WorldClimate Data Sources

The data used on WorldClimate comes from numerous public domain sources. The sources are acknowledged here, with links to sites where you can download the original data (where available - most of the links have died since this was first written in 1996). Worldclimate.com has processed the data from each of these sources to make it easy to use.

Most of the source data consists of LARGE (up to 70MB) compressed text files, designed for academic researchers. Worldclimate CANNOT help you with understanding or using this data. Be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time and effort downloading and converting the data.

GHCN 1: The Global Historical Climatology Network, version 1

The Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) is a comprehensive global surface baseline climate data set designed to be used to monitor and detect climate change. Comprised of surface station observations of temperature, precipitation, and pressure, all GHCN data are on a monthly basis. GHCN is produced jointly by the National Climatic Data Center and Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

GHCN version 1 was released in August of 1992 and has data from

The earliest station data is from 1697. The most recent from 1990. It was created from 15 source data sets, including: Quality Control included visual inspection of graphs of all station time series, tests for precipitation digitized 6 months out of phase, tests for different stations having identical data, and other tests.

GHCN 2 Beta: The Global Historical Climatology Network, version 2 beta

                        Russell S. Vose
                     Office of Climatology
                     Arizona State University
                        Thomas C. Peterson
                    Global Climate Laboratory
                 National Climatic Data Center
                       Richard L. Schmoyer
                  Mathematical Sciences Division
                  Oak Ridge National Laboratory

NCDC TD 9641 Clim 81 1961-1990 Normals

These files contain monhly mean precipitation, temperature, and degree days. See the documentation.

NCDC Cooperative Stations

Contains historical monthly precipitation data for all U.S. cooperative and National Weather Service stations. The periods of record vary by station, with some stations having data back to about 1900, although many begin around the 1948 time frame. The data files are complete through 1995. The directory has a data file for each state (e.g., 'alabama.txt'), along with one file for several stations outside the U.S. such as Guam and Puerto Rico (filename 'others.txt'). There are currently over 8000 NWS and cooperative weather stations active and included in this directory, with many more currently inactive stations also included.

Other Data

Coming soon: more climate data for around 8,000 worldwide locations, US and Canada snowfall data, some humidity data, some wind data, limited sunshine and cloud data.

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