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Researching Past Weather Information for New York City

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Do you know why cocks on weather vanes?, Digital ID 1519897, New York Public LibraryFor those researchers who need to look up past weather information for New York City, one way to do so is to use a historical newspaper database, such as ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2009) with Index (1851-1993) which is accessible at any New York Public Library location.

In this case, since it is not weather forecast information that one is interested in, but rather weather record information instead, one would be looking for information from the day after the particular date in question.

One multi-step approach for conducting such a look-up would be the following. Simply log on to the newspaper database of choice, in this case, ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2009) with Index (1851-1993) and use the word "weather" as a search term; specify the "Publication date:" option by selecting "On this date…" and then specify the month, day, and year of interest. From the search result listing, click the relevant article title entry or entries, such as "Weather 1 -- No Title" to see on which page(s) additional details could be found. Also, within that same ("Weather 1 -- No Title") article record itself, click the "Page view (clickable)" option located immediately above to look for the weather section.

For example, if the weather section was published on page 65, to get to that page, click "61" on the "Page view (clickable)" screen for links "61-70" to open up. Then, go ahead and click "65" to view that page. Next, click on the particular section that one wishes to view on that page (such as the "Weather Reports and Forecast" section). Be mindful of the fact that the information being sought is "Yesterday's Records.")

Weather Records in NY Times for Oct 23, 1913Weather Records in NY Times for Oct 23, 1913For more recent "Observed Weather Reports," please refer to the website of the National Weather Service Forecast Office for New York City.

Note: These data are preliminary and have not undergone final quality control by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Therefore, these data are subject to revision. Final and certified climate data can be accessed at the NCDC.

In addition, Unique Local Climate Data such as Local Almanacs, Holiday Weather, and Seasonal Climate Reports are also available.

Most states require records that are to be submitted as evidence in a court of law to be authenticated in some way. One can place an Online Order for Certified Climate Data [PDF] on the NCDC website.

For those who are interested in exploring climatological data from prehistoric time, please refer to the NOAA Paleoclimatology page from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Besides climatological data from the past, the National Weather Service Forecast Office also makes available Climate Prediction and Variability information.

Finally, for those readers who wish to consult a more traditional source for regional forecasts, such as The Old Farmer's Almanac, The New York Public Library offers that as well.

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