The Northern Hemisphere Sea-Level Pressure Data Set: Trends, Errors and Discontinuities

Kevin E. Trenberth Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, University of illinois, Urbana 61801

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Daniel A. Paolino Jr. Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, University of illinois, Urbana 61801

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Abstract

A detailed examination of the Northern Hemisphere monthly mean sea-level grid-point pressures shows a disappointingly large number of problems. The data set extends from 1899–1977 but has originated from eight different sources and discontinuities have been identified with every change in source. We have documented corrections for many of these and have also catalogued 3263 serious errors. These have been corrected or set to missing. Most of the errors are over Asia and are predominant before 1922 or during World War II.

Analyses of several different aspects of the data that reveal both the problems and real changes in the atmospheric circulation are presented, along with a comparison of the monthly mean operational U.S. Navy versus U.S. National Meteorological Center analyses. A plea is made for a greater effort in archiving quality controlled climatological data.

Abstract

A detailed examination of the Northern Hemisphere monthly mean sea-level grid-point pressures shows a disappointingly large number of problems. The data set extends from 1899–1977 but has originated from eight different sources and discontinuities have been identified with every change in source. We have documented corrections for many of these and have also catalogued 3263 serious errors. These have been corrected or set to missing. Most of the errors are over Asia and are predominant before 1922 or during World War II.

Analyses of several different aspects of the data that reveal both the problems and real changes in the atmospheric circulation are presented, along with a comparison of the monthly mean operational U.S. Navy versus U.S. National Meteorological Center analyses. A plea is made for a greater effort in archiving quality controlled climatological data.

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