CRU TS Gridded precipitation and other meteorological variables since 1901

Teaser image
CRU TS Gridded precipitation and other meteorological variables since 1901
Main content

The CRU TS series of data sets (CRU TS = Climatic Research Unit Timeseries) contain monthly timeseries of precipitation, daily maximum and minimum temperatures, cloud cover, and other variables covering Earth's land areas for 1901-2015 (CRU TS4.0 is a recent release). The data set is gridded to 0.5x0.5 degree resolution, based on analysis of over 4000 individual weather station records. Many of the input records have been homogenized, but the data set itself is not strictly homogeneous. Long-term trends of air temperature over large areas are very similar to data sets such as CRUTEM4. The precipitation data have been used to assess global precipitation variability and to derive gridded drought indices such as the sc-PDSI and the SPI. The large number of variables enables many additional studies of climate variability and extremes. Nonetheless, when possible, studies of trends should consider whether the trends are physically consistent with other variables from independent data sets.

Key Strengths

Key Strengths

Compiles station data of multiple variables from numerous data sources into a consistent format

Uses the station data to compute variables such as potential evapotranspiration, diurnal temperature range, and number of frost and rain days

Key Limitations

Key Limitations

Although many of the input data were homogenized, the data set is not strictly homogenous. Use trends with caution.

Substantially fewer stations used than GPCC

Please cite data sources, following the data providers' instructions
Suggested Data Citation
  1. from BADC: 
    University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU). [Phil Jones, Ian Harris]. CRU TS3.21: Climatic Research Unit (CRU) Time-Series (TS) Version 3.21 of High Resolution Gridded Data of Month-by-month Variation in Climate (Jan. 1901 - Dec. 2012), [Internet]. NCAS British Atmospheric Data Centre, 2013, Date of citation. Available from http: //badc.nerc.ac.uk/view/badc.nerc.ac.uk__ATOM__ACTIVITY_0c08abfc-f2d5-11e2-a948-00163e251233 ; doi: 10.5285/D0E1585D-3417-485F-87AE-4FCECF10A992

Hosted Climate Index Files
None
Usage Restrictions

registration required; academic use

Cite this page

Acknowledgement of any material taken from or knowledge gained from this page is appreciated:

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified "The Climate Data Guide: CRU TS Gridded precipitation and other meteorological variables since 1901 .” Retrieved from https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/cru-ts-gridded-precipitation-and-other-meteorological-variables-1901 on 2024-06-18.


Citation of datasets is separate and should be done according to the data providers' instructions. If known to us, data citation instructions are given in the Data Access section, above.


Acknowledgement of the Climate Data Guide project is also appreciated:

Schneider, D. P., C. Deser, J. Fasullo, and K. E. Trenberth, 2013: Climate Data Guide Spurs Discovery and Understanding. Eos Trans. AGU, 94, 121–122, https://doi.org/10.1002/2013eo130001

Key Figures

Average annual precipitation amount across the United States according to CRUTS3.21 (credit: NCAR Climate Data Guide, D. Schneider)

CRU TS3.21: July climatological wet day frequency (WET) and precipitation (PRE) for 1991-2000. (credit: NCAR Climate Data Guide, D. Shea)

CRU TS3.21: July climatological mean temperature (TMP) and diurnal temperature range (DTR) for 1991-2000. (credit: NCAR Climate Data Guide, D. Shea)

CRU TS3.21: July climatological minimum (TMN) and maximum tempeatures (TMX) for 1991-2000. (credit: NCAR Climate Data Guide, D. Shea)

CRU TS3.21: July climatological potential evapotranspiration (PET) and vapor pressure (VAP) for 1991-2000. (credit: NCAR Climate Data Guide, D. Shea)

CRU TS3.21: July climatological cloud cover (CLD) and ground frost frequency (FRS) for 1991-2000. (credit: NCAR Climate Data Guide, D. Shea)

Other Information

Type of data product
Dataset collections
None

Years of record
to
Data time period extended
Yes, data set is extended
Timestep
Climatology, Monthly
Domain
Formats:
Input Data

~4000 station records primarily from CLIMAT, Monthly Climatic Data from the World, and World Weather Records

Vertical Levels:
Missing Data Flag
Missing data present
Ocean or Land
Land Only
Spatial Resolution

0.5x0.5

Model Resolution (reanalysis)
None
Data Assimilation Method
None
Model Vintage (reanalysis)
None