Skip to main content

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Solar Data

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) solar radiation monitoring network has existed for about 75 years, with varying numbers of stations. With Department of Energy help, some of the data were archived and published by the National Climatic Center.

NOAA has federal civilian responsibilities for monitoring and documenting the climate of the United States, including solar radiation and other weather elements required by solar energy technology users. The data presented here reflect a NOAA network that consisted of 39 stations. All stations were equipped to operate both a pyranometer and pyrheliometer. In the early 1980s, minute-by-minute readings were logged, but in later years only integrated hourly measurements were recorded. These station records were once subjected to excellent quality assurance, but in later years no quality assurance was applied, resulting in questionable data. The sensors were calibrated by NOAA periodically and when problems arose. The data are archived and available for purchase through the NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service in Asheville, North Carolina.

The useful lifetime of the network's solar radiation monitoring data acquisition systems and direct beam solar trackers has passed, which required their replacement with modern equipment.

Data Files

A format description for these solar data files can be found in the Standard Broadband Format Manual. By accessing these files, you agree to abide by the NREL data disclaimer.

Station Name Latitude
(° N)
Longitude
(° W)
Elevation
(m)
Montgomery, Alabama 32.30 86.40 68
Fairbanks, Alaska 64.82 147.87 143
Phoenix, Arizona 33.43 112.02 339
Fresno, California 36.77 119.72 102
Los Angeles, California 33.93 118.40 36
Boulder, Colorado 40.10 105.25 1634
Grand Junction, Colorado 39.12 108.53 1473
Miami, Florida 25.82 80.28 8
Tallahassee, Florida 30.38 84.37 18
Honolulu, Hawaii 21.32 157.92 2
Boise, Idaho 43.57 116.22 873
Indianapolis, Indiana 39.73 86.27 244
Dodge City, Kansas 37.77 99.97 795
Lake Charles, Louisiana 30.12 93.22 19
Blue Hill, Massachusetts 42.22 71.12 200
Caribou, Maine 46.87 68.02 195
Guam, Marianas Islands 13.45 144.68 111
Columbia, Missouri 38.82 92.22 277
Great Falls, Montana 47.50 111.37 1125
Omaha, Nebraska 41.37 96.02 404
Desert Rock, Nevada 36.62 -116.02 1007
Ely, Nevada 39.28 114.85 1912
Las Vegas, Nevada 36.08 115.17 661
Albuquerque, New Mexico 35.03 106.62 1623
Raleigh, North Carolina 35.87 78.78 137
Bismarck, North Dakota 46.77 100.77 511
Medford, Oregon 42.37 122.87 412
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 40.50 80.22 371
San Juan, Puerto Rico 18.43 66.00 19
Nashville, Tennessee 36.12 86.68 186
Brownsville, Texas 25.90 97.43 12
El Paso, Texas 31.80 106.40 1206
Midland, Texas 31.95 102.18 872
Salt Lake City, Utah 40.77 111.97 1288
Burlington, Vermont 44.47 73.15 112
Sterling, Virginia 38.98 77.47 87
Seattle-Tacoma, Washington 47.45 122.30 143
Madison, Wisconsin 43.13 89.33 271
Lander, Wyoming 42.82 108.73 1699