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High-Resolution Daily U.S. Surface Weather

Daymet U.S. Database

These animations show a one-year subset (1997) of the 18-year Daymet U.S. Database of high-resolution gridded daily surface weather parameters.


Daily Total Precipitation


Daily Maximum Temperature


Movie loop icon side view

QuickTime | Real | MPEG 18 MB

This animation shows both the patterns of wet/dry areas on each day, and the distribution of precipitation intensity within the wet areas on each day. Dry areas (no precipitation for the day) are shown in gray. Wet areas (rain or snow) are color coded for daily precipitation intensity, with trace precipitation shown in dark red, and the most intense precipitaiton shown in magenta and white. This animation does not distinguish between rain and snow. Notice that well-organized storm systems dominate the continental-scale patterns from fall through spring, while unorganized convective precipitation produces patchy patterns of occurrence and intensity through much of the summer. Also notice that the influence of topography is much more pronounced fall through spring than in summer.

Movie loop icon top view

QuickTime | Real | MPEG 23 MB

The high temperature for each day is shown. Temperatures above freezing are shown in warm colors (green through red), while temperatures below freezing are shown in cool colors (blue through magenta). The area with temperatures very near freezing is shown in white to highlight the shifting location of the freeze-line from day to day. The strong topographic influence on temperature is obvious in the western mountains, in the Appalachian chain, and often in the more subtle terrain of the mid-continent. The influence of topography on temperature is generally stronger in summer than in winter. Also notice the generally west-to-east progression of frontal systems and the occasional southward excursion of arctic air masses.

The complete Daymet US Database, including references to methods, is available on-line at www.daymet.org. The database is based on daily surface weather observations from the National Weather Service Cooperative Station Network and the Natural Resources Conservation Service SNOTEL network of upper-elevation stations. These observations are interpolated to a grid with 1 km horizontal spacing, and extrapolated to account for topographic effects on surface weather. The complete database includes daily temperatures (max and min), daily total precipitation, daily shortwave radiation, and daily average absolute humidity, for the period 1980-1997. Numerous climatological summaries, both annual and monthly, are available at the Daymet website. The website also includes a map interface tool that allows a user to select a single point from the 1 km grid, and receive all of the daily data for all variables for that point. The subset of data shown in these animations helps to illustrate the unique spatial and temporal characteristics of the Daymet US Database.

Daymet U.S. Database, 1980-1997,
Daily Precipitation and Maximum temperature for 1997
Time Evolution:
1 year
Time Resolution:
1 day
CPU Time:
Visualization Domain  
Atmosphere Layer:
Land Surface
Conterminous United States
Vertical Real World:
Land Surface
Spatial Resolution:
1 km
Horizontal Resolution:
1 km
Peter Thornton
Peter Thornton
Date Created:
Date Catalogued: