Where can I find the raw data behind this chart?

  • #1
I'm looking for annual mean temperature data for the city of Chicago for a large number of years, ideally over 100. I found this chart, which depicts the exact data I need from 1873 to 2011:
http://www.climatestations.com/images/stories/chicago/chiann.gif

which comes from this site:
http://www.climatestations.com/chicago/

Unfortunately, the site only states that the raw data comes from here: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=lot
and provides no other information. I have been completely unable to find the raw data they say exists on the latter site. Does anyone have any ideas where I could find this raw data? All I have been able to find so far is a few pieces of data for 1998 or 1999 onwards, which isn't nearly enough.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Evo
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You won't find them because they don't exist. You'll find vague temperature readings for the past. Climates stations and a care for record keeping is relatively new. You've probably found all there is to find.
 
  • #3
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Not everything is on internet. I helped once to corrolate tree ring series with a local weather station. So we just called them and got loads of pdf's with scanned monthly weather reports with detailed daily data.

This (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/gistemp/STATIONS//tmp.425725300000.14.1/station.txt [Broken]) is what NASA has, but with some digging there can be plenty more in the surroundings.

edit, note that the data is not "raw" but homogenized.
 
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  • #4
You won't find them because they don't exist. You'll find vague temperature readings for the past. Climates stations and a care for record keeping is relatively new. You've probably found all there is to find.
The owner of the website provided the data for me. Thanks!
 
  • #5
Evo
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The owner of the website provided the data for me. Thanks!
Then I would question their validity, since they didn't exist that far back. Not weather stations as we know them. Not questioning the authenticity of the reports, but just the ability to compare reports now to those that far back.

As that website owner cautions
Chicago National Weather Service Office’s on-line site: http://www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=lot

“Official” observations from 1871 through June 1905 were taken at a number of sites in the downtown area, those from July 1905 through 1925 at the U. S. Court House, and from January 1926 through 20 June 1942 at the University of Chicago. On the latter date the official site transferred to Midway Airport, and on 16 January 1980 it moved to O’Hare International Airport, where it remains today (several within-site moves have been made at O’Hare).

The data thus reflect observations made at multiple sites and exposures (for example, heights of the thermometers above ground-level) over the years, so interpretations and comparisons should be taken in this light.
So, realize that readings then were not nearly as accurate as they are now, and weren't always from the same site, if accuracy is important to whatever you are doing. At best you have an approximation for the area.
 
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