Navigating web sites on the Internet can be challenging. There is a mountain of information, but it isn’t always easy to find what you want. And there are plenty of items that are out there but you haven’t stumbled upon yet. Much as we try to avoid this on our sites, it still happens.
In this week’s tutorial we are highlighting our Climate section, especially NOWData. Before we get started though, we recommend that you open another browser window. Leave this tutorial in one browser window, and open our main home page, weather.gov/mkx, in the other window. The Climate section is easy to get to from our front page of any National Weather Service home page. On the map in the new browser window, click on the "Climate" tab just above the watch/warning/advisory map or on the first entry "Local" under Climate on the blue menu on the left hand side (see example image below)
This is our main climate page. You can see plenty of tabs across the top that help you reach one of seven sections. We will discuss three of these today.
Our first example will be of our F6 form, which shows daily data during a month from one of our two primary climate locations (Milwaukee and Madison). We’ll select Preliminary Climatology Data (CF6), Milwaukee, Most Recent, and click Go.
A separate window will pop up, like the one below:
Now lets look at some local data that we’ve provided. If you click on the Local Data/Records tab per below:
Here is our Local Data/Records page. There are links to numerous pages, tables, and articles concerning our local climate. Some of these pertain to the whole state of Wisconsin.
Now let’s move on to NOWData, the feature of this tutorial. Select the tab at the far right, NOWData
This takes you to NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data. There is a massive amount of information here about past weather data at many weather stations and cooperative observer locations across southern Wisconsin. We will only scratch the surface but hopefully this will give you an idea of what you can research about past weather, extremes, and normals.
For example, let’s look at the observed monthly snowfall at Waukesha. We select Monthly avgs/totals, Waukesha, Snowfall, Current Year, and Go.
A new window pops up with the following information. You can see that 23.1" of snow fell in December, and the total for the 2007-2008 winter snow season has been 54.8 inches.
Now, for the same station, let’s look at normal daily and monthly precipitation. We select Daily/Monthly Normals, Waukesha, Precipitation, and Go.
Another window pops up (or the existing pop-up window repopulates with this data). You can see that the 30 year averages from 1971-2000 are summarized by the month and the day. Notice that August is the wettest month of the year on average, while February is the driest (in this example).
For a final example, let’s look at recent daily data. Let’s select Daily data for a month, Waukesha, Last Month, and Go.
In our additional pop-up window, you see the daily information. Averages or totals for the month (as appropriate), are at the bottom. In this example, 17.9" of snow fell during the month, and the average daily snowdepth was 6.9".
Thanks for visiting the National Weather Service web site!