Links Suggested By

Rapid Science Synthesis Team

Working Group L

Lisa Darby, Chair


Surface Meteorology and Chemistry Data


COOP observations


Consists of monthly printed pages (available as PDFs online) containing station observations.  No description of QA is provided on the web site.


Because these data are not in machine-readable format, they are unlikely to be useful for any systematic study.  They are redundant, in the sense that the same observations should be in the normal NWS data streams.


Crop Weather Program, Texas A&M University


The Crop Weather Program for South Texas (CWP) was developed to help farmers and consultants make management decisions conducive to profitable crop production.  It replaces an earlier cotton monitoring system known as the Weather Station Network Program.  The CWP is the gateway for access to weather data measured by a network of 21 automated weather stations spread across 10 South Texas counties and provides hourly measurements of air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, wind direction and speed, precipitation, and soil temperature at 1", 3", and 8" depths.  The wind direction is reported based on a 16-point compass and the wind speed appears to be arithmetic (no vector average direction or speed).  The wind also appears to be measured about 10 feet above ground level based on an example site photo provided (this could exacerbate exposure problems where buildings and/or trees are nearby).


Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management


The Harris county rainfall map site allows you to enter an amount of time (in days, hours, or minutes) before the current time, and it produces a map of accumulated rainfall amounts from each site, over the time requested.  The data come from 163 automatic remote sensors (part of the flood alert system) across the metropolitan area, and they are “unofficial” (probably means not QC’d).  The density of the network allows for detailed information regarding the horizontal distribution of the rainfall.  Their locations can be found on a map link and a text link, which includes latitudes and longitudes.  There is a link to an archive site where you can indicate a given amount of time before your date of interest to obtain a map of accumulated rainfall, but I could not get this part to work.  If this does eventually work, this could be a useful site for modelers, although it looks like the only output would be a map (i.e., no text dump).  I suggest a following up on this site to determine if there is a way to order the archived data.


Also on the main page for Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is a link to a real time Houston speed map.  Along the outlines of the major highways the current speed of traffic is shown in color (indicating speeds <20, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, and 50+ MPH, or no data).  On this site is a link to the Houston speed map archives (  From this site you can select a date and time (down to 15-minute intervals) and you get a traffic speed map for that time.  This could be useful to determine if gridlock was worse on some days compared to others.


Texas A&M data


This web site has data from two sites near Dallas.  The sites are run by the Texas A&M Dallas Agricultural Research and Extension Center (phone:  972.231.5362), and details are sketchy.  The locations are not specified, although one is on a research farm (Prosper) and the other is just called “Dallas.”  The “Dallas” site has, by date, max/min soil temperature, max/min air temperature, max/min RH, a single column labeled “wind” (no units indicated on any of the columns), max/min soil moisture, and total rain.  Some years have a column labeled ET_o (evapotransperation?).  At the end of each month is a row for monthly medians for each column and another row with the max, min, or total for each column (depending on the variable).  The Prosper site has the same variables, plus “RAD” (radiation?), wind speed, wind direction and battery voltage.  The Dallas site has data archived from 2000 and the Prosper site has data archived from 1997.  Given how important soil moisture measurements are for modelers, it may be useful to investigate this database further to determine the location of the sites and the robustness of the soil moisture data. 


Lower Colorado River Authority network


Lower Colorado River Authority network.  This web page has a wealth of information regarding measurements throughout the Colorado River watershed (which extends from NW to SE of Austin, becoming quite narrow at Matagorda Bay).  The network is most dense around Austin.  They have:  rainfall (24-hr accumulation, accumulation since midnight, and the most recent measurement); stage, flow, lake level, air temperature, relative humidity, and conductivity data, shown on maps.  You can download historic data for a single site (precipitation, air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction), but this is not very practical for obtaining data from many sites.  It is stated that real-time data are provisional, but there is no indication about the quality of the archived data.  It may be worth investigating if it is possible to obtain archived data directly from the agency.



Texas A&M agricultural weather site


This one would be useful for Texas meteorological comparisons of precipitation (not many CAMS sites have precipitation), temp, RH, wind speed, wind direction, and solar radiation. Pretty good coverage in East Texas.  Hourly data should be simple to download and compare with model results.


