Meteorology is an interesting subject, and it can get even more interesting, if you create your own weather station. You will be able to predict the weather in your area and thus, become the amateur meteorologist of your neighborhood. With time, you will get acquainted with the phenomenon we refer to as weather and also get well-versed with geography.
A weather station is a setup which facilitates the observation of prevailing atmospheric conditions to predict information about anticipated changes in the weather and climate, using various instruments and equipment especially designed to study weather.
While studying weather conditions one has to take into consideration various factors, such as temperature, pressure, humidity, precipitation, and wind speed and direction.
How to Build a Weather Station
Though there are various sophisticated weather instruments designed to study weather and its minute details, having your own low-tech facility and being able to forecast weather yourself sounds quite interesting. It also helps you to understand the weather patterns, thus making studies more enjoyable.
Before you start building your own weather station, you need to be well-equipped with the basic knowledge about the weather principles. Read books and study material which throws light on the weather of your region. Understand the uses of various equipment used to forecast weather and, more importantly, how they are supposed to be used.
It is important to have the weather station and measuring equipment at the right place. For instance, you can't have the rain gauge to measure precipitation under a tree. An ideal spot would be somewhere towards the northern side of your house. The basic easy-to-build instruments you can use include a barometer, rain gauge, and a wind vane.
A rain gauge measures the amount of rainfall. In order to build one, take a cylindrical container with a flat base made of glass or plastic. The length of the sides and mouth of the container should be same. Take a marker and start marking from the base of the container taking the interval of half inch. Now your rain gauge is ready.
After regular intervals, check how many inches of water has collected in it. This will be measured as rainfall in inches.
A wind vane gives the directions of the wind. In order to make a wind vane, take a piece of wood approximately 12 inches in length. Make vertical slits at both the ends. Cut out the head and tail of an arrow, preferably on aluminum sheet, and insert them in the slits of the wood such that it resembles an arrow.
Take a small can or jar and a half-cut balloon. Cover the mouth of the jar with the balloon and secure it with a rubber band. Take a straw and attach it to the balloon lid, such that three-fourth of the straw hangs out.
Take a paper and attach it in such a way that the straw acts like a pointer on the paper. The straw will point lower when the air pressure becomes low and higher when the pressure become high. Mark regular readings on the paper itself.
It's a continuous learning process, so it is important to keep a note of your observations. Maintain your own weather journal, wherein you can note down all your observations according to the date and time. Collecting the data on day-to-day basis is important, as inappropriate data collection may lead to wrong conclusions and hamper your predictions.