The Climatology Program (also known as the State Climatology Office) exists to gather, archive, manage, and disseminate historical climate data in order to address questions involving the impact of climate on Minnesota and its citizens.
Climate data are used to explain past events and to assist planners in defining future climate scenarios. The State Climatology Office ensures a contiguous and continuous supply of high-quality climate data by coordinating the activities of climate data suppliers, and by developing tools for the management and distribution of the data. The State Climatology Office is a member of the Minnesota Climatology Working Group, a collaborative effort existing to study and describe the climate of Minnesota. In addition to the Department of Natural Resources State Climatology Office, members of the Climatology Working Group include the University of Minnesota-Department of Soil, Water, and Climate; the University of Minnesota-Department of Geography; the University of Minnesota Extension Service; the National Weather Service; and others. Each member concentrates its efforts on specific topical areas in which climate plays a significant role. The results of such effort generally can be used as guidance in the many activities in which Minnesota's citizens are involved. By functioning in a group fashion, an efficiency in the use of data and other resources is achieved.
The State Climatology Office relies heavily on the data-gathering efforts of others. Several public entities in Minnesota gather climate data. These entities serve missions relating to the use of such information on behalf of the citizens of the state. Collectively, these agencies have traditionally pooled resources and maintained activities specific to their disciplines and their respective clientele. Volunteer cooperators working with these agencies gather the majority of the climate data. The following agencies sponsor climate data-gathering efforts:
The clientele of the State Climatology Office are varied and many. Clientele include academics, state agencies, federal agencies, local governments, private sector professionals, and members of the public needing climate information for planning or investigative purposes.
The State Climatology Office serves its clientele by offering regularly prepared climate summaries, maps, and data sets. Also, the State Climatology Office produces customized climate data sets, summaries, and maps to honor specific requests. Data are distributed via the Minnesota Climatology Working Web Site, electronic mail, postal mail, telephone, and DNR and University of Minnesota publications.
Products provided by the State Climatology Office include:
Data services provided by the State Climatology Office include:
The State Climatology Office is supported by one full-time climatologist positions and two part-time assistant climatologist positions. The state climatologist serves the lead administrative role, steering strategic plans, and heading technical development. The assistant state climatologists are responsible for providing user services, overseeing data acquisition and management, and technical development.