In Canada, weather observations began to be implemented in a systematic way in the 1870s. By the 1950s, the network of weather observing sites had grown to include many of the populated areas in Canada.
Environment and Climate Change Canada now operates several monitoring networks including a land-based network of weather stations. These stations record daily and hourly measurements of a variety of variables such as temperature and precipitation.
You can access data from Environment and Climate Change Canada stations on ClimateData.ca by clicking on Download and then selecting Station Data. If a station does not exist at your desired location then you will need to use a nearby station or a gridded historical data product.
Long-term observations from these stations, and others, constitute an important part of Canada’s climate record. The 30-year averages of these climate variables such as temperature and precipitation are calculated from these station observations. These 30-year averages are called Climate Normals and they are used to describe the average climate conditions of a particular location.
However, things can change at weather stations. For instance, equipment can be updated or trees may grow nearby. This can result in changes in the record that are not due to changing weather conditions. Scientists have spent considerable effort accounting for these changes and developed the Adjusted and Homogenized Canadian Climate Dataset, which can be accessed on the Canadian Centre for Climate Services website.