists of 989 meteorological surface reporting stations from 50 member states of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). CARDS data for 150 stations in the GCOS Upper Air Network (GUAN) are available for download. The period of record currently extends from the late 1940s through 1999. These data have been quality-controlled by the CARDS Complex Quality Control system.

    Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) dataset. GHCN is a comprehensive global baseline climate data set comprised of land surface station observations of temperature, precipitation, and pressure. All GHCN data are on a monthly basis with the earliest record dating from 1697.

    NOAA Global Vegetation Index(GVI). The NOAA Global Vegetation Index User's Guide (July 1997 version) is a document that describes the Global Vegetation Index (GVI) Product that is archived by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). This user's guide includes descriptions of the First Generation version of the product which was produced from May 1982 through March 1985, in addition to the current Second Generation version (produced from April 1985 to the present), and the newly developed Third Generation product. These descriptions include the data formats and the equations that support the various versions.

    High altitude rocketsonde data. Data for the period 1959-1976 are mostly on microfilm/microfiche. The data are also on magnetic tape from 1961.

    International Geophysical Year (IGY). Global meteorological and nuclear radiation data and data products for the period 1 January 1957 to 30 June 1958.

    International Quiet Sun Year (IQSY). Global meteorological data and data products for the period 1 July 1958 to 31 December 1959.

    NOAA-K through NOAA-M polar orbiter series of satellites(KLM). The NOAA KLM User's Guide (September 2000 revision) is a document that describes the orbital and spacecraft characteristics, instruments, data formats, etc. of the NOAA-K through NOAA-M polar orbiter series of satellites.

    Ozone. Publications of "Ozone Data for the World" published by the Atmospheric Environment Service, Department of the Environment, Canada, in cooperation with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). (From 1965)

    NOAA Polar Orbiter Data(POD). The NOAA Polar Orbiter Data User's Guide (November 1998 version) is a document that describes the orbital and spacecraft characteristics, instruments, data formats, etc. of the TIROS-N, NOAA-6 through NOAA-14 polar orbiter series of satellites.

    Synoptic Data. Synoptic surface and upper air observations, and daily and monthly summaries in publications and some in computer form from various countries participating in data exchange activities with the WDC.

    Summer Monsoon Experiment (SMONEX). Includes data collected and data products for the period 1 May 1979 to 31 August 1979 during FGGE and for the area 25 deg. S to 45 deg. N and 25 deg. E to 155 deg. E.

    Solar radiation and Radiation Balance Data. Publication of "Solar Radiation and Radiation Balance Data" published by the World Radiation Data Center, St. Petersburg, Russia in cooperation with the WMO. (from 1964).

    Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere (TOGA) Program. Data and data products for the ocean area 30 deg. S to 30 deg. N and global for the atmosphere covering the period January 1985 to December 1994.

    Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Program Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE). Data and data products generally covered the period July 1992 to June 1993 with an intensive observing period 1 November 1992 to 28 February 1993 in the Western Pacific Ocean within the area 10 deg. S - 10 deg. N and 140 deg. E - 180 deg. E. An archive of the atmospheric data will be established at the WDC during 1996. Inquiries for data availability will be referred to appropriate data sources.

    The World Climate Data and Monitoring Program (WCDMP). Baseline Datasets. Baseline datasets prepared in cooperation with the WMO and contributed to by WDC and WDC visiting scientists and data exchanges with participating countries.

    The World Climate Research Program (WCRP). The WCRP was established in 1980, under the joint sponsorship of International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and has also been sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO since 1993. The objectives of the programme are to develop the fundamental scientific understanding of the physical climate system and climate processes needed to determine to what extent climate can be predicted and the extent of man's influence on climate. The programme encompasses studies of the global atmosphere, oceans, sea and land ice, and the land surface which together constitute the Earth's physical climate system. WCRP studies are specifically directed to provide scientifically founded quantitative answers to the questions being raised on climate and the range of natural climate variability, as well as to establish the basis for predictions of global and regional climatic variations and of changes in the frequency and severity of extreme events.

    Winter Monsoon Experiment (WMONEX). Includes data collected and data products for the period 1 December 1978 to 31 March 1979 during FGGE and for the area 50deg.S to 60 deg. N and 40 deg. E to 180 deg.