Research Past Climate Data through NOAA

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The first day of winter brings thoughts of snow, sleet, and ice - conditions ripe for slippery sidewalks and problems on the roadways. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, provides free access to their records of local climatological data through the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Their Local Climatological Data provides detailed reports that include minimum, maximum, and average temperatures, sunrise and sunset times, total precipitation, average wind speeds, and more.

Use the Map Tool to find a list of weather stations near your desired location. For example, for Philadelphia County, there are two local weather stations: Philadelphia International Airport and Philadelphia NE Philadelphia Airport:

Clicking on a station will provide more information about that station as well as offer options to view the station data for a specific date or date range. Use the "Add to Cart" button to download a customizable chart that can include daily and/or hourly outputs. A date range can also be selected using this option.

For a single date, use the "View Station Data" option:

This option includes a daily summary as well as hourly outputs.

An interesting bit of trivia: On December 21, 1942, 75 years ago today, the Philadelphia International Airport recorded the low dry bulb temperature at 1┬░ F, and the high only reached 23┬░ F - much lower than today's forecast from the National Weather Service, which is anticipating highs in the mid 40s.

You also have the option to certify the data by clicking the "Certify This Data" button located on the report:

Have further questions? Contact NCEI's Customer Support.

More from the blog

You're not limited to paper reports anymore when you need local climatological data. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now offers 70+ years' worth of data online for free. Search tool Wolfram | Alpha also provides detailed climate data.