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
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.
When choosing a weather station, or components of a weather station, decide firstly what the equipment will mainly be used for: some potential uses may not be immediately obvious. Once that is clear, review the relevant decision-making factors as outlined in The Weather Observer's Handbook, Chapter 2, then prioritize them against your requirements.
Metadata is literally ‘data about data’. In the context of weather records, it is a description of the site and its surroundings, the instruments in use and any changes over time, information about observational databases and units used, and any other details about the measurements that may be relevant.
The majority of AWS owners opt for a third-party AWS software package over the manufacturer’s offering. Five leading packages account for more than four in five of AWSs surveyed in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, although there are also others available. There is no ‘best’ solution, all packages have pros and cons, and the choice is largely one of personal preference. Most of the leading software is available on a ‘try before you buy’ basis, and it is best to ‘try before you buy’.
Sharing real-time weather information from a digital weather station over the Internet via a site-specific website, or submitting the output automatically to one or more data aggregation sites, the largest of which store and display observations from thousands of locations across the world, can help build a clearer picture of weather conditions within a town, city or country, help pin down the tracks of showers or thunderstorms, or map an urban heat island.
With a relatively dense network of reporting locations in populated areas, together with a fast update/refresh rate, highly detailed mesoscale displays of current weather conditions are instantly available on the web, even on portable devices such as smartphones.