Durham Weather Station


Durham University Observatory , the Official Met Office Durham reporting site.
Durham University Observatory, the Official Met Office Durham reporting site.

Durham Weather Station

Observing The Weather in Durham

This Durham Weather (UK) website and it’s pages are dedicated to the Meteorology of Durham and my Weather Photography. I have been totally geeky about the weather here in Durham ever since the blazing hot summers of 1975 & 1976. I started scribbling my weather measurements in a little notebook whilst still at school, thinking no-one else would be interested in them. But I was wrong!

Weather and weather forecasting is now big business.

Since then, i’ve continued to measure local weather, although several house moves (Ferryhill, Kirk Merrington, Langley Park) and a trip to college in Newcastle had made the weather measurements a little sporadic in the 90’s, but they are more stable as I’m a stay-at-home retired creature now. I also have a partner who doesn’t take the mickey much, so I don’t feel so embarrassed.

In the dim distant 1990’s I befriended Helen Goldie and later Professor Tim Burt who ran the official Durham University Weather Station at Potters Bank in Durham City (this is the official Met Office Durham Weather reporting site. It’s in a posh area, so I don’t go there much) and began swapping thoughts and weather measurements with them.

In the late 1990’s the first real automated weather stations came onto the market and I saved up my pocket money and bought one for myself. It was a Davis Weather Monitor II.

I still think of the Davis Weather Monitor as the best weather station on the market at the time.

It cost me an arm and a leg (and possibly a marriage) back then, but it helped me avoid disappearing into the garden at ungodly hours of the night to read the data. That also halved the heating bill!

Measuring the weather can now be done a lot more accurately than with the old home made screen I used (a halved tin of baked beans opened out and nailed to a plank) or the thermometer screwed to the doorframe. (My dad hated me for ruining all his door frames!)

It also allowed me to automatically upload my weather observations to my flashy new weather website on the Interweb, which got me on the World map of Weather! These first automated meteorological readings were made in Ferryhill, 6 miles to the South of Durham and those old weather records can be seen here. If you’re not that sad, don’t worry about it.

Picture of Framwellgate Bridge, Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral
Framwellgate Bridge, Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral on a sunny day in Durham

Relocation to Durham

Since 2014, I have been living in Durham City, where the climate is a little bit different. It’s not as high as Ferryhill, therefore not as draughty and slightly closer to the coast. It’s also a city rather than a large pit village, so slightly more urbanised. This makes a bit of difference as gardens are more sheltered, having hedges and plants rather than yards and concrete and outside netties (toilets), so temperatures can be modified a bit, but it also leads to more gustiness in windy weather as there are more buildings to disrupt the wind. You also don’t lose the use off your legs in the outside netty.

I have a page detailing the typical climate of Durham and the North East and what to expect here.

picture of netatmo weather station equipment used to measure the weather at my durham weather stationWhat Weather Station do I use now at Durham Weather?

At the moment I am using the rather swish NetAtmo Weather Station. Everything is connected using wireless trickery. I record temperature and rainfall, but not windspeed and direction as I don’t have anywhere to mount the anemometer in a meaningful position, and really I’m just chicken shit about climbing on the roof.

The shiny NetAtmo gizmos log automatically to a website (this very one in fact) and all the averages and figures are calculated for me, like magic itself.

It’s a neat little system and not too expensive to own (under 150 quid). The sensors are battery operated and the AAA batteries last ages. I did have a battery problem when I first got the kit, but NetAtmo sorted it out by sending me a replacement sensor in a couple of weeks. Not bad those Frenchies. We should have stayed in Europe.

I am also a big fan of the delightfully titled Froggit WM3000SE weather station which is one of the best sellers in the Durham Weather Shop.

If you want to see the data gubbins from the weather station here in Gilesgate, as well as all the other stations in the NetAtmo Weather Network, please take a look on the Live Weather page.

Content of the Durham Weather Website

I’ve built up quite a pile of Weather related photos over the years, which i’d like to show here if I can. There’s photos of clouds, flooding, sunrises/sunsets, snow, sunshine and just nature and Big Skies. I try to write a little bit about each one and schedule them as if they were posted at the time I took them. These are all on my Blog.

I’d also like to display weather themed photographs sent by my doting viewers. Please note I’d require accurate timings and locations of any you send if you could. There’s nothing worse than a photo where no-one knows who it was or where and when it was taken, I’m sure you’ll agree. We’ve all got plenty of black and white photos of nameless, unknown relatives in shoe boxes like that haven’t we?

I’ll give you a full credit for any photos I feature (your name in lights). I can’t afford to pay you though, unless you accept ring-pulls as a weird kind of Wampum currency.

Please contact me if you are interested.

Ferryhill Weather Website Archive

In addition to the Durham stuff i’m collecting now, I’ve also copied over the data from my old Ferryhill weather website. I was at my previous pit village location for 18 years and have records from the end of 1999 up until 2011. Sad I know, bit it’s got the legedary snowy winter of 2010 in amongst it, so worth keeping for posterity.

Ferryhill is about 6 miles due South of Durham City and a lot higher up. About 250ft higher up actually, right on top of a hill next to the old Great North Road. The main railway to London goes through it too, but currently it doesn’t stop!

