Climate Data Primer

Are you new to climate data? Ready to learn or review some of the basics?

This site will walk you through some of the basics to help you understand and explore climate data. Within the Primer pages, you'll find information on:

  • instruments used to measure weather and climate
  • how weather observations relate to climate products
  • how climate scientists check the quality of observations
  • tools you can use for exploring climate data

To get started, check out some of climate data people use in everyday life

  • Folks who are planning outdoor events check climate normals data to help them choose a date.
  • Ranchers, farmers, and outdoor-recreation businesses regularly monitor drought conditions.
  • Weather enthusiasts like to explore extreme storms and record-setting events.
  • People who live near the coast consider how sea level rise might affect them.
  • Students often consider the relationship between global temperature and greenhouse gases.
  • Water companies check precipitation and river levels to monitor water supplies.