A Historical Perspective of U.S. Climate Divisions

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  • 1 National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina
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The history of climatic divisions in the contiguous United States has been pieced together from fragmentary documentation. Each of the 48 contiguous states has been subdivided into climatic divisions. Divisional boundaries are now standardized, and a set of climatic variables for time-invariant divisional boundaries has been compiled for the period of record beginning in 1895. This paper documents the origins of climatic divisions, the computational methodology of an area-invariant divisional dataset maintained by the National Climatic Data Center, and the strengths and weaknesses of divisional data.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Nathaniel B. Guttman, National Climatic Data Center, 151 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC 28801.

The history of climatic divisions in the contiguous United States has been pieced together from fragmentary documentation. Each of the 48 contiguous states has been subdivided into climatic divisions. Divisional boundaries are now standardized, and a set of climatic variables for time-invariant divisional boundaries has been compiled for the period of record beginning in 1895. This paper documents the origins of climatic divisions, the computational methodology of an area-invariant divisional dataset maintained by the National Climatic Data Center, and the strengths and weaknesses of divisional data.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Nathaniel B. Guttman, National Climatic Data Center, 151 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC 28801.
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