Climate change is present in climatological models – but did we already observe changes in the past measurement data? For the state of North Rhine Westphalia, the rainfall measurements since 1950 have been systematically analysed in order to find out whether there have already been trends and whether the behaviour of rainfall has changed in time. More than 600 station series have been screened for use in the project and quality controlled. Implausible data were discarded. For the analysis, standard values such as yearly sums, half-yearly sums, monthly sums, number of dry days, number of days with precipitation above a threshold, partial time series and extreme values statistics have been calculated and evaluated. Results show that also in the past 50 years, changes in precipitation regime could be observed. These changes have been regionally different. Consequences for urban hydrology include a development of more flexible design approaches.