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
Most budget automatic weather station (AWS) packages will include a pre-programmed datalogger with display software, although flexibility and expandability may be limited. Sophisticated programmable multi-sensor loggers and software are highly expandable, but are considerably more expensive and complex to programme and use.
By convention, weather measurements throughout the world are made to a common time standard – Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). For all practical purposes, UTC is identical to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
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.
It is advisable to check and test all sensor / datalogger / software and communications thoroughly, over a period of at least a few days, before permanent hardware installation or embarking on any long-term data collection.
The wind is highly variable in both speed and direction, and obtaining good measurements of the wind poses particular challenges for instruments, logging equipment and site requirements.