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
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.
The calibration of all barometric pressure sensors, particularly electronic units, should be checked regularly to avoid calibration drift. More details are given in The Weather Observer's Handbook, Chapter 15.
Choosing a weather station. There are many different varieties of automatic weather stations (AWSs) available, and a huge range of different applications for them. To ensure any specific system satisfies any particular requirement, consider carefully, in advance of purchase, what are the main purposes for which it will be used, then consider and prioritize the features and benefits of suitable systems to choose the best solution from those available. Examples are given in The Weather Observer's Handbook.
Generally speaking, the best exposure to the wind will be obtained by exposing both anemometer and wind vane in as open a position as possible, as high as possible, commensurate with both safety and accessibility for installation and maintenance. The necessarily elevated exposure will increase the vulnerability of the instruments to extreme weather conditions, particularly snow or ice, lightning and of course high winds. Great care should be taken in installation and cabling to minimize the potential for subsequent weather-related reliability issues.
Raingauges should be exposed with the rim at the national standard height above ground – in the UK and Ireland, this is 30 cm; in the United States, between 3 and 4 feet (90 to 120 cm). Most countries define a ‘standard rim height’ as between 50 cm and 150 cm above ground. Take care to set the gauge rim level, and to maintain it accurately so.