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
Pressure sensors must be located away from places that may experience sudden changes in temperature (direct sunshine, heating appliances or air conditioning outlets) or draughts, which will cause erroneous readings.
To measure grass temperatures, a spirit-based minimum thermometer or an automatic weather station (AWS) or dedicated logger with inputs for a trailing-lead electrical sensor (thermistor or platinum resistance thermometer) is required. Entry-level and budget AWSs generally do not include suitable additional sensors or ‘spare’ sensor ports. A sensitive yet robust sensor is required to measure grass minimum temperatures, as it will be exposed to all extremes of weather.
Snowfall is difficult to measure accurately with most types of raingauge, and without some form of wind shield most raingauges will lose 50 per cent or more of the ‘true’ catch through wind errors introduced by the presence of the gauge, which interferes with the flow of the wind over it, causing a loss of some of the catch.
Grass temperatures should be sampled and logged at the same interval as used for air temperatures; for earth temperatures, particularly at depth, an hourly or even once-daily logging interval may be sufficient.
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.