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
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.
Site metadata statements are important because they provide the essential information for any other user of the records to understand more about the location and characteristics of weather records made at any site, thereby enabling more informed use of the data to be made.
Wind is a vector quantity – it has both direction and speed. Wind direction refers to where the wind is coming from. A wind vane needs to be accurately aligned to true north, which is slightly different to the magnetic north shown by a magnetic compass.
There are enormous differences in functionality and capability between basic and advanced models of automatic weather station (AWS). The general rule that ‘you get what you pay for’ holds true for AWSs as well as most other products, but some systems are better than others and it pays to check available products carefully against your requirements to ensure the best fit.
When choosing a weather station, or components of a weather station, carefully match the available budget against your requirements and desired specifications. Consider that a reasonable mid-range or advanced system, when used with care and maintained, should last for 10 or even 20 years, and budget accordingly. There are many ‘cheap and cheerful’ systems available, but will they last longer than their warranty period?