Soil Climate Analysis Network, US Agriculture Department


This site only gives soil parameters - no standard met. There is only one site (Prairie View) in the region of Texas that may be useful to TEXaqs-2006 participants.
Nonetheless, it may useful for comparison of soil models and parameterizations in meteorological models, since soil data is so sparse in the east Texas region.


Louisiana agricultural weather data network


This site is specific to the state of Louisiana.  It gives meteorological and soil parameter data at about 20 sites evenly distributed throughout Louisiana.  The data are not so convenient to download.  But the soil parameters may be useful for meteorological model soil data comparisons.


Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium weather network.


This web site includes measurements from 5 sites in Louisiana run by LUMCOM (Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium).  Four of the sites are on platforms over water.  The 5th site is somewhat inland, but looks like it’s in a marshy/wetlands type of area.  The Lake Pontchartrain station is in the northern part of the lake.  Meteorological data include:  atmospheric pressure, humidity, temperature, winds, solar radiation, and precipitation.  Hydrographic instrumentation include:  chlorophyll probe, conductivity probe, and a sonde, 6600.  Three other sites have the same instruments:  Tambour Bay, Southwest Pass/Miss River and LUMCOM.  The Tambour Bay and Southwest sites are off the LA coast, on platforms.  LUMCOM is the slightly inland site and also has a co-located 915-mHz wind profiler with RASS.  The Audubon/Miss River site is on a floating structure near the coast (from the picture is looks like it’s in a harbor).  It only has atmospheric pressure, humidity, and temperature for meteorological measurements.  It has the same hydrographic measurements as Lake Pontchartrain, plus a wet chemical in-situ nitrate analyzer. 


The web site is comprehensive, with a map and much information for each station.  There are records regarding calibrations and inspections, implying that these sites are well maintained.  These appear to be good sites for modelers to obtain coastal meteorological data for Louisiana.  The archived files are easy to access.

CAMS (TCEQ organized surface met and chem. data)


This website includes information regarding the details of the TCEQ measurements sites.  Many sites have both meteorology and chemistry measurements.  Some have just one or the other.  All chemistry sites appear to have ozone measurements, but some also include NO, NO2, and perhaps other important constituents.  Those with meteorology tend to have temperature and winds, perhaps precipitation.  This site has two links:

1) TCEQ’s Air Monitoring Sites (Regional Map) provides details about the TCEQ's air monitoring sites and air pollution, weather and other parameters measured at each site.


2) Air Monitoring Sites (Table)

Provides a user interface to view sortable list of locations and descriptions of monitoring sites operated by the TCEQ and other entities around the state as well as link to photos of sites, lists of parameters monitored, and current measurements.


This is useful for modelers who want to know the locations of monitoring stations, and what is monitored at each station.

This page provides access to two sources of pollutant and weather data. The first source, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and local monitoring networks, provides hourly pollutant and weather data from 1972 to 2004.  The second source, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), provides data summaries and hourly data collected since 1982 on numerous pollutants and meteorological parameters in Texas and other states.

A useful site for modelers to download hourly surface data for model evaluation.

METARs (NWS surface data)


The Unedited Surface Weather Observations product consists of unedited hourly observations from over 700 U.S. locations.  There is a charge to access this data online, but not if your domain is .gov, .mil, or .edu.  (More details on the web site.)  The time range of the available data is from July 1, 1996 to two days ago.  A useful site for obtaining surface observations for model evaluation.


Oklahoma air quality monitors

This site has the details of the air quality monitoring stations in Oklahoma.  There are several monitoring sites north of the Texas-Oklahoma border that would be useful for southerly flow events (e.g., looking at transport from Dallas to Oklahoma).  For a graphical display, the site links to the EPA site, where the user can click on the state of Oklahoma to see the Oklahoma observations.  Text data includes real-time data (for today and yesterday).  The user can sort by pollutant or by station.  Archived data includes 8-hour averages of ozone and CO, organized by year.  Within each year is the date and amount of the 4 highest readings for each station.  One-hour ozone exceedances are also available in this format.  It does not appear that data other than the 4 highest readings per year are available via the web.  This site is probably somewhat useful for modelers. 

