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The Weather Observer's Handbook Paperback – 29 Jun 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (29 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1107662281
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107662285
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.9 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 283,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Stephen Burt has a professional background in physics, meteorology and climatology, information technology and marketing. He is a Fellow of the UK's Royal Meteorological Society (FRMetS) and also a member of the American Meteorological Society, the Irish Meteorological Society and the Association of British Science Writers. He has run his own meteorological observatory for over 40 years.

After a research career within the UK Met Office he took up a business career within the computer industry, successfully managing international marketing roles for several of the world's largest high-technology firms. He became a full-time science writer in 2010, and is a regular contributor to a range of science and weather titles and blogs.

Author's website:

Product Description


'This is a very impressive work! … At last there is a comprehensive book on the tricky issue of accurately measuring the weather. This timely publication is a must for anyone in the market for a weather station, libraries, and weather observers of all stripes, both amateur and professional.' Christopher C. Burt, Wunderground, Inc. and author of Extreme Weather: A Guide and Record Book

'Sophisticated equipment for weather observing is now within reach of more people than ever. Yet a poorly sited station or a wrongly interpreted report can do more harm than good. With this marvelous book, Stephen Burt has given us a very practical and helpful guide to installing and using one's own reporting station, enhanced with perspective drawn from the centuries-long history of meteorological instrumentation. The Weather Observer's Handbook is an ideal companion to the practice of monitoring the atmosphere.' Robert Henson, author of The Rough Guide to Weather and The Rough Guide to Climate Change

'We have many amateur members and schools in our Society and I'm often asked if I can recommend a good book to help them in their observing exploits: well now I can … If you have an interest in observing the weather then this book is as essential as your observing equipment.' Paul Hardaker, Chief Executive, Royal Meteorological Society

'I like this book very much. I am a lifelong weather observer and user of weather data both as an amateur and a career professional - spanning the years from manual-only to globally-networked automated observing systems. This book answers so many of the questions I have had over the decades and the many questions I continue to field - from fresh beginners, to experienced amateurs and on to a wide range of professionals. At last I have a single book that I can point people to. It is comprehensive and scientifically rigorous - yet very readable. Thank you, Stephen - well done.' Nolan Doesken, Colorado State Climatologist, former President of the American Association of State Climatologists, and founder of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network

'… the book's great strength is that it draws on the author's wealth of experience and expertise in making amateur measurements over several decades, and is liberally illustrated with photographs and data from his own weather station … his enthusiasm for the subject … clearly comes across in the book. The author puts amateur weather enthusiasts at the head of his list of target audiences, and this is undoubtedly the group … who will find this very readable book a goldmine of information.' Geoff Jenkins, Weather (journal of the Royal Meteorological Society)

'This hugely impressive tome will be of enormous benefit.' The Weather Magazine

'Stephen Burt is an observer, not of the night sky, but of all aspects of the weather. His book covers equipment choice, including gauges for measuring things like rainfall and humidity. Choosing the right site is also covered, as is how to record and measure data. The 'one minute summary' at the end of each chapter is particularly useful …' Sky at Night Magazine

'It would be difficult to find a more comprehensive book on the subject … for anyone thinking of investing in new instrumentation, or updating his or her existing instrumentation, this book is an essential prerequisite.' International Journal of Meteorology

'… the amount of detail means there is information relevant for all levels including experienced professionals … An obvious purchase for academic institutions with any weather-related departments, it is also exactly the sort of book which a good public library should hold.' Val Hamilton, Reference Reviews

Book Description

This handbook provides a comprehensive, practical and independent guide to all aspects of making weather observations. It is ideal for both amateur observers looking for help in choosing their first weather instruments on a tight budget and for professional observers looking for a comprehensive and up-to-date guide.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. J. King on 14 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
This weather book replaces the original HMSO Weather Observers Handbook and is written by an established Meteorologist here in the UK, who is also a member of the Meteorological Societies of the USA and Ireland, a FRmetS here in the UK - so he knows his subject - and some. He is also the current Chairman of the Climatologists Observers Link, the foremost amateur weather recording club here in the UK with over 500 members, a good website too from real enthusiasts.

This is book for the amateur, the professional and the interested ones, which includes information on all weather equipment suppliers, what they do and how they do - so the book price may well save you at least that in purchasing a system. It is in places technical, but has plenty of examples, web-site addresses for further information and knowledge.

It tells one how to set up a weather station, where to set it up, how to graduate the systems, how to understand and record the data - how to solve problems - and who to contact if all else fails.

Masses of charts on all meteorological subjects not normally found in such a book.

All in all an excellent book for the weather geeks, those studying the weather and those starting out.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Sangwell on 16 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased an automatic weather station in 2006, but it wasn't until I read this book that I finally understood how to site it appropriately, how to calibrate the sensors and how to ensure my data was comparable to that of other local stations. I wish the book had been available prior to buying my weather station as it provides guidance on the type of stations available, their sensors, their suitability to different applications and locations. Having read the book, I have now replaced some of the sensors to improve their accuracy and changed the location of my sensors to follow recommended standards.

The book is written in an easy-to-understand style providing practical guidance as well as theory and background for those who are interested. The author has done a great job getting the level of technical detail just right.

Whether you're just someone interested in measuring the weather or require weather information in a professional capacity, this book is an invaluable resource and highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A huge amount of work must have gone into this book by Stephen Burt. It is an excellent handbook for anyone interested in observing and recording the weather, for anyone interested in setting up an an automatic weather station it's a must.

But it is far more than just a weather observers handbook. There is so much historical and background information, which I did not really expect, but which greatly adds to the book and makes for interesting reading.
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