About the Weather Station

The weather station started operating in June 2009 and is using a Davis Vantage Pro2. The main instruments outside are mounted on a wooden fence pole at a height of about 1.5 metres; with the wooden pole anchored to the ground using a Metpost stake. The anemometer and wind vane are mounted at the top of a 3 meter tall copper pipe; which in turn is attached to the top of the wooden post. So in total, the wind instruments are mounted at a height of about 5 meters. Unfortunately nearby trees and buildings cast a wind-shadow over the site, so typically the wind speeds recorded from this weather station are about half the strength of those measured from other nearby sites.

The data collected outside by the weather station is beamed-back wirelessly to a wall mounted console in the office. This is connected to a MacBook Air computer, so that the data can be downloaded, processed and stored or uploaded to the internet. The software used is called WeatherCat and this provides a superb interface to view all the data and provide a vast suit of tools to analyse and process the recordings. Data is stored locally in a database, and also gets published to this website, when the computer and internet connection are turned on. Therefore this weather station may not always be online 24/7, and mainly serves as an achieve.

This is a private weather station, and is not an official Met Office weather station. Therefore it does not comply with Met Office stringent criteria, applied to 'official' sites. It is more about collecting data from the local micro-climate and learning about how the weather works. The weather station has proved to be immensely interesting, and has also become a useful tool in providing data to test various web and software projects going on in the office.

The webcam and time-lapse feature are a new option that is currently being experimented with. The web cam is just a simple Logitech camera, blue-tacked to the windowsill and connected to the computer via a USB cable. The WeatherCat software photographs an image through the camera every 30 seconds and uploads it as a static image to the website every 15 minutes during operational hours. It also stores each of these 'snap-shots' and uses them to build the hourly time-lapse video's, which are uploaded at the top of every hour. It has provided to be a brilliant way to watch the weather. Some spectacular weather fronts, clouds and sunsets have been recorded by the camera.