Upper Air Data


ESRL (formerly ETL) Profiler Network, South Central Texas


The ESRL (formerly ETL) network page allows access to real-time and archived plots of profiler winds and other profiler data.  Real-time plots are provided through a clickable map interface.  Archived plots and ASCII data can be downloaded for single profilers.  A trajectory tool allows the calculation of forward and backward trajectories using profiler data.  The site includes all regular wind profilers from the NOAA and TCEQ network as well as all those installed for the TexAQS-II field program.  The data include profiler winds and signal-to-noise ratio, RASS virtual temperature and virtual potential temperature, and surface meteorological observations from profiler sites.  Data should remain available for several months after the experiment, as well as the profiler trajectory tool.


NOAA National Profiler Network graphical display


The NOAA site used to include all permanent profilers, but now it appears to contain only the profilers in the NOAA demonstration network, including Ledbetter, Palestine, and Jayton in Texas.  Users can request real-time plots or generate plots using archived data.  There is considerable flexibility in the online data plotting interface.  Archived data are available from the web site hosts.


Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) soundings


This sounding page allows the user to generate plots or ASCII data dumps of soundings from rawinsondes, profilers, and RUC/MAPS forecasts.  The output is Java-based, allowing mouse-over data information and animation/looping of soundings.  The interface requires the user to know the name or site ID’s of the stations to plot.  Most of the data are available only in real-time or near-real-time, except that an online rawinsonde archive was begun early in 2006.  Perhaps the most useful aspect of the web site is the ability to plot forecast soundings from the RUC model.  These forecasts are available for any arbitrary location and extend up to 12 hours into the future, so they provide detailed guidance for mixing heights, vertical wind shear, and convection.


University of Wyoming sounding page


This web site allows the user to select a station using a clickable map and generate graphical soundings or ASCII data output from real-time or archived rawinsonde observations.  The output format includes all common sounding diagram types and ASCII data formats.  Large amounts of data would be difficult to obtain, but this site is the best available on the web for individual archived soundings.


ACARS aircraft observations


ACARS observations are in situ meteorological observations made by commercial aircraft.  The data include temperature, wind, and often dew point.  The wind precision is not very good, but the temperature and dew point data are useful for estimating mixing heights and their diurnal variation.  Most ACARS observations in Texas come from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, usually about two dozen per day.  Much less frequent observations are available from Houston and other major airports.  The data are not freely available in real time on the web, but they are available for research purposes upon approval by NOAA.  Texas A&M presently receives ACARS data but is not funded by TCEQ to process or use the data for analysis or forecasting during 2006.


Coastal and Buoy

Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Conrad Blucher Institute


Large network of coastal stations.  Some of the reported stations are regular NOAA or other agency stations, and these are not identified as such.  The additional stations seem to primarily provide water level, water temperature, and air temperature.  Machine-readable historical data are available.  Some QA is apparently done, but specifications are not easily found on the web site.


Possibly useful for improving resolution of model validations for simple parameters.


NDBC (National buoy data)


Provides listings of hourly meteorological data (air and sea-surface temperature, winds, pressure, etc.) and wave data for each meteorological buoy in the Gulf of Mexico (and elsewhere around the U.S.).  Meteorological data are archived back as far as 1990 for some sites.  Also a section gives data on ocean currents as a function of depth.  Buoy and other instrument locations are displayed on a map, and data are obtained by clicking on the site of interest.  Recent ship observations are also listed at this site, and the tri-annual Mariners Weather Log.


Houston/Galveston Port Meteorological Office

Houston/Galveston Port Meteorological Office

Site includes a description of needs for maritime meteorological data and the role of this office in facilitation of the Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) Program.  The office also “works within the framework of the Shipboard Environmental (Data) Acquisition System (SEAS), by which meteorological data are collected and transmitted to NCEP, for inclusion in the major data bases.  Under Past Weather, this site has climatological data and daily information for several Texas land stations around the Gulf of Mexico, including daily high and low temperatures, wind, precipitation, and some other meteorological data.  The monthly Texas Climatic Bulletins and other climatological products and information are available at this site.  We were unable to locate any actual shipboard data from this site (however, some current data could be found on the NDBC site).




Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Comprehensive archive of data, products, and downloadable processing software for geosynchronous and polar-orbiting satellites, including GOES-11 and -12 and MODIS data from Terra and Aqua.  A host of real-time satellite images and products are also available, some stored for 7 days.  Routine meteorological data are also available for McIdas users.


TES step and stare observations


TES is an infrared, high resolution, Fourier Transform spectrometer covering the spectral range 650 - 3050 cm-1 (3.3 - 15.4 µm) at a spectral resolution of 0.1 cm-1 (nadir viewing) or 0.025 cm-1 (limb viewing). Launched into a polar sun-synchronous orbit (13:38 hrs local mean solar time ascending node) on July 15, 2004, the TES orbit repeats its ground track every 16 days (233 orbits), allowing global mapping of the vertical distribution of tropospheric ozone and carbon monoxide along with atmospheric temperature, water vapor, surface properties (nadir), and effective cloud properties (nadir). TES has a fixed array of 16 detectors, which in the nadir mode, have an individual footprint of approximately 5.3 x .5 km. In order to increase the signal-to-noise ratio, these detectors are averaged together to produce a combined footprint of 5.3x8.4 km. TES has two basic observational modes: the global survey mode, where observations are taken 1.3 degrees apart in latitude, and the "step-and-stare" mode, where the separation between observations is approximately 35 km along the orbit.  This step-and-stare mode was used extensively throughout the TexAQS 2006 campaign.  


Maps of these profiles can be found at


Contact information:


NOAA and DoD Satellite images;jsessionid=1C0E54F015C2813E5A9ACFC22C675F90

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship System (CLASS) is NOAA's premier on-line facility for the distribution of NOAA and US Department of Defense (DoD) Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) data and derived data products. CLASS is operated by the Information Processing Division (IPD) of the Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution (OSDPD), a branch of the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS).

CLASS maintains an active partnership with NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NCDC, the permanent US Archive for POES data and derived data products, supports CLASS through a user-interactive Help Desk facility and through the provision of POES supporting documentation, including the NOAA Polar Orbiter Data (POD) User's Guide and the NOAA KLM User's Guide. Additionally, NCDC and CLASS share data distribution responsibilities for Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) data under a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the Earth Observing System (EOS) Program.

CLASS provides data free of charge. Anyone can search the CLASS catalog and view search results through CLASS's World Wide Web (WWW) site. Users who wish to order data are required to register with their names and email addresses. CLASS distributes data to those users via FTP services.

CLASS (originally called Satellite Active Archive), was established as a demonstration prototype for electronic distribution of POES data in 1994, and became operational in July 1995. During that first month, 379 Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Level 1b data sets were distributed to 27 customers via the emerging Internet. During the first five years of operation, the average monthly volume of data distribution increased to 65,000 data sets with a total size of 1.2 TB, and the SAA customer base grew to more than 10,000 registered customers. The active archive was expanded during that period to include TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) data, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) data, Radarsat Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery, operational (near-term) satellite-derived products, and climatic (time-series) satellite-derived products.


NASA Earth Observatory natural hazards

This is a NASA site that has awesome satellite images due to the following natural phenomena:  crops & drought; dust & smoke, fires, floods, severe storms, and volcanoes.  The images are organized by event, and are free to all.  They just ask for proper acknowledgment.  This site is probably of limited value to modelers, but for certain events, such as the Saharan dust events that occurred during TexAQS II, the images may add some visual interest for a case study presentation.

MODIS Rapid Response System images


This site has images from MODIS (Terra and Aqua).  Images are archived by day, and

can be downloaded.  This site may be somewhat useful for modelers.


AIRS retrieved CO profiles

AIRS output for the TexAQS II field campaign.  There is a clickable calendar for a view of the data.  Please work with Dr. Wallace McMillan if interested in using the data (contact information is on the web site). 

