Historical Canadian climate data is now only a few clicks away


Concordia University

Mon, 01/07/2019
A set of new online tools will allow you to navigate through historical Canadian climate data from your hometown to the Arctic, from now to the year you were born — and as far back as the 1800s.
Ali Nazemi, an assistant professor in Concordia’s Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, together with undergraduate student Shakil Jiwa, developed three new online apps — the Canadian Climate Data Accessibility Portal (CCDAP), Past vs. Current Cimate Comparison in Canada (PCCC) and Evolution of Climate Observatories in Canada (ECO-CAN).
These apps make data from all of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s climate stations across the country searchable in a number of different ways.
Users can query for monthly, daily and even hourly time series of weather variables such as temperature, precipitation, relative humidity and wind, compare the annual characteristics of weather data and visualize the evolution of publicly available climate observation networks in Canada.
The primary goal, Nazemi says, was to make previously difficult-to-access Canadian weather data available to researchers and to provide a synoptic view of how climate observations are available across time and space.
Data from climate stations — the oldest of which, in Toronto, was established in 1840 — have up until now not been very easy for researchers to work with. Accessing daily data for one station over several years using the internet required downloading one file per year.