Tools for Understanding Climate Data

Adapting to changing climate conditions will require access to new expertise and new knowledge. Here is a partial list of online tools that provide comprehensive information and data to help people identify climate threats and vulnerabilities, as well as reduce their risks from the impacts of climate variability and change.

1. NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

NCEI represents a merger of NOAA’s former three data centers— the National Climatic Data Center, the National Geophysical Data Center, and the National Oceanographic Data Center. NCEI hosts and provides access to comprehensive oceanic, atmospheric, and geophysical data. It is the nation’s leading authority for environmental information. This page was formerly the National Climatic Data Center.

On the Climate information tab of this website you can find information about extreme events and dynamically generated climate information from across the globe.

On the Data Access tab you will be able access data and other resources from such sources as land-based stations, satellite, radar, weather balloons, statistical models and more.


NOAA’s is a timely source of authoritative scientific data and information about climate. The Maps & Data section provide climate maps and datasets that document various climate conditions, as diverse as evaporative stress maps, monthly wind charts, and record high and low temperatures. The global climate dashboard makes data about climate change, climate variability, and climate projections accessible in one convenient package.

Maps and Data:

Global Climate Dashboard -

3. The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit: The Climate Explorer

The Climate Explorer lets you visualize climate data in map form. You can adjust displays to focus on particular times or areas of interest.

4. Climate Analyzer

The Climate Analyzer creates custom graphs and tables from historical weather station data for selected National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Networks. This information is updated every 24 hours. Data summaries are calculated as requested by users. The Climate Analyzer also includes current as well as forecast weather.

Currently (2017), this site is under construction and dashboards are being developed for different parks within the networks. These dashboards will include:

  • current temperature
  • weather forecast
  • stream flow and temperature
  • maps of snow water equivalents and snow depths
  • departure of temperature and precipitation from average

5. Intermountain West Climate Dashboard

The Intermountain West Climate Dashboard brings together a variety of climate and water graphics for Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. These graphics are automatically updated as the data providers update them on their respective websites. A briefing based on these graphics is posted monthly.

Prepared by Jean Palumbo, Southern Colorado Plateau Network Inventory and Monitoring Program, 2017.

Last updated: November 14, 2018