Pre-Weather Bureau Observation Networks

Pre-Weather Bureau NARA Collection; EV2 - Forts

browse graphicSample Record
The collection consists of monthly weather records from U.S. Army Forts stations (~1820-1871), U.S. Army Signal Service Stations (1871-1892), Smithsonian Institution voluntary observer network (1848-1875), and other stations which conducted weather observations in the 19th century. Observations were generally conducted three times daily, around 7am, 2pm and 9pm. The voluntary and Signal Service stations were transferred to the newly-created U.S. Weather Bureau in 1891. Many of the stations continue on past 1892 in the Cooperative Observations and Surface Weather Observations (1001) libraries. Some keyed data from this series resides in the NCDC digital archive, but the vast majority is held and accessed through the Midwest Regional Climate Center (MRCC), a key partner in digitzation of the records. The MRCC holds keyed data for over 400 stations. All data in this collection were provided to the archive by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The original forms were deteriorating in the National Archives and were converted to microfilm in the late 1930s as part of a Works Projects Administration program. A copy of the set was made for archival at NCDC, and the film was converted to TIFF format images around the year 2000 under the The Climate Database Modernization Program (CDMP). The physical collection spans from approximately 1804 until 1893, though some stations extend into the twentieth century. The digital collection includes any digitzed pre-1893 data received from NARA.
  • Cite this dataset when used as a source.
  • NCEI DSI 3900_01
  • NCEI WebARTIS: FORTS
  • gov.noaa.ncdc:C01085
Search Data
  • NCEI WebARTIS (search)
    Search WebARTIS--collection FORTS--for more detail about available data in the physical archives.
Order Data
  • EV2 Image Access System (order)
    EV2 Information and Data Access Page - Imaged data is available within the "Forts" library.
Other Access
  • NCEI Customer Support (offlineAccess)
    NCEI provides customers with information and data from the NCEI archive. To order NCEI products and services contact the customer support team.
Distribution Formats
  • PDF
  • PAPER
  • MICROFILM
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 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 1820 to 1892
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 72.0
S: 18.0
E: -66.0
W: 172.0
Spatial Coverage Map
Dataset Information
  • CDMP Web site
    Information about the Climate Database Modernization Program (CDMP) and the current Image Access Repository.
General Documentation
Associated Resources
Publication Dates
  • publication: 1932
Data Presentation Form Hardcopy image - image archived in analog format
Digital image
Dataset Progress Status Historical archive - data has been stored in an offline storage facility
Data Update Frequency Irregular
Supplemental Information
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*add digital representation info**
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Purpose This collection contains the earliest systematic weather observations in the United States, extending the period of record for many modern weather stations to the time before the formation of the US Weather Bureau in 1891.
Use Limitations
  • Controlled user access to the EV2 system
Dataset Citation
  • Cite this dataset when used as a source.
Cited Authors
  • U.S. Army Forts stations
  • U.S. Army Signal Service Stations
  • Smithsonian Institution voluntary observer network
  • NARA > National Archives and Records Administration
Originators
  • U.S. Army Forts stations
  • U.S. Army Signal Service Stations
  • Smithsonian Institution voluntary observer network
Resource Providers
  • NARA > National Archives and Records Administration
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
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Precipitation Amount
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Precipitation Amount > 24 Hour Precipitation Amount
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Liquid Precipitation > Rain
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Solid Precipitation > Ice Pellets > Sleet
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Solid Precipitation > Snow
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Temperature > Surface Temperature > Air Temperature
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Temperature > Surface Temperature > Maximum/Minimum Temperature
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Temperature > Surface Temperature
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Temperature > Surface Temperature > Temperature Anomalies
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Winds > Surface Winds
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Precipitation Anomalies
Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Essential Climate Variables (ECVs)
  • Atmospheric - Surface - Air Temperature
  • Atmospheric - Surface - Precipitation
  • Atmospheric - Surface - Air Pressure
  • Atmospheric - Surface - Wind Speed And Direction
  • Atmospheric - Upper-air - Cloud Properties
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC > National Climatic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, 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
  • Thermometers
  • Wind Vanes
  • Rain Gauges
  • Barometers
  • Visual Observations
Place keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Continent > North America > United States Of America
Data Resolution keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Horizontal Data Resolution Keywords
  • Point Resolution
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Vertical Data Resolution Keywords
  • Point Resolution
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Temporal Data Resolution Keywords
  • Hourly - < Daily
Stratum keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Vertical Location > Land Surface
Use Constraints
  • Cite this dataset when used as a source.
  • Use liability: NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
Access Constraints
  • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, 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 The original forms were deteriorating in the National Archives and were converted to microfilm in the late 1930s as part of a Works Projects Administration program. A copy of the set was made for archival at NCDC, and the film was converted to TIFF format images around the year 2000 under the The Climate Database Modernization Program (CDMP).
Processor
  • NCDC Climate Data Modernization Program
  • Works Projects Administration
Processing Steps
  • Microfilm scanned as TIF
    Rationale: To digitize collection in order to make available online.
  • Paper forms were photographed and recorded on microfilm.
    Rationale: Preserve the records by converting from deteriorating paper to microfilm.
Processing Environment Paper forms captured digitally using various types of scanning equipment. All forms were scanned using a minimum of 300 dpi (standard archive quality).
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
  • WIND VANES
Platform
  • METEOROLOGICAL STATIONS
Last Modified: 2018-11-05
For questions about the information on this page, please email: ncei.orders@noaa.gov