How to Find the Temperature on Any Date in Any City in US

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, January 9, 1912: I believe a fellow could freeze his ears off on a day like this. You certainly don’t have to use paint on your cheeks on such a morning as we had today. Pa took me to school. Jimmie didn’t go. Got my face blackened at school today and burnt in the bargain.

Weather data sheet for Williamsport PA (January, 1912).

For the complete January 1912 data sheet, click on Williamsport.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

In nearby Williamsport the low on January 9, 1912 was 7 degrees and the high was 32 degrees. It was a cold morning, but not as cold as the previous day. On January 8 the low was –1 and the high was 16.

I found the weather data on the National Climatic Data Center website. Several people have asked me how to find old data on that site.

Here are the directions for finding weather data for a city on a certain date:

On the page that the link goes to, scroll down to “Global Historical Climatology Network-Daily” and click.

Then scroll down to “Individual Station Original” and click

Select the state that you are interested in. The names of lots of weather stations in the state will appear. Scroll down to the city you are interested in. Some cities are listed several times because there are different weather data series for that city.

For example, Williamsport PA is listed three times. I wanted the series that included 1912, so I selected the one that said, “Williamsport 1895-02 -1977-09.” This means that there is weather data from February (02), 1895 through September (09), 1977.  Williamsport had two data series for this time period–one with river levels on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River; the other temperatures.


9 thoughts on “How to Find the Temperature on Any Date in Any City in US

  1. I was wondering why her father was never mentioned. I thought he might be dead but checked the list of who is who and found he was not. And voila, he appears in two entries in a row.

    I like looking for weather in the chart. Thanks for including the directions.

    1. Her father is occasionally mentioned in passing in the diary–but unfortunately the entries don’t seem to say enough about him to enable me to really get much of a sense of what he was like. Though maybe the little that is said about him tells me something about how involved he was in the day-to-day dynamics of the family.

      Thank you for encouraging me to better explain how to find the weather data!

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