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How to Manage Pests

California Weather Database: Description

Retrieving data

To retrieve information from the database, you must specify the station, the kind of information you wish to retrieve, the range of dates, the variables to be retrieved, the output format, and the data units.

NOTE: Are you retrieving data regularly, perhaps as often as daily or weekly? See the special note below on reusing these specifications.

To select a station and make the other required specifications,

  1. First select a county or a network from the pull-down lists, or enter a station name in the station box, then click on the Submit button. If you are looking for current data, be sure "active stations only" is checked so that you will be presented with lists that contain only stations that are currently reporting. If the box is not checked, the lists will show all stations in the county or network, including those that no longer report. Under "station," the List option will display a list of stations in alphabetical order, and you may select a station by clicking on its name. Use county and network maps to locate the station within a county or network.
  2. Select a weather station and available information type–data, averages, or description– from the list of stations available in the selected network or county. Click on the information type you want for a specific station. The table lists the variables and time period for which data are stored. In case your selected county doesn't have the station you're looking for, tables of stations located in surrounding counties are also shown. To see a daily summary for all stations or a map, click on "Daily summary" or "Map" for "All stations," shown at the beginning of each list.
    • If you choose Description, the station description for the selected station will be displayed.
    • If you choose Averages, you'll be asked for a date range and report format for 30-year averages for the selected station.
    • If you choose daily (or more frequent period) data, you'll be asked to select a time period, or range of dates. From the pull-down lists, indicate the first date (month, day and year) you want to retrieve and the last date (month, day and year).
  3. On the same page, at Step 2, select the variables you want included (default is "all variables") and the backups for missing data. A table presents a list of the variables stored for the selected station, and click on "more about these measurements" for additional information about the measurements that may be helpful. In the table, click on the box next to a variable name to mark it for retrieval. The request for data will be filled first from the selected station, then from the backup and long-term average stations, left to right. Your request will be filled first using data from the selected station (shown in the second column of the table).
    • Backup stations. Backup stations listed in the table are nearby stations that can be used to fill in data gaps for specific variables. Shown will be either a station name or "none recommended."
      • When a station is listed, do nothing if you want it to supply data for a particular variable if data from the selected station is missing. If you do not want to include substitutes for missing data, click on "change backups" or on "use no backups."
      • If "none recommended" is shown, no station is considered to be similar enough to the selected station to be used as a backup.
      • Backup station 1 is used first to supply missing data; if the data value for the date is also missing in Backup station 1, Backup station 2 will be used. Any data gaps will be filled in from the backup stations if possible.
    • Long-term average station. If a data value for a date is not available from the selected station or either of the backup stations, the long-term average for the date will be used if a station is recommended in the table.
      • All stations have a recommended long-term average for daily precipitation and air temperature, and some have a recommended average for soil temperature or pan evaporation. However, no averages are available for wind, relative humidity, wet- and dry-bulb temperatures, reference evapotranspiration, or for hourly or sub-hourly measurements of any variable.
      • If you do not wish for long-term averages to be used to fill in data gaps, click on "change backups" or on "use no backups."
      • "Forecasts" based on long-term averages can be included in your retrieval if you specify a time period that includes dates in the future.
  4. Select the output format and units. Values may stored as English or metric units, and the data retrieved from the database can be supplied as either. The data can be presented in several formats:
    • Formatted report (for viewing or printing) includes information about the selected station, provides the data in a table with column headings, and indicates the source of any data that were supplied by a backup or long-term average station.
    • UC IPM data file format (for use with DDU, TRAP, and CALEX) supplies a text file that can be used as input to the UC IPM programs listed. An intermediate page will document the retrieval and indicate the number of data values supplied by each of the selected and backup stations. You will be able to save the file for use by one of the programs.
    • Comma-delimited data file (compressed format - with no or few empty columns, for use with spreadsheets) displays a text file of data, with values separated by commas. The file can be saved to your disk and then imported into a spreadsheet program.
    • Data files for spreadsheets (fixed-columns format, for ready integration of data from different stations or retrievals) displays a text file of data, with values separated by commas. The file can be saved to your disk and then imported into a spreadsheet program. Note, however, that there may be many blank columns reserved for variables not reported by your selected station.
  5. Click on the RETRIEVE DATA button to complete the retrieval and see the report.

Special note. Saving these specifications to use them again without having to repeat every step is easy. Use the save as (or equivalent) command in your browser and save the document as "source" with a filename that ends in ".htm". To submit the file again, start your browser, use the "Open file" (or equivalent) command, make any necessary changes such as the time period, then click on the RETRIEVE DATA button.

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