World Climate Information (was: Re: Amarine question)

Lee Poulsen
Thu, 06 Oct 2005 17:06:28 PDT

I shall reveal my secrets, but only because I so enjoy your signature 
line comments.

My first choice website is the World Climate website 
The person who made this apparently had access to a large amount of 
digitized weather data from all over the world and made this website. 
Since then he has been, in his free time, planning to update it with a 
lot of newer/better/additional weather and climate data, etc. But he is 
apparently a very busy guy and has been planning to put all this 
updated and increased data online soon for several years now. It's 
still the most comprehensive site available for free IMO even without 
the anticipated updates. As he warns, you have to enter the city name 
in what you think is the transliteration for place names in non-Latin 
alphabet countries, and in non-English countries you need to enter the 
place name as it is written in that country. (Important for places like 

Once you get a successful hit, you will be given all the possible 
locations he has data for that fall in the same 1° X 1° lat./long. 
quadrant as the city you were looking for. Then he has a neat little 
navigation device that allows you to move to the adjacent 1° X 1° 
lat./long. quadrant in any of the 8 compass directions from the 
quadrant you're in. In this way, you can "step" through all possible 
data available in a larger geographic area.

I just get out my big atlas (I have a National Geographic Atlas, but 
the [London] Times World Atlas is also a good one), and follow along to 
see where the locations lie on the map. Sometimes, even a big atlas 
doesn't have the locations for some of the station locations. In those 
cases, another of my useful websites is the Global Gazetteer 
<> that allows you to track down the 
location, on a nice topo map, of virtually any city or town in any 
country in the world.

My second weather 'site, especially useful for major cities in third 
world countries that the World Climate 'site often has much less data 
of, is the World Weather Information Service sponsored by the WMO 
<>. It is especially good for finding the 
long term average monthly maximum and minimum temperatures of major 
towns in third world countries. The max and min temperatures are often 
missing in the World Climate database. (They seemed to be most 
interested in a single daily average temperature which isn't very 
useful IMO.)

Thirdly, on the individual country 'pages in the World Weather 
Information Service 'site, they will have a link to that country's 
national weather service website. Each country does things its own way, 
and usually in its own language. (Although quite a number will provide 
an 'English' option as well. But it seems that Spanish-speaking 
countries, like all of Latin America!, are much less apt to do this.) 
So these 'sites may be difficult to use even if they happen to provide 
a lot of good data, if you can't read or understand (or figure out) 
that language. Some sites won't give you any data for free. Others give 
a limited amount. It can be hit or miss. Some give a lot if you can 
figure out how to look for it.
If you want a linked listing of almost all the world's countries' 
weather service websites on one 'page, I found this Egyptian 'site that 
had a compiled listing of them: <>. 
(Maybe someone knows a better 'site?)

Anyway, it's easy (for me) to get lost trolling the world for climate 
data, so be careful if you have a weakness in this area or you will 
surface hours later not realizing how much time went by.

Does anyone else have any other good 'sites for (free) climate data?

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena area, California, USDA Zone 10a

On Oct 6, 2005, at 3:18 PM, Jim McKenney wrote:
> Lee, thanks a lot -that's an impressive bundle of information.
> Now tell us how you did that!
> Jim McKenney

More information about the pbs mailing list