A weather station is a facility that can be created on either sea or land with specialized equipment and instruments that will be used to collect, measure and provide information that will be used in predicting weather forecasts and climate changes. A weather station contains equipment used for weather and climate analysis and records. The factors measured and recorded includes rainfall, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, solar radiation, soil temperature, sea surface temperature and wind direction. To achieve all this readings and records correctly, the instrument should be placed at the right locations and required heights if needed. Will discuss five factors that help in determining the weather forecast and the apparatus used below
A rain gauge is used to measure the amount of rainfall in millimeters and is placed in an open ground away from buildings, trees, slopes, hills that can interfere with the accuracy of the readings. It should be placed 2 to 5 feet above the ground to improve gauge and reduce splashing of rain onto the gauge.
Temperature is measured by use of a thermometer, to achieve readings, the instrument is placed or housed in a screen made of a wooden cabinet and painted white with a louvered side. This shade is used to protect the thermometer sensor from thermal radiation and should not be closer than three to four times obstruction height and more than 30 m away from paved areas. The temperature measured is easily used to predict the expected weather conditions. When precipitation occurs then rain is expected to form
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air and is measured by use of hygrometer. To attain correct readings, the instrument is placed four to six feet above the ground in shade location but not under a tree. To avoid it being direct to sunlight and rainfall. Avoid putting it on steep slopes for air flow and air induced by gravity can produce wrong data. The humidity collected will help the formation of clouds, fog, and precipitation. The water vapor helps warm the atmospheric air when it’s absorbed by the energy which will be provided the sun.
Atmospheric pressure is the weight of air in the environment and is measured using a barometer. It should be placed at a height above sea level either on mountains, hills or sea shore. All barometric pressure measurement are always compared to sea level pressure, so all readings collected on high grounds or sea level have to be compared. All effects found on large grounds are removed to gain accurate barometric pressure measurement. The air pressure moves around regions in either low or high-pressure area. So with the right knowledge of the atmospheric pressure of a region, one can correctly predict the expected weather. For instance, a low-pressure area might indicate a stormy inclement weather while a high-pressure reading will indicate a fair weather. Please note that a sudden drop in the atmospheric pressure means that a fast approaching storm.
Soil temperature is the transfer of heat throughout the ground through conduction, radiation, and convection. It is measured using a thermal needle. The needle is inserted 1.5 meters below the surface soil in a horizontal manner so as to avoid thermal condition between the surface and the temperature sensor. The ground on which the reading is recorded should be level to a distance of up to 10m in radius an open site away from any obstacles. When the temperature measured is high, it means that there will be high rate evaporation at that particular area. High evaporation leads to cloud forming, and eventually, the rains will come down.
Sea surface temperature is the temperature of water close to the ocean surface. To collect data one has to use a fixed weather Buoys, connected to the bottom of the sea using buoyant polypropylene which is placed in the ocean. If the water temperature being determined is high, it shows that there has been high rate evaporation meaning high humidity in the air, this will mean that there is a high probability of the rains coming down.When setting up a weather station, proper research will help one understand the special requirements for setting up these particular apparatus for accurate results to be achieved.