Climate Basics

Climate Change and...

Climate Data

For those who need to access climate data, this page will point you towards some of the organizations and websites that are responsible for compiling, updating, and providing climate data and basic statistics to the public.

For downloadable or online tools that provide projections of climate scenarios, climate impacts, vegetation and wildlife distribution and more, please see our Tools page.

Introductory Information

Climate Data Websites

EPA Climate Change Indicators
The EPA has compiled a set of 26 indicators tracking signs of climate change. The data are compiled from government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations, and references are provided to the original data sources. Most of these indicators focus on the United States, but some include global trends to provide context or a basis for comparison.

NCAR Climate Data Guide
The Climate Data Guide is website devoted to the ins and outs of obtaining and analyzing various existing climatic data sets. Developed by The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), it is envisioned as a focal point for users to find not only data, but also expert-user guidance, commentary, and questions and advice on appropriate data applications.

NOAA National Climatic Data Center
The NCDC is the world's largest archive of weather data. The center offers access to data, maps and publications as well as services such as data resource consultations. This website is also a gateway to accessing many NOAA data sub-sites, some of which are listed below.

NOAA NCDC - Regional Climate Centers
The six Regional Climate Centers are federal-state cooperative efforts that work on the timely production and delivery of climate data and information at the local, state, regional and national levels. Each RCC is distinct and provides different compilations of data.

NOAA NCDC – Monitoring
The NCDC monitoring section provides records of variations in various aspects of climate, including drought, wildfire, storms, snow and ice, etc.

NOAA NCDC - U.S. Climate Normals
The average value of a meteorological element over 30 years is defined as a climatological normal. The normal climate can be used as a base to which current conditions are compared. Every ten years, the National Climatic Data Center computes new thirty-year climate normals for selected temperature and precipitation elements. The 1981-2010 Normals were released on July 1, 2011.

NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division
This group provides integrated expertise in weather and climate physical observations, modeling, analysis and applications. The site features many interesting ways to access and display data, including an interactive plotting and analysis feature.

RAWS USA Climate data archive
There are nearly 2,200 interagency Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) strategically located throughout the United States. These stations provide weather data that assists land management agencies with a variety of projects such as monitoring air quality, rating fire danger, and providing information for research applications. The RAWS archive (still in development) provides access to some of that data.

Standardized Precipitation Index
The SPI provides a picture of precipitation anomalies over space and time. The Western Regional Climate Center has developed a range of SPI maps depicting several different precipitation parameters.

North American Freezing Level Tracker
This analysis tool allows one to track through time the height of the freezing level above sea level. Freezing level has important effects on hydrology in mountain environments including the elevation of the rain/snow line and whether precipitation falls as rain or snow at a specified elevation.

National Integrated Drought Information System U.S. Drought Portal
The U.S. Drought Portal is part of an interactive system to assimilate data on drought, provide early warnings about emerging and anticipated droughts and their risks and impacts, and provide information on past droughts, among other goals.

NRCS Snow data
The Natural Resource Conservation Service installs, operates, and maintains an extensive, automated system (SNOwpack TELemetry or SNOTEL) designed to collect snowpack and related climatic data in the Western United States and Alaska. The Program operates under technical guidance from the NRCS National Water and Climate Center (NWCC).

NARCCAP
NARCCAP is an international program that will serve the climate scenario needs of both the United States and Canada. They are systematically investigating the uncertainties in regional scale projections of future climate and producing high resolution climate change scenarios using multiple regional climate models (RCMs) and multiple global model responses to future emissions scenarios.

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