In Brief

Case study central

NCAR's open repository for relevant data

February 7, 2012  •  Researchers looking for images to help analyze and illustrate critical weather events may 
find what they’re looking for at the Meteorological Case Study Selection Kit, a website 
maintained by David Ahijevych and colleagues in NCAR’s Mesoscale and Microscale 
Meteorology Division. 

Choose a date from the last 15 years, and the kit provides a sampling of satellite images, 
radiosonde soundings, upper-air and surface maps, and severe weather reports from the 
NOAA Storm Prediction Center, with emphasis on the central United States.

500-millibar weather map for Groundhog Day 2011 snowstorm
The Meteorological Case Study Selection Kit includes graphics and data for such events as the snowstorm that pummeled the Midwest on February 1–2, 2011. (Image from the NCAR/RAL Real-Time Weather Data site.)

Many of the maps were created at the popular RAL Real-Time 
Weather Data site, operated by NCAR’s Greg Thompson at NCAR’s Research Applications 
Laboratory. The RAL site began archiving all of its satellite, surface, upper-air, and model graphics in mid-2009, says Thompson, but that archive is not yet publicly accessible due to funding constraints.

Although the case-study site has been operating since the late 1990s, the number of visits per day has more 
than doubled since 2008, according to Ahijevych. He says that most of the users hail from the 
large meteorology communities along the Colorado Front Range and in Norman, Oklahoma, 
but that there are a fair number of downloads by people in private industry and the general public.