Dennis Mersereau | @wxdam
Stick to the weather.

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GIS Resources

A map of sea surface temperatures across the northwestern hemisphere on June 20, 2024.

I use plenty of free resources to make the maps that appear on this website and on my blog DAMWeather. All of my maps are created using QGIS, a powerful and free GIS program that's comparable to ArcGIS. Many of these links are easily accessible in a more compact format on my reference desk pages.

Base Layers

Natural Earth – The ultimate free resource for basic GIS mapping data.

Census TIGER – Basic but detailed shapefiles for boundaries and more, via the U.S. Census Bureau.

Earth Explorer – An in-depth resource from the USGS, especially for satellite imagery and elevation models.

NASA Blue Marble – GIS-friendly rasters of Blue Marble satellite imagery.

Weather Portals

NDFD Degrib – An essential decoding program that downloads data from the NWS and decodes it for you into GIS-ready formats like shapefiles and NetCDF.

NWS Web Services – A comprehensive NWS portal for all of the agency's freely available GIS services.

National Hurricane Center – The NHC's portal for current and past storms. Data released in shapefiles and KML files.

Weather Prediction Center – The WPC's portal for precipitation outlooks, surface analyses, and more.

Iowa Environmental Mesonet (IEM) – An exceptional and in-depth resource for current and past weather data.

Current Weather

SPC Convective Outlooks: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8

SPC Fire Outlooks: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8

IEM: Current Watches | Storm Reports (past 24 hours)

U.S. Satellite Imagery: GOES-West | GOES-East

Full Disk Satellite Imagery: GOES-West | GOES-East

Sea Surface Temperatures – A collection of sea surface temperature data from NOAA Coral Reef Watch.

Past Weather

IBTrACS – The official collection of all documented tropical cyclones around the world.

Storm Prediction Center – The SPC provides data on tornadoes and reports of damaging winds and large hail since 1950. Data usually lags about two years behind present.

NWS Damage Assessment Toolkit – Official tornado survey results and imagery from the National Weather Service. Data is downloadable for GIS software.

IEM Archived Storm Reports – GIS-ready data on all local storm reports, updated every couple of minutes.

IEM Archived NWS Warnings – GIS-ready archives for just about all watches, warnings, and advisories issued by the National Weather Service since 1986.

IEM Archived Radar Imagery – Decades of archived radar imagery, including national composites and higher-resolution local radar sites.

Canadian Tornadoes (1980-2009) – Environment Canada's archive of confirmed tornadoes across Canada between 1980 and 2009.

Northern Tornadoes Project – A modern and in-depth archive of confirmed tornadoes across Canada since 2017, by Western University.

I didn't stick to the weather.