Variability, Weather, & Extreme Events

About Pacific Northwest Climate. 2014. Climate Impacts Group (CIG), University of Washington. The Climate Impacts Group maintains this resource with a wealth of scientific information about Pacific Northwest climate and weather. This page covers typical climate east and west of cascades, variations in regional climate and past and future trends.

Weather vs. Climate: What’s the Difference? 2014. Climate Impacts Group (CIG), University of Washington. The distinction between weather and climate, and why it matters, is clearly and succinctly discussed here.

Climate Variability. 2014. Climate Impacts Group (CIG), University of Washington. El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) patterns of large-scale variation are discussed here.

Inland Northwest Climate Tracker. 2014. Desert Research Institute, University of Idaho. If you are interested in specific climate data from monitoring stations in the Inland Pacific Northwest, this site allows you to view recent data for maximum, minimum and mean temperatures, precipitation and snowfall by month or season for over 40 locations.

The Storm King: Some Historical Weather Events in the Pacific Northwest. December 5, 2008. Wolf Read, website hosted by Office of the Washington State Climatologist. Historical case studies documenting severe weather in the Pacific Northwest, with windstorm events classified by track type.

Modeling Environmental Change: A Guide to Understanding Results from Models This fact sheet was written to orient readers from diverse backgrounds to the basics of how environmental models are developed. This extension publication covers the kinds of input data that go into climate change impacts models and considers approaches to defining future scenarios, communicating model outputs, and representing uncertainty.

Climate Engine A number of spatially and temporally complete historical and current near surface climate and weather datasets now exist. These data are based on a vast network of place-based observations, and overcome some flaws in earlier datasets linked to gaps in observations, sparseness of stations in some regions and inconsistent variables that were recorded. UI professor John Abatzoglou and collaborators developed a gridded surface meteorological dataset that includes temperature, humidity, winds, solar radiation and precipitation ( To make these data more accessible, the University of Idaho and the Desert Research Institute developed Climate Engine, which lets users analyze maps, examine time series, and download digital data without needing to process the entire data archive.

 Office of the Washington State Climatologist The Washington State Climatologist collects, shares, and interprets climate data from various sources. The website distributes peer-reviewed climate and weather information for governmental and private decision-makers working on drought, flooding, climate change and related issues.

 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Data Online This website provides access to the National Climate Data Center’s archive of global historical weather and climate data, as well as weather station history information. These data include daily, monthly, seasonal, and yearly measurements of temperature, precipitation, wind, and degree days as well as radar data and 30-year climate averages.

 AgWeatherNet Washington State University’s AgWeatherNet provides current and historical weather data from WSU’s network of 178 automated weather stations. The weather network is managed by the AgWeatherNet team, located at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Washington. WSU’s automated weather stations are located primarily in the irrigated regions of eastern Washington. Variables tracked by AgWeatherNet include air temperature, relative humidity, dew point temperature, soil temperature at 8 inches, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, solar radiation and leaf wetness. Some stations also measure atmospheric pressure. These variables are recorded every 5 seconds and summarized every 15 minutes by a data logger. The website also connects users with models and decision aid tools.

 REACCH Climate and Weather Tools Researchers involved with the Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH) project developed a web tool for agricultural decision makers to get information about location-specific historical climate, current weather, seasonal forecasts and future projections. The user can select a location and obtain a summary of contemporary climate normals and projected changes for different time periods.