Idaho state climate services

THE national OLIMATIO Data Center, the National Weather Service, and the University of Idaho founded the Idaho State Climate Services in May 1978 to provide climate services that had formerly been supplied by a National Weather Service program. Professor Myron Molnau was instrumental in establishing the center. The State Climate Services program is housed in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department and is headed by the state climatolo-gist for Idaho. The Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station, Idaho Cooperative Extension System of the University of Idaho, and Idaho Water Resources Research Institute support the center. The tasks of the State Climatologist and State Climate Services are to: act as liaison between Idaho weather information users and the National Climatic Data Center, keep a databank of climatological and hydrological data and information, and compile a regular bibliography of publications pertinent to Idaho and Pacific Northwest climate. The center receives additional cooperation from the National Climatic Data Center, the Western Regional Climate Center, and the National Weather Center.

In 2002, the Idaho State Climate Services received national certification from the American Association of State Climatologists. Following review by the American Association of State Climatologists, the Idaho State Climate Services qualified as an Association Recognized State Climate Office (ARSCO). The center has various databases, including Inside Idaho, a historical record of daily data from more than 250 weather stations in Idaho, some dating as far back as 1890. It includes data on precipitation, temperature, pan evaporation, wind run, snowfall, and snow on the ground. This database, like others managed by the Idaho State Climate Services, can be accessed online and downloaded. In addition to the actual data, the databases include all original forms and maps used by the State Climate Services. The long time span of the data provided by the service allows researchers to accurately assess the variability of weather conditions. Russell Qualls, a faculty member in the department of biological and agricultural engineering, is the Idaho state climatologist and serves as the director of the center. In recent years, the center has specialized in research on the effects of El Niño and La Nina on the Idaho economy.

SEE ALSO: Climatic Data, Historical Records; El Niño and La Niña; Idaho.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Idaho State Climate Services, www.uidaho. edu (cited October 2007); Michael A. Toman and Brent Sohngen, Climate Change (Ashgate Publishing, 2004).

Luca Prono University of Nottingham

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