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Daily Precipitation Sums at Coastal and Island Russian Arctic Stations, 1940-1990


This data set contains precipitation data originally recorded in log books at 65 coastal and island meteorological stations, and later digitized at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), St. Petersburg, Russia, under the direction of Vladimir Radionov. Records from most stations begin in 1940. Instrumentation was generally a rain gauge with Nipher shield until the early 1950s (for most stations), when the Tretyakov precipitation gauge replaced earlier instrumentation. Data have not been adjusted for gauge type or wind bias. Data from 1967 and later are corrected for wetting loss (this correction was made by observers as they recorded the station data).

Citing These Data

V.F. Radionov, Ye. I. Aleksandrov, P.N. Svyashchennikov, and F. Fetterer. 2004. Daily precipitation sums at coastal and island Russian Arctic stations, 1940-1990. Boulder, CO: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

We kindly request that you cite the use of this data set in a publication using the following citation example. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Overview Table

Category Description
Data format ASCII text
Spatial and temporal coverage and resolution Data were collected between 64° 25' N and 84° 48' N, and 36° 46' E and 170° W; data collection began on 1940 and ended on 1990.
File naming convention DXXXXX_formatted.dat
File size 92 to 304 KB
Parameter(s) Daily precipitation sums
Metadata access View metadata
Data access FTP

Table of Contents

  1. Contacts
  2. Overview
  3. Detailed Data Description
  4. Data Acquisition and Processing
  5. Data Access and Related Collections
  6. References and Related Publications
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Document Information

1. Contacts


V.F. Radionov, Ye.I. Aleksandrov, and P.N. Svyashchennikov
Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute
38 Bering Str., 199397
St. Petersburg

Florence Fetterer
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0449

Technical Contact

NSIDC User Services
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0449  USA
phone: +1 303.492.6199
fax: +1 303.492.2468
form: Contact NSIDC User Services

1. Overview

These data are provided as part of an ongoing effort to fill gaps in the precipitation record available to the arctic research community. While data from some of these 65 stations are available from other sources (see Overlap and Comparison with Other Collections), most are unique. The location of these stations along the Arctic coastline makes them a particularly valuable record of meteorology at the land/sea boundary.

2. Detailed Data Description

Station List

Table 1 contains station information including the year of the beginning of record and the date on which the Tretyakov gauge was installed. Included as well is information on the station from a listing of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stations. WMO official station names and positions may vary slightly from the names of stations and positions provided by AARI. They are included here for the convenience of users who might wish to cross reference these stations with WMO station lists.

Table 1: Station Information. The last four columns include information from the NOAA Meteorological Station Location Information web site

