Wiki Definition:

Climate Data

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The terms climate data and weather data are often used interchangeably, however there is a subtle but quite important difference between them. When we refer to climate, we typically mean the type of conditions we would expect to experience or that are most likely to occur. Thus, whilst the weather on a particular day may be described as hot and dry, that does not stop the climate at that location being described as cold and wet. What determines the climate is the long-term average of short-term weather conditions.

Climate data can contain many of the same components as weather data, just averaged over a longer period in order to better identify trends. In addition, it can contain representative Design Days and summary data such as Degree Days and average monthly values.

The ability to spot the characteristics of invalid climate data sets is also important to any designer.

Things to look for:

  • Northern and southern hemispheres (the 'saddle')
  • Coastal or inland (diurnal variation)
  • Latitudinal variations (monsoonal, seasonal, Tropical, mid-latitude, high-latitude, etc)
  • Extrapolated and/or interpolated data (cloudiness at night).
  • Wind direction and a valid spread (Which side of a mountain, etc).
  • Valid and reasonable ranges for each metric.
  • etc...
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