Development of a GIS snowstorm database

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 2:15 PM
B217 (GWCC)
Michael F. Squires, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC; and R. Baldwin, G. Reid, C. Tabor, and A. Wilson

Presentation PDF (379.3 kB)

This paper describes the development of a GIS Snowstorm Database at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. The snowstorm database will be a collection of GIS layers and tabular information for the top 100-200 snowstorms since 1900. While this data will be used to calculate historical national and regional snowfall indices at NCDC, its intended purpose and functionality is much more far reaching. Each storm contains both vector (points and polygons) and raster (grids) GIS layers. The individual snowstorm layers contain information about snowfall, transportation networks (interstates, railroads), schools, and hospitals. The data is made available in standard GIS formats (OGC, kml, ). Besides the GIS layers, there are tabular data that summarize societal impact information (transportation, for example) across all storms. Finally, there will be tools to extract or analyze the data on-line. Thus the snowstorm database is suited for many different types of users including the general public, decision makers, and researchers. This paper summarizes quality control issues associated with using snowfall data, methods used to identify the starting and ending dates of a storm, and examples of the tables that combine snowfall and societal data (roads, schools, hospitals, etc.).