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The National Weather Service (NWS) makes the results from its Global Forecast System model (GFS) available for download as GRIB2 files.

While accessing current (or recent) forecasts is straight-forward, I am looking for the archived forecasts over at least the last year, better multiple years back for the purpose of statistical analysis of predominant weather patterns in certain areas.

Does anybody know how to access this information?

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You can download recent history from NOMADS for a range of models, including GFS 0.5 and 1.0 degree. Your download options include FTP, HTTP, GrADS and THREDDS. Depending on what you need, a query into THREDDS might save you a lot of download - worth a look if you have seen it before.

The data is readily available for a bit less than a year (as of Dec 2015, it went back to March 2015, with some entries back to October 2014).

However this does not represent the available data. To get more data, you need to use the "offline" query system, which does involve an order, wait, download process.

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