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Global Historical Climatology Network - Daily: About Global Historical Climatology Network Indicators

Describes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration dataset of world average, maximum, and minimum temperatures.

About Global Historical Climatology Network - Daily Indicators

GHCN (Global Historical Climatology Network) - Daily, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is an integrated database of daily climate summaries from land surface stations across the globe. The data are obtained from numerous sources and integrated and subjected to a common suite of quality assurance reviews. GHCN-Daily contains records from over 90,000 stations in 180 countries and territories. Numerous daily variables are provided, including maximum and minimum temperature, total daily precipitation, snowfall, and snow depth; however, about two-thirds of the stations report precipitation only. Both the record length and period of record vary by station and cover intervals ranging from less than one year to more than 175 years. 

In Data-Planet, the GHCN is presented as two datasets:

  • GHCN - Daily presents climate summaries recorded at weather stations by nation.
  • GHCN - Daily: US presents climate summaries recorded at weather stations by state.


About NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), within the United States Department of Commerce, was formed by Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970. Its mission is to monitor and assess the state of the environment in order to make accurate and timely forecasts to protect life, property, and natural resources, as well as to promote the economic well-being of the US and to enhance its environmental security.  The National Climatic Data Service within NOAA provides weather, water, and climate warnings, forecast, and data for the US and adjacent waters.

What Research Requires Daily Climate Data?

According to a paper by Matthew J. Menne, et al, "An Overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network Daily Database" (published online July 1, 2012,, the analysis of multi-decadal climate trends and variability are commonly based on monthly and annual time series of station-based climate observations. However, other climate studies require daily data. Menne et al provide several examples:

  • the analysis of changes in the length of the growing season (Kunkel, K.E., D.R. Easterling, K. Hubbard, and K. Redmond, 2004: Temporal variations in frost-free season in the United States: 1895-2000. Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L03201);
  • changes in the frequency of heavy precipitation (Min, S-K, X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, and G.C. Hegerl, 2011: Human contribution to more-intense precipitation extremes. Nature, 470, 378-381, doi:10.1038/nature09763);
  • changes in heat wave frequency and duration (Della-Marta, P.M., M.R. Haylock, J. Luterbacher, and H. Wanner, 2007: Doubled length of western European summer heat waves since 1880. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D15103, DOI: 10.1029/2007JD008510).

For additional examples, please see the Cited By section of the article by Menne et al.

Global Historical Climatology Network Indicators: DataSheet and Search Examples

Clink on the links below to view climate statistics, along with summaries of the variable and dataset, from the Global Historical Climatology - Daily and Global Historical Climatology - Daily: US databases in Data-Planet Statistical Datasets.  [Note that when you are logged into Statistical Datasets, you can also update the view to obtain the latest version of the data.]

The indicators below are just a sampling to give you an idea of the granularity of the available data. There are many, many more indicators on climate in the repository - add search terms such as Geographies, Co2, etc., or contact your library staff for help in formulating your search strategy. 

Daily Snowfall - Shows daily snowfall recorded at the Little River Mine weather station in Canada, 1956-1992.

Days with Blowing or Drifting Snow - Shows a count of days on which the weather station at Hartford Bradley International Airport recorded blowing or drifting snow.

Peak Gust Wind Speed - Reports peak gust wind speed recorded at the weather station at Guantanamo Bay Naval Air Station, 1948-2005. 

Maximum Temperature - Shows maximum temperature recorded at Penang International in Malaysia, 1949-2016.

Minimum Temperature - Shows minimum temperature recorded at Luqa weather station in Malta, 1959-2016.

Precipitation - Shows daily precipitation totals recorded at the Greenville, North Carolina, weather station, 1875-2016.

Daily Total Sunshine  - Presents recordings of daily total sunshine from the Guam International Airport, 1965-2016.

Days with Rain - Shows a count of days with rain recorded at San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, 1956-2013.

Days with Thunder - Presents a count of days with thunder recorded at Milwaukee Mitchell Airport, 1948-2016.

Average Daily Wind Speed - Shows average daily wind speed recorded at Pago Pago WSO Airport on American Samoa, 1984-2016.


Sample DataSheet: Days with Drizzle - Keflavik, Iceland

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