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A quantity that is measured, computed, or derived (e.g. - temperature, precipitation amount, etc.)
The type of data values - e.g. grid (interpolated or computed gridpoints), platform observation (in-situ or remotely sensed measurements, etc.
The time distance between discrete observation measurements, model product valid times, etc. A time resolution of "Hourly to < Daily" means data that occurs more often than once per day but no more often than once per hour.
The entity that acquired or computed the data (e.g. - aircraft, land station, reanalysis model)
The horizontal distance between discrete gridpoints, stations, measurements, etc.
Topic and subtopic are high-level groupings of parameters (e.g. - Atmosphere (topic), Clouds (subtopic of Atmosphere) ).
The scientific project or experiment that acquired the data
Data that were acquired to support a project/experiment (e.g. - GATE) or that can be used as ingest for a project (e.g. - WRF)
The structure of the bitstream used to encapsulate the data values in a record or file (e.g - ASCII, netCDF, etc.)
The name of the location or region for which the data are valid
  General Documentation

This page contains links to various general documentation that is applicable to many of our datasets, or that, while not applicable to our specific datasets, may be useful to any user of meteorological and oceanographic data.

    • An Introduction to Atmospheric and Oceanographic Datasets
      This NCAR Technical Note in the Instructional Aid series is an overview of data types, formats, and sources used by researchers in meteorology and oceanography. It is available in several different formats.

    • Data Usage Hints
      These documents are intended to aid users of our archive in getting access programs to run on their systems, and in dealing with some common data access and format problems.

    • Documents Scanned by by DSS
      We have numerous documents of general interest to users of our archive that previously were only available in hardcopy form.

    • ECMWF Data Users' Newsletter
      A mailing list exists to distribute bulletins from NCAR/DSS and ECMWF about ECMWF datasets at NCAR, such as announcements of data updates, problems which have been discovered, and changes to software. Past newsletters may be viewed by anyone.

    • Format Descriptions
      We maintain a variety of format description documents that are applicable to many of the datasets in our archive. Some of these formats include the GRIB and BUFR formats and various NMC formats.

    • Land Station Definitions
    • Meteorological Equations
      These documents contain information about the formulas used to compute some common meteorological parameters.

    • Miscellaneous Papers
      We have a selection of miscellaneous documents that may be of interest to some of the users of the RDA.

    • NCAR Technical Notes
      NCAR Technical Notes are manuscripts that contribute in specialized ways to the body of scientific knowledge. Many of our datasets have Technical Notes associated with them.

The Research Data Archive is managed by the Data Support Section of the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

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