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Historical Sunshine and Cloud Data in the United States (revised 1991) (NDP-021)

DOI: 10.3334/CDIAC/cli.ndp021

data Data


P. M. Steurer and T. R. Karl

This data base presents monthly sunshine data from 240 U.S. stations (including Puerto Rico and nine Pacific Islands) and monthly cloud amount data from 197 U.S. stations. The longest periods of record are 1891 through 1987 for the sunshine data and 1871 through 1987 for the cloud data. The sunshine data were derived from measurements taken by a variety of sunshine-recording instruments. The cloud data were derived from land-based estimates of fractional cloud amount, which were made with observation practices that have varied during the period of record. Station number, station name, latitude, and longitude are given for all stations in each network. The sunshine data include monthly and annual total hours of recorded sunshine, monthly and annual maximum possible hours of sunshine, monthly and annual percentages of possible sunshine (hours recorded/hours possible), and dates of use for specific types of sunshine recorders at each station. The cloud data contain monthly and annual cloud amount (in percent of sky cover).