Solar Radiation


Texas Solar Radiation data, from a solar energy research group at UT.


This site has solar radiation data for 15 sites throughout Texas.  The data intervals and times of coverage vary by station, ranging from 15 minute data to monthly averages.  Data stops in 2003 or earlier for many of the stations.  Data reported:  Global horizontal, direct normal, and diffuse horizontal (W m-2).  Monthly averages include temperature (degrees C).  Data are easy to access.  This site may be moderately useful for modelers.


National Renewable Energy Lab (solar radiation data)


Cooperative Networks for Renewable Resource Measurements (CONFRRM).  This network was designed to capture long-term solar radiation and wind measurements.  There are 5 sites in Texas, however the last month showing data for all sites is March 2000.  Therefore, data on this site are not useful for modelers working on summers 2000 – 2006.


Large, multi-field data sets



The Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS) is dedicated toward making value-added data available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) Global Systems Division (GSD) (formerly the Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL)) for the purpose of improving weather forecasting, by providing support for data assimilation, numerical weather prediction, and other hydro-meteorological applications.

MADIS subscribers have access to an integrated, reliable and easy-to-use database containing the real-time and archived observational datasets described below. Also available are real-time gridded surface analyses that assimilate all of the MADIS surface datasets (including the highly-dense integrated mesonet data). The grids are produced by the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) Surface Assimilation System (RSAS) that runs at ESRL/GSD, which incorporates a 15-km grid stretching from Alaska in the north to Central America in the south, and also covers significant oceanic areas. The RSAS grids are valid at the top of each hour, and are updated every 15 minutes.


TCEQ Air Pollution Events


The TCEQ Air Pollution Events web pages provide preliminary analyses of large-scale high ozone and/or particulate events in Texas.  The analyses include satellite imagery, webcam imagery, ozone contour animations, ozone plume animations, backward air trajectories, upper air data graphs, and pollution data time series graphs.  The discussions describe the intensity and geographic coverage of each event.  The discussions also report any transport related aspects to the pollution, if appropriate, and provide an estimate of background levels and local add-on for ozone cases.


EDAS (NCEP grid reanalysis)


It is a website for the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis Project at the NOAA/ESRL Physical Sciences Division


This page points you to information on the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis project and the implementation of a netCDF-based, internet-accessible, data service at NOAA/ESRL PSD for this set of data products.


    * The 6-hourly and daily data currently available on-line.

    * The monthly and other derived data currently available on-line.


This site also has links to other reanalysis project sites (e.g., ECMWF).

NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis


This site includes the following NCEP/NCAR REANALYSIS databases.


    * 2006AUG10 --All 1948-2006JUL pgb.f00 and grb2d files are now available on line for registered users.

    * 2006AUG10 --JUL 2006 data files are released. All 1948-2006JUL reanalysis files are available.

    * 2006APR20 --Public (non-restricted) version of 200309-200602 prepqm files are released.

    * 2006APR11 --2005 annual cdrom is released. All 1950-2005 reanalysis annual cdroms are available.

    * 2006MAR28 --2005OCT-2006FEB reanalysis forecasts are released.

    * 2005Apr20 --2004OCT-2004DEC reruns to fix sea-ice problems are released.

    * 2005Apr19 --2004AUG and 2004SEP reruns to fix sea-ice problems are released.

    * 2005Apr08 --There will be a rerun from 2004080100 to 2005032212 due to sea-ice data problem. The 200501 and 200502 results are in.

    * 2003Aug04 --NCEP-NCAR Reanalysis Temperature Change Plots, 1948-2002


    * DSS Reanalysis archives.


Project Overview


    * Project Description -


          The project motivation and objectives, cooperative arrangement between NCEP and NCAR, and other published documentation are outlined


    * Model Description

    * Project Status

    * Other Related Sites


Data Product Description

More than 20 different data products are output from the Reanalysis data assimilation, model run, and model forecast. These products are defined in terms of the NCAR archive names, physical variables, resolutions (temporal and spatial), and media storage size. CDROMS are also used to distribute selected reanalysis products.


This web site includes much detail on all of the data bases used, etc.