Video tutorial: Research historical temperature & precipitation data

In a recent post on my favorite resources for researching the conditions that I will likely encounter on a backpacking trip, I plugged the Environmental Centers for Environmental Information, which tracks temperature and precipitation data for thousands of locations throughout the United States.

It’s an extremely helpful website, but it can be difficult to navigate and find the data that you want. To help, I put together a quick-and-dirty video tutorial, below. One day I might get fancy with my YouTube channel, but at least today you got bedhead and a day-old t-shirt.

To get to my starting screen on the NCEI website (at 0:35), click here.

Posted in , on March 12, 2021


  1. Brandon Chase on March 13, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    So much easier to understand with this walkthrough. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  2. Hunter Grantham Hall on March 13, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    Great video. Very helpful.

  3. Jason on March 15, 2021 at 11:58 am

    hey Andrew,
    you might do a little compendium vid about the pinpoint weather feature on
    it might be fairly obvious for most but some might be unaware.

    For example, if you were going out for a 2 night, 3 day trip to Thousand Island lake in the sierras and you just went to like you normally would for day to day life, you would probably just find the Mammoth Lakes forecast which atm is a high of 45 and low of 25 for this Wednesday.
    However if you go to the pinpoint weather on noaa site for thousand island lake @ 10.1’k it factors in the elevation and more specific conditions for that area. For this Wed it shows high of 33 and a low of 17.

    Another feature i like to use is the hourly forecast. It gives you a nice graph of all the weather variables by hour. i find it a lot more detailed and accurate than other weather sites.

  4. Jonathan on August 3, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    Hey Andrew – Just found your site as I’m just getting into backpacking. My wife and hike a lot and want to start backpacking. I’m wondering if you have done any blogs on lightning safety. I just saw someone was killed this week on the JMT due to lightning. Thanks

    • Andrew Skurka on August 3, 2021 at 1:52 pm

      Yikes, tragic. Not to be messed with.

      No, no blog posts about it.

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