A 50th anniversary at CEH has passed almost unnoticed. The meteorological station at our Wallingford, Oxfordshire site has now been measuring daily rainfall, sunshine and temperature parameters since 1962 (when the Hydrological Research Unit, which later became the Institute of Hydrology, was established here).
The station is used to monitor local weather conditions on a daily basis and data is submitted regularly to the Met Office. As well as forming part of the UK Climatological Observation Network, records from the site are used to support instrumentation calibration and other scientific projects. Such long-term observations help develop an understanding of hydrometeorological systems and may also show trends over time which could be linked to environmental change.
Near real-time data from the met station from the last six months is now available to view on our website, while full historic data can also be requested. You can also learn more about the type of manual observations which are recorded at the site, and a little bit more about how far back some of the records go, in an information leaflet entitled "Why measure meteorological variables?" [PDF].
Rainfall measurement revisited - a paper in Weather by John Rodda and Harry Dixon revisiting work done at Wallingford in the 1960s looking at raingauge design
Weather Monitoring - a paper published in June 2011 in AWE International by Mark Robinson and Geoff Wicks