NOAA UPDATES WHAT DEFINES NORMAL TEMPERATURE
September 6, 2001 Normal temperatures and precipitation levels for your area may have changed as NOAA's National Climatic Data Center releases new normal' data for about 8,000 weather stations. The data defines the normal temperature at locations across the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and U.S. Pacific Islands. These data are used as a benchmark for weather forecasters to calculate day-to-day temperature and rainfall departures from typical levels and are also used by business, government and industry for planning, design and operations.
The new figures, based from 1971 to 2000, are computed every ten years by NCDC in Asheville, N.C. The new normal temperature and precipitation levels will replace those from 1961 to 1990 and includes data for 1,275 more weather stations than the previous edition. NOAA's National Weather Service will begin using the new figures for daily and monthly climate reports in January 2002.
A climatological normal is the average temperature, precipitation, or degree days over a 30-year period for a specific location. Official normals stations meet quality standards prescribed by NOAA and the World Meteorological Organization.
NCDC is a part of the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, an agency of NOAA. NESDIS is the nation's primary source of space-based meteorological and climate data. NESDIS operates the nation's environmental satellites, which are used for weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and other environmental applications such as fire detection, ozone monitoring and sea surface temperature measurements. NESDIS also operates three data centers, which house global data bases in climatology, oceanography, solid earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics and paleoclimatology.
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