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
A site metadata statement is best prepared as a short structured text document, and retained alongside data files in soft copy or hard copy. A copy or link should also be included on the site weather website, if there is one. Links should also be provided to site photographs, instrument calibration certificates and other related documents.
Raingauges should be exposed with the rim at the national standard height above ground – in the UK and Ireland, this is 30 cm; in the United States, between 3 and 4 feet (90 to 120 cm). Most countries define a ‘standard rim height’ as between 50 cm and 150 cm above ground. Take care to set the gauge rim level, and to maintain it accurately so.
A once-daily ‘morning observation’ is the best time to read/reset any manual instruments in use, as well as perform visual checks on the operation of the sensors for an automatic weather station AWS, particularly raingauge funnels which are likely to become blocked if left unchecked. A manual observation also provides a convenient opportunity to note current weather details such as the amount and types of cloud, the surface visibility, present weather, the occurrence of lying snow, and so on.
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.
Never take risks with personal safety when installing any weather sensors at height.