And now for the weather

You may have heard that we Brits are obsessed with the weather… it may be true, we do talk about it a lot.

My life is certainly strongly influenced by the weather – recently the only way to ensure that we get out for a walk with the dogs every day has been to ‘seize the moment’ and take them whenever it looks like it won’t rain for an hour. In fact, this has worked well and, despite very wet weather since two weeks before Christmas, we have managed to get out almost every day. It brings to mind something that Chris Dixon, a local(ish) permaculture practitioner says, that although we think it rains all the time in Wales, there is rarely a day when he doesn’t manage to get outside and do some work without getting rained on. Weather is very much about perceptions… it does feel like it has rained constantly this winter, but I know that it hasn’t really.

My birthday present - up and running

My birthday present – up and running

And so, in an attempt at some objectivity, and because I am a geek at heart, I asked Mr Snail-of-happiness for a very special birthday present this year, namely a weather station. I don’t mean one of those little things that sits indoors and ‘predicts’ the weather on the basis of changes in pressure… I mean a thing that records wind speed and direction, temperature, pressure and has a tipping cup rain gauge. How geeky is that?

Displaying the data (it's also being recorded on a data logger)

Displaying the data (it’s also being recorded on a data logger)

At university, I studied meteorology as one of my final year options, and I have always loved a good synoptic chart and actual data. So now I’m going to have my own data. I will be able to bore you to tears with regular updates on the weather here in west Wales… with numbers and everything!

I must point out, though, that whilst the weather station is new, we are ‘repurposing’ the pole it’s mounted on: that used to be the centre pole for the rotary clothes drier. Incidentally, the other part of the drier is going to be used as a support for growing beans up, so none of it will go to waste.

And now it’s all set up, the rain has started (0.4mm so far – see, I told you I was going to be boring!) and we are watching the little wind cups spin round… what fun!

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15 Comments

  1. I’m sharing in your nerdly glee! That looks fantastic. 😀

    Reply
  2. I love graphs!!

    I’ve never seen anything like this in action! Share away!!

    Reply
  3. Geek pride! Fight for your right to count, measure, analyse and then bore the pants off people! But I love a good weather forecast myself. I predict lots of Welsh weather information in my future….

    Reply
  4. I have to say, like many Australians, I’m a total addict of the BoM website (Bureau of Meteorology). It’s fantastic. You can get exact and current information, for example, about the river levels in your area, updated hourly. You get prompt and accurate information about cyclone alerts and tracking (a bit bloody important round here) and you get pretty accurate long range forecasts in substantial detail.

    Reply
  5. How cool is it that we can use technology to help us get out in nature? I agree with Katechiconi and organise my dog walks around 110 degree heat etcetera using BoM.
    I love your weather station and what you are using it for! High tech for organic veggies!
    Best of best worlds.

    Reply
    • I really like technology when used appropriately… I plan to use the data I collect for teaching too.
      I think I’ll do a monthly weather report… once I’ve worked out the intricacies of the data logger!

      Reply
  6. As a fellow-weather-obsessor (though an Aussie) I am rather impressed with your fancy weather contraption!
    All I can do is gaze at our endless blue skies and hope for clouds to float and fill, and end the endless baking of our dry,dry land. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Weather obsessed here too, I’d love one of those gadgets, so nerd away! 😀

    Reply
  8. And have you seen the http://www.raintoday.co.uk website? You can watch the progress of rainclouds (practically in real-time if you use the paid upgrade from the free version) and work out for yourself when it’s likely to be safe to nip out for a walk.

    Reply

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