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Treasure Hunting for Historical Weather Records in VT: CDMP Project--Climate Database Modernization

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02/27/2005

Understanding climate variability is one of the tasks facing climatologists in their quest to identify patterns and trends in the weather and climate around us. Long-term climate records are essential to this task and are becoming available as part of the Climate Database Modernization Program (CDMP). Burlington and Lunenburgh, VT, were the first stations to be researched with records dating back to the early 1800s. Dr. Hiram A. Cutting, the Lunenburgh observer, was an avid natural historian, who along with Zadock Thompson, left a legacy of manuscripts on VT's climate. Weather data and the environmental conditions under which they were made can also be extracted from diaries, journals, and other publications. These range from the Robinson family diaries at the Rokeby Museum, to the Bushnell, Dutton and Mead families' diaries housed in the Bailey/Howe Library's Special Collections Department at UVM. From historical societies around the state have come photographs of historic events and daily weather from towns where no records are kept today. This presentation highlights the many fascinating discoveries made during visits to various museums, socieities, and the Burlington International Airport as we continue to build the historical climate database for VT. Lesley-Ann Dupigny Giroux is Associate Prof. in the Geography Dept. at UVM and the VT State Climatologist.

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