A goal of this project is to build a digital dataset of pre-1948 hourly
precipitation and make these data available through the Internet. A new digital
dataset will be composed of at least two historical data sets and will be merged
with a post-1948 dataset that is presently in digital format. New climatological
studies and summaries may be developed from this new quality-assured long-term
digital archive of hourly precipitation.
PROJECT CONTACT INFORMATION
Dr. Richard L. Reinhardt
Desert Research Institute
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512
James A. Ashby, DRI, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle A. Chambers, DRI, email@example.com
Dr. Michael J. Janis
Gloria Forthun, SERCC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael B. Johnson, SERCC, email@example.com
DATASET ONE: 1860-1941
Early in the data rescue program
hourly precipitation data was discovered on more than 80 rolls of microfilm.
These data were compiled under a WPA project in the 1940's. Data span the
general period 1860-1941 with approximately 600 station records in the end of
the period and only a few in the beginning of the period. Unfortunately, no film
inventory is available. The 80 rolls of microfilm will be imaged and made
The data were keyed as presented.
Since the receipt of the keyed data from Image Entry, Inc, little work has been
done to use these data. A rough inventory was produced but it is unknown how
much data are hourly or how much are 6-hourly, 12-hourly, or daily. The quality
of these data has not been determined.
Work to be accomplished:
The physical location of each station
will be compared with the closest NWS Cooperative Weather Service station. If
they are the same the coop number will be assigned to the HPD station;
otherwise, a notation will be made so that an appropriate number can be assigned
The data will be converted to a standard TD3240 NCDC archive format.
Quality assurance procedures will be
developed jointly. Each RCC team will apply the procedures. Work will be
distributed in an equitable way that combines total number of sites and
familiarity with the region.
Station history information will be
A thorough inventory by station and
element will be compiled. This inventory will become part of the station history
DATASET TWO: 1930-1948
Hourly precipitation data from the
1930ís through 1948 was discovered in the NCDC library in a set of books known
as the Hydrologic Bulletin. The books were also discovered on microfilm and it
is this film that was imaged. Efforts are underway as of March 2003 to index
these images so that they may be placed on-line via the WSSRD system. The exact
number of stations available is not known.
Several tasks need to be accomplished
in preparation for keying these data. Keying may begin as early as the winter of
2003 or as late as the summer of 2004.
Work to be accomplished: (This will
be a 2 to 3 year effort.)
Compile, as the images become
available via WSSRD, a master station list including station name, state, and
COOP station number.
Develop station history information.
Develop a keying format that reflects
the primary format of the Hydrological Bulletins. Assess and test, with the
keying contractor, the quality of the format and suggest changes to improve
accuracy in the keying process where appropriate.
The data will be converted to a
standard TD3240 NCDC archive format.
Develop and perform quality control
procedures on the keyed data.
DATASET MERGING (Year Three)
Begin researching methods to merge
dataset one and data set two with the currently available TD3240 NCDC archived
Identify duplicate entries between
the datasets or missing records in the merged dataset. Explore options to
rectify these scenarios.
Original analog (strip) charts from
the 1800's through 1948 represent another source of hourly precipitation data.
These charts are on microfilm and are available for imaging. Software to read
these images and produce digital hourly values is being developed elsewhere. The
quality of digitized data is unknown. Depending on the digitization effort, use
of these data for filling in missing periods for key stations may be explored in