About our Visitors to Durham Weather

Durham Cathedral Sunset

What do people search for at Durham Weather?

Here at Durham Weather, we are always interested in what others are searching for when they find us.

The weather is of course very seasonal, and the popularity of certain subjects obviously changes with those seasons, especially in winter, when extreme weather captures people’s attention.

In the last 12 months, the most popular search term used leading to visitors to the site has been ‘uk snowfall history‘, peaking in December (as people tried to find out the likelihood of a White Christmas), and also in early March (as the media whipped up interest in the return of a ‘Beast From The East‘). Snow is always a great magnet for us.

Next on the list was ‘Exacta Weather‘. This is a website run by a guy called James Madden, who feeds newspapers like the Daily Express with sensational forecasts for them to write headlines around. If you see a sensational story in the Express, chances are it’ll have Mr Madden’s name embedded in it somewhere. In general, whatever Exacta predict to happen, the real weather is almost certain to do the opposite.

The next most common search was for ‘NetAtmo Weather Station Review‘. This is the weather station I currently use here at Durham Weather to generate the figures here and the one I have most experience with. It’s a wireless, stylish piece of kit that doesn’t look out of place in the home. It can be purchased from the Durham Weather Shop here.

After that, a couple of more search terms are popular as an alternative route to UK Snowfall Statistics and James Madden/Exacta, then a very popular item in the Durham Weather shop is revealed. It’s not actually a weather item at all, rather a ‘sky item’. It’s the fantastic Slokey Skyways 40070 Telescope for Astronomy. The growth in Astronomy over recent years has been huge, particularly with Elon Musk’s SpaceX endeavours and the resurrection of the US Moon missions.

The next most popular products searched for in the Durham Weather Shop are the Kalawen Weather Station and the Sainlogic WS3500. Both of these are incredibly popular and more than capable products for an amateur wishing to run their own weather observing site. They are easy to install and can be used to send data to external websites for reporting purposes, as well as to produce good monthly summaries.

What are the most important things to consider when buying a weather station for the home?

When buying a weather station for the home, there are several important things to consider:


The most important feature of any weather station is accuracy. Look for a weather station that provides accurate readings of temperature, humidity, wind speed, and rainfall.

Accuracy is the most important feature of a weather station because accurate weather data is crucial for making informed decisions about outdoor activities, as well as for planning and preparedness in case of severe weather. Inaccurate data can lead to incorrect decisions and potential danger. For example, if the temperature readings are inaccurate, you might not dress appropriately for the weather, leading to discomfort or even illness.

Similarly, if the wind speed readings are inaccurate, you might not be aware of dangerous winds that could damage your property or cause injury. Therefore, it is important to choose a weather station with a high level of accuracy to ensure that you have reliable and precise weather information.


New Netatmo outdoor sensor

A weather station should have sensors for all the important weather parameters, including temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and rainfall. Some weather stations may also include sensors for barometric pressure and UV radiation.

Sensors are an essential component of any weather station because they are responsible for collecting data on various weather parameters, such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and rainfall. The quality and accuracy of these sensors can significantly impact the overall performance of the weather station. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a weather station with sensors that are reliable, accurate, and able to measure all the important weather parameters.

Having a full suite of sensors for all the key weather parameters allows you to gather a comprehensive picture of the weather conditions in your area. This information can be used to make informed decisions about outdoor activities, crop irrigation, energy consumption, and many other applications. For example, if you have a garden, you can use the rainfall sensor to determine if your plants need watering. Additionally, if you are monitoring wind speed and direction, you can determine the best placement for wind turbines or other renewable energy sources. Therefore, having a complete set of sensors is important to ensure that you have the data necessary to make informed decisions.

Wireless connectivity:

Newentor Weather Station & 3 Outdoor Sensors

Many weather stations now offer wireless connectivity, allowing you to view weather data from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. This can be particularly useful if you want to monitor weather conditions when you’re away from home.

Wireless connectivity is an increasingly important feature in weather stations because it allows you to access real-time weather data from anywhere at any time. With wireless connectivity, you can monitor weather conditions remotely, receive alerts for severe weather, and access historical weather data for analysis and planning purposes.

By using a weather station with wireless connectivity, you can access weather data directly from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. This can be especially useful if you want to monitor weather conditions when you’re away from home or need to make informed decisions based on the latest weather data. Additionally, some weather stations with wireless connectivity can even send you alerts when severe weather is approaching, giving you ample time to prepare and take necessary precautions.

