NCEI United States Daily Record Count Archive

The purpose of this post is merely to catalogue counts of daily record highs and lows (high maximums, high minimums, low minimums , low maximums) coming into the National Center for Environmental Information’s site and all related charts and graphs produced in my Excel files for those data sets. I am in the process of constantly updating this data verifying the 2009 Meehl et. all surface Records published in geophysical Science that I initiated from the year 2000. Each individual count could be a tied surface record or one broken by several degrees Fahrenheit. Here is the link to the NCEI site: 

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datatools/records 

More from NCEI: 

“The daily records summarized here are compiled from a subset of stations in the Global Historical Climatological Network. A station is defined as the complete daily weather records at a particular location, having a unique identifier in the GHCN-Daily dataset. 

For a station to be considered for any parameter, it must have a minimum of 30 years of data with more than 182 days complete each year. This is effectively a “30-year record of service” requirement, but allows for inclusion of some stations which routinely shut down during certain seasons. Small station moves, such as a move from one property to an adjacent property, may occur within a station history. However, larger moves, such as a station moving from downtown to the city airport, generally result in the commissioning of a new station identifier. This tool treats each of these histories as a different station. In this way, it does not “thread” the separate histories into one record for a city. 

This tool provides simplistic counts of records to provide insight into recent climate behavior, but is not a definitive way to identify trends in the number of records set over time. This is particularly true outside the United States, where the number of records may be strongly influenced by station density from country to country and from year to year. These data are raw and have not been assessed for the effects of changing station instrumentation and time of observation.”

An updated 2016 study from Dr. Jerry Meehl indicates that the ratio from year to year will average around 15 to 1 by 2100:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2016/11/21/us-record-high-temperatures-overwhelm-record-lows/94234824/

Per one of the authors of both the 2009 and 2016 studies, Claudia Tebaldi said “This climate is on a trajectory that goes somewhere we’ve never been. And records are a very easy measure of that.”

Data is now complete through the 2010s. All of the data listed below is part of this one chart. The ratio of daily record highs to lows for the 2010s was higher than any decade since the 1890s:

Here are the current daily record counts per decade, which have gone into the prior chart:

For this data set all monthly ratios of  > 10 to 1 DHMX to DLMN or > 10 to 1 DLMN to DHMX are in bold type. The rankings are for the lower 48 states with the warmest ranking since 1895 of average temperatures being 126 and 1 being the coldest as of 2020.  Blue colors represent cold months and red warm. Those months with counts close to a 1 to 1 ratio of highs to lows are colored black.

NCDC rankings have been color coded (under tabs in each file) such that values of 50 to 72 are black representing neutral months or years (+ or – 10 from the average ranking of 62.5). Values below 50 are color coded blue and values above 72 are color coded red.

Time stamps for when I last updated counts are located in the upper left hand corner of each chart. Drop me a note if you see an error or if you have suggestions for improvements.

The 2010s:

The 2000s:

The 1990s:

The 1980s:

The 1970s:

The 1960s:

The 1950s:

The 1940s:

The 1930s:

The 1920s:

The 1910s:

The 1900s:

The 1890s:

For the following data sets of record  high minimums and low maximums I have highlighted months with over a ten to one or under one to ten ratios in bold type. The rankings are for the lower 48 states with the warmest ranking since 1895 of average temperatures being 126 and 1 being the coldest as of 2020. Blue colors represent cold months and red warm. Those months with counts close to a 1 to 1 ratio of highs to lows are colored black. Time stamps for when I last updated counts are located in the upper left hand corner of each chart. Drop me a note if you see an error or if you have suggestions for improvements.

All of the data listed below is part of this one chart. So far the ratio of daily record high minimums to low maximums for the 2010s is higher than any decade since the 1890s:

Here are the current daily record counts per decade, which have gone into the above chart:

The 2010s:

The 2000s:

The 1990s:

The 1980s:

The 1970s:

The 1960s:

1950s:

The 1940s:

The 1930s:

The 1920s:

The 1910s:

1900s:

1890s:

This is all of the NCEI daily record count data for the United States.

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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