This site provides useful practical information related to global and national weather observing practices and instruments, including independent equipment reviews.
You will find much of the background in my book The Weather Observer’s Handbook (published by Cambridge University Press), details of which can also be found on this site, together with useful links and downloads.
Author, The Weather Observer’s Handbook
A nation obsessed with the weather? Yes, certainly, but which nation?
Tip of The Day
Spreadsheets are ideal for archiving weather records, and provide more comprehensive analysis tools than the automatic weather station (AWS) software used to log the sensors. Holding and archiving data in hourly, daily and monthly spreadsheets is easy to do, simplifies record-keeping and makes subsequent analysis much more straightforward.
AWS software provides three key functions – system setup and configuration, communication with and downloading of data from the datalogger, and the display of current and logged data. Most offer some form of data upload to Internet/website.
The most common measurements made are of sunshine duration, using a sunshine recorder, and global solar radiation on a horizontal surface, using a pyranometer. ‘Sunshine’ is defined in terms of the intensity of a perpendicular beam of solar radiation from the solar disk. The intensity of solar radiation is measured in Watts per square metre (W/m2), and daily totals in Megajoules per square metre (MJ/m2). Sunshine durations are measured in hours, or quoted as a percentage of the maximum possible duration.
By convention, 24 hour minimum temperatures read at the morning observation are entered to the day on which they were read, whereas 24 hour maximum temperature and total rainfall are entered to the day prior to the observation (they are said to be ‘thrown back’).
Pressure sensors must be located away from places that may experience sudden changes in temperature (direct sunshine, heating appliances or air conditioning outlets) or draughts, which will cause erroneous readings.