Line Number Station Number Station Name Latitude Deg N Min N Longitude Deg E Min E HSL (station elevation in meters) Beginning of record Date, installation of Tretyakov’s gauge (DD.MM.YYYY) WMO Station Name WMO Latitude (Deg-Min) WMO Longitude (Deg-Min) WMO Elevation (meters)
1 20026 VIKTORIJA IS. 80 9 36 46 8 1959 10.01.1960 Viktoriya Island 80-10N 036-45E 9
2 20034 NAGURSKAYA 80 49 47 38 15 1952 30.06.1952 No WMO information found      
3 20046 KRENKELJA 80 37 58 3 20 1958 01.01.1958 Polargmo Im. E. T. Krenkelja 80-37N 058-03E 20
4 20049 RUDOLFA IS. 84 48 57 58 51 1940 21.09.1951 Tikhaya Bay 80-22N 052-55E 46
5 20069 VIZE IS. 79 30 76 59 10 1945 20.04.1953 Ostrov Vize 79-30N 076-59E 10
6 20087 GOLOMJANNYY IS. 79 33 90 37 7 1954 14.06.1954 Ostrov Golomjannyj 79-33N 090-37E 8
7 20199 MALYY TAYMIR IS. 78 8 106 40 12 1941 01.08.1953 Malyy Taymir Island 78-08N107-12E 12
8 20274 UEDINENIYA IS.7730821422194020.09.1951Ostrov Uedinenija77-30N082-12E23
920289RUSSKIY IS.771096269194008.09.1954Russkiy Island77-11N096-35E9
1020291SOLNECHNAJA BUKHTA78121031630195123.06.1953Solnechnaya Bay78-14N103-07E30
1120292CAPE CHELUSKIN77431041713194001.10.1952Gmo Im. E. K. Fedorova77-43N104-18E13
1220294GEYBERGA IS.7736101316195201.03.1953No WMO information found   
1320353CAPE JELANIJA765763348194020.06.1951Mys Zelanija76-57N068-33E8
1420357RUSSKAJA HAVAN7611633418194001.01.1951Russkaya Gavan76-11N063-34E9
1520388PRAVDY IS.7616941710194001.08.1953Pravdy Island76-17N094-44E10
1620476CAPE STERLEGOVA7525885410194031.08.1951Cape Sterlegova75-24N088-47E10
1720667POPOVA73207024194001.03.1954Im. M. V. Popova73-20N070-03E6
1820674DIKSON IS.7330801442194001.11.1952Ostrov Dikson73-30N080-24E47
1920696KOSISTYY73401094420194026.10.1954No WMO information found   
2020744MALYE KARMAKULY7223524420194031.07.1953Malye Karmakuly72-22N052-42E16
2220856CAPE HARASAVEY718664910195301.10.1953Cape Kharasovoy71-24N067-38E18
2420871SOPOCHNAJA KARGA715282424194009.09.1954Sopochnaya Karga71-54N082-43E2
2620946BOLVANSKIY NOS702759413194727.03.1952Cape Bolvanskij70-27N059-04E13
2820964TADIBEJAHA70227434195001.11.1952No WMO information found   
3021301ANDREJA IS.7649110456194203.10.1952Andreya Island76-48N110-50E6
3121358JOHOVA IS.7691525014195601.06.1956No WMO information found   
3221405PRONCHICHEVOY BUKHTA75321133115194023.04.1954No WMO information found   
3321432KOTELNYY IS.68411584310194001.12.1952Ostrov Kotel'Nyj76-00N137-52E10
3421504PREOBRAJENIYA IS.740.41120.5624194001.03.1953Ostrov Preobrazenija74-40N112-56E57
3521535SANNIKOVA STRAIT7430139016194028.02.1953No WMO information found   
3621541ZEMLJA BUNGE7453142710195401.10.1953No WMO information found   
3721611TERPJAY-TUMSA73321184012196101.01.1961No WMO information found   
3821636CAPE KIGILYAKH730.21390.5526194006.05.1951No WMO information found   
3921647CAPE SHALAUROVA73111435614194010.10.1953Mys Shalaurova73-11N143-14E22
4021729CAPE BUORKHAYA71571324324194201.09.1953No WMO information found   
4121824TIKSI BUKHTA7135128556194001.07.1953Tiksi71-35N128-55E8
4221825MUOSTAH IS.713313013194004.10.1953Mostakh Island71-32N129-55E3
4321931JUBILEJNAJA (KAZACHIE)70451361325194017.05.1955Jubilejnaja70-46N136-13E22
4521955ALAZEJA7040153442194715.09.1952No WMO information found   
4621965CHETYREHSTOLBOVOY70381622432194013.08.1953Ostrov Chetyreh-Stolbovoy70-38N162-29E 
4721978VALKARKAY705170564194105.11.1952No WMO information found   
4821982VRANGELJA IS.7058181312194020.09.1953Ostrov Vrangelja70-59N178-29W3
5023024BELYY NOS6929602019194315.08.1953Cape Bely69-29N060-20E6
5223146CAPE KAMENNYY682873365195001.09.1953No WMO information found   
5323242NOVYY PORT6742725412197501.06.1975Novy Port67-41N072-52E12
5425034BUHTA AMBARCHIK69341621826194025.11.1955Buhta Ambarcik69-37N162-18E 
5525042AYON69561675816194011.08.1954Ajon Island69-50N168-40E16
5625044RAUCHUA6929166336194401.09.1953No WMO information found   
5725051PEVEK6942170205194001.09.1953No WMO information found   
5825062CAPE BILLINGSA695317654194001.10.1954No WMO information found   
5925173CAPE SHMIDTA6855180313194001.11.1952Mys Shmidta68-54N179-22W7
6025282CAPE VANKAREM6751184225194023.08.1954No WMO information found   
6125392CAPE NETTEN66561881020194301.09.1949No WMO information found   
6225399CAPE UELEN6610190106194001.03.1953Mys Uelen66-10N169-50W7
6325594BUKHTA PROVIDENIA6426186469194001.03.1953Buhta Providenja64-25N173-14W3
6425595CHAPLINO6425187455194015.08.1954No WMO information found   
6599999CAPE STOLBOVOY731853466194001.09.1953No WMO information found   


The data files are in ASCII text format.

