Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Obtaining climate statistics and/or weather observations for dates in the past

      For example:
     "How much did it rain on November 30, 2001 in Philadelphia?" 
     "What is the normal winter snowfall for Erie, PA?"
     "What is the highest temperature ever recorded for RIchmond, VA?")

The most comprehensive source of official United States climate records is the National Climatic Data Center located in Asheville, North Carolina.  You can access their website at or call them at (828) 271-4800. 

You can also access the web pages of the Regional Climate Centers or the State Climatologists...or try the "Climate" link on the local Weather Forecast Office's web page ( list of all WFO's).

2.  Obtaining astronomical data

      For example:
      "What time does the sun set today?"
      "Is the first day of spring on March 21 or 22?"

The U. S. Naval Observatory's Astronomical Applications Department provides time of sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, as well as other astronomical data, at

3.  Obtaining severe weather reports

      For example:
      "Were any tornadoes reported last weekend in southeastern Ohio?"

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) maintains text and graphical displays of preliminary storm reports at  Quality controlled, final storm reports are published in Storm Data, available from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) at

Still have a question?  Ask the webmaster.

Any reference to any non-government entity, product, service or information does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration or any of its field offices or employees.

Last updated 5/20/03