Missouri Climate Center
The Missouri Climate Center, established in July 1995, is a section of the Atmospheric
Science program of the Department of Soil and Atmospheric Sciences, University of
Missouri-Columbia. The center is an integrated unit of atmospheric and climate research
and service in the University's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
The primary functions of the center are: 1) develop advanced databases containing
atmospheric conditions, climate variations, and ecosystem changes in the State of
Missouri, 2) produce value-added products from available weather data and disseminate the
products to statewide users, 3) continuously monitor and document the climate change, and
4) apply the atmospheric research tools, e.g., statistical analysis and evaluation, to
assess and predict the climate change and its effects on regional atmospheric environment
and ecosystem response. The center provides needed information for effective planning and
management of state agriculture, industry, and natural resources.
These primary functions define that the Missouri Climate Center's research activities
and service categories in relation to natural resource research and management needs and
serve to define the differences with more traditional agricultural meteorology.
Agricultural meteorology focuses on micro- and bio-meteorology and its effect on growth of
agricultural plants and animal production. It concerns mostly the near surface weather
conditions in the growing season and how they affect crop growth. The phenomena interested
in by atmospheric sciences and biogeological sciences are usually time continuous and have
a spectrum of scales in both space and time, e.g., from single cloud to global scales and
from minutes to interannual and interdecadal time scales. These large spatial and time
scale atmospheric circulation and biogeological variations are the background environment
in which the regional agriculture lives. In the Missouri Climate Center these intimately
related and mutually interactive disciplines are monitored and studied in an efficient
manner. For example, the climate study at the center and in the Department of Soil and
Atmospheric Sciences can provide an estimate of the climate variation in the region. This
climate information is important for natural resources management and for agricultural
The research and service activities of the Missouri Climate Center are sponsored by the
University of Missouri, School of Natural Resources and Soil, Environmental and
Atmospheric Sciences Department.
The Missouri State Climatologist is Dr. Pat Guinan.
Data resources at the Center
The historical and near real-time data sources at the Missouri Climate Center
1.) Historical data
Missouri is rich in historical weather data. Some stations' weather data date back to
1893. The historical data archived at the Missouri Climate Center are:
Daily cooperative station data in Missouri: These data include daily averaged surface
temperature, maximum and minimum daily temperature, surface precipitation, snowfall and
snow depths, surface evaporation, soil temperature at various depth, commentary of daily
weather phenomenon. This data set covers the time period from 1893 through near present
and for over 150 cooperative weather stations in Missouri. The data are in digitized
Daily cooperative station data for the entire US: This data set includes quantities as
in (a) for the whole United States.
Upper air observation data: These data include atmospheric soundings of temperature,
geopotential height (equivalent to the pressure value at specified physical height), and
wind speed and directions, from over 1700 stations worldwide. The data period covers 1955
through present. The usefulness of this data set is in the study of the global circulation
Part of these data are available on the center's home page.
2) Near real-time weather data from observation networks in Missouri
- Missouri automated agricultural network data:
This network includes 30 automated weather stations of the Extension Commercial
Agriculture Program and of the Department of Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences
of the University of Missouri over the state of Missouri. The network reports to the
center near real-time surface atmospheric conditions for most weather stations every 5
Potential usefulness of the center's research and data to the state natural resources
long-term monitoring and research community
- Near surface atmospheric conditions and seasonal and annual precipitation are critical
for survival and diversity of the biota and aquatic life in a region. The climate records
compiled in the Missouri Climate Center provide historical information of regional
atmospheric conditions in Missouri and neighboring states. They are useful for assessment
and evaluation of a site in research experiment design and management.
- The automated network's weather and climate data with increasing spatial resolution over
the state are useful in quality assurance of the data collected at the long-term
monitoring stations/sites in the natural resources experiments. They describe the
additional background atmospheric environment in which the biological changes are
observed. A single station's meteorological information is not enough to describe the
condition representing the dominant features of the atmospheric environment.
Dr Pat Guinan’s list of weather resources can be found at:
The Missouri Climate Center welcomes your comments and suggestions.
If you have any ideas and suggestions on how we may improve the center's function and role
and better serve the center's proponents, including the natural resources monitoring and
research, we will be happy to hear them. You may contact us by telephone at (573) 882-5908
or send suggestions/comments to:
Dr. Pat Guinan
University of Missouri
Missouri Climate Center
Columbia, MO 65211