Climate Data for Everyone

Christian Lamprecht
Mar 3 · 2 min read

Climate and climate change have become ever-present topics in our news streams. As the earth is warming and human impact on climate change is frequently discussed on social media, the demand for open and reliable climate data sources is obvious. While governments and national weather agencies are beginning to adapt the open data trend, one problem remains: accessibility.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is doing a great job collecting global climate data and making it available to science, education and other non-commercial activities. However, the data format is hard to decode for most people. The lack of accessibility is blocking a transparent communication of crucial information with the majority of the population.

I first noticed this fact while hearing about record-high temperatures on the news. From time to time the media is publishing stories about extraordinary weather events and climate reports. But I was wondering how I could do some research on climate statistics by myself. Soon, I realized that my possibilities were very limited.

That is why I started developing meteostat — a platform that makes weather and climate statistics available to everyone. Currently, the website provides access to historical weather observations of about 7,000 weather stations worldwide. Essentially, meteostat collects weather and climate data from national weather services and exposes the data through a simple user interface to its audience.

Daily precipitation totals. Houston, TX in August 2017.
Daily precipitation totals in Houston, TX during hurricane Harvey in August 2017. Data source: meteostat, NOAA.

meteostat aims to provide open access to as much meteorological data as possible. Therefore, the platform comes with a simple REST API that enables developers to use meteostat data on their projects.

At Medium we will deep-dive into meteostat statistics and provide background information on how we collect and visualize data. There is more to come.

Meteostat

A free online service which provides weather and climate…

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