PRISM's data prep routines are used
to convert daily temperature data to PRISM-ready format. Although
all possible data formats cannot be accommodated, an updated external
PRISM data prep routine covers formats currently used by NOAA. For
information on how to order this new module, NOAATOCOLS, click here.
Procedures to convert text files of columnar temperature data (i.e.
produced in EXCEL, SPSS, or SAS), a utility that speeds the updating
of temperature data, and an editor to use with small ASCII files,
are also included in the Data Prep Menu in PRISM.
NOAA to TPS
In 1998, after publication of the PRISM Users Guide, NOAA revised
the system of providing temperature data to users. Users may request
data from NOAA's on-line system located at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/ncdc.html.
Files are available for a fee to most users, except those with an
.EDU domain address, who have free access to NOAA data. To accommodate
these changes we have revised the existing NOAA to TPS
program and renamed it NOAATOCOLS. The program
is no longer embedded in PRISM, but provided as an external utility.
The program inputs raw NOAA data (text files) and converts them
to a columnar format so the embedded PRISM Utility, Column
to TPS can be used to create PRISM-ready temperature files.
Users wishing to receive a copy of the new utility can request a
copy with the order
form, available here.
We recommend using only First Order Summary of the Day Temperature
Data (TD-3210) from primary weather stations. Primary stations
are typically located at airports and military installations. These
stations have been operational for many years (some since 1948),
the data is collected electronically, and has been submitted to
quality control procedures by NOAA. You should collect 12 or more
years of data in order to cover the period of your billing data
as well as to create at least a 10-year normalization period. We
currently recommend acquiring daily data for January 1990 through
the latest dates available from NOAA.
DDCalc, the program used to create the Normalization files, has
been revised so that it correctly allows the transition from the
20th to 21st century. The new replacement module for DDCalc is distributed
with the new NOAATOCOLS program. To
download the order form, click here.
Downloading from NCDC
From the main page
at NOAA one can search on the term TD-3210 and then
link Surface Temperatures, Summary of the Day, TD3200/3210. Or under
On-Line Store, select PRODUCTS,
CLIMATE, then DATA: TEMPERATURE, then select TD - SUMMARY OF THE
DAY. Users should link to
Online via User Selection, then Advanced Options, in order to
specify the data elements of maximum and minimum daily temperatures.
On the advanced form, select the following options:
All available First Order Stations,
Select State Territory
Send Output to File
The Select Stations screen will give you all available first order
stations in the State. Instructions for selecting multiple stations
are included on this page. After you have selected your Station(s),
Continue. The Data for all First Order Stations will appear and
you should select:
TMAX (Daily Maximum Temperature)
TMIN (Daily Minimum Temperature), Press Shift Key to Select Both
Date Range (we recommend January 1990 through latest available)
Output Format - Delimited Station Names (optimal for keeping track
of the data)
Output Format Delimiter - Comma with Data flags
A confirmation screen will appear verifying the accuracy of the
order and you will be asked to enter your email address. The next
screen will provide you with a URL to link to the data. You will
also receive an email with the same link. The link will be active
for seven days. You can right click on the link and use
the save link function to save the data on your disk, or
click on the link and use the save file function in your
browser. A complete data dictionary for TD-3210 can be downloaded
here. The tempsx.txt file is now ready for input to the NOAATOCOLS
program to produce a columnar file containing Month, Day, Year,
TMIN, TMAX. Below is sample output from NOAATOCOLS
for January 1- January 7, 2002 (Newark,NJ).
To convert this columnar file to a PRISM-ready .TPS file, follow
the instructions in the PRISM (Advanced Version 1.0) Users’
Guide in the Column to TPS section on page II-83. A copy of the
revised four pages replacing pp. II-83-88 of the Users’ Guide
may be downloaded here.
In addition, a printable version of this page on Downloading Data
from NOAA to Create PRISM-Ready Temperature Files may be downloaded