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 book The Weather Observer’s Handbook (published by Cambridge University Press), 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
Instrumental readings are of course vital in making observations of the weather, but for a complete picture non-instrumental and ‘narrative’ weather observations are equally important, especially for the analysis of severe weather events.
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.
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.
The preferred resolution of a recording raingauge is 0.1 or 0.2 mm; 1 mm tipping-bucket raingauges are too coarse for accurate measurements of small daily amounts. Recording raingauges should be logged at 1 minute or 5 minute resolution (higher frequencies are possible using an event-based logger). They should be regularly inspected for funnel blockage or any obstruction to the operating mechanism, which will result in the complete loss of useful record if not quickly corrected.
The traditional method of measuring humidity is by using a pair of matched mercury-in-glass thermometers, known individually as dry-bulb and wet-bulb thermometers and in combination as a dry- and wet-bulb psychrometer. The wet-bulb is a thermometer whose bulb is kept permanently wet using a thin close-fitting cotton cap or sleeve. The wet-bulb is cooled by evaporation, and the difference in temperature between dry-bulb and wet-bulb thermometers is a measure of the humidity of the air. Using tables, an online calculator or formulae, the relative humidity (or any of the other humidity measures) can be quickly and easily determined from simultaneous readings of the two thermometers.