Published: 2007-12-01 12:21:09
Updated: 2007-12-01 12:21:09
Posted December 1, 2007 12:21 p.m. EST
MIKE MOSS SAYS: Gary, Observations began at RDU in May 1944. There are older observations that served as the "official" Raleigh readings, from a series of different sites that stretch back to January 1887. I'm not aware of a readily accessible source for direct access to the data from those stations, although they are cited from time to time by the National Weather Service. There is a searchable online database of observations from the Raleigh-Durham airport, maintained by the Southeast Regional Climate Center, that begins in August 1948. Because we are able to perform statistics, threshold searches, and so forth on that data, we will often restrict our statements about fairly esoteric RDU records to that time period.
While complete observational sets are tough to come by online, you can find some statistics from those older historical data at the SERCC site. Just go to http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/historical/historical_nc.html and you can peruse information from many sites across the state. There is a cooperative station labeled "Raleigh 4 SW" that has a period of record stretching back to 1892 that can be useful for checking record temperatures and precipitation amounts that run much farther back in time than RDU. The "Daily Summary Stats" link near the bottom of the left pane can be especially useful.