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Locating Climate & Weather Data and Information

Topics:
US Weather Station Data | Global Station Data | Climatologies | Forecasts | El Niño | Education | Interactive Web PagesClimate Indices | Snow | Water Resources | Humidity | Hail,Tornadoes, Lightning | Hurricanes | Wind | Crop Information | Sun and Moon Surface weather maps | If you still can't find it...

bullet Basic weather station data for cities in the United States

It is generally easy to obtain historic temperature, rainfall and snowfall information for specific locations in the US. In addition to these basic variables, it is sometimes possible to obtain other weather information including humidity and winds. Some stations have hourly data available though most have daily and monthly only. The places to check are:

The National Climate Data Center(NCDC):
They are the major repository for climate data in the US. Click "product" under "select data by" and then choose CLIMVIS. You can download and plot time series of station data from here. You can also plot maps of a particular variable for one time. A complete list of all surface data is available including access to the raw daily data. Station data that is more up-to-date can be found on the Global summary of the day page.
NOAA Regional Climate Centers:
There are six regional climate centers in the US. Each provides climate information that is relevant to that particular part of the country. They are more likely to have esoteric information not available at NCDC
State Climatologists:
Almost all states in the US have a state climatologist. They will have access to local climate records, especially those related to weather events. Some states even have webpages where you can obtain information and data.
National Weather Service
They have links to the webpages of many of their local offices. These vary widely in what they provide and are worth checking out.

bullet Global station data

These are harder to obtain and some countries don't even give out their data for free. NCDC maintains data files for daily and monthly station data. Global extremes can be found here. Canadian climate data is available from the CMC. There are also available global gridded datasets (computer model and/or observation) which have values most regions. A good starting point for this data is the NOAA server data search page.

bullet Climatologies

All of the sources above have some climatology information. In addition, try the US Climate Page from PSD, and the Weatherbase and Worldclimate websites.
US state average temperature and precipitation climatologies are also available.

bullet Surface Weather Maps

Historic surface analyses can be obtained either on CD-ROM from NCDC on their NOAA Chart Series A/B/C or from the High Plains Climate Center Daily Weather map page for 2002 onward.

bullet Other types of climate related information bullet Weather and Climate forecasts

Short-term weather forecasts are available through the National Weather Service. Long-term climate forecasts are also available including forecasts of temperature, precipitation and other variables for time periods of one or more months in the future. A list of El Niño forecasts is available from the PMEL El Niño theme page.

bullet El Niño

There is an extensive amount of information devoted to El Niño/La Niña on the WWW. For background information, check the PMEL El Niño Theme Page, the PSD El Niño Page and the NOAA El Niño Page.

bullet Education

A list of sites that has educational tools and information for a wide range of levels is available.

bullet Interactive websites

There are many sites available that allow users to plot and analyze climate data.

bullet If you still can't find it...

One of the best sources of climate data and information is the meteorological FAQ. It has an extensive listing of weather and climate resources including links to research data. There are also other collections of sites including but not limited to university and government sites, links to data sets at the NOAA Data Server data search page, and the Yahoo Weather Links.

Non-web sources include local universities, libraries, airports, newspapers, TV and radio stations. Books, almanacs and magazines can be particularly useful. Some specific books include:

  1. Climate of the States. 2 volume. Gale Research, Michigan, 1980.
  2. Weather America, Alfred N Garwood Ed, Toucan Valley Pubs, 1996.
  3. Weather Almanac 2000 Grey House Publishing, NY 2000.
  4. Selected climate maps of the US. 1977, Dept of Commerce pub.
  5. Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, vol 1-6, Holton et al, Academic Press, 200 2.

bullet Suggestions for other data sources

If you know of any good source of climate data not included in this page, please email me at webmaster.psd@noaa.gov. Thanks!


Topics:
US Weather Station Data | Global Station Data | Climatologies | Forecasts | El Niño | Education | Interactive Web PagesClimate Indices | Snow | Water Resources | Humidity | Hail,Tornadoes, Lightning | Hurricanes | Wind | Crop Information | Sun and Moon Surface weather maps | If you still can't find it...