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Science: Meteorology/Weather

An overview of resources to get you started in studying or researching science topics.

Reference Sources

Meteorology / Weather

"Even the storms are friendly and seem to regard you as a brother, their beauty and tremendous fateful earnestness charming alike."

— John Muir, American naturalist

Anyone who has ever been confined in her/his home or stranded on the platform of a train station by a blizzard knows the impact that weather can have.  The weather can determine how we get from one place to another, what we do, where we go, even what we eat and drink.  It can also make or destroy our livelihoods, our homes, and our outlook on life.  The more we understand the weather and weather reports, predictions, etc., the better we can mitigate or capitalize on the effects of the weather in our day-to-day lives.


Search tips

1) Start with an overview for your topic.  For example, you can start with an encyclopedia such as Credo Reference or Gale Virtual Reference Library (see list of BPL resources below) to get a basic idea of what your topic is all about.

2) Once you have a general idea of what your topic is about, you can narrow your topic down by subcategory, such as "Forecasting" under "Meteorology."

3) Search for more information on your topic, using journal article databases, government websites, organization websites, etc.  A good place to start is the Science in Context database which includes reference resources, experiments, statistics, magazine and academic journal articles, news articles, maps, multimedia,and external websites.

Different types of information that you can look for include:

  • Overview -- General description or outline of a topic
  • Statistics -- Collection of quantitative data
  • Evidence -- A visible sign of a phenomenon ; something which demonstrates that a phenomenon or theory exists or is true
  • Guides -- "How-to" instructions or an outline of how to do something
  • News Articles -- Article from a newspaper or other news source; good source of current and local information and can be considered a primary source
  • Blogs -- Website on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences
  • Journal Articles -- Article from a magazine or academic journal
  • Multimedia -- Videos, photographs, or audio resources
  • Reports -- Official documents from the government or other institution that give information about a particular subject
  • Interviews -- Reporting of meetings at which information is obtained from a person

For more information on conducting research on a topic, see from Case Western Reserve University.


Online Meteorology Resources

These links provide access to government and other reports, statistics,  and current developments for high school and college students as well as anyone interested in meteorology and other weather-related fields.

Climate Data Online
National Climatic Data Center of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.  Provides global historical weather and climate data. 

National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center

National Weather Service
Find local, national, and international weather. Includes a listing of all the active weather warnings in effect in the U.S.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
The NSF is an independent federal agency.  This site provides access to research, discoveries, and news in environmental science.
Includes research and development, technical reports, journal citations, databases, federal websites, and fact sheets.

Old Farmer’s Almanac 
Contains information on weather conditions and forecasts. Includes weather-related folklore, facts, seasonal "best days," and information on how to predict the weather.

Resources at the Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library provides access to indexes and full-text articles through the Electronic Resources page (  Many of these resources are available off-site to residents of Massachusetts.  Suggested databases are listed below:


The catalog for the Boston Public Library is available at

Suggested subject headings:

For assistance with searching and locating items held by the Boston Public Library and other libraries in the Metro Boston Library Network, see