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New system helps Harper to monitor the weather

Posted 19 October 2010

A new fully automated weather station has recently been installed at Harper Adams University College to help make recording Met Office data a lot easier.

Daily temperatures collected at the University College near Newport, Shropshire, have been forwarded to the Met Office since 1928 and this new Meteorological Monitoring System (MMS) is one of a new type currently being rolled out across the UK.

The station, which is positioned outside the Crop and Environment Research Centre on campus, records the temperature by using a set of electrical resistance thermometers, or sensors. This information is then fed to the Met Office which e-mails a summary of the data back to Harper Adams.

Before the MMS was installed, Laboratory Technician, Richard Page, would visit the old system every day at 9am to record the temperature manually and visually assess the weather. He believes the automatic system will be beneficial.

He said: “This is a lot quicker and more accurate than the old system because there are no gaps in the data, such as at weekends or during the Christmas break.

“The MMS has been specially designed and tested for Harper Adams. Hopefully it will be expanded in the future to monitor other elements such as wind speed and direction, and solar radiation.”

Because the Met Office is owned by the Ministry of Defence, the information recorded cannot be directly accessed other than the summary that the University College receives.

Richard added: “Harper has its own automatic weather station set up in 1988 which records information for use in research and teaching. We are currently in the process of setting up software that will allow a direct feed so that anyone can access the information from our station.

“This also records wind speed and direction as well as solar radiation, rainfall and soil temperatures.”

The weather station at Harper Adams also made the news in 1982, when the lowest ever temperature in England, -26.1 degrees Celsius, was recorded on campus.

For more information about this, see http://www.harper-adams.ac.uk/press/article.cfm?ID=201160


 

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