How to Find Past Weather Records

By Tallulah Philange

Historic weather records help us understand natural patterns in temperature, storms, snow and rain amounts. By looking at average weather over a long period of time, we can better understand cyclical changes in the weather, and use the data to question what causes significant changes in weather patterns. Many historic records include only high and low temperatures. Records tend to improve over time, often recording hourly weather phenomena such as temperature, precipitation and wind strength. Various online sites provide historic weather data, as well as specialized information, such as historic storm reports.

Step 1

Log on to Weather Underground's History and Data Archive. Plug your location or ZIP code into the search field. If your exact location isn't available, the search may include the largest metropolitan area nearby. Select the date you wish to search. Most records go back to the early or mid-1940s.

Step 2

Visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Storm Events page. This site is specific to major storms. Select the state you wish to search for, and click "continue." Narrow your search by county, date, event type, deaths or property damage, if desired, and click "list storms." The data goes back to Jan. 1, 1950.

Step 3

Search through the National Weather Service's regional offices through NOAA's site. Visit the National Weather Service offices and centers website, and click on the regional office closest to you. Click on "Climate" and select a past date. Most regions only have two months of historic data, and not all regions offer this service.

Step 4

Visit Weather for You's history page for a listing of top weather events organized by date. Plug in the date you're searching for, listing either a year or typing in "all years" for a general search.