87th AMS Annual Meeting

Thursday, 18 January 2007: 4:30 PM
High quality daily temperature and precipitation historical data sets for the Northeast United States: implications for sudies of climate extremes
214B (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Paula J. Brown, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; and R. S. Bradley
The digitization of historical weather information has provided a valuable record of the climate, from which the Northeast United States region has some of the earliest records. Current projects as such as the Climate Database Modernization Program (CDMP) that are digitizing observations from the 1800s (from the Forts digital images) provide new daily data for this early period. A daily record of minimum/maximum temperatures and precipitation can therefore be constructed through integration of Forts and USHCN data, in addition to some data recorded in Colonial Diaries and other historical documents retained at NCDC. Quality control is performed using the RClimdex program and data verified using nearby stations. Images of weather records contained in NCDC's Web Search Retrieve Store Display (WSSRD) software are also checked (where possible) to eliminate digitization errors. Temperature and precipitation records are being adjusted for inhomogeneities, with metadata providing the primary verification for any adjustments made. This high quality data set is used to analyze the changes in extreme temperature and precipitation indices in the Northeast United States from the early 1800s until present.

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