Climate indices are simple diagnostic quantities that are used to characterize an aspect of a geophysical system such as a circulation pattern. They track droughts, ENSO events, wind patterns, internal modes of climate variability, and extreme events like wildfires and heatwaves. Climate indices play a key role in climate monitoring and prediction. The climate index overview page summarizes the philosophy of climate indices.
To find a specific climate index, jump to the search box below or click your desired index from among the blue sub-category buttons.
To see only the indices with in-depth commentary, select the "Datasets with guidance" button when using the search box.
Years of record
The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI) was first presented in 1995 as a framework for quantifying observed changes in climate within the contiguous United States…
Main variables and Earth System componentsAtmosphere Air Temperature Maximum Air Temperature Minimum Air Temperature Precipitation Wind Land Drought
- Monthly, Seasonal, Annual
- North America
Experts contributing reviews
- Gleason, Karin