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
Terminal hours based around ‘day maximum’ and ‘night minimum’ temperatures (where the extremes span only 12 hour periods) will generally give results which are incompatible with ‘24 hour’ sites, particularly in temperate latitudes in the winter months.
The critical decision criteria for dataloggers are – choice of power supply, and battery backup capability: amount of memory: number and type of input options (‘ports’): and programmable capabilities, if any.
Choosing a weather station can be complex and a number of important factors may not be immediately obvious to the first-time purchaser. Deciding a few months down the line that the unit purchased is unsuitable and difficult to use (or simply does not do what you want it to) is likely to prove an expensive mistake, as very few entry-level and budget systems can be upgraded or expanded.
Earth temperatures at 30 cm or deeper are measured using specially lagged thermometers hung on chains in steel tubes at the required depth, or using electrical sensors. Cabled sensors are ideally suited to measuring grass or earth temperatures, although care needs to be taken in how earth temperature sensors are exposed, as locating them in tubes with higher conductivity than the surrounding soil will introduce significant errors.
There are enormous differences in functionality and capability between basic and advanced models of automatic weather station (AWS). The general rule that ‘you get what you pay for’ holds true for AWSs as well as most other products, but some systems are better than others and it pays to check available products carefully against your requirements to ensure the best fit.