This post will be sticky for a while, so scroll down to see new posts.
The survey is a major project intitiated by Tim C. It is being carried out with the blessing of Anthony Watts, who has offered technical advice and a permanent home for the results on his surfacestations server which hosts his site surfacestations.org
Tim says there are opportunities to help, and one obvious one is to share your knowledge about the stations in your local area. Please leave comments with information about changes in station environs like new buildings, car parks etc in comments on the relevant threads. If you have close up photos, let us know. If you or someone you know has worked at or near the stations get in touch.
Formalities dealt with, over to Tim.
Locate and passively look at a good selection of UK Met Office meteorological stations as an appraisal taking into account WMO 2010 site recommendations, assigning an estimated Class number and also noting likely Heat Islands, where the initial primary focus is on temperature.
In the process a web resource will be created.
The actual number of UK sites is higher than the official WMO listing, sites remain volatile changing over time.
The initial station list is the 2012 WMO list for the UK comprising 100-150 sites, version with very recently enhance location accuracy. (this is a great improvement, makes life much easier)
The sequence I choose will probably mean many low interest sites appear relatively early, no particular agenda, however it pans out.
There are historic sites which need to be seen as just that but useful for local purpose, the trouble being when the context is wrongly widened. Image below for example seems ludicrous (needs confirming is the site) yet relative to itself it is useful. There is even an electricity substation next to it.
Gardeners want to know, if that is grass, how it is kept alive? Peterhead Harbour, Scotland.
In an instance like that if you find someone has linked this to climatic change, are they really aware of what they have done? Maybe that is reasonable, need pretty good evidence.
One of the things becoming apparent is how many people have assumed sites are competent without really knowing. I must though make it clear that what can be seen today does not tell us much about the conditions through history. Some caution is needed with finger pointing.
Right this moment I have no list of which stations are synoptic (weather) and which are climatic, including synoptic which are wrongly being used as climatic by various parties.
Also note that many of these 2012 stations are almost new and either have no significant history or have dubious dataset joining with previous stations.
A vast amount more could be done so here I am nailing down a starting point.
There will be plenty of opportunity to help.
Please no-one snoop on the ground, keep within the law and within good manners.
Initially I intend working through the list of stations fairly rapidly without much comment. This will be a lot of detail boring work best done by me since this including creating Talkshop blog posts, pages and editing other pages. Automation would be nice, doesn’t look feasible at the moment so bash onwards with what I have.
Some stations will be unknowns, for many others more information is needed, which is where you come in.
We are using a WordPress hosted site. This has many limitations where in return there is good security and a shared server cloud.
Rog (Tallbloke) is on board, he wrote “All sounds good for surface stations UK, your baby!”
We are both aware this project will pose problems over other blog subjects appearing so I am going to try and submerge some of the activity. I hope our loyal regulars who do not have an interest in met stations will be understanding. The chances are there will be a lot of noise at times but eventually it will fall silent.
Left sidebar category selector will help location blog articles.
Top menu “Surface Stations Project” provides access to an index and subpages.
Guessing URL may be feasible (intentionally)
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/index-page-surface-stations-project/wmo03784/ accesses a page giving some information and links to content about WMO 03784
Alternatively, you can browse through the archives for August and September 2012 to see the station entries, roughly starting from the north and heading south.
I have to create the pages, put in the links and back links by hand, mistakes and omissions are going to happen. Tell me but don’t be offended if I often do not thank you, please don’t read that as bad manners so much as on-line practicality, looks nuts if there are lots of thank you. In general I try to attribute people, quite a problem including that some people want to remain anon. There is also the problem of two people pointing out or doing the same thing independently, do what I can but broadly if you feel slighted, let it pass, unlikely to be wilful.
This whole project is relying on the work of Google, Microsoft and their providers. So far as I can see non-commercial usage with credit is acceptable and we should thank them. On balance I think they gain from people using their provision in connection with this work.
I will be deliberating trying to leave in image attribution but if this is omitted I hope it is acceptable.
Google aerial images can be accessed via a web browser and ground level images if you have Adobe Flash available. Generally this understands lat/long as two numbers.
Microsoft (also known under the brand Bing) is accessed via a web browser and ground level if Silverlight in available. Generally this understands lat/long as two numbers.
Test lat/long, copy to either of the above 64 30 15N 40 43 40E
Not England, far far away.
Google Earth has more extensive facilities such as measurement. Unfortunately I cannot provide .kml files via WordPress. Paste or whatever lat/long should be sufficient.
The head picture I’ve chosen is a pleasing photograph, Skye, Scotland.
Some might be wondering why am I going to so much trouble. Detailing why is not appropriate, it is something I am able to do using experience and ability otherwise going to waste, take it as self betterment. I see it as needs doing, trying to make the world better.
I am not expecting perfection in the Met Office, competence yes.
Tim Channon, August 2012
[update 22nd Sept]
Article on the Camborne site contains important details about met site paving. http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/wmo03808-camborne/
Archive of decoded CLIMAT files.
Link to list of articles, same page as shown in the blog top menu