In my previous post, I illustrated how hourly weather data for the most recent 3 – 7 days can be easily obtained from a nearby NOAA weather site. The screen shot below illustrates another very handy weather-related feature that can be found for some sites that seem to be associated with the Western Regional Climate Center.
Notice the small histogram toward the bottom middle of the screen labeled Recent Area Temperatures. This simple looking graphic actually is loaded with information regarding the recent climate pattern relative to the norms. Specifically it illustrates:
- The daily temperature range recently experienced.
- The historical normal temperature range for the same date in past years.
- The high and low extremes for the same date in past years.
The presentation allows the observer to quickly contrast what is going on currently with what happened in the past. If you click on the histogram, you get a page full of them, one for each month as illustrated below.
If you click on any of the graphs in the 2nd page, you get an enlarged version along with the data table used to create it, as illustrated below.
Notice that the Export to Excel feature I discussed in a recent post on free hourly weather data is also available here, making the information available for you to use on your own.
You can also right click on the graphs and simply save them as pictures. I personally have used these features to include this data in reports (with acknowledgments regarding the source of course) to support a discussion regarding how a system or building was responding to a current condition and how that response might play against normal and extreme patterns.
There are also links to yearly summary graphs available for the data, which look like this.
As I said at the beginning, this information seems to be something that some of the offices associated with the Western Regional Climate Center are experimenting with vs. a standard across the National Weather Service. But, I really think its great and hope that it catches on and is eventually adopted by the other regions.
Senior Engineer – Facility Dynamics Engineering