The Weather Observer's Handbook provides a comprehensive, practical and independent guide to all aspects of making weather observations. Automatic weather stations today form the mainstay of both amateur and professional weather observing networks around the world and yet – prior to The Weather Observer's Handbook – there existed no independent guide to their selection and use. Traditional and modern weather instruments are covered, including how best to choose and to site a weather station, how to get the best out of your equipment, how to store and analyse your records and how to share your observations with other people and across the Internet. From amateur observers looking for help in choosing their first weather instruments on a tight budget to professional observers looking for a comprehensive and up-to-date guide covering World Meteorological Organization recommendations on observing methods and practices, all will welcome The Weather Observer's Handbook.
Part I. The Basics
1. Why measure the weather? A history of meteorological observations
2. Choosing a weather station
3. Buying a weather station: site and exposure - the basics
Part II. Measuring the Weather
4. Measuring the temperature of the air
5. Measuring precipitation
6. Measuring atmospheric pressure
7. Measuring humidity
8. Measuring wind speed and direction
9. Measuring grass and earth temperature
10. Measuring sunshine and solar radiation
11. Observing hours and time standards
12. Dataloggers and AWS software
13. Non-instrumental weather observing
15. Metadata - what is it, and why is it important?
Part III. Making the Most of your Observations
16. Collecting and storing data
17. Making sense of the data avalanche
18. Sharing your observations
19. Summary and getting started
Stephen Burt has a professional background in physics, meteorology and climatology, information technology and marketing. He is a Fellow of the UK's Royal Meteorological Society and is also a member of both the American Meteorological Society and the Irish Meteorological Society. He has run his own meteorological observatory for over 40 years. After almost 10 years with the UK Met Office he took up a business career within the computer industry, successfully managing international marketing roles for several of the world's largest high-technology firms, including Digital Equipment Corporation, Tektronix, Xerox and Dell. During this time he was also elected to the UK's Chartered Institute of Marketing. He is a regular contributor to the Royal Meteorological Society's monthly magazine Weather, to the Climatological Observer's Link (COL) organisation and the Cloud Appreciation Society, with over one hundred published papers or articles and several hundred published photographs to date. He is also a committee member of the Royal Meteorological Society's Special Interest Group on Weather Observing Systems, a recent member of the Royal Meteorological Society's Council governing body and Chairman of the Royal Meteorological Society's South-east Centre. He was awarded the Society's Gordon Manley Prize in 2006. He is also a Trustee of the Chilterns Observatory Trust.
"This is a very impressive work! [...] At last there is a comprehensive book on the tricky issue of accurately measuring the weather. This timely publication is a must for anyone in the market for a weather station, libraries, and weather observers of all stripes, both amateur and professional."
– Christopher C. Burt, Wunderground, Inc. and author of Extreme Weather: A Guide and Record Book
"Sophisticated equipment for weather observing is now within reach of more people than ever. Yet a poorly sited station or a wrongly interpreted report can do more harm than good. With this marvelous book, Stephen Burt has given us a very practical and helpful guide to installing and using one's own reporting station, enhanced with perspective drawn from the centuries-long history of meteorological instrumentation. The Weather Observer's Handbook is an ideal companion to the practice of monitoring the atmosphere."
– Robert Henson, author of The Rough Guide to Weather and The Rough Guide to Climate Change
"We have many amateur members and schools in our Society and I'm often asked if I can recommend a good book to help them in their observing exploits: well now I can [...] If you have an interest in observing the weather then this book is as essential as your observing equipment."
– Paul Hardaker, Chief Executive, Royal Meteorological Society
"I like this book very much. I am a lifelong weather observer and user of weather data both as an amateur and a career professional – spanning the years from manual-only to globally-networked automated observing systems. This book answers so many of the questions I have had over the decades and the many questions I continue to field – from fresh beginners, to experienced amateurs and on to a wide range of professionals. At last I have a single book that I can point people to. It is comprehensive and scientifically rigorous – yet very readable. Thank you, Stephen – well done."
– Nolan Doesken, Colorado State Climatologist, former President of the American Association of State Climatologists, and founder of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network
"[...] the book's great strength is that it draws on the author's wealth of experience and expertise in making amateur measurements over several decades, and is liberally illustrated with photographs and data from his own weather station [...] his enthusiasm for the subject [...] clearly comes across in the book. The author puts amateur weather enthusiasts at the head of his list of target audiences, and this is undoubtedly the group [...] who will find this very readable book a goldmine of information."
– Geoff Jenkins, Weather (journal of the Royal Meteorological Society)
"This hugely impressive tome will be of enormous benefit."
– The Weather Magazine
"Stephen Burt is an observer, not of the night sky, but of all aspects of the weather. His book covers equipment choice, including gauges for measuring things like rainfall and humidity. Choosing the right site is also covered, as is how to record and measure data. The 'one minute summary' at the end of each chapter is particularly useful [...]"
– Sky at Night Magazine
"It would be difficult to find a more comprehensive book on the subject [...] for anyone thinking of investing in new instrumentation, or updating his or her existing instrumentation, this book is an essential prerequisite."
– International Journal of Meteorology
"[...] the amount of detail means there is information relevant for all levels including experienced professionals [...] An obvious purchase for academic institutions with any weather-related departments, it is also exactly the sort of book which a good public library should hold."
– Val Hamilton, Reference Reviews