Quality Controlled Datasets
Selected subsets of monthly, daily, hourly and sub-hourly (5-minute) USCRN/USRCRN data are available as text files for easy access by users ranging from the general public to science experts. When using these data, please cite Diamond et. al.(2013) and for soil observations, also cite Bell et. al. (2013). Please see the Frequently Asked Questions below for citations.
The most useful variables, including air temperature, precipitation, solar radiation, surface temperature, soil moisture and soil temperature data, are available. Files contain raw observations with quality flags, as well as calculated variables. Calculated data are shown only if a sufficient amount of source data passes its quality control tests; otherwise these values are set to a missing value.
For the daily, hourly and sub-hourly data, users can retrieve the entire archive of data by downloading the most recent file in the snapshots subdirectory. The updates subdirectory in the daily and hourly directories contain a record of the real-time daily/hourly data transmitted over NOAAPORT. Detailed descriptions of the files and variables are available in the documentation links listed below.
Before you begin, please take a moment to review the
Status of our Datasets
*Notice: Major browsers are deprecating FTP access, click here for more info.
Monthly data are found in the Monthly01 directory. Each station file contains monthly temperature, precipitation, global solar radiation, and surface infrared temperature data in text format for the station's period-of-record.
FTP Client Access*: ftp://ftp.ncei.noaa.gov/pub/data/uscrn/products/monthly01
The Daily01 directory contains files with each station's daily data by year. Daily air temperature, precipitation, global solar radiation, relative humidity, surface infrared temperature, soil moisture and soil temperature data are shown in text format.
FTP Client Access*: ftp://ftp.ncei.noaa.gov/pub/data/uscrn/products/daily01
The Hourly02 directory contains files with each station's hourly data by year. Hourly data include: air temperature, precipitation, global solar radiation, relative humidity, surface infrared temperature, soil moisture and soil temperature.
FTP Client Access*: ftp://ftp.ncei.noaa.gov/pub/data/uscrn/products/hourly02
The Subourly01 directory contains files with each station's sub-hourly (5-minute) data by year. Sub-hourly data include: air temperature, precipitation, global solar radiation, surface infrared temperature, relative humidity, soil moisture and temperature, wetness, and 1.5 meter wind speed.
FTP Client Access*: ftp://ftp.ncei.noaa.gov/pub/data/uscrn/products/subhourly01
*NEW* Beta Products
Standardized Soil Moisture
The soilanom01 directory contains files with each station's hourly soil moisture data for the period-of-record. Hourly data include: soil moisture volumetric water content, soil moisture anomaly, soil moisture percentile, and soil temperature. These are calculated for individual layers 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 cm, and for the top layer (5 & 10 cm) and the total column layer.
FTP Client Access*: ftp://ftp.ncei.noaa.gov/pub/data/uscrn/products/soilanom01
Soil Moisture Climatology
The soilclim01 directory contains files with each station’s hourly soil moisture climatology. Hourly data include: soil moisture mean, soil moisture median, soil moisture interquartile range, and the fraction of possible data that is valid. These are calculated for individual layers 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 cm, and for the top layer (5 & 10 cm) and the total column layer.
FTP Client Access*: ftp://ftp.ncei.noaa.gov/pub/data/uscrn/products/soilclim01
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I read these files?
The data files can be found at the Data Access links above. For each product, there is a Documentation link above (also available as README.txt in each product folder) which explains the file layouts and how to read the data within the files. Products are either structured in a year-site hierarchy, or simply organized by site. For products in a year-site hierarchy, data is separated into yearly directories and site-specific files within each yearly directory. You may read them in your browser using the links provided on this page, or connect to the FTP server using an FTP client (see below).
Which data files should I select?
The files in the yearly subdirectories are updated frequently and contain all the data for that year for each station. The entire period of record for all stations is available for download from the snapshots subdirectory. The updates subdirectory in the daily and hourly directories contain a record of the real-time daily/hourly data transmitted over NOAAPORT. For more detailed information, see the documentation links shown above.
What are the columns for each data file?
For each product, there is a Headers link above (also available as HEADERS.txt in each product folder), which is designed to be prepended to the data for use with spreadsheet programs, data extraction tools (e.g. awk) or any other programming language. This file contains the following three lines: Field Number, Field Name and Unit of Measure.
Why do some stations not report some measurements?
Unlike the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN), the U.S. Regional Climate Reference Network (USRCRN) stations do not measure solar radiation, surface temperature, relative humidity or soil variables; those fields are shown as missing values in the data files.
Why are there no wind reports in these products?
The wind instrument on a USCRN station tower is mounted at the same height as the air intakes to the temperature sensors, which is usually 1.5 meters above the ground. The wind speed instruments were deployed for studying the environments of the temperature measurements, and are not comparable to the 10-meter wind measurements with which most people are familiar which are taken at airports. To avoid confusion, these data are only included in the sub-hourly files. However, other calculated wind measurements can be viewed in the Reports web tool.
How can I access these files via FTP?
Each product above lists an address for "FTP Client Access", you may use this address with any FTP client (e.g. FileZilla) to connect and browse/download files. As of 2021, most major web browsers are deprecating direct FTP access, so you will have to use a dedicated FTP client.
Where can I find 5-minute data?
Some 5-minute data for USCRN stations are available in the NCEI Climate Data Online system in the Quality Controlled Local Climate Data Products. Bulk transfers of 5-minute data for research purposes are best handled by NCEI Customer Service at https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/customer-support. USCRN contacts can also help direct persons with special requests. See our Contacts page for details.
Who can I contact for help?
USCRN personnel can help. See our Contacts page for details.
How do I cite USCRN data?
When using USCRN data in any written work, please reference:
Diamond, H. J., T. R. Karl, M. A. Palecki, C. B. Baker, J. E. Bell, R. D. Leeper, D. R. Easterling,
J. H. Lawrimore, T. P. Meyers, M. R. Helfert, G. Goodge, and P. W. Thorne,
U.S. Climate Reference Network after one decade of operations: status and assessment.
Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 94, 489-498.
Bell, J. E., M. A. Palecki, C. B. Baker, W. G. Collins, J. H. Lawrimore,
R. D. Leeper, M. E. Hall, J. Kochendorfer, T. P. Meyers, T. Wilson, and H. J. Diamond.
: U.S. Climate Reference Network soil
moisture and temperature observations. J. Hydrometeorol., 14, 977-988.
Where can I find a list of publications using USCRN/USRCRN data?
Check our Publications/Citations page.