Sample Data Record

The following sample data shows a segment of the D21931_formatted.dat file.

# Precipitation dayly sum (mm)
# WMO (synoptic) station number: 21931
# Latitude degrees and minutes north:      70 45
# Longitude degrees and minutes (0-360):  136 13
# Missing observations are coded as: 999.9
1965-01-01 0.0
1965-01-02 0.0
1965-01-03 0.6
1965-01-04 0.3
1965-01-05 0.0
1965-01-06 0.0
1965-01-07 0.0
1965-01-08 0.0
1965-01-09 0.0
1965-01-10 0.0
1965-01-11 0.4
1965-01-12 888.8
1965-01-13 0.2
1965-01-14 0.0
1965-01-15 0.0
1965-01-16 0.0
1965-01-17 0.1
1965-01-18 0.0
1965-01-19 0.0
1965-01-20 0.8
1965-01-21 1.7
1965-01-22 2.0
1965-01-23 0.9
1965-01-24 0.0
1965-01-25 888.8
1965-01-26 0.8
1965-01-27 0.3
1965-01-28 0.2
1965-01-29 888.8
1965-01-30 0.0
1965-01-31 888.8
1965-02-01 888.8
1965-02-02 0.3
1965-02-03 888.8
1965-02-04 0.1
1965-02-05 0.4
1965-02-06 0.2
1965-02-07 888.8
1965-02-08 0.0
1965-02-09 0.0
1965-02-10 0.0
1965-02-11 0.0
1965-02-12 0.0
1965-02-13 0.7
1965-02-14 888.8
1965-02-15 0.0

File Naming Convention

The data are available as ASCII text files with the following naming format:



D = data
XXXXX = five-digit station identifcation number
_formatted = formatted at NSIDC (see Data Processing)
dat = ASCII text format.

Example filenames: D21931_formatted.dat and D25594_formatted.dat.

File Size

The data files range in size from 92-304 KB.

Spatial and Temporal Coverage and Resolution

Data were collected at stations between 64° 25' N and 84° 48' N, and 36° 46' E and 170° W. Data records in this dataset began in 1940 and ended in 1990.

The map below shows the location of meteorological stations.

Location of Meteorological Stations

Overlap and Comparison with Other Collections (current as of date of publication)

Global Daily Climatology Network (GDCN) V1.0

The GDCN data set, available from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), contains daily precipitation and temperature records from over 32,000 stations. Of these, 31 are the same as stations in this dataset. However, the records presented here are transcriptions of hand written station logbooks, while most of the data in the GDCN for corresponding stations probably came via electronic transmission over the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) or Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) networks. The data from the GTS network are not quality controlled retrospectively. In theory, data from the station logbooks given here are more accurate. They are, however, subject to transcription errors. Appendix A documents those instances where differences appear; the logbooks transcribed for this data set are believed to be more accurate.

In addition to different values, the record length may be different for those stations that are present in both GDCN V1.0 and this dataset. Another difference concerns the precision of the record: GTS precipitation is coded in full millimeters unless the amount is less than 1 millimeter, in which case tenths of millimeters are used. This will result in differences when a daily value is arrived at by summing the reports for that day.

USSR Monthly Precipitation for 622 Stations 1891-1999
Meteorological Data from the Russian Arctic, 1961-2000

The first of these monthly precipitation data sources is NCDC dataset USSR Monthly Precipitation for 622 Stations 1891-1999 (DSI-3720). It includes all data in the NCDC Global Historical Climate Network and more, and has corrections for wind, wetting, and gauge type. The second is NSIDC dataset Meteorological Data from the Russian Arctic, 1961-2000 (G02141). It includes monthly precipitation totals without corrections, with the exception of the post-1966 wetting correction. Daily Precipitation Sums at Coastal and Island Russian Arctic Stations, 1940-1990, (G02164, the dataset you are viewing) has 21 stations in common with USSR Monthly Precipitation for 622 Stations, 1891-1999 and five stations in common with Meteorological Data from the Russian Arctic, 1961-2000. Note that the period of record may not be the same for differing data sources. Appendix B has details on station names, numbers, and the period of record for duplicated stations.

