ACIS Design Concept

The Applied Climate Information System (ACIS) developed and maintained by the NOAA Regional Climate Centers (RCCs) is designed to manage the complex flow of information from climate data collectors to the end users of climate information. Its purpose is to both alleviate the burden of climate information management for people that require climate information to make management decisions and the manipulate data for basic and applied research. ACIS brings historical climate information and near real-time data together under one umbrella system where they are fused into quality products to assess historical climate trends, enhance daily operational decisions, or assist with any number of climate dependent activities.

What makes ACIS Unique?

Multiple Datasets

Most climate data management systems focus on the storage of climate data and, at best, provide the means to access data subsets or simple pre-defined summaries from single datasets. ACIS is unique among climate data management systems because it focuses on producing customer-driven, value-added products that can be easily derived from MULTIPLE datasets. Product quality is assured through rigorous definition of station and individual station element capability through a well-managed metadata database.

***Please read the following statement for important information about the GHCN***

In order to incorporate multiple datasets, the RCC development team has a priority list for those datasets. For instance, if the first dataset has missing values, then the next dataset is queried, and so on. The RCC program strives to provide a high quality dataset which has the official archive of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Because of the implementation of the Global Historical Climatology Network - Daily (GHCN-Daily) at NCDC, ACIS will move to a new hierarchy of dataset priorities with the GHCN-Daily as the highest, beginning September 3, 2013. Please be aware that you may see changes in the ACIS database:

  • GHCN-Daily always provides "original" values, whereas ACIS previously included "replacement" values from the TD32xx datasets, when available. Reasons for the generation of these replacement values included shifting of observations to correct day of observation and automated or manual generation of replacements for values failing QC procedures in place at that time.
  • When data from both TD3200 and TD3210 are available, GHCN-Daily gives preference to TD3200, whereas ACIS previously gave preference to TD3210.
  • Possible changes in source data introduced by NCDC's conversion from the use of COOP and WBAN ids to GHCN ids.
  • As of March 14, 2014, the ACIS priority scheme was adjusted to give the CF6 a higher priority than GHCN-Daily for the most recent 90 days.

    If you would like to compare datasets, please see the Northeast Regional Climate Center's ACIS Dataset Comparison Tool.

    Should you find anything in error, please either contact NCDC directly or if you have an account, please submit a change using the Datzilla tool. If you have questions about ACIS, please contact us here.

    Networked/Robust System

    Data and metadata archives, product access interfaces, and product generation capabilities using the ACIS system exist at multiple RCCs. These capabilities are linked via the Internet to provide a seamless, robust and reliable product access system.

    Distributed Data Management

    Products can be generated and delivered to a user by extracting information from multiple RCCs data archives. This feature provides the ability to produce and deliver products that require access to unique regional datasets that may not be maintained at all RCC locations. This 'behind the scenes' management of data resources is a unique feature of ACIS and enables a user to specify a product WITHOUT having to know where the dataset is located.


    ACIS manages climate data (so you don't have to)

    Climate data management is time consuming and labor intensive. In the past, resource managers, decision makers, and researchers struggled to administer local archives of climate information to support their specific needs. ACIS provides this layer of data managment, so that decision makers, managers, and researchers are now free to focus on using climate data, as opposed to managing it. This results in improved decision support and reduction in organizational resources devoted to data management activities.

    Climatologists and IT Experts

    Beyond physical infrastructure, ACIS incorporates the collective knowledge of Regional Climatologists and Information Technology experts to address the needs of climate data users in a variety of sector-specific disciplines. ACIS is an evolving system that is continually updated with new sources of data, new products to meet specific user demands, and state of the art technologies to deliver these products to users in efficient and cost effective ways.