On this page: Temporal Coverage | Spatial Coverage | Levels | Update Schedule | Download/Plot Data | Analysis Tools
Restrictions | Details | Caveats | File Naming | Citation | References | Original Source | Contact

University of Delaware Air Temperature & Precipitation

V5.01 is now available.

Brief Description:

  • Monthly global gridded high resolution station (land) data for air temperature and precipitation from 1900-2014. More Details...

Temporal Coverage:

  • Monthly values for 1900/01 - 2017/12 V5.01.
  • Monthly values for 1900/01 - 2014/12 V4.01.
  • Monthly values for 1900/01 - 2010/12 V3.01.
  • Long term monthly means, derived from data for years 1981 - 2010 V5.01.
  • Long term monthly means, derived from data for years 1981 - 2010 V4.01.
  • Long term monthly means, derived from data for years 1981 - 2010 V3.01.

Spatial Coverage:

  • 0.5 degree latitude x 0.5 degree longitude global grid (720x360).
  • 89.75N - 89.75S, 0.25E - 359.75E.


  • N/A

Update Schedule:

  • Static

Download /Plot Data:

Variable Statistic Level Units Download File Create Plot/Subset
Air Temperature Monthly Mean V5.01 Surface deg C air.mon.mean.v501.nc plot
Air Temperature Monthly Mean V4.01 Surface deg C air.mon.mean.v401.nc plot
Air Temperature Monthly Mean V3.01 Surface deg C air.mon.mean.v301.nc plot
Air Temperature V5.01 Monthly Long Term Mean Surface deg C air.mon.ltm.v501.nc plot
Air Temperature V4.01 Monthly Long Term Mean Surface deg C air.mon.ltm.v401.nc plot
Air Temperature V3.01 Monthly Long Term Mean Surface deg C air.mon.ltm.v301.nc plot
Precipitation V5.01 Monthly Total Surface cm/month precip.mon.total.v501.nc plot
Precipitation V4.01 Monthly Total Surface cm/month precip.mon.total.v401.nc plot
Precipitation V3.01 Monthly Total Surface cm/month precip.mon.total.v301.nc plot
Precipitation V5.01 Monthly Long Term Mean Surface cm/month precip.mon.ltm.v501.nc plot
Precipitation V4.01 Monthly Long Term Mean Surface cm/month precip.mon.ltm.v401.nc plot
Precipitation V3.01 Monthly Long Term Mean Surface cm/month precip.mon.ltm.v301.nc plot

Usage Restrictions:

  • None

Detailed Description:

  • Cort Willmott & Kenji Matsuura of the University of Delaware have put data together from a large number of stations, both from the GHCN2 (Global Historical Climate Network) and, more extensively, from the archive of Legates & Willmott. More details can be found here for temperature and here for precipitation. The result is a monthly climatology of precipitation and air temperature, both at the surface, and a time series, spanning 1900 to 2010, of monthly mean surface air temperatures, and monthly total precipitation. It is land-only in coverage, and complements the ICOADS (International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set) data set well. For a complete description of the data as given by the providers, related datasets and references to relevant papers please see their web pages at the University of Delaware.


  • None

Related File Naming & Structure Information:

File Names:

  • var.time.stat.nc   (In directory: /Datasets/udel.airt.precip/)

OpenDap File Names:

  • /thredds/dodsC/Datasets/udel.airt.precip/var.time.stat.nc   

Dataset Format and Size:

  • PSL standard NetCDF4 230 Mbyte file for monthly air temperature file.
  • PSL standard NetCDF4 283 Mbyte file for monthly air precipitation file.
  • PSL standard NetCDF3 18 Mbyte file for each long term mean file.

Missing Data:

  • Missing data is flagged with a value of -9.96921e+36.


  • Willmott, C. J. and K. Matsuura (2001) Terrestrial Air Temperature and Precipitation: Monthly and Annual Time Series (1950 - 1999), http://climate.geog.udel.edu/~climate/html_pages/README.ghcn_ts2.html.
  • Please note: If you acquire UDel_AirT_Precip data products from PSL, we ask that you acknowledge us in your use of the data. This may be done by including text such as UDel_AirT_Precip data provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSL, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their Web site at / in any documents or publications using these data. We would also appreciate receiving a copy of the relevant publications. This will help PSL to justify keeping the UDel_AirT_Precip data set freely available online in the future. Thank you!


Original Source:

  • Center for Climatic Research Department of Geography University of Delaware Newark, DE 19716 The University of Delaware Web site offers extensive documentation of this data set. Please address questions on the analysis method to Kenji Matsuura (kenjisan@udel.edu) University of Delaware.


  • Physical Sciences Laboratory: Data Management
    325 Broadway
    Boulder, CO 80305-3328