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SGP97 GCIP/NESOB-97 Surface: 15-Minute Precipitation Composite

posted on 2023-11-30, 08:39 authored by Thomas Jackson

The Southern Great Plains 1997 (SGP97) Hydrology Experiment originated from an interdisciplinary investigation, "Soil Moisture Mapping at Satellite Temporal and Spatial Scales" (PI: Thomas J. Jackson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD) selected under the NASA Research Announcement 95-MTPE-03. The Fifteen Minute Precipitation Composite is one of several precipitation datasets provided in the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Continental-Scale International Project (GCIP) Near-Surface Observation Data Set (NESOB) 1997. This precipitation composite was formed from two data sources (National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) Fifteen Minute Precipitation data (TD 3260), and fifteen minute precipitation extracted from the Department Of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Surface (ARMSFC) five minute surface data). Data from these sources were quality controlled and merged to form this precipitation composite. This composite contains data for the NESOB 1997 domain and time period (01 April 1997 through 31 March 1998). The NESOB 1997 domain is approximately 94.5W to 100.5 W longitude and 34N to 39 N latitude. Each 15-minute precipitation incremental value in this dataset was formed by summing the 5-minute precipitation values extracted from the Department Of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Surface (ARMSFC) five minute surface data. The NESOB 1997 Fifteen Minute Precipitation Composite contains seven metadata parameters and three data parameters. The metadata parameters describe the date/time, network, station and location at which the data were collected. The three data parameters repeat once for each fifteen minutes from UTC 0000 through UTC hour 2345. Data reported for a designated 15-minute observation represents data collected during the previous 15-minutes. All times are reported in UTC, and precipitation data values are reported in millimeters.

Resources in this dataset:


Agricultural Research Service

National Science Foundation


Data contact name

Jackson, Thomas

Data contact email


National Center for Atmospheric Research / Earth Observing Laboratory

Intended use

SGP97 is set in a subhumid environment during early summer. Within this setting, the objectives of SGP97 are (1) to establish that the retrieval algorithms for surface soil moisture developed at higher spatial resolution using truck- and aircraft-based sensors can be extended to the coarser resolutions expected from satellite platforms; (2) to verify spatial-temporal estimators of soil moisture and to examine the utility of pedotransfer function in hydrologic modeling; (3) to examine the feasibility of inferring soil moisture and temperature profiles using surface observations in conjunction with in situ measurements, and (4) to examine the effect of soil moisture on the evolution of the atmospheric boundary layer and clouds over the Southern Great Plains during the warm season.

Use limitations

Each of the datasets used to form this composite was Quality Controlled (using the gross limit check method) independently. Data values less than 8 millimeters were flagged as good. Any data value greater than or equal to 8 millimeters but less than 18 millimeters was flagged as questionable. Any data value greater than or equal to 18 millimeters was flagged as unlikely. Several questionable and unlikely data values were also manually inspected. After inspection, the quality control code and flag may have been manually updated to better reflect the likelihood of the actual occurrence of the precipitation value based on an isohyet analysis. The data were never changed, only flagged. After the two datasets were merged to form the NESOB 1997 Fifteen Minute Precipitation Composite, a statistics program was executed to ensure that the quality of the individual datasets had been retained.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


ISO Topic Category

  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
  • environment
  • farming

Ag Data Commons Group

  • Southern Plains
  • Long-Term Agroecosystem Research

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

soil water; satellites; Maryland; hydrologic cycle; hydrologic models; summer; temperature profiles; Great Plains region; warm season

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Jackson, Thomas (2020). SGP97 GCIP/NESOB-97 Surface: 15-Minute Precipitation Composite. National Center for Atmospheric Research / Earth Observing Laboratory.

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