Illinois State Water Survey - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

State Climatologist Office for Illinois

Using Weather and Climate Records in Court

Dr. Jim Angel, State Climatologist

  • The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is the official archive for the climate records in the United States. Many of these records appear in official publications of National Climatic Data Center and can be ordered from them for a fee.
  • Copies of the original records can also be obtained from National Climatic Data Center for a nominal fee.
  • National Climatic Data Center can also certify that you have true copies of the specified records and/or publication for a fee.
  • In general, properly certified copies or transcripts of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration** (NOAA) records, publications, or summaries are as admissible in court as the original records. A NOAA employee is not needed to authenticate the records (28 U.S.C. 1733).

**Parent organization of the National Climatic Data Center and the National Weather Service.

National Climatic Data Center
Federal Building
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville NC 28801-5001
Phone: 828-271-4800

Please note:

  • The State Climatologist Office is not the official archive of records.  The National Climatic Data Center is the official archive.
  • The State Climatologist Office does not take the observations except for the Champaign-Urbana station.
  • The State Climatologist cannot certify official records. Only the National Climatic Data Center and the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (phone: 217-244-8226) can do that.
  • The State Climatologist is not the official source of sunrise, sunset, moonrise, or moonset. The U.S. Naval Observatory is the official source.
  • The State Climatologist Office does not have the resources for discussing conditions beyond those at an official site.
  • The State Climatologist Office can function only as "a friend of the court" in any court dealings, showing no favor to one side or another.

Keep the above in mind before you send an affidavit or subpoena. If you are looking for expert testimony, consult the yellow pages or contact the American Meteorological Society (below) for a list of private consulting meteorologists.

American Meteorological Society
45 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-227-2425