Up to this point, all the previous topics relate to a single weather station with one or more sets of instruments at one site. Of course, weather knows no boundaries. Interest in ‘measuring the weather’ at any particular location improves with the exchange and comparison of observations with others – locally, nationally or internationally. This chapter suggests ways to exchange information with other sites and other observers, under three main headings – online or real-time sharing using the Internet, online or offline reporting to informal or voluntary networks, and co-operation with national weather services and other official bodies.
Real-time information exchange
There are two main ways to share real-time (or near real-time) weather information via the web: using a site-specific website, one or more data consolidation/aggregation sites or newsgroups which accept data feeds from a number of locations, or both. With a relatively dense network of reporting locations in populated areas, together with a fast update/refresh rate, highly detailed mesoscale displays of current weather conditions are instantly available on the web, even on portable devices such as smartphones (Figure 19.1).