Moreover, wireless connectivity also allows you to share weather data with others, such as family members, friends, or even researchers. By sharing data, you can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of weather patterns in your area and help improve weather forecasting accuracy. Therefore, having wireless connectivity in a weather station can provide you with a wealth of useful information and enhance your overall weather monitoring experience.


Youshiko YC9443 Weather Station with 3 x Wireless Sensors

Choose a weather station with a display that is easy to read and provides clear information about the weather. Look for a display that is backlit and can be easily read in low-light conditions.

The display is an essential component of a weather station because it provides users with immediate access to critical weather information. A clear and easy-to-read display is important to ensure that you can quickly and accurately interpret the weather data provided by the weather station.

When selecting a weather station, consider the size of the display, the level of contrast, and the font size and style. You want to ensure that the display is large enough to be seen from a distance and in low-light conditions. A backlit display is also important to ensure that you can easily read the data in low-light conditions.

Furthermore, the display should provide all the essential weather information, such as temperature, humidity, wind speed, and rainfall, in a clear and easy-to-understand format. This can be in the form of numerical readings, graphs, or charts. Additionally, some weather stations offer customizable displays, allowing you to choose which weather parameters to display and in what format.

Overall, having a clear and easy-to-read display is important to ensure that you can quickly and accurately access critical weather information. This is especially important in situations where immediate decisions need to be made based on the weather conditions, such as outdoor activities or severe weather events.

Power source:

Consider the power source of the weather station. Some stations use batteries, while others require an electrical outlet. Battery-powered stations are often easier to install, but they will require regular battery changes.

The power source of a weather station is an important consideration because it affects the station’s installation, maintenance, and overall reliability. There are generally two types of power sources for weather stations: battery-powered and electrical outlet-powered.

Battery-powered weather stations are generally easier to install since they do not require a power outlet. They are also portable and can be moved to different locations if needed. However, battery-powered stations require regular battery replacements, which can be inconvenient and add to the overall cost of owning the weather station.

On the other hand, electrical outlet-powered weather stations offer continuous power, eliminating the need for regular battery replacements. They also tend to be more reliable since they do not depend on battery life. However, they require a nearby electrical outlet for installation, which can be limiting in terms of placement options.

Therefore, when selecting a weather station, consider the power source that best suits your needs, taking into account the station’s installation location, the frequency of use, and the level of maintenance required. This will help ensure that you have a reliable and convenient source of weather data over the long term.


Look for a weather station that is easy to install and comes with clear instructions. Some weather stations require professional installation, while others can be installed by the homeowner.

The ease of installation of a weather station is an important consideration because it can impact the accessibility and usability of the station. A weather station that is difficult to install may require professional installation or specialized tools, which can add to the overall cost and complexity of owning the station.

Ideally, a weather station should be easy to install and set up without the need for professional assistance or specialized tools. This ensures that you can quickly and easily begin using the station to access critical weather data.

In addition, an easy-to-install weather station is typically more accessible, allowing a wider range of users to take advantage of its features and capabilities. This is especially important for users who may not have specialized knowledge or technical expertise in installing weather stations.

Overall, the ease of installation of a weather station is an important consideration because it can impact the accessibility and usability of the station, as well as the overall cost and complexity of owning the station. By selecting a weather station that is easy to install and set up, you can ensure that you get the most value from your investment and access critical weather data quickly and easily.


The durability of a weather station is an important consideration, especially if you plan to use it in harsh weather conditions or in outdoor environments. A weather station that is not built to withstand tough weather conditions can easily become damaged or break, rendering it useless.

Weather stations that are designed for durability are typically made from high-quality materials that can withstand extreme weather conditions such as high winds, heavy rain, and extreme temperatures. Additionally, these stations are often designed with protective features such as weather-resistant housing, corrosion-resistant sensors, and reinforced mounting hardware.

By choosing a weather station that is designed for durability, you can be confident that it will continue to function reliably over the long term, even in harsh weather conditions. This is especially important if you plan to use the weather station for agricultural, construction, or outdoor recreational activities where accurate weather data is crucial for safety and productivity.


Weather stations can range in price from under $50 to several hundred dollars. Consider your budget and the features you need before making a purchase. A more expensive weather station may provide more accurate readings and more features, but it may not be necessary for your needs.

The price of a weather station