"Thank you for actually penning these books. They are a wonderful review of the concepts without the excessive (but necessary) amount of math behind them. I wish they had been recommended as supplements in both my undergrad and graduate years."
— Josh Tobias, 2017
"I have used Digital Atmosphere for quite sometime and consider it to be one of the most straightforward, comprehensive, and operationally useful programs on my server. I have found it to be invaluable for my day-to-day analyses and forecasting as well as my ongoing research. Tim is also extremely helpful and absolutely indispensable when it comes to locating scripts, the best datasets, and even professional contacts to help make any organization as productive as possible."
"The quality of your products is second to none."
— C. Brian Batey
"Thanks Tim for your quick response (we like that at FedEx) about our Professional Versions! As we're a 24/7 operation, we're look forward to augmenting our present weather system with Digital Atmosphere."
— Mel Bradley, FedEx Operations
"Wow. Your books are incredibly technical and useful. I consider myself a very amateur weather watcher and feel that I am already ahead of the curve. Thank you."
— Terry W. Taylor
"The NEXRAD support is truly awesome and easy to use - and the other feature just really tops it off. This is about my sixth email tonight - the other five being to other spotters in the area telling them they just have to download Digital Atmosphere and give it a serious going over."
— David Cashion
"I'm really looking forward to the next phase of Digital Atmosphere Workstation. I'm sure it will be as excellent as all your other products."
— Simon Keeling
Weather Consultancy Services, UK
"I run and manage a number of festival type events and Digital Atmosphere is able to produce charts that I can use for normal weather forecasting with a fair degree of accuracy and in particular wind speed and direction that is crucial to many of events."
— Robert Connolly, GI7IVX
"The archive data arrived today. WOW! What an amazing set of data! Thanks again for all the extras that you included as well!"
— Bryan Bollman, IA
"We do run GEMPAK and all the Unidata software also, but your package has numerous advantages, the biggest being Windows."
"I am very impressed with what you have done. I have already shown several people at work your site. I plan on talking to our MIC [Meteorologist In Charge] soon to see if we can get Digital Atmosphere in the office to complement/supplement AWIPS."
— Ken Simosko, NWS, Pocatello
"This new version is even better than the older version which was awesome! Your programming skills and met knowledge amaze me!"
— Chris Kincaid
How Argon was developed
Since 1997 Weather Graphics has been collecting and warehousing tremendous amounts of weather data. Our primary goal has always been to adapt the data for operational use, avoiding complicated or arcane storage formats. This is a significant problem when dealing with NCDC, NCAR, and other agencies, which use thousands of formats ranging from ASCII tables to packed records and compressed binary files. These cannot be imported into spreadsheets without custom coding. Weather Graphics has been interested in creating a universal superdatabase for quite some time, but only in 2005 did consumer technology allow this. Development work involved the processing of billions of weather records, 3000 lines of source code, and 400 hours of processing time on Pentium 4 computers.
What Argon can do for you
With only one single query, here are just some of the things you can do:
Installing and using Argon
We've already installed Argon on a hard drive for you. If you're not an expert with computers, the most that you'll have to do is install MySQL to your computer, which is free and is provided with Argon, and start it up. We've written easy-to-follow instructions. For performing queries, you have three options:
* Use the text "command line", which is free and provided with MySQL. It does require a little bit of knowledge on how SQL queries are formed, but we provide numerous examples in the manual to get you started.
* Use Argon Navigator. We released Argon Navigator as an optional, free, easy-to-use Windows application that will query Argon for you. No SQL knowledge is required. If you need a listing of all the observations where the dewpoint exceeded 70 degrees at KLAX, for example, there's no easier way to do it. You may download Argon Navigator here (V1.0, 769 KB). There is no installation; just save it anywhere and run it.
* Use a MySQL graphical front end. There are free ones as well as robust commercial ones. The front end will construct all the SQL under-the-hood, letting you build queries in an easy manner. Some are simple, others are complicated. A partial listing of suggestions can be found in the MySQL Wikipedia article. We do not recommend any specific one.
Typical station count for various years is as follows. Coverage is only for North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico).
All data originates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and has been reprocessed into a unified format. Sources include TD3200, TD3280, TD3505, FSL's RAOB database, NOAAPORT archives, and various NCDC, UCAR, and Air Force digital records.
Period of coverage
Data begins in 1930 and begins to fully cover the United States by 1950. The ending date is that of the week you order, giving you continuous coverage through 2014.
A computer with a USB port is required. We use USB3 drives, which are backward-compatible with all USB2 connections. MySQL Server for Windows (free) and easy-to-follow instructions are provided. You are not required to use the external hard drive. You can easily copy the database package to any other hard drive you have for faster or more convenient viewing.
There are no restrictions on what you do with Argon output, including resale of output or maps. However the actual database files and tables are copyrighted and uniquely watermarked. Our main concern is duplication and distribution in ways where others would be able to construct their own Argon system. We support the work of third-party add-ons or front-ends, and will announce any such work on our website.
Manual and documentation
A thorough description of Argon can be found here:
• argon.pdf (PDF, 3.4 MB, revised May 2019)
Contained here is a subset of the Argon surface database provided free of charge for testing purposes. This is all data for January 20, 1982. Several formats are available for download. All of them were created using mySQL's built-in mysqldump tool.
• example-csv.zip - CSV, comma-delimited format. Useful for Excel.
• example-sql.zip - SQL format. Executing this will construct a table under mySQL.
• example-xml.zip - XML format. Useful for PHP and other programming applications.
• example-db.zip - original raw database. This can be copied into a mySQL table subdirectory.
• Lifetime Updates (optional) - Lifetime Updates are provided as an optional add-on. Updates are currently every six months in January and July, though we are working to bring this down to a monthly cycle. As of February 2014 we are transitioning to downloadable updates that you can access anytime. Not sure whether to get it? You can add the upgrade option at a later date. Lifetime updates are only provided for as long as we maintain the Argon product, and the customer must pay postage if any updates have to be sent on physical media outside the United States.
• Maintenance Patches - All users will receive Maintenance Patches free of charge. This does not provide new weather data but makes improvements to the database structure and core data if and when they are released. It may provide optional programs for viewing the data, such as Argon Navigator above.
• Free loss replacement services - For the lifetime* of your purchase if the Argon hard drive fails, we will provide you with a new Argon system at no charge (does not include cost of a new hard drive, which you may either send in or purchase through us; does not include database weather updates since your purchase unless you have the Updates plan).
• Grandfathering - As we add new tables to Argon, such as climatological records and specialized tables, you will get them free of charge and always be on the cutting edge.
We want you to be pleased with Argon. So before ordering, please note the following . . .
* Queries may take a long time to perform, due to the ultra-large size of the database. If you have SQL experience you are encouraged to optimize the database to suit your own needs.
* This database covers only the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Alaska and Hawaii are included.
* The illustration above is for a 2010 version of Argon. As of early 2017 Argon has been shipping on 500 to 1 TB drives, typically Toshiba Canvio mini-drives.
For further information
If you have questions about the Argon system, please contact us.