Setting up ObseTion
Instruments, Location and Recording observations
As said in the introduction there is not right or wrong result and therefore correctness of setting up instruments, proper location and faithful recording of observations is of prime importance.
On these pages you will find some simple methods of setting up weather station for your school or even home.
Though construction of some of the instrument appear too simple we must not forget that the ultimate result would strongly depend on setting up of the instrument and taking observations correctly.
It is, therefore, important that one should aim at collecting good measuring devices, even though you might start with something simple and low cost, but of course keeping in mind the expected accuracy. For example to record the rain fall, you might like to measure height of the collected rain water. For this surely we do not want an expensive veneer calipers. A simple scale with millimeter marking would do.
Location and placement of the equipment is very important. For a rain gauge must be placed clear of obstacles so that raindrops do not splash into, or out of, the collecting funnel. Placement of thermometers to measure local temperature and humidity should be such that no direct sunlight falls on it.
Normally one would setup a weather observatory in open area with no obstacle within say 10 meters or so. But is could be a luxury that might not be possible for those staying in large cities. A terrace of a tall building might would be good enough.
The importance of accuracy of measurements and faithfully recording can not be over emphasis. There are not shot cuts here.
For weather data, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) is premier and one of the oldest institutions (it was established in 1875) responsible for collecting and recording of weather data and for weather forecasting. It has 559 stations were weather data is collected. IMD has a strict schedule and procedure of collecting data and observations are updated daily for about 100 stations.
Click for various IMD links below:
MAIN FEATURES OF TODAY'S WEATHER
(giving Max and Min Temperature and Rain fall for last 9 or 24 hrs)
(giving temp. RH %, mean sea level press, Wind and Current weather)
The data is collected at 8:30 a.m. and 17:30 p.m. are given to the news agencies. It is, therefore, advisable to collect data at these times. It will help to compare the observations. However, if it not possible for one to stick to these times, for whatever reason may be then it is better to collect the data at some fix time.
Some of the observations taken may not be as good as those taken by professional observatories but the aim here is to learn to do scientific experiments and take observations, as accurately as possible.