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
Wind direction and speed are normally measured using separate instruments, most often a cup anemometer and a potentiometer-based wind vane. The absolute accuracy of wind speed measurements is more likely to be limited by the height and exposure of the anemometer, rather than the accuracy of the sensor. The accuracy of wind direction measurements depends more upon careful alignment at installation.
When choosing a weather station, or components of a weather station, decide firstly what the equipment will mainly be used for: some potential uses may not be immediately obvious. Once that is clear, review the relevant decision-making factors as outlined in The Weather Observer's Handbook, Chapter 2, then prioritize them against your requirements.
Dry- and wet-bulb thermometers can easily be replicated using electrical sensors, although small capacitative humidity sensors have largely replaced the traditional dry- and wet-bulb psychrometer. Modern sensors are small, economical on power, more reliable at temperatures below freezing and datalogger-friendly.
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.
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.