HOB Tools

Program Description:

Historical weather observations were recorded using a nonstandard methodology, and therefore require rigorous screening and correction routines to extract the highest quality weather data that are also compatible with modern observations. While standard techniques are difficult to implement on these data, careful screening and correction can proceed in a series of small steps. Historical OBservation (HOB) Tools is a collection of techniques used to aid in the recovery of historical climate data for Kansas (Burnette and Stahle in press, Computers and Geosciences). The current state of HOB Tools is not meant to be a final solution, but instead a first step of many toward synthesizing the helpful routines used in the recovery and reanalysis of historical climate records. HOB Tools is an open source project, licensed under the GNU General Public License (see Program Notes below). Any problems that have been detected in the current version of the HOB Tools are listed on the "Current Version Status" page. Details about the HOB Tools open source project are also on that webpage including how to submit new or revised code.

There are two different download options for the program. The first is the typical Windows operating system setup (Download Setup). The second option is for those interested in the source code (Download Source Code), and is not required in order to run the program. Complete details on how to set up the source code are included within the "readme.txt" file.

HOB Tools contains the following groups of tools:

  • Dataset: These tools check data for gaps and duplicate entries, add missing dates to datasets so they are continuous, and extract and transform data from the NOAA's Climate Data Online system, the Global Historical Climatology Network, and the United States Historical Climatology Network.
  • Homogeneity: Tools that perform double mass, difference series analyses, and spaghetti plots are used to check for inconsistencies within various datasets.
  • Temperature: These tools assess and adjust temperature data for exposure and undocumented discontinuities, compute daily means, reconstruct daily temperatures using an "every third day per month" regression methodology with inter-station screening, convert between different units of temperature, and perform various temperature analyses.
  • Precipitation: Precipitation data are assessed for 5/10 bias and undercount, totals and percentages are calculated, precipitation data are reconstructed via composite analyses, undercounted amounts and days are estimated, and amounts are converted between different units.
  • Events: These tools perform counts of the number of cold waves, return time analyses on input datasets, and threshold analyses on input datasets.
  • Time Series: This tool performs basic time series plots and trend analyses.

HOB Tools comes with a user's guide that can be accessed in three ways: selecting "HOB Tools User's Guide" from the HOB Tools shortcut folder in the Windows Start Menu, pressing F1 when running HOB Tools, or by selecting "Help” from the program's main menu and then selecting "User's Guide...”. This help system is not only searchable but also integrated within HOB Tools such that if F1 is pressed when a tool is open, the HOB Tools User's Guide will open directly to the help topic associated with that tool.

System Requirements:

How to Cite:

  • Please cite the version of HOB Tools being used and the following paper:
  • Burnette, D.J., and D.W. Stahle, 2013: Computer assisted screening, correction, and analysis of historical weather measurements. Computers and Geosciences, 54, 309-317.

What's New


Current Version Status

Current Version:

  • 1.2.2

Release Date:

  • 14 March 2013


  • Open Source GNU GPL*

Download Setup [6.06 MB]

Download Source Code [35.4 MB]

Program Notes:

*GNU General Public License: HOB Tools is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. HOB Tools is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with HOB Tools. If not, see <>.

**Microsoft .NET Framework: The setup program will validate that the .NET Framework is installed. If the .NET Framework is not installed, then setup will automatically download it and install it for you. Do note though that the download size is 22.4 MB, which could take some time on slower Internet connections.