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13 November 2014

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You are in: Tees > Weather > Watching the weather

Stewart and his Davis VP2 device

Stewart and his Davis VP2 device

Watching the weather

We live in a glorious part of the world which is known for its rather extreme changes in weather from day to day and many of us follow the local weather reports, but would you ever consider buying your own weather station?

Well BBC Tees contributor Stewart Bragg did just that and constructed his own weather station at his home in Skelton-in-Cleveland. He tells us how he first got interested in the weather.

It wasn't in my early years as most of them were spent in Africa, Northern Rhodesia Zambia as it's now known, where weather consisted of sunshine 90% of the time and a lot of rain in the rainy season usually short heavy showers followed by more sunshine.

It was only when I came to the UK in 1974 that weather took on a different meaning, so much so that the first UK winter and quite a few after that had me scouring the papers for jobs back in warmer climates.

Weather obsessions

It didn't take long to realise why the British were so obsessed with the weather, I seemed to spend most of my time complaining about it.

Stewart and his computer centre

Stewart and his computer centre

A real interest in the weather started in 1999 when a friend of mine asked if I would like to join BBC Radio Cleveland’s Weather Watcher team (before the station was renamed BBC Tees) as they were looking for people to do a early morning report. This involved being rung up at 7am one morning a week and being asked live on air what the weather was doing outside my window at that time.

The demise of Weather Watchers and a love of gadgets and anything to do with computers led to my first purchase of an electronic weather station complete with rain gauge, anemometer min and max thermometer which connected to the computer allowed me to store daily weather data.

Setting up station

The obvious progression from this was to set up a website to display the data, after many incarnations we end up with what I have now for all the world to see.

Since I retired three years ago I have been able to devote a bit more time and money to the hobby, the main expense being upgrading the weather station to a wireless Davis Vantage Pro2 which combines rain collection, temperature sensor, humidity sensor plus solar and UV radiation sensors in one unit and a separate wireless linked anemometer is mounted on the house roof.

All the weather data is collected and displayed on the website using Weather Display software, and I submit weather data to various websites and organisations.

Saltburn Golf Club has access to the website live data, probably to see whether it's worth getting out of bed for a round of golf!

And yes, I still complain about the weather!

Stewart Bragg's weather blog

Follow Stewart's interest in the weather by reading his online blogs on BBC Tees and looking at photos of how the seasons change in Skelton.

Stewart has also set up his own webcam to monitor the changes in the weather which details the current temperature, wind speed and wind chill and takes in the view from his garden in Skelton.

last updated: 08/01/2009 at 16:04
created: 13/11/2008

You are in: Tees > Weather > Watching the weather

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