Saturday, 31 October 2009

Making the most of the weather

The weather was superb for the time of year so we took a walk around the parkland at Nostell Priory this week. The trees still had plenty of autumn colour. Possibly a last chance to enjoy autumn colour before the predicted weekend gales and rain bring the leaves down.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Dry Weather makes difficult digging

July was very wet down on the plot but since then it’s been dry. Cleared plots are in need of some rain to make winter digging easier.
From Green Lane Allotments Weather Diary

This bed was cleared of summer squashes and beans a few weeks ago and is now ready to be dug over for the winter. This will be much easier after some rain. Our soil is heavy and when it’s dry it’s more like concrete than soil. Some rain will miraculously change its condition from concrete to pleasant workable soil so I’ve been hanging on waiting to dig the cleared plots for a few weeks now. Another Atlantic depression is due to pass our way over the weekend. With luck this will give the plot a good watering and leave it suitable for digging.
From 2009-10 October

This bed was dug over at the beginning of October. Old blackcurrant bushes were well past their best failing to produce any currants at all this year. They have been removed and the plot dug over. The bed hadn’t been dug for many years and the soil was very well compacted. It’s been left in huge lumps. I’m hoping that the winter rains and frost will break up these clods leaving it just perfect for digging in spring.

The Atlantic depression on its way should be a test for our newly installed rain gauge. All it’s had to measure so far is drizzle so a good rain should give it a test.
From Weather Station

This is my rainfall data going into the weekend. The 1.4mm on 21st October wasn’t rain at all just that I felt I needed to check the gauge worked before it actually had to measure some rainfall.
So now it’s all down to the Atlantic depression due this weekend.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Highs and Lows

The weather forecasts this week are all about the mild weather we are experiencing. At this time of year the overnight low is a key factor on the plot. We still have salad leaves and summer lettuce to harvest. The first frost will reduce lettuce to green slime. Alpine strawberries are still producing fruit but a frost will end this harvest too. The temperature on Wednesday reached 17.7°C during the day and fell to 7.7°C in the early hours of Thursday morning, the highest and lowest recordings in 9 days of recording. The night of the first frost on the plot must be close.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Week 1 (20-25 October 2009)

Almost one week of recording our weather. No unusual weather to report just some dull & dreary October days.
From 2009-10-28

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Setting up my weather station

Setting up my new weather station this week has been interesting. Not as simple as the instructions would have you believe. I may still move some of the equipment to obtain more accurate readings.

Outdoor Thermometer
I'm hoping the outdoor thermometer is now positioned out of the sun should there be any.

From Weather Station

The protection around the thermometer is more to protect against bird droppings rather than sunshine. It’s mounted under our bird feeders!

I didn't fancy erecting a 10m (the official mounting height) high pole in the garden which would need climbing each week to keep the anemometer clean.

From Weather Station

It's mounted on the top of a pergola to measure wind speed at tall shrub height rather than tall tree height.

Rain Gauge
I've mounted my rain gauge on top of the pergola too. This will need cleaning each week to remove any debris trapped in the collecting funnel.

From Weather Station

I’d like some proper rain now rather than the drizzly stuff we’ve had over the last week to check that the gauge is working properly. Initially out of impatience I tipped a drop of water into the top of the gauge and recorded a rainfall of 1.4mm. I’m now not sure of how to remove this amount from the database. Still if my figures are within 1mm I’m not too fussed.

Data Logger & PC connection
Once these bits of equipment were set up it was just a matter of ensuring that the wireless connections worked and that I could download data from the equipment to my PC for editing. As the station can work all over the world it needs to be set up for a city in the UK. I’ve used Liverpool from the choices available.

From Weather Station

Downloading to my PC didn’t go quite as planned or as described in the instructions. The problem was the length of computer file names. I think I have the measure of the kit now (apart from that experimental 1.4mm of rainfall). Just for good measure the clocks went back 1 hour at the weekend and I’ve no idea what happened to the lost hour’s weather.