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
The majority of AWS owners opt for a third-party AWS software package over the manufacturer’s offering. Five leading packages account for more than four in five of AWSs surveyed in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, although there are also others available. There is no ‘best’ solution, all packages have pros and cons, and the choice is largely one of personal preference. Most of the leading software is available on a ‘try before you buy’ basis, and it is best to ‘try before you buy’.
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.
Earth temperatures are most frequently measured at depths of 5, 10, 20, 30, 50 and 100 cm below ground level. Measurements at 30 cm or deeper are normally made under a grass surface, while the shallower depths are measured under a bare soil plot. Both should remain fully exposed to sunshine, wind and rainfall.
Instrument calibrations are one of the most important, yet also one of the most neglected, areas of weather measurement. Making accurate weather measurements requires accurately calibrated instruments.
Spreadsheets are ideal for archiving weather records, and provide more comprehensive analysis tools than the automatic weather station (AWS) software used to log the sensors. Holding and archiving data in hourly, daily and monthly spreadsheets is easy to do, simplifies record-keeping and makes subsequent analysis much more straightforward.