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
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.
Making weather measurements, particularly using an automatic weather station (AWS), can quickly generate vast amounts of data and these can become unmanageable without some thought being given to how records are to be kept and used.
Never take risks with personal safety when installing any weather sensors at height.
To obtain records of the timing and intensity of rainfall, one or more recording raingauges are often sited alongside the manual raingauge. The record from the manual gauge should be taken as the standard period total and sub-daily records (hourly totals, for instance) taken from the recording gauge adjusted to agree with the daily total taken from the manual gauge. The use of standalone recording gauges is not recommended when accurate or comparable rainfall totals are required.
A once-daily ‘morning observation’ is the best time to read/reset any manual instruments in use, as well as perform visual checks on the operation of the sensors for an automatic weather station AWS, particularly raingauge funnels which are likely to become blocked if left unchecked. A manual observation also provides a convenient opportunity to note current weather details such as the amount and types of cloud, the surface visibility, present weather, the occurrence of lying snow, and so on.