The Midwestern Climate Center has made an easy-to-use portal to National Weather Service cooperative weather data archives on their website, called cli-MATE. Even though they are located in Champaign IL and cover the Midwestern states, the database contains information for locations across the US. The system is free to use but you need to create a user id and password to enter. Once inside, you will find a wealth of information in tabular, map, and graphical formats. Data include both daily and hourly data as well as monthly and other summaries. You can also search for rainfall events by threshold value, count the number of days above a certain temperature, and calculate degree days for heating, cooling, corn, and stress. Maps can be provided in gridded formats. Try it out for yourself and see how easy it can be, or contact me to get help finding a particular product you are interested in. The website is http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/CLIMATE/.