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
By convention, weather measurements throughout the world are made to a common time standard – Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). For all practical purposes, UTC is identical to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
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.
Earth temperatures are most frequently measured at depths of 5, 10, 20, 30, 50 and 100 cm below ground level. Measurements at 30 cm or deeper are normally made under a grass surface, while the shallower depths are measured under a bare soil plot. Both should remain fully exposed to sunshine, wind and rainfall.
Manual raingauges should have a round, deep funnel to minimize outsplash in heavy rain (shallow funnel gauges are not recommended) and should have a capacity sufficient to cope with at least a ‘1-in-100 year’ rainfall event – a minimum of 150 mm in the UK and 500 mm (20 inches) in most parts of the United States. The gauge must be paired with an appropriately calibrated glass measuring cylinder.
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.