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
Most budget automatic weather station (AWS) packages will include a pre-programmed datalogger with display software, although flexibility and expandability may be limited. Sophisticated programmable multi-sensor loggers and software are highly expandable, but are considerably more expensive and complex to programme and use.
Earth temperatures are normally quoted for a morning observation hour, although hourly values can easily be derived from logged electrical sensors. Hourly values provide useful insights into diurnal temperature variations below the earth’s surface.
Satisfactory site and sensor exposure are fundamental to obtaining representative weather observations. An open well-exposed site is the ideal, of course, but with planning and careful positioning of the instruments, good results can often be obtained from all but the most sheltered locations.
Rooftops or masts may provide much better exposure for some sensors, but carefully consider the accessibility of the site before attempting to install the sensors. If the proposed site cannot be reached safely, fit appropriate safety measures or find another site. Do not take personal risks, or encourage others to do so, when attempting to install weather station sensors, particularly at height.
The ideal site for wind instruments is atop a 10 m mast in open, level terrain, well away from any obstacles. However, such ideal sites are hard to come by, particularly in urban or suburban areas, and wind records are therefore necessarily more site-specific than most other weather measurements. Some corrections for the variation of mean wind speed with height are possible, and these are described in The Weather Observer's Handbook. Gust speeds should not be corrected.