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Young Meteorologist

Make your own Weather Station

Meteorologists study weather by recording and analysing data. You can become an amateur meteorologist by building your own weather station and keeping a record of your measurements. After a while, you will also notice the weather patterns that allow meteorologists to forecast the weather.

Date
12/20
12/21
    Time
11:16
1:04
    Temperature
44
46
    Brometric Pressure
30.26
30.32
    Humidity
High
High
    Precipitation Type
None
Rain
    Precipitation Amount
Ø
1/4 in.
    Wind Direction
W
NW

  Keep your own Weather Journal

At least once every day, you should record the measurements from each of your weather instruments in your weather station. Keep an orderly chart, like the one pictured, so that you are able to notice patterns in your weather data.

Hygrometer

Measures the amount of relative humidity in the air. Place your hygrometer outdoors, inside your weatherproof weather station box

Weatherbox

Construct your weather station inside a weathe-proof box. Find a sturdy plastic or wooden box that can be placed on its side. Before you take the box outside, attach a thermometer to the bottom of the box, protected from direct weather conditions.

Rain gauge

You will need these materials:

  • a glass beaker (or any straight-sided glass that can be marked with a measuring scale)
  • a coat hanger or wire (bent to make a holding rack – see picture)
  • hammer and nails (to secure the rack)

Basically, any measuring glass left outside can serve as a rain gauge. Fasten your rain gauge somewhere so that it does not blow over. Locate a good place for your gauge. There should be nothing overhead, like trees, electric wires, or the edge of a roof. These obstructions can direct rainwater into or away from your gauge, creating a false reading. The edge of a fence, away from the building, is often a good place for your gauge. Once you have found the spot, attach the holding rack (refer to the picture). Then, slip your measuring glass into position. Wait for rain, record your measurement, and empty the glass.

Every meteorologist needs to keep a good weather journal. Remember, good observations make good forecasts.

Weather Vane

You will need these materials:

  • a long wooden dowel (about the size of a broom stick)
  • an aluminum pie plate
  • a 12 inch long piece of wood (A sturdy ruler would work)
  • nails
  • a metal washer
  • hammer
  • glue
  • small saw (or serrated knife)
  • wire (for mounting)
  • scissors (strong enough to cut aluminum)

Use the small saw (or serrated knife) to cut a half inch deep vertical slit at each end of the 12 inch stick. At the midpoint (exactly halfway) of the top of the stick, hammer one nail all the way through the stick. Then turn the wood around the nail several times until the stick turns easily around the nail. Refer to the pattern picture and cut the head and tail from the aluminum plate. Glue the head into the slot at one end of the wooden stick. Glue the tail into the other end.

Attach the weather vane to the long wooden dowel by placing the metal washer on the end of the dowel and then hammering the nail through the wooden stick and into the wooden dowel. (Refer to the picture.) Make sure that the vane moves freely and easily around the nail.

Now you are ready to mount your weather vane outside. If you placed your rain gauge on a fence, you may want to put the weather vane near it. Position the wooden dowel beside the fence and secure it with wire. The head of the pointer will always point to the direction from which the wind is blowing. Record your wind direction readings in your weather journal.

Barometer

You will need these materials:

  • a glass or beaker with straight sides
  • a ruler (12 inch)
  • tape
  • one foot of clear plastic tubing
  • a stick of chewing gum
  • water

Begin by placing the ruler in the glass and holding it against the side. Tape the ruler to the inside of the glass. Make sure that the numbers on the ruler are visible. Put the plastic tube against the ruler in the glass. Make sure that the tube is not touching the bottom of the glass by positioning the tube up a half inch on the ruler. Secure the tube by taping it to the ruler.

Chew the stick of gum so that it is soft. While you're chewing, fill the glass about half way with water. Use the plastic tube like a straw and draw some water half way up the tube. Use your tongue to trap the water in the tube. Quickly move the gum onto the top of the tube to seal it. Make a mark on the ruler to record where the water level is in the tube. Each time you notice a change in the water level, make another mark. You'll notice, over time, that the water level rises and falls. Pay attention to the change in weather as the water level changes.

The water in the tube rises and falls because of air pressure exerted on the water in the glass. As the air presses down (increased atmospheric pressure) on the water in the glass, more water is pushed into the tube, causing the water level to rise. When the air pressure decreases on the water in the glass, some of the water will move down out of the tube, causing the water level to fall. The change in barometric pressure will help you to forecast the weather. Decreasing air pressure often indicates the approach of a low pressure area, which often brings clouds and precipitation. Increasing air pressure often means that a high pressure area is approaching, bringing with it clearing or fair weather.

Source: http://www.fi.edu/weather/todo/todo.html

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Weather Station