Global Historical Climatology Network - Monthly (GHCN-M), Version 2

**Please note, the temperature portion of this dataset has been superseded by a newer version. Users should not use this version except in rare cases (e.g., when reproducing previous studies that used this version). The precipitation subset of this dataset is still the latest version available.** The Global Historical Climatology Network Monthly (GHCN-M) Version 2 dataset created by the NCDC contains historical temperature, precipitation, and pressure data for thousands of land stations worldwide. The period of record varies from station to station, with several thousand extending back to 1950 and several hundred being updated monthly. Both historical and near-real-time GHCN-M data undergo rigorous quality assurance reviews. These reviews include pre-processing checks on source data, time series checks that identify spurious changes in the mean and variance, spatial comparisons that verify the accuracy of the climatological mean and the seasonal cycle, and neighbor checks that identify outliers from both a temporal and a spatial perspective. Only one file for the temperature data is available from the archive (file is for period of record ending in 2011), but precipitation data has been archived daily since 2012.
  • Users must cite this dataset as: Thomas C. Peterson and Russell S. Vose (1997): Global Historical Climatology Network - Monthly (GHCN-M), Version 3. [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. doi:10.7289/V5X34VDR [access date].
  • NCEI DSI 9100_02
  • gov.noaa.ncdc:C00835
Download Data
Distribution Formats
  • ASCII Text
Distributor Customer Engagement Branch
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
1-828-271-4800
ncei.orders@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact GHCN-M Product Team
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
+1 (828) 271-4800
ncdc.ghcnm@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact Customer Engagement Branch
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
1-828-271-4800
ncei.orders@noaa.gov
Time Period 1701-01-01 to Present
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: -90.0
S: 90.0
E: 180.0
W: -180.0
Spatial Coverage Map
Dataset Information
  • GHCN-Monthly Website
    Visit the website for more information about the current GHCN-Monthly products.
General Documentation
Associated Resources
Publication Dates
  • publication: 1997-01-01
  • revision: 2011-01-01
Edition Version 2
Data Presentation Form Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status Complete - production of the data has been completed
Data Update Frequency Daily
Purpose To monitor long-term trends in temperature and precipitation.
Dataset Citation
  • Users must cite this dataset as: Thomas C. Peterson and Russell S. Vose (1997): Global Historical Climatology Network - Monthly (GHCN-M), Version 3. [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. doi:10.7289/V5X34VDR [access date].
Cited Authors
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC > National Climatic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Originators
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC > National Climatic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Publishers
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Theme keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Pressure > Sea Level Pressure
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Temperature > Surface Temperature > Air Temperature
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Temperature > Surface Temperature
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Temperature > Surface Temperature > Maximum/minimum Temperature
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Precipitation Amount
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC > National Climatic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Platform keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords
  • Meteorological Stations
Instrument keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords
  • Rain Gauges
  • Thermometers
  • Barometers
Place keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Geographic Region > Global
Stratum keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Vertical Location > Land Surface
Use Constraints
  • **Please note, the temperature portion of this dataset has been superseded by a newer version. Users should not use this version except in rare cases (e.g., when reproducing previous studies that used this version). The precipitation subset of this dataset is still the latest version available.**
  • Users must cite this dataset as: Thomas C. Peterson and Russell S. Vose (1997): Global Historical Climatology Network - Monthly (GHCN-M), Version 3. [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. doi:10.7289/V5X34VDR [access date].
  • NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NCEI makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NCEI can only certify that the data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
Fees
  • In most cases, electronic downloads of the data are free, however fees may apply for data certifications, copies of analog materials, and data distribution on physical media.
Lineage information for: dataset
Lineage Statement GHCN-Monthly Version 2 has significant improvements over version 1: more data (e.g., the precipitation data set has data from over 20,000 stations) from more sources (over 30 different sources including the Colonial Era Archive Project contributed to version 2), more elements (mean monthly maximum and minimum temperature data as well as mean temperature), better Quality Control, homogeneity adjustments, and a wider selection of station metadata. GHCN-Monthly Version 2 currently provides precipitation data that is available from 20,590 stations and sea level pressure data for 2,668 stations. The [now superseded] temperature product contains mean temperature data for 7,280 stations and maximum/minimum temperature data for 4,966 stations (available until 2011). All stations have at least 10 years of data. The archive also contains homogeneity-adjusted data for a subset of this network (5,206 mean temperature stations and 3,647 maximum/minimum temperature stations). The homogeneity-adjusted network is somewhat smaller because at least 20 years of data were required to compute reliable discontinuity adjustments and the homogeneity of some isolated stations could not be adequately assessed.
Processing Steps
  • 2011-01-01T00:00:00 - In 2011, methodologies to produce the temperature values were updated and released as GHCN-Monthly Version 3. For the present, precipitation values are still available as Version 2.
Lineage information for: repository
Processing Steps
  • 2015-04-22T00:00:00 - NOAA created the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) by merging NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), including the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), per the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235. NCEI launched publicly on April 22, 2015.
Acquisition Information (collection)
Instrument
  • RAIN GAUGES
  • THERMOMETERS
  • BAROMETERS
Platform
  • METEOROLOGICAL STATIONS
Operation
Last Modified: 2018-05-04
For questions about the information on this page, please email: ncei.orders@noaa.gov