Introduction

Living in a country with such changeable weather, due to its geographical location, ensures that the weather is always a topic of conversation.

Within this book are the thoughts and experience of an enthusiastic amateur who started a weather station in his teens with a simple maximum / minimum thermometer hanging outside. Much later in life, and in a new home, a glass thermometer was installed in a Stevenson Screen – see Chapter 10. Over the considerable intervening years the equipment has been upgraded and gradually extended until an advanced electronic unit is now in use with the consequent considerable extension to the data produced.

In the past a simple maximum / minimum thermometer was sufficient to start recording basic information but nowadays a vast array of instruments are available to suit all requirements from inexpensive units to high-end professional equipment.

This book will help to clarify what data might be recorded, indicate the range of equipment available to suit those needs, where to purchase it and a discussion on the placement of equipment for the most accurate results. Having bought an instrument a wealth of data will start to be collected so thought needs to be given on record keeping, the analysis of the data and its representation. Before the advent of modern electronic instruments, the observer had to go outside to read the instruments, in all weathers. Now the majority of instruments have a monitor, which can be read from the comfort of your own home, but that can also record data over a period of time.

Before any money is spent on purchasing an instrument I strongly suggest that chapter 10, titled  ‘Placement’, is read in order not to make an expensive purchase when the site will not warrant it.

Having thought about installing a weather station and then making a decision to buy some equipment, however modest, you will have joined a band of amateur meteorologists stretching back to 1337 when the first observations were taken in Oxford.

The chapters contain images of instruments that the author has obtained, most of which have been used regularly since the current station was started in 1984

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