The Weather

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Dave Brown
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The Weather

Post by Dave Brown » Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:16 pm

8) I have been monitoring the weather for over 40 years, keeping records from the newspapers, and then max min thermometers etc. This goes hand in hand with growing exotics, many of which were not supposed to be hardy in the UK. So you need to know what sort of temperatures you get, before you can assess what you may be able to grow.

I have progressed from newspapers, to mercury, to electronic, to wireless, and now onto self recording online, web, wireless weather station. Its great! I can log onto wunderground.com and monitor my weather from anywhere in the world. I have gone for a La Crosse WS-2300 with in/out temp & humidity; Barometric pressure; wind speed and direction; rain monitoring by hour, 24 hour, total.

My son and I had some fun putting the weather station in place over the weekend. Siting the wind guage and direction sensors at the top of the 10 foot aerial mast at the apex of the roof. I'd forgotten what the view of the Thames Estuary was like form up there. Then there was the temperature and hygrometer sensors... these need to be out of the sun, but in midsummer there are not many places that stay out of the sun from dawn to dusk. We have found a place about 4 feet from the ground that is not in the sun, but by far the most difficult was the rain guage, needing to be 1m above the ground with no obstacles to affect rainfall entering the sensor. My first construction was a bit too flimsy and strong gusts of wind tipped the rain sensor, looking like rain on a clear day.

Anyway, after a couple of days testing, all seems to be well. The only thing we have not been able to test in situ, is the rain guage. We have had showers over the last two days, but just enough to wet the ground, not enough to record rain. I an waiting for a good downpour, both to water the garden, and test out the rain guage.

Visit the weather details page to view our weather station.

Best regards
Dave
Best regards
Dave
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Dave Brown
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Rain guage now tested after the rain yesterday

Post by Dave Brown » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:09 am

8) The Rain guage has now been fully tested with real rain, and is not being tipped by the wind.

We had doubts that is was working, as after 35 minutes of gentle rain we still had not recorded anything. Then it tipped recording 0.5mm. Having looked at other weather stations in the area, we were not out of line with their recordings.

Maybe it is even dryer than I thought here. If it takes 35 minutes of gentle rain to record 0.5mm, and it rarely rains heavily down here, then it would take 110 hours of rain for us to record the average August rainfall for London. :shock:

regs
Dave
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Dave Brown
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Rainfall levels down so far

Post by Dave Brown » Sat Aug 12, 2006 6:40 am

So here we are, and the weatherstation has been up and running for 2 weeks. So what have we learned about the Chalk weather. Well, the very hot weather has now definately gone, replaced by much cooler North to Northwesterly, breezes. It has rained, but only two occasions have been sufficient to record on the rain guage. The rest were irritating light showers, that barely wet the ground.

If I could order the perfect weather for me personally, it would be sunny days with highs around 26 to 28C, balmy, midge, and mozzy, free, evenings no lower than 23C, and lows of around 20C, with a torrential shower during the night.

When the weather girls describe the weather as "hot, sultry, opressive"... that is my kind of weather. When they then refer to "much more comfortable", I enterpret that as chilly.

Rreturning to reality, although we have had some rain on most days this month, we are still at only 10% of the average for August, and we are nealy half way through. If standpipes are to be avoided, we need some serious rainfall over the autumn and winter. Watch this space.

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Dave
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Dave Brown
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Weather Station update

Post by Dave Brown » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:51 pm

The weather station has been running for a little over a month now.

August brought some heat, up to 28.7C, some cool days, one at 16.4C, and more rainy days than we seem to have had for a long time. However the rainfall was still only 53.3mm (2.1in). Southeast Engalnd was reported by BBC weather as having over 150% of average. That would make our average 35mm (1.37in)

I have a copy of the environment agency rainfall data for Kent and it shows Chalk, and Medway receiving between 520 and 540mm per year, not much wetter than Palma de Majorca at 461mm. On the other hand Sydney in Australia gets over 1250mm! Rainy old England eh!

Yesterday 2nd Sep the weather showed the whole South UK getting rain for most of the day. We got several light showers which just about wet the ground, dried up in between, and didn't trigger the rain guage at all. In the old observations it would have been written -RAIN = Trace.

Well, we'll have to see how it goes, but the drought is not over here yet.

Regards
Dave
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Dave
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Dave Brown
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September 2006 weather report for Chalk

Post by Dave Brown » Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:26 pm

The Mean Temperature here at Chalk for September was 18.7C (65.6F) that is 3.6C (6.5F)above the 1971-2000 average.

