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
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.
Site and exposure. Site refers to ‘the area or enclosure where the instruments are exposed’, while exposure refers to ‘the manner in which the sensor or sensor housing is exposed to the weather element it is measuring’.
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.
‘Precipitation’ measurements include rain, drizzle, snow, sleet, hail and the like as well as the occasional minor contribution from dew, frost or fog. Precipitation is highly variable in both space and time, and precipitation measurement networks are usually denser than for other elements to improve spatial coverage. There may be as many as 1 million raingauges operating globally, although standards vary from country to country.
Satisfactory site and sensor exposure are fundamental to obtaining representative weather observations. An open well-exposed site is the ideal, of course, but with planning and careful positioning of the instruments, good results can often be obtained from all but the most sheltered locations.