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  MADIS National Mesonet/UrbaNet Data

National Mesonet/UrbaNet Data



In 2006 Congress provided funding to establish "UrbaNet", a surface network designed to explore the use of using integrated commercial and government meteorological data in forecasting within the complex topology of the urban environment. These observations are provided in support of homeland security, emergency management, dispersion modeling, and general forecasting applications. In 2010, in response to recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in their 2008 report Observing Weather and Climate From the Ground Up: A Nationwide Network of Networks, and subsequent Congressional directives, NOAA established funding to expand UrbaNet into the "National Mesonet". The National Mesonet Program will:
  1. Maintain and leverage the IT infrastructure that enables the National Mesonet.
  2. Maintain procurements of surface mesonet observational data obtained via competitive procurements from existing networks in previous fiscal years.
  3. Integrate additional, already-existing non-NWS surface mesonet observations into the Network via competitive procurements.
  4. Integrate non non-NWS observations of vertical profiles in the lowest 1000 feet of the atmosphere via competitive procurement.
  5. Identify remaining gaps in upper-air observing capabilities and devise a cost-effective strategy to complete an Integrated Upper-Air Observing System.

Statement of Need and Economic Benefits

Despite decades of progress in our ability to observe and predict the weather, we remain limited in our ability to provide long-lead forecasts for small-scale, high impact phenomena. Such phenomena include the initiation of individual thunderstorm cells, the location of the divide between rain and snow during major winter storms, flash floods, and fine-scale, short-lived variations in solar radiation and low-level winds. The NAS report identifies 5 economic sectors that could benefit significantly by improved forecasts of such phenomena:
  • Energy production and distribution
  • Public health and safety, including forecasts of air quality and in support of hazardous events
  • Aviation and highway transportation
  • Water resources
  • Agriculture

Geographic Coverage

National Mesonet is global UrbaNet covers major cities over the CONUS.

Data Schedule

Varies by provider from every 5 minutes to once and hour; see Provider frequency.

Data arrive on a continuous, asynchronous schedule, and the current and previous hour's data are processed every 5 minutes. Data are stored based on thier observational time stamp in netcdf files that contain observations from the top of the hour until 59 minutes into the hour (e.g., the 0000 file covers 0000 - 0059).

Data that arrive after 2 hours following the time of the observation are processed in a "data recovery" mode, where once a day batch processing is performed to reprocess data that are 35 day's, 7 day's old, and 1 day old. These data are available with all communications methods supported by MADIS except for ldm.


Typical daily volume for all MADIS datasets can be seen here.


UrbaNet data is restricted and National Mesonet data restrictions are based on the provider.

Variable Details

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Last updated 7 November 2014