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GIS Climate Search Site

A Geographic Information System (GIS) search engine for data retrieval ( is provided to facilitate the access of climate data. The governing philosophy of the UCC is to provide all levels of climate data starting with basic observations coupled with flexibility for data output. Presently, the GIS search engine can access three climate datasets / data types: those of the Cooperative Observer Program (COOP), the Global Summary of Day (GSOD),and the Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS). The COOP and GSOD datasets are static in the sense that staff at the UCC download the data at regular intervals when made available by government institutions, e.g., the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The third dataset (AWOS) is dynamic; i.e., data is automatically ingested into the database in near real-time from the UNIDATA Internet Data Distribution system.

USU's climate database was designed from the ground up to support the instantaneous dissemination of COOP, GSOD and AWOS climate data. Specialized schemas were designed to support each data type, and implemented compression algorithms, using relations, significantly reduce the data cluster size and also increase the speed at which data is accessed. Running on a PostgreSQL engine allowed us to implement clustering with various indices that helps provide a query return time of less than 3 seconds for 95% of queries expected by visitors to the system. This is a significant improvement over the past system design and gives users instant access to climate data from the mid 1800's to just a few hours ago with only a few mouse clicks.

A Note about Cookies

The Utah Climate Center GIS Climate Search site uses cookies to store user session information. A cookie is a small text file saved on your hard drive that is used to remember information during the session and the next time you visit the site. The cookie does not contain any information that can be used to personally identify the user. It simply contains a session number that points to a table in a database that stores all queries being made. If the cookie is deleted (or expires), the user can no longer retrieve information from the session (e.g., the list of data requests made). The cookie is also used to remember session information such as map positions, selected stations, and time periods. For this reason, it is recommended that cookies are enabled when using this site. Cookies from this site are set to automatically expire after a week.