85th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 11 January 2005: 5:00 PM
Upgrades to and expansion of the Comprehensive Pacific Rainfall Database (PACRAIN)
Michael D. Klatt, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and J. S. Greene and M. L. Morrissey
Poster PDF (26.4 kB)
The Pacific Ocean plays a vital role in Earth’s climate, and precipitation is one of the most important climatological variables. The Comprehensive Pacific Rainfall Database (PACRAIN) at the University of Oklahoma’s Environmental Verification and Analysis Center (EVAC) is a database of tropical Pacific rainfall. PACRAIN merges monthly and daily precipitation records from a variety of sources into a unified format. Sources include historical archives, national agencies, and resources unique to EVAC such as the Schools of the Pacific Rainfall Climate Experiment (SPaRCE). Many locations contained in the database are atolls which can be considered representative of the open ocean.

Over the past year PACRAIN has undergone several major upgrades. A new data format that is more flexible and conveys more information has been developed. A Web-based interface has been created to take advantage of this new format: http://pacrain.evac.ou.edu/query.phtml. Dates and times have been standardized and converted to UTC, a necessity for a domain that straddles the Date Line. Most database records have been verified against source data for accuracy and completeness, and work in this area continues. All of these improvements are aimed at increasing the value of PACRAIN data to the research community.

Most PACRAIN upgrades to date have focused on improved usability. Now that these upgrades are in place more effort will be devoted to expanding the database in collaboration with the Pacific Islands Global Climate Observing System (PI-GCOS) and the South Pacific Regional Environmental Program (SPREP). One aspect of this collaboration is a detailed search for historical data which can be used to extend the database back in time. Also, PI-GCOS and SPREP are seeking to stabilize and expand observational networks, and this will provide additional data sources for PACRAIN.

Supplementary URL: http://pacrain.evac.ou.edu