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28 October 2014

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The Big Picture

You are in: Birmingham > The Big Picture > Selly Oak skies

Skies over Selly Park

Skies over Selly Park

Selly Oak skies

Rain or shine, wind or snow. Weather is a national obsession and for John Clayton it's the skies of Selly Oak that feed his weather photography hobby.

snowy tree

Selly Park on the 6th April 2008

John Clayton is better known to internet photo sharers as 'Bham Selly Oak Weather', and quite often his pictures are of the sky. Boring? Not to the hundreds of people fascinated by the weather, as he posts pictures almost daily with detailed metorological information. He's added some of these to The Big Picture.

Photographing skies

In 2004 John, who is a graduate in Geography and Education,  set up his my own weather station at home to pursue his interest in one of his specialist fields – meteorology. He started contributing his observations and data to the education project of the Royal Meteorological Society, MetLink International ( Soon after he joined the photo sharing website Flickr and began taking regular daily photographs relating to the weather and linking these into his  observations.


Selly Park on the 7th March 2008

John says: "My weather photography is not part of my editorial job for the MetLink project. It is principally a hobby. I don't have a fully automated electronic weather station because I prefer to use first hand observation methods aided by specific electronic instruments.

"I usually make my observations at  8:30am  (at 07:30am in BST), I record temperature (current, 24 hour maximum and minimum), realtive humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind direction and speed, cloud amounts and types.  I also write descriptive comments on current and recent weather. A lot of this relies on by knowledge and experience to record things visually."

Cloudy sky

Selly Oak on 3rd July 2007

Weather enthusiasts

"Photos make the recording of the weather more 'real' in visual terms, it helps particularly for cloud types. There are hundreds of people who contribute images to the various Flickr groups devoted to the weather. Various local schools have weather stations and there are numerous amateur enthusiasts who operate at differing levels of sophistication."

John enjoys warm and sunny weather, like most of us, but he's also happy with more extreme conditions: "I most like interesting weather with extremes and plenty of variation. I also prefer weather to live up to seasonal expectations, like cold and  frosty winter days. I dislike bland weather in any season, when grey, overcast and dry with nothing really happening."

Selly Park

Selly Park on 15th November 2007

The outlook is fine

Since everyone knows John's interested in the weather, he's always being asked for forecasts: "I don't forecast professionally,  but do all the time on a personal level. I also get frequently asked for forecasts by friends, especially when they are going on holiday!"

last updated: 13/04/2008 at 11:22
created: 10/04/2008

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