Western Regional Climate Center

Providing Climate Services Since 1986

Climate & Weather Acronyms

The products, agencies, programs, and models referenced in this Web site encompass a potentially overwhelming number of specialized terms and acronyms. The following summary of acronyms attempts to remove some of the confusion and act as a handy reference. Where possible, acronym definitions include links to the authoritative Web sites for those agencies, programs, and products. A separate source of terms and phrases may be found here.

If you find a term or acronym referenced in this Web site which is not defined here, please drop a note to our Webmaster.



ACIS
Applied Climate Information System, datasets of historical and near-real-time climate data from a variety of weather and climate stations

ASOS
Automated Surface Observing System, a multi-agency program that serves as the primary surface weather observing system in the U.S.

CEFA
Program for Climate, Ecosystem, and Fire Applications, a program at the Desert Research Institute (DRI)

CEMP
Community Environmental Monitoring Program, a network of monitoring stations in communities surrounding and downwind of the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), the Department of Energy's test site for radiological materials.

CoCoRaHS
Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network, a volunteer, community-based network for measurements of local precipitation.

CONUS
CONtiguous United States, excluding Alaska and Hawaii

Coop Stations
The National Weather Service's Cooperative Observer Program, a climate observing network based on measurements collected by more than 8,700 volunteers across the U.S.

DRI
Desert Research Institute, a non-profit environmental research institute in Reno, Nevada

ENSO
El Niño Southern Oscillation

GEOS
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system

LCDs
Local Climate Data summaries

NCAR
National Center for Atmospheric Research

NCDC
National Climatic Data Center, now merged with two other public data archives into National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

NCEI
National Centers for Environmental Information, which hosts and provides public access to environmental data archives, including atmospheric, coastal, oceanic, and geophysical data; NCEI is part of NOAA and represents the merger of three previously separate NOAA data centers: the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC)

NCEP
National Centers for Environmental Prediction

NCL
NCAR Command Language

NICE Net
Nevada Integrated Climate and Evapotranspiration Network

NIFC
National Interagency Fire Center

NOAA
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

NRCS
Natural Resources Conservation Service

NWS
National Weather Service

PDSI
Palmer Drought Severity Index

PRISM
Parameter elevation Regression on Independent Slopes Model, a set of high-resolution gridded temperature, precipitation, and dewpoint data

RAWS
Remote Automatic Weather Stations

RAP
Rapid Refresh, a continental assimilation/modeling system covering North American which is updated hourly.

RCC
Regional Climate Centers

RISA
Regional Integrated Science and Assessments

SCENIC
Southwest Climate and ENvironmental Information Collaborative

SCOs
Western State Climate Offices

SNOTEL
SNOwpack TELemetry, an automated system to collect snowpack and related climatic data in the Western United States

SOD
Summary of the Day

SOI
Southern Oscillation Index, an indication of the development and intensity of El Niño and La Niña events in the Pacific Ocean.

SPI
Standardized Precipitation Index

UC NRS
University of California Natural Reserve System climate monitoring network.

UTC
Coordinated Universal Time, essentially the same as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

Washoe ET
Washoe County (Nevada) Evapotranspiration Project

WestMap
Western Climate Mapping initiative

WRCC
Western Regional Climate Center, one of six Regional Climate Centers in the United States funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in turn part of the U.S. Department of Commerce; WRCC is colocated with Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno, Nevada

WWDT
West Wide Drought Tracker