Other data collections

Overlap with other collections has not been assessed. These include a collection (223 stations) of daily precipitation data from the All-Russian Research Institute of Meteorological Information - World Data Center (RIHMI-WDC). This collection has some data records that begin in 1881 (though most begin in 1936) and end in 1995. The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) holds a data set of "Six- And Three-Hourly Meteorological Observations from 223 U.S.S.R. Stations."

Quality Assessment

Data digitized from logbooks are subject to transcription errors. These data have been assessed by comparing with data from the GDCN (see Overlap and Comparison with Other Collections), yet some errors may have gone undetected.

Measuring arctic precipitation accurately is difficult. Users of these data should first become familiar with error sources inherent in all arctic precipitation measurements. We strongly suggest consulting Groisman and Rankova (2001) and references contained therein, and the documentation on gridded precipitation fields in Arctic Climatology Project (2000) for an introduction to precipitation measurement issues. Groisman and Rankova (2001) have information on adjusting the raw precipitation measurements in this data set so that pre- and post-1966 values are homogeneous.

3. Data Acquisition and Processing

Data Acquisition Methods

Meteorological observations including precipitation were performed according to the Manual for Hydrometeorological Stations and Posts, Gidrometeoizdat, 1985 (translated from the Russian "Nastavlenie gidrometeorologicheskim stantsyyam i postam." Vypusk 3, chast’ 1). A standard meteorological site was 26 m by 26 m, and was located on relief typical of the area. It was more than 100 m distant from any bodies of water, and at a distance 20 times the height of any obstruction (such as trees or a building). A meteorologist measured the amount of precipitation one, two or four times every 24 hours (see the last paragraph in this section). Duration and type of precipitation were observed continuously. Amount of precipitation was measured to a precision of 0.1 mm.

Daily totals of precipitation have not been corrected for change of instrument type (Nipher shielded gauge to Tretyakov gauge), or for the effect of wind reducing or increasing the measurement (in the case of blowing snow that may enter the precipitation gauge bucket due to strong winds). Tretyakov's precipitation gauges replaced rain gauges with Nipher shields at stations on the date given in Table 1. Rain gauges with Nipher shields were replaced to reduce errors caused by undercatch in windy conditions and the blowing of solid precipitation out of the gauges during snowstorms. Nipher gauges record considerably less solid precipitation than do Tretyakov gauges. For this reason data acquired using Nipher shield gauges cannot be used with data acquired using Tretyakov gauges without adjustments to the data record. This correction, "K1," is typically applied to monthly totals using coefficients derived for individual stations. However, for arctic sites with strong winds in winter, the variance in the ratio of old and new gauge measurements was high and the coefficients were not published (Groisman and Rankova 2001).

Beginning in 1966, precipitation observations were corrected for wetting by adding 0.2 mm to each non-zero precipitation measurement before entering into the log book, even though the correction actually is equal to 0.2 mm for liquid and mixed precipitation and 0.1 mm for solid precipitation for each individual measurement. In 1967, the correction was changed to differentiate between solid and liquid/mixed precipitation, by reducing the correction for solid precipitation to 0.1 mm. These corrected values were summed to obtain the daily precipitation given in this data set. This wetting correction accounted for systematic moisture losses due to moisture remaining on the sides and bottom of the precipitation gauge bucket when precipitation was decanted to the precipitation measurement glass.

Note that the amount of precipitation added to the total by the wetting correction depends on the number of observations per day. The following table clarifies how the wetting correction was applied.

Table 2: Observations per day and application of wetting correction (Groisman and Rankova 2001)

  Before 1936 1936-1966 1966-1986 1986-1990
Observations per day 1 2 4 2
Time zone exceptions     7th, 8th, 9th 3rd

Data Processing

Data were digitized at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, St. Petersburg from the original station log books (“TM-1” books) and quality controlled by Ye.I. Aleksandrov and P.N. Svyashchennikov.

