WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)

How To Find Historical Weather Data Online

By Jesse Ferrell, Meteorologist/Community Director
4/11/2016, 10:57:17 AM

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Thanks for visiting. This blog entry is no longer valid due to changes on the websites I describe within. For official Historical Weather Data (like snowfall, rainfall, temperature or winds) for business use, please visit AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions.

For personal use, please make use of the Weather.Gov climate portal or the National Climatic Data Center.

One of the most frequently questions I get asked via email is: How do I find historical weather information for my location on the Internet? I originally did a blog entry on this in March 2006, and I'd like to say some of that again, and expand on it to answer some additional questions I've received since then.<br><br>First, riddle me this: Do you need this data for insurance or legal purposes? If so, stop here and go to our Forensics site. Those guys can find more data than you and I will be able to, and can draw conclusions from pieces of weather data that aren't technically observations, for example radar and satellite. And, they can give you  official  data with the AccuWeather name for you to go to court with, or testify for you as an expert witness.<br><br>Looking for tabular data to import into spreadsheets for your Commercial business needs? Our Sales force would be happy to set you up with a feed of the specific data you require, delivered by the method that you choose; contact them for more information.<br><br>If you're just looking for data to satisfy your curiosity for a specific weather event, please continue. Here I'm going to break it down into the different types of past weather information you might be looking for...<br><br>DAILY TEMPS, RAIN & SNOW: <br><br>The simplest form of archived weather data is daily temperatures and precipitation (including snowfall). Because this data needs to be quality controlled and human-measured, has this data for about 2,500 stations nationwide and you'll get the nearest station to your location when you visit our Past Month weather page. We actually give you two months back here, in case it's the 1st of the month. If you need to enter a new zipcode into our site to get a different location, you can navigate back to the Past Month page like this (yes, past weather is under  Forecast , I know):<br><br>That page should show you something like the screencap below. If you're looking for what the temperatures <em>occurred </em>any particular day, you're looking for the  Actuals  column. Normals, which are based on the average of 30 years of data for the station, are showed next to that. And finally there are Records, which indicate the highest and lowest temperatures for the period of record (can range from 30 to 100+ years). Actual precipitation including snow and  Ground  (snow on the ground) are also available.<br><br><br><br>A handy-dandy graph of the temperature data, as well as monthly totals, are at the bottom of the page. Choose another month by clicking in the upper right. If any of the columns listed are  N/A  that may mean that your station did not have sufficient data. Try putting in a nearby town name or zipcode on<br><br>NEED TO SEE FURTHER BACK THAN 2 MONTHS?<br><br>Our Premium website, which has a 30-day free trial, has the same data for every month since 1992, no advertisements, and many other benefits. Navigate to  Past Years  as shown below (the same information is also available on Pro - if you're already a user click on the  15-Year History  button on the right of your home page).<br><br>
NEED HOURLY DATA, OR WIND / OBSERVATIONS?<br><br>What if you need other data, such as wind, humidity, or clouds, and what if you need it hourly? For this data, you'll have to visit the government's MESOWEST archive. Put in your zipcode or City and hit the ENTER key (note if you do the latter you'll have to first change their dropdown menu to  Location ST  as I have below).<br><br>You should now get a list of locations; click on the one that matches what you're looking for (if necessary) and you'll see a list of weather stations... but what they don't tell you is that these are only the official government stations (usually at airports). So change the dropdown that says  NWS  to  All Networks  as shown below then press the  Change Settings  button.<br><br>NOW you're looking at all weather stations near you, be they official government, state-run, or amateur stations. Click on the one nearest to you (Dist/DIR shows you how far away they are). Click on a station and choose Change Date/Time on the left to retrieve historical data (this is usually available back about 5 years for official stations (beginning with a  K  for example KPIT)). <br><br>
THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT  UNOFFICIAL  STATIONS:<br><br>1. Data may be inaccurate, especially for stations beginning with  C  or  D  which are amateur stations - people may have installed the stations in bad places, for example a temperature sensor on a hot roof, or a wind sensor on a porch where the breeze can't reach.<br><br>2. Most of these stations won't provide rainfall data, and if they do, it will be inaccurate in the winter where it gets below freezing (snow will stay in the gauge and drain through later when it gets warmer).<br><br>3. Data may be missing large portions of time or may have only recently become available.

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WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)