I always got a good agreement between the Ferryhill stuff and that collected by the official Durham University Observatory site which I regularly mention in my blog posts here. It is the official Met Office one after all, so better keep in sync. It gives me kudos, see.

The old monthly summaries are over on the Ferryhill Archive page.

Bonacina/O’Hara UK Snowfall Statistics

This is a continuation of the UK Snowfall History catalog developed by an old Italian guy called Leo Bonacina. It shows UK snowfall by year and it has been added to by me (because little old Leo is long dead) with information from other additional sources. This brought it more or less up to date (the original only covered 1875-1975, a bit before my time). Each winter has been classified as ‘Little’, ‘Average’, ‘Snowy’ or ‘Very Snowy’  and colour coded, depending on the amount of snow and how generally it fell.

I try to add to it each winter. I get a lot of moans about it because I don’t mention the few flakes that drifted down in a carefully hidden shower in a Neasden ghetto in the middle of the night in October 1994, but I do my best. It doesn’t just show Durham snow or north east snow though, although they are referenced in the UK snowfall statistics.

As I say, for my sins against the human race I have continued this UK snowfall series and extended it to the present day, trying to summarise each winter snowfall in the same Bonacina way. Also very sad, but hey, you probably have some weird habits too!

See the UK snowfall statistics in the Bonacina/O’Hara Snowfall Anaysis page here.

The Durham Weather Shop – Best buy Weather Stations

You can buy the best home weather station here!

I have a little weather shop set up here at the Durham Weather website too (in association with Amazon.co.uk). Anything bought from it will support the site with a small commission, which will keep me in clothes. This is actually how I plan to make millions and move to Spain. I might die first, but at least it’ll pay for a memorial candle or two.

I typically carry a selection of cost effective (aka cheap) Weather Stations that you can buy here. Perfect if you fancy becoming a geek, setting up your own system and starting to observe to prove the numbskulls at the Daily Express wrong! Snow Bombs my arse!

Get the Met Office weather for Durham here

13 thoughts on “Durham Weather Station”

    • Thanks Rob, it was a really good walk out. The weather was superb and the colours were absolutely gorgeous. We did about six and a half miles altogether and only stopped for one cup of americano and a sandwich. Some of the cloudscapes were immense, especially earlier in the day. We should do it more often as a lot of the woodland is just across the road from us. Durham is a fantastic place to live.


  1. This is great Ang will be super exited by this,she is Durham born and Bred and strangely enough a bit of a weather geek too

    • Hi Rory/Ang, always great to connect with local people! As you’ll see from the website, i’ve been a bit of a weather ‘freak’ since the mid-70’s and it’s my passion. Looking forward to talking in the future as we’re often in Claypath Deli.


  2. I find your site very interesting and wonder if you could help me.

    I am looking for historic weather details (mostly about rain) relating to the Castle Eden/ Peterlee area.

    Do you know of any person or group that has recorded data for this area over the past few years?

    I woud bre grateful for any help or guidance about this matter.

    Thank you in anticipation

    Bruce Adams

  3. Hi
    I am not sure how my search brought me to your site. I read your front page and I have a Netatmo weather station as well. I’ve often wondered if it was possible to extract the data from it and on reading your review you mention an app called Smartmixin. I had a look and downloaded it. I had not heard of it before and was amazed that it allowed me to access all my Weather records back to 2014 when I set the station up. Thanks very much for the pointer and I now have all my data in a spreadsheet. The only problem I’ve had with the station is that it goes off-line now and again. It seems to do it over a period of a few days and then it stops and is up for many weeks at a time. I’ve not been able to find out what triggers it. I did speak to Netatmo about it and they suggested dedicating a port for it but I have not been able to find the menu in my Talktalk router to do that. It is a Huwaei

    • Hi Simon,

      Good to hear from another NetAtmo user. The station never usually causes any bother and like you say it can run for long periods and then experiences a glitch. I put it down to broadband problems and sometimes it downloads firmware updates which may cause a problem when it tries to install them.

      SmartMixin (strange name) is really just a query tool that accesses the data on the NetAtmo servers, where the data is stored. Why NetAtmo don’t make their own client better, I don’t know, but I produce all of my monthly reports from SmatMixin and can’t fault it really.

      Where exactly are you from?


      • The far south. Well not quite far south as you can get a lower latitude and still be in the UK. Bexhill is the answer. It is rain that has been my interest this year or the lack of it. One of my favourite weather prediction apps is WeatherProHD. Many times this year I have seen an odd phenomena. I see a prediction of rain but when the time comes Bexhill seems to just miss it. It is almost as if there is ray machine that pushes the rain away at the last moment. I have had no rain this month, 13.6mm in July, 19.1mm for June and only 2.7mm for May. All very low. My poor garden is very dry. It would be great to have data for nearby towns such as Eastbourne, Hasting and Battle. I do not know if that data is available or not.

  4. Would it be possible to get .CSV (or other file format) for the “Today’s Weather and Durham Weather Forecast”, more specifically “Barometric Pressure – Indoors” ?

    I have an environmental sensor (Bosch BME280) and would like to calibrate/compare data to that in a similar location (I am central Durham).

    Kind regards.


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