I need US monthly climate data for the years 1992-2012. It would be great to get down to a county level, but by state would be just fine. Every site that I go to inevitably kicks me to the NCDC, but I cannot make sense of their data.
For example: the .csv sample data for GHCN Monthly Summaries lists EMXT (extreme maximum temperature) for each month of 2010 in Petersburg, ND. July had an EMXT of 317. I've been through the documentation, but I can't figure out what that number is supposed to mean. I know it wasn't 317F or C in ND at any point. Did they add all the temps up? Was it around 10C every day of July 2010? But why would you do that? The .PDF data looks like actual temperatures, but I need a lot of data: .CSV is ideal; .PDF is really not useable for the amount of data I am going to manipulate.
What am I missing? Or is there another way to get this data?