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
Generally speaking, the best exposure to the wind will be obtained by exposing both anemometer and wind vane in as open a position as possible, as high as possible, commensurate with both safety and accessibility for installation and maintenance. The necessarily elevated exposure will increase the vulnerability of the instruments to extreme weather conditions, particularly snow or ice, lightning and of course high winds. Great care should be taken in installation and cabling to minimize the potential for subsequent weather-related reliability issues.
Months or years of data can be lost in an instant if held in a single file on one hard disk. An entire lifetime’s manuscript record could just as easily be lost forever in a house fire or burglary. Taking simple steps, including putting in place a multiple backup strategy, can hugely improve the chances that records (and instruments) will survive to be used by future researchers.
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.
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.
Manual raingauges should have a round, deep funnel to minimize outsplash in heavy rain (shallow funnel gauges are not recommended) and should have a capacity sufficient to cope with at least a ‘1-in-100 year’ rainfall event – a minimum of 150 mm in the UK and 500 mm (20 inches) in most parts of the United States. The gauge must be paired with an appropriately calibrated glass measuring cylinder.