Sidebar 2: Obtaining Hourly Climate Data

Virtually every airport of any significant size has these automated observing stations, which log hourly data on the local climate, including temperature, dew point, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, cloud cover, and precipitation.  For a nominal fee, the National Climate Center will provide this data to interested parties in a delimited format that can be imported into a spreadsheet program such as Excel.  The graphs included in this chapter were created in this manner.  The Western Regional Climate Center (http://www.wrh.noaa.gov, 775-674-7010) is one point of contact for obtaining this data.  Data for the past two to four days can be found on line by visiting y and then clicking on the state and ASOS site of interest.  Data can be copied and placed into a spreadsheet program via a number of techniques.  For additional information on working with ASOS data refer to “Visualizing BAS Data,” by David Sellers, PE, in the September 2003 issue of Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering magazine.