An online archive of real-time and historical weather and climate model output and observational data is now available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This archive, known as the NOAA National Operational Model Archive and Distribution System (NOMADS), was jointly initiated in 2001 by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). At present, NOMADS provides access to real-time and historical 1) numerical weather prediction (NWP) model input and output, 2) GFDL's Coupled Global Climate Models (CGCM) output, 3) global and regional reanalysis from NCEP and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and 4) limited surface, upper-air, and satellite observational datasets from NCDC and NOAA's National Ocean Data Center (NODC) and Earth System Research Laboratory [formerly the Forecast System Laboratory (FSL)]. NOMADS is but one of many similar data services across the United States and abroad that are embracing and leveraging various pilot efforts toward distributed data access using agreed-to data transport and data format conventions. This allows for the interoperable access of various subsets of data across the Internet. These underlying community-driven agreements and the Open Source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol (OPeNDAP) data transport protocol form the core of NOMADS services as well as have the capability for “format neutral” access to data in many different formats and locations.

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National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina

NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Camp Springs, Maryland