Easterling, D. R., H. F. Diaz, A. V. Douglas, W. D. Hogg, K. E. Kunkel, J. C. Rogers, and J. F. Wilkinson, 1999: Long-term observations for monitoring extremes in the Americas. Climate Change, 42, 285-308.
In this paper we discuss data available from Argentina, Mexico, the United States and Canada that are suitable for the analysis of extreme temperature and precipitation events. We also discuss some of the problems of homogeneity and quality control that can potentially affect the observation of extreme values. It is clear that even in countries like the United States and Canada that have a potentially rich source of climate data there are still problems in obtaining homogeneous data necessary to perform thorough studies of time varying changes in extreme events. These types of problems may be compounded if data are needed from countries that do not have a tradition of maintaining large climate archives or observing networks. We also provide two examples of analyses that can be performed with these types of data: (1) the development of climate extremes indices for Canada, and (2) analyses of freezing events for Florida and the effect on the citrus industry. The Canadian example provides a good basis for countries to take indices developed for one country or region and through minor modifications make the index relevant to their own needs. The analysis of freezing events in Florida is a timely example of how extreme events have both ecological and societal impact.