We had an Ave Max of 22.7C and Ave Min of 14.7C
Warmest day 11th 28.8C
Coldest night 9th 9.9C
Monthly Rainfall was 45.3mm (1.78in)11mm below norm.
19.6mm (0.77in) fell during the spectacular electric storms of the night of 12th/13th.

Regards
Dave

PS I have been requested to submit the Chalk Weather Reports to Gravesend Library for reference purposes.
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Don't get caught out.

Post by Guest » Mon Oct 16, 2006 7:21 pm

Here we are basking in the sun in mid October, with temperatures in the high teens to low twenties (60s to 70s), but we should not lose sight that Guy Fawkes (5th Nov) is only 3 weeks away. We must all remember freezing to death watching a firework display at some point in our lives.

My garden seems to be enjoying the last of the summer weather. The Colocasias are still growing fast, none of the deciduous leaves have started to fall, but winter is only 5 weeks away, so preparation for protection or moving tender plants under cover should not be forgotten.

It is mad, I was sitting in the garden, over the weekend,wearing shorts and teeshirt listing the plants that need to have protection. Don't be caught out though, the weather could turn at any time. Cold weather for this time of year could be 14C (25F)colder than we are having now.

lol !


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Dave Brown
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Post by Dave Brown » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:39 pm

So many people do not really know how cold, or mild, their area is, and that can limit thier choice of plants. The weather forcast gives an indication of the weather in a given area, but there may be many variations in conditions on the ground.

For instance I live in the South East near the Thames. The temperatures I gat tend to be 2 to 3C warmer than the Village of Vigo 7 miles away.

I don't take much notice of the 5 day forscasts as they always change it, and with my proximity to the Thames Estuary, I don't seem to get the weather, forecast for the area. This is partly why I have started my weather station, to see how cold, or not, it does get. I've had a max min thermomenter for years, and our mins have become less extreme over the years. I havn't have a -6C for 5 years now. 2004/5 was the mildest with absolute low for the winter of -3.8C

You can visit my weather page on the link below.



Useful tool for the exotic gardener

Wunderground.com ( who host my weatherstation results for free) has teamed up with Google Maps, showing all the personal weather stations, throughout the world. You can view by Temp/ Wind, by Humidity/dewpoint, and by precipitation. Just like standard Google Maps you can zoom in or out. Click and drag the map across to your area. Show Map, satellite, and hybrid backgrounds. I can't guarentee there will be a local personal weatherstation near you, but there are quite a few in the more populated parts of the country.

The maps give a current time snapshot of the weather details uploaded by the weather station, but if you click on the weatherstation icon, it opens the weatherstation panel, showing todays graphs. If you click the Blue Weather Station name towards the top right of the panel, it takes you into the weather station webpage containing historical data, where you can view ACTUAL data by, day, week, month, 3 month, 6 month, Year. etc. Give it a try, I spent hours on it when I discovered it.

For instance did you know most of the UK is Warmer than Athens today. The whole of Southern Greece is between 6 and 14 C. Athens was actually 10.9C at 13:00 their time. At the same time the Alicante area in Spain is getting 28 to 30C !

The link takes you to my area, Thames Estuary, but click and drag the map to where you want to go. If you want to view other countries zoom out, drag to desired location, then zoom in again.

http://www.wunderground.com/stationmaps ... &wmo=03784

Hope you find it useful

Cheers
Dave
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Dave
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mixiepalms
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Post by mixiepalms » Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:13 pm

for me its difficult to believe we are in november, my canna are still sprouting flowers. My palms are growing still. When are the frosts coming? I feel the seasons are adjusting, as in turning round, so summer is later etc. How long b4 we are like australia? lol


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Post by Dave Brown » Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:19 pm

mixiepalms wrote:for me its difficult to believe we are in november, my canna are still sprouting flowers. My palms are growing still. When are the frosts coming? I feel the seasons are adjusting, as in turning round, so summer is later etc. How long b4 we are like australia? lol
Well, now we are 4 days before Christmas and at the Winter Soltice, and still we have not had an Air Frost. We've not been far off it at 0.4C on 19th Dec, but the Golden Showers Rose is still blooming, and a Petunia has just opened a flower, even though we are now having cold, grey, winter anticyclonic weather.

Merry Christmas everyone
Regards
Dave
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Dave
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