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
Earth temperatures at 30 cm or deeper are measured using specially lagged thermometers hung on chains in steel tubes at the required depth, or using electrical sensors. Cabled sensors are ideally suited to measuring grass or earth temperatures, although care needs to be taken in how earth temperature sensors are exposed, as locating them in tubes with higher conductivity than the surrounding soil will introduce significant errors.
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.
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.
Making weather measurements, particularly using an automatic weather station (AWS), can quickly generate vast amounts of data and these can become unmanageable without some thought being given to how records are to be kept and used.
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.