13th Conference on Applied Climatology and the 10th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology

Wednesday, 15 May 2002: 4:00 PM
Trends in the Use of Climate Data: A Regional Center Perspective
Steven D. Hilberg, ISWS, Champaign, IL; and J. D. Burroughs
Poster PDF (99.3 kB)
The Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) service program provides climate data and products to a wide variety of users in the public and private sectors. Users can obtain climate data from the MRCC on-line through Internet based subscription service or off-line by request to service program staff. Both components exhibited considerable growth in the early and mid 1990?s. During this time, staffing in the MRCC service office expanded from one to two full-time climatologists. In 1989 the Midwestern Climate Information System (MICIS) was developed, offering on-line access to climate data and products through a text based, menu-driven system. In 1993 development began on the MRCC web page and the web-based version of MICIS.

The MRCC has maintained detailed statistics of web usage since the inception of MICIS and statistics of off-line requests. Annual off-line requests grew steadily, peaking in mid 1998. Since that time there has been a steady decline in off-line requests. At the same time, requests for access to climate data on-line have rapidly increased. The legal and insurance industries continue to be the heaviest users of off-line services, while utilities and agribusiness dominate the on-line use. General trends in climate data use for the past 12 years will be examined. A more detailed trend analysis of sector-specific data requests will be made using detailed user statistics collected by the MRCC during the past two years. The resulting trends are being used to improve development and delivery of climate based on user demand.

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