now contains corrected daily temperature and precipitation data (Reek et al. 1992) and is expected to begin inclusion of spatial estimates of missing data to create serially complete data in 1993.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Global Change Database Program is producing a Global Ecosystem Data Set on a CD-ROM. The disc will contain locational data on soils, slope, aspect, elevation, vegetative cover, and climate, including monthly minimum and maximum temperature and precipitation. The data set has 10 minute resolution (approximately 13 by 18 km spacing), although the original resolution of some data was 0.5 degree.

The NWS's new Advanced Weather Information Processing System (AWIPS) uses state-of-the-art computer work stations to process information from Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD) sites and automated data networks. AWIPS will provide a highly sophisticated tool for weather forecasting as well as integrated spatial analysis and modeling of climatic data associated with specific storms. The system is expected to be a significant new source of computer derived spatial information for use in calibration of spatial data extrapolation models. Over the next decade AWIPS and NEXRAD will be implemented nationwide.


Currently no U.S. climate database has adequate elevational and spatial coverage to define the great variability of climatic factors that exist, provides information consistent in format and quality, and makes it widely accessible to users by telecommunications and other means. However, this situation is receiving significant attention from the many agencies involved, and serious attempts are being made to improve data collection and archiving.


Land use and land cover (LULC) descriptions are used to provide insight on ground water vulnerability to contamination. LULC designations provide general descriptions of the natural and cultural activities taking place at the Earth's surface, and are broadly indicative of the kinds of contaminants likely to be available for leaching, including naturally occurring ones. For example, a cropland land use designation would indicate the potential for agrichemical use. An urban classification would suggest a different set of potential contaminants. The type of land cover affects how much precipitation and irrigation water infiltrates the ground, and how much water, nutrients, and other chemicals are taken up by plants.

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