1 May 2012

Potten End Newsletter Article 1

This article originally appeared in the Potten End Newsletter, May 2012.

I don’t recall exactly when my obsession with the weather started, but I know I was very young. Frightened by thunder and lightning, my parents encouraged me to count to measure the gap between flash and crash to determine whether a storm was approaching or leaving. We watched the birds flying high to see if it would be sunny. We looked at dry pine cones or noted whether the cows were standing or laying down to indicate whether we could expect rain.

Weather lore like this nearly always has some basis in fact and I may explore these in future articles.

My weather obsession grew slowly but surely, culminating in purchasing a fully automated, computer connected weather station just before the turn of the century. Then, nearly seven years ago I started recording the weather data so I could build up a historical record.

Connecting the weather station to the internet was the next logical step. The Potten End weather website has been around quietly in some form or other for quite a few years, but recently time and resource has been found to turn it in to something a little more publicly accessible and informative.

Drought and the Hosepipe Ban
With nearly seven years of data to look at, it’s possible to see how our rainfall has diminished in the last couple of years.
  • April 2007 to March 2008: 560mm
  • April 2008 to March 2009: 682mm
  • April 2009 to March 2010: 669mm
  • April 2010 to March 2011: 481mm
  • April 2011 to March 2012: 472mm
Those figures show that rainfall dropped by 25% to 30% over the last two 12-month periods.
So it’s clearly not just the water companies’ leaky pipes that are causing the problems.

Potten End Weather on the Internet
Potten End weather is available in many forms on the internet. On the website at www.pottenend.org you can view all of the recent weather measurements. The graphs can show data going back up to 90 days.

The web site is still under development. It will mature, change and improve over the coming months. So keep an eye on it!

You can also subscribe to the Potten End Weather Twitter feed at @pottenend. Weather information is tweeted several times a day.

Please note that if you send twitter messages to @pottenend about local information or events, they can be re-tweeted to all of the Potten End Weather twitter followers.