How can I download datasets in bulk?
Simply follow the instructions for downloading datasets in bulk, which are available on several of the website tabs. Both FTP documentation and web service documentation are available.
What data are contained in the downloaded zip files?
Each zip file contains the dataset(s) you specified, plus the associated metadata. The exact contents depend on whether you chose BIL or ASC format; see PRISM data formats for details. This link is also available from each tab.
Where do I find 800m monthly data?
Only 4k datasets are available free of charge. For information on ordering 800m monthly or daily data, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What units are the data values in?
Dataset values are stored in the standard metric units used for climatology: precipitation as millimeters and temperature as degrees Celsius. In creating images, we convert those values to inches and degrees Fahrenheit for you, since most users want maps in those units.
Where is the metadata for datasets located?
The metadata for each data file is included as part of the download package.
Can I view metadata for datasets in the browser?
This feature is now available from each tab. Note that the format will always say “BIL,” since we don’t know what format you want until you actually click the Download button.
Are shapefiles or geotiffs available for PRISM datasets?
Not at this time. You can create them from the grids, however.
What is a BIL file and how do I use it?
BIL is the raster format widely used in climatology. For details on how to use it, see PRISM data formats. This link is also available from each tab.
Where is the Data Explorer for downloading time series data for individual locations?
Currently, the Data Explorer is available only for the older data (AN71) on the old website; this link is also available from the homepage. We hope to obtain funding to implement an updated version soon.
Where can I find state-level data/maps?
Map images of 1981-2010 mean annual precipitation for each state in the conterminous US are available from our map gallery tab. There are no current plans to produce state-level datasets for download.
Can I also obtain the station observations used to create the maps?
A station inventory is included in every data package as a CSV file. The inventory includes station ID, name, latitude, longitude, elevation, and network abbreviation (we are not able to re-distribute the actual data from these stations). Descriptions of the networks we use and their abbreviations are included in the PRISM datasets documentation; this link is also available from the homepage.
How should I cite the use of PRISM data or maps?