GNC Charts for Dig. Atm.
Data By The Day
ARGON database system
Forecasters Reference Workbook
Weather Analysis & Forecasting
Weather Map Handbook
Severe Storm Forecasting
Weather Radar Handbook
Weather Forecasting Red Book
Storm Chasing Handbook
Weather Forecasting Handbook
Extreme American Weather
The Art of Storm Chasing
Weather Graphics is your source for weather forecasting tools, software, and books.
HISTORICAL WEATHER DATABASE SYSTEM
1930 - 2016
INSURANCE · UNIVERSITY · RESEARCH · AVIATION · ENERGY SERVICES
Argon is an economical USB external hard drive loaded with billions of key
weather records for North America going back to 1930. It's designed for
businesses and universities that need the complete North American weather record on demand.
Using the power of mySQL, you can run
statistical analyses, find extremes, averages, and frequencies,
and export queries in METAR and spreadsheet form.
All data has been unified into a common format and is searchable by latitude/longitude,
WMO, ICAO, FAA, and WBAN identifier.
This ensures maximum compatibility for your projects.
And Argon is economical -- obtaining all of this data from the National
Climatic Data Center would involve tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of
hours of processing time.
DATE OF LATEST DATA ON ARGON: 2016-09-30
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:
Find the date/time of the highest 700 mb wind speed ever recorded at Minneapolis
See the average temperature for September 1985 in Pocatello, Idaho
Show all instances of winds above 60 mph at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Determine the number of hours the visibility was below 2 miles at DFW International Airport in 1990-2005
View the dates and times that the mercury was below 0°F in 1982 at Cleveland
Show all observations between 42N 100W and 44N 95W at 0400 UTC on July 8, 1996
Show all temperature highs and lows for October 12, 2004
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.
Types of weather elements available|
Surface hourly data - Year, month, day, hour, latitude and longitude (to nearest hundredth),
WBAN (5-digit), WMO code (5-digit), FAA identifier (3-letter), ICAO identifier (4-letter),
elevation, time correction (minutes), data source code,
sky cover, ceiling, amount and height of up to 6 cloud layers,
visibility, weather type, additional weather codes,
obstruction to visibility type, severe weather type,
temperature, dewpoint, wind direction, wind speed, wind gust, altimeter setting,
sea level pressure, and station pressure.
Upper level data - Year, month, day, hour, latitude and longitude (to nearest hundredth),
WBAN (5-digit), WMO code (5-digit), ident (3-letter), level (mb), geopotential height,
temperature, dewpoint, wind direction, and wind speed. Due to space restrictions
only mandatory-level data is provided.
Database sizes are as follows, last checked in February 2014:
|Data type ||Records ||Table size
|Surface ||876 million ||104.8 GB
|Upper air ||278 million ||13.2 GB
Result of a query for hours on which the temperature exceeded 90°F at
DFW Airport in May 1982. (Click to enlarge)|
Typical station count for various years is as follows. Coverage is only for North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico).
|Year ||Unique |
|1930 ||1 ||0
|1940 ||49 ||0
|1950 ||270 ||0
|1960 ||430 ||124
|1970 ||180 ||138
|1980 ||1210 ||136
|1990 ||1340 ||123
|2000 ||1820 ||104
|2010 ||2470 ||121
|Current ||2590 ||122
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, 400 KB, revised June 2012)
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 2016 are shipping Argon
on 1 TB Toshiba Canvio mini-drives.
For further information
If you have questions about the Argon system, please
Argon hard drives are usually ready to ship within 24 hours via US Priority Mail.
AR001 ARGON System - $995
AR005 ARGON Lifetime Updates - $49
NOTE: Orders outside the U.S. are subject to approval due to security and fraud issues. If we are unable to accept your order we will refund the
transaction and will suggest submitting a wire transfer. If you are outside the U.S., we recommend contacting us before ordering.