Ag Data Commons
23 files

Standard Quality Controlled Research Weather Data – USDA-ARS, Bushland, Texas

posted on 2024-03-01, 23:05 authored by Steven R. Evett

[ NOTE – 2022/05/06: this dataset supersedes the earlier versions and ].

This dataset contains 15-minute mean weather data from the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Laboratory (CPRL), Soil and Water Management Research Unit (SWMRU) research weather station, Bushland, Texas (Lat. 35.186714°, Long. -102.094189°, elevation 1170 m above MSL) for all days in each year. The data are from sensors placed at 2-m height over a level, grass surface mowed to not exceed 12 cm height and irrigated and fertilized to maintain reference conditions as promulgated by Allen et al. (2005, 1998). Irrigation was by surface flood in 1989 through 1994, and by subsurface drip irrigation after 1994. Sensors were replicated and intercompared between replicates and with data from nearby weather stations, which were sometimes used for gap filling. Quality control and assurance methods are described by Evett et al. (2018). Data from a duplicate sensor were used to fill gaps in data from the primary sensor using appropriate regression relationships. Gap filling was also accomplished using sensors deployed at one of the four large weighing lysimeters immediately west of the weather station, or using sensors at other nearby stations when reliable regression relationships could be developed. The primary paper describes details of the sensors used and methods of testing, calibration, inter-comparison, and use. The weather data include air temperature (C) and relative humidity (%), wind speed (m/s), solar irradiance (W m-2), barometric pressure (kPa), and precipitation (rain and snow in mm). Because the large (3 m by 3 m surface area) weighing lysimeters are better rain gages than are tipping bucket gages, the 15-minute precipitation data are derived for each lysimeter from changes in lysimeter mass. The land slope is <0.3% and flat. The mean annual precipitation is ~470 mm, the 20-year pan evaporation record indicates ~2,600 mm Class A pan evaporation per year, and winds are typically from the South and Southwest. The climate is semi-arid with ~70% (350 mm) of the annual precipitation occurring from May to September, during which period the pan evaporation averages ~1520 mm. These datasets originate from research aimed at determining crop water use (ET), crop coefficients for use in ET-based irrigation scheduling based on a reference ET, crop growth, yield, harvest index, and crop water productivity as affected by irrigation method, timing, amount (full or some degree of deficit), agronomic practices, cultivar, and weather. The data have utility for testing simulation models of crop ET, growth, and yield and have been used by the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), by OPENET, and by many others for testing, and calibrating models of ET that use satellite and/or weather data.

See the README for details of each data resource.


USDA-ARS: 3090-13000-015-00D


Data contact name

Evett, Steven R.

Data contact email


Ag Data Commons

Intended use

These data are intended to characterize the standard weather data at the USDA-ARS research site at Bushland, Texas, and to be used as input weather data for simulation model development and testing in conjunction with the corresponding USDA-ARS large weighing lysimeter evapotranspiration and energy and water balance dataset, which is submitted separately.

Use limitations

The data should be used in conjunction with the Bushland large weighing lysimeter evapotranspiration and energy and water balance data and are standard weather station data, not representative of the weather at each lysimeter location but representative of the location as a whole. In particular, precipitation varies spatially due to the convective thunderstorms common to the region, so precipitation data are taken from the weighing lysimeters themselves. Data are gap filled using data from nearby (within 800 m) instruments and appropriate regression relationships or from duplicate sensors at the research weather station site, but rarely there may be missing data.

Temporal Extent Start Date



  • irregular


  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


ISO Topic Category

  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

meteorological data; Agricultural Research Service; Texas; soil; water management; grasses; growing season; evapotranspiration; lysimeters; air temperature; relative humidity; wind speed; solar radiation; surface area; rain; evaporation; climate; simulation models; energy

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

Primary article PubAg Handle

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Evett, Steven R. (2022). Standard Quality Controlled Research Weather Data – USDA-ARS, Bushland, Texas. Ag Data Commons.

Usage metrics



    Ref. manager