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I'm interested in using a NOAA dataset for daily/hourly weather data for the U.S.

Both the QCLCD and ISD Lite datasets contain the variables in which I'm interested for the time frame with which I'm concerned (QCLCD is only post-2005). However, I can't find any information about their differences in terms of coverage, construction, etc. in the U.S.

Does anyone have experience working with/understand the differences between these two datasets?

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I emailed the NOAA and got a very fast response from William Brown:

Both the QCLCD and ISD digital surface hourly data bases contain the same stations. QCLCD is a 'subset" of the much larger (global) ISD data base. Typically for research purposes I would recommend ISD. You can download the data in bulk and, due to format differences only, the period of record is longer for ISD.

So, it looks like the U.S. coverage for both is the same and that both are constructed from full ISD dataset.

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