3-States Water Project:
Accessing Instrumental Climate Records

One way to understand, if not anticipate, the types of weather and climate can happen in a given region is to know what has happened in the past.
Accessing Western Region Climate Center (WRCC) Climate History Summaries:
Climate history summaries for individual stations from the Western Regional Climate Center that provide insights into the range of climate/weather for a given area can be accessed at the Western US Climate Historical Summaries WWW page [http://wrcc.sage.dri.edu/climsum.html] . From this page you can either look at detailed climate data summaries (LCD) in tabular form (normals, means, and extremes for temperature, sunshine, sky cover, station pressure, humidity, precipitation and wind) from cities with major airports and National Weather Services Offices [http://wrcc.sage.dri.edu/summary/lcd.html] . You also can access temperature and precipitation data from over 2800 stations in the Western US. by select a state by name or from the map
Selecting a state and then one of the 2800 stations with temperature and precipitation data will access a table of monthly and annual averages of maximum and minimum temperature, total precipitaiton, snow fall and depth. Venturing to the left column of this WWW page allows one to access more detailed information in tabular format and graphic displays of probability data. For example, selecting Spring or Fall 'Freeze' probabities will generate a graph showing the probability of a given 'freeze' temperature for the season of interest. To answer questions of the historic likelihood of rainfall of a certain magnitude over a given time period, select 'Precipitation Probability by Quantity'. Select the amount (e.g., 0.25 inches), the duration (e.g., 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12 days) and the smoothing function (e.g., 5 days). Similar plots as a function of duration can be generated by selecting ' Precipitation Probability by Duration'. Exploring other options on these pages and for other variables from the menu in the left column will provide access to a rich source of climate information for individual climate station data.
Accessing National Climate Data Center (NCDC) Climate History Time Series:
Time series of monthly temperature and precipitation observations for individual stations from the National Climate Data Center that also provide insights into the range of climate/weather for a given area can be accessed through the Global Historical Climatology Network [http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/ghcn/ghcn.SELECT.html]. Accessing this site is worth the effort. First select either Precipitation Data (left figure) or Temperature Data (right figure), agree to their terms, select the "Graph Type", click on USA on the map and then the Okay Button, select the state, pick a station and enter the starting month, first and last years. To download the data click on the button "View the dataset", and then use "Save As" option in your browser to save the data to a file.
Time series of daily temperature, precipitation, wind, pressure and other observations for individual stations from the National Climate Data Center for a given area can be accessed through the Global Summary of the Day [http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/res40.pl?page=climvisgsod.html]. Accessing this site is also worth the effort. First agree to their terms, select the "Graph Type", click on USA on the map, select a state and then click on the continue on to next page button, a pick a station, climate variable(s), the month & year, the graph option, the output format, and then click on submit graph values. To download the data click on the button "View the dataset", and then click on To Download the Data File Click Here! and the save as option in your browser to save the data to a file.
Accessing World Climate WWW Site:
The World Climate WWW Site [http://www.worldclimate.com/] provides relatively straight forward access to 85,000 records of world climate data (historical monthly and annual climate averages for predominantly temperature and precipitation related variables) from a wide range of public sources including NOAA-NCDC.
Accessing Weatherbase WWW Site:
The Weatherbase WWW Site [http://www.weatherbase.com/] provides easy to use access to comprehensive climate information for 16,434 cities worldwide. Most cities have monthly and annual averages for between 10 and 25 climate variables and almost all have temperature and precipitation information. The data provided at this site come from a variety of public sources including NOAA-NCDC. There is also a weather glossary for more than 500 common and uncommon weather terms compiled from a variety of sources, including the National Weather Service's Monterey Bay office and the TAMMI definitions server.
Accessing Intellicast Monthly Weather Almanac:
The Intellicast Monthly Weather Almanac [http://www.intellicast.com/Almanac/] provides a useful description at monthly intervals of why certain weather and climate behavior occurs across the US and for ten subregions. To access these descriptions, from the menu on the left side of the WWW page select a month and you will be presented with US climate/weather overview for the selected month. You can access the climate/weather summary for the ten subregions at the bottom of this WWW page.
Please email me with comments, suggestions and additional links,
Robert S. Webb (Robert.S.Webb@noaa.gov).
NOAA-CIRES Climate Diagnostics Center
Document maintained by webmaster@cdc.noaa.gov
Last updated: May 7, 2000
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/ClimateInfo/3-state/index.html