At NSIDC, the following steps were performed:

The example below shows data as they were received from AARI:

Name:    VIKTORIJA IS.                                            
Precipitation daily sum (mm)                                   
WMO (synoptic) station number: 20026                           
Latitude degrees and minutes north:    80 09
Longitude degrees and minutes (0-360): 36 46
Missing observations are coded as: 999.9                       
day jan  feb  mar  apr  may  jun  jul  aug  sep  oct  nov  dec 
 1   .0       1.2                            .2  2.4   .9   .0
 2   .2  2.1             .2   .0  1.9             .5   .2     
 3   .0   .5  5.3       1.0   .6   .0            1.3   .0     
 4   .8        .2             .3   .0  3.6   .0   .0   .4   .2
 5   .1                  .6   .0       2.0   .3   .8   .0     
 6            1.3             .2        .2   .1   .6        .0
 7            2.4                       .0        .0   .2     
 8             .3   .6  1.0   .4        .2        .2   .1     
 9                  .3   .0  1.2        .0        .6  1.3  2.5
10                 1.3  1.0   .0        .9        .0  1.0     
11  3.1            4.5   .0   .0       1.8   .0   .3  1.5  3.5
12                       .0   .0        .2  1.1  1.1   .4   .9
13  9.1             .0                  .2  6.4   .1   .4  2.6

(and so on)

A portion of the same data file reformatted and with substitutions for “trace” and “zero” precipitation by NSIDC:

# Name:    VIKTORIJA IS.
# Precipitation daily sum (mm)
# WMO (synoptic) station number: 20026
# Latitude degrees and minutes north:    80 09
# Longitude degrees and minutes (0-360): 36 46
# Missing observations are coded as: 999.9
1960-01-01 888.8
1960-01-02 0.2
1960-01-03 888.8
1960-01-04 0.8
1960-01-05 0.1
1960-01-06 0.0
1960-01-07 0.0
1960-01-08 0.0
1960-01-09 0.0
1960-01-10 0.0
1960-01-11 3.1
1960-01-12 0.0
1960-01-13 9.1
1960-01-14 0.4
1960-01-15 0.3
1960-01-16 0.3
1960-01-17 0.2
1960-01-18 0.4
1960-01-19 0.5
1960-01-20 0.4
1960-01-21 0.4
1960-01-22 0.3
1960-01-23 0.0
1960-01-24 0.0
1960-01-25 0.0
1960-01-26 0.0
1960-01-27 0.0
1960-01-28 0.0
1960-01-29 0.0
1960-01-30 0.0
1960-01-31 0.0
1960-02-01 0.0
1960-02-02 2.1
1960-02-03 0.5
1960-02-04 0.0

(and so on)

4. Data Access and Related Collections

Data Access

Data are available via FTP.

Related NSIDC Data Collections

Other Related Data Collections

5. References and Related Publications

In addition, the following related document is available on NSIDC's Web site:

Document Description URL
NOAA at NSIDC's Precipitation Data Set Station Lists and Overlap Analysis Web page Provides an analysis of the overlap in station coverage for various precipitation data sets.


7. Acknowledgments

The work of the AARI team was funded in part by a grant from INTAS project # 01-0077 SCCONE. NSIDC’s Bruce Raup received support from the NOAA Arctic Research Office SEARCH program for his work documenting overlap with other collections.

We are grateful to Dr. Hermann Mächel of the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre, Offenbach am Main, Germany, who assisted in quality control of this data set by checking values against those in the GDCN. His generous contribution of time and expertise has resulted in an improved data product.

The NOAA team (F. Fetterer, L. Ballagh, K. Webster, and J. Kovarik) prepared this data product for publication at NSIDC. This work was supported by funding from NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service and the National Geophysical Data Center.

8. Document Information

List of Acronyms

Please see the EOSDIS Acronyms list for a general list of Acronyms. The following acronyms are used in this document:

AARI: Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute
CDIAC: Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center
GCOS: Global Climate Observing System
GDCN: Global Daily Climatology Network
GTS: Global Telecommunication System
NCDC: National Climatic Data Center
RIHMI-WDC: All-Russian Research Institute of Meteorological Information - World Data Center
WMO: World Meteorological Organization

Document Authors

F. Fetterer and K. Webster prepared this document based on information provided by V. Radionov and on documentation of related NSIDC precipitation products.

Document Creation Date

February 2005

Document URL