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 new book The Weather Observer’s Handbook (Cambridge University Press, 2012), 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
Rooftops or masts may provide much better exposure for some sensors, but carefully consider the accessibility of the site before attempting to install the sensors. If the proposed site cannot be reached safely, fit appropriate safety measures or find another site. Do not take personal risks, or encourage others to do so, when attempting to install weather station sensors, particularly at height.
Mean wind speeds normally refer to 10 minute periods, gust speeds to 3 seconds. For accurate determination of gust speeds, a high sampling interval (no more than a few seconds) is essential, although the logging interval can be much longer than this.
An automatic weather station (AWS) does not have to be the first rung on the weather measurement ladder. Short of funds? Not sure whether you’ll keep the records going and don’t want to spend a lot until you have given it a few months? Not sure where to start? Different options are explored in The Weather Observer’s Handbook.
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.
Calibrations can drift over time, so calibrations should be checked (and adjusted if necessary) regularly – at least once every 6 months for pressure sensors, every 2 years for electronic temperature probes and every 5 years for liquid-in-glass thermometers.