National Weather Service (NWS) recognizes the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) as the primary and official source of climate data. NCDC web page address is http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/ncdc.html (Figure 1).

Image of NCDC main page
Figure 1. NCDC main page. Arrow points to location of link to climate data

Working at a NOAA PC should automatically let you access the NCDC non-commercial version for data downloading. To make sure that this is the case for your working computer, click on 'Help' that will bring you to a FAQ page, click 'Free Access', and from there 'Listing of REMOTE Environment variables'. These steps should show you how your computer is identified by NCDC computer. If your host name ends on ...noaa.gov, the NCDC server will let you access NOAA data downloading.

To get the climate data from NCDC web site click on 'Climate' in section 'Browse by Data Type'. This will link to NCDC page with Climate Resources located at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/climateresources.html. Click on 'Get/View Online Climate data' that will bring you to http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/climatedata.html. You can choose different types of climate data. Links under title 'Surface Data : Graphs/Maps | Hourly | Daily | Monthly | Modeled' provides a self explanatory guide to different data.

For example, to obtain monthly data, select 'Monthly' under 'Surface Data : Graphs/Maps | Hourly | Daily | Monthly | Modeled'. This will bring you to Surface Data: Monthly (Temperature, Precipitation, Pressure, Etc. Click on 'Cooperative, NWS' in the section Data File. This is the link to U.S high resolution monthly climate data from about 1948 to the present time at Cooperative and NWS stations with the option for selection by state. Figure 2 shows the image of the web site located at the linked site (click here for actual link to this NCDC site)

Figure 2. NCDC site for selection by state, specific stations, specific climate divisions, specific county or entire state.

After selection of state, you will be offered to select stations (up to 100). After station selection, you need to select surface variables and years of records. After data selection you would need to specify your e-mail address where NCDC will send you information on where your data selection is located in downloadable form and will be available for you during 7 days.