DEN Project

School of Geography – recording the weather, 1935-1979

Automated rainfall gauge

Automated rainfall gauge

Today I got chance to go over to the University manuscript collection where I looked at some of the weather records produced my members of the School over the period 1935-1979. There are around thirty boxes of material containing a huge quantity of data relating to pressure, wind direction and speed, sunshine hours, visibility, weather at present, in the past 24 hours and in the past hour, cloud cover, air temperature, humidity, earth temperature, rainfall, state of ground and general remarks. The record would have taken around an hour to complete and was for several years completed twice a day (including weekends) at 9:00 and 16:00, and thereafter once a day at 9:00. The station was thus a big part of the School’s activities. Lots of people were involved in the recording, technical, academic and postgraduate members of the School, and it would be interesting to compile a full list of the observers. The actual sunshine charts and some for rainfall are in the archive, but most of the records are single sheets with the day’s measurements. My next task is to locate some of the monthly summaries which were published in the Evening Post. I would also like to find the end of year charts which were produced from the data…

This afternoon I took some more photos of the instruments from the weather station which have been kept in the lab – the automated rainfall gauge above is the star of the show but please see my flickr album for more! The rainfall gauge has a windup mechanism which rotates the internal cylinder once every week, a pen attached to the mechanism then makes a trace on the chart according to the level of rainfall.

Thanks to Ian Conway for providing assistance and memories!

 
 

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