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
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.
Barometric pressure is the easiest of all of the weather elements to measure, and even basic weather stations or household aneroid barometers can provide reasonably accurate readings. It is also the only weather element that can be observed indoors, making a barometer or barograph – analogue or digital – an ideal instrument for apartment dwellers.
‘Humidity’ refers to the amount of water vapour in the air, a vital component of the weather machine. Various measures are used to quantify the amount of atmospheric water vapour – relative humidity and dew point being the two most commonly used. Knowledge of any two values can derive other humidity parameters. The amount of water vapour that the air can hold varies significantly with temperature – saturated air at 0 °C holds only a quarter of the amount that saturated air at 20 °C can hold.
When choosing a weather station, or components of a weather station, carefully consider the key decision areas. Should the system be cabled, or wireless? Is it easy to set up and use? How many sensors are offered, and how accurate and reliable will they be? Are all the sensors mounted in one ‘integrated’ system, or can they be positioned separately for the optimum exposure in each case? Do the records obtained need to conform to ‘official standards’? Examples and suggestions are given in The Weather Observer’s Handbook.
Terminal hours based around ‘day maximum’ and ‘night minimum’ temperatures (where the extremes span only 12 hour periods) will generally give results which are incompatible with ‘24 hour’ sites, particularly in temperate latitudes in the winter months.