Definitions

weather-station

Weather station

A weather station is a facility with instruments and equipment to make observations of atmospheric conditions in order to provide information to make weather forecasts and to study the weather and climate. The measurements taken include temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation amounts. Wind measurements are taken as free of other obstructions as possible, while temperature and humidity measurements are kept free from direct solar radiation, or insolation. Manual observations are taken at least once daily, while automated observations are taken at least once an hour.

Instruments

Typical weather stations have the following instruments:

Exposure

Except for those instruments requiring direct exposure to the elements (anemometer, rain gauge), the instruments should be sheltered in a vented box, usually a Stevenson screen, to keep direct sunlight off the thermometer and wind off the hygrometer. The instrumentation may be specialized to allow for periodic recording otherwise significant manual labour is required for record keeping. Automatic transmission of data, in a format such as METAR, is also desirable as many weather station's data is required for weather forecasting.

Daily observation times

Historically readings were taken by weather observers who were typically not paid and performed the duty as part of their permanent jobs (e.g., postmaster). These weather readings were taken between 7 and 9 a.m. local time daily as unpaid observers were unwilling to take readings from midnight to midnight. Since the advent of automatic weather stations, such as automated airport weather stations and personal weather stations, surface weather observations are taken on an hourly (or more frequent) basis.

Networks

A variety of weather station networks have been set up globally. Some of these are basic to analyzing weather fronts and pressure systems, such as the synoptic observation network, while others are more regional in nature.

Global

United States

  • Arizona Meteorological Network (AZMET)
  • Central Pennsylvania Volunteer Weather Station Network
  • Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN)
  • Georgia Environmental Monitoring Network (GAEMN)
  • Indiana Purdue Automated Agricultural Weather Station Network (PAAWS)
  • MesoWest
  • Missouri Weather Stations
  • National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program
  • Oklahoma Mesonet
  • The Pacific Northwest Cooperative Agricultural Weather Network
  • WeatherBug

Southern Hemisphere

  • Antarctic Automatic Weather Stations Project
  • Australia/Bureau of Meteorology AWS network.
  • Australia/Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia
  • Australia/Lower Murray Water Automatic Weather Station Network

See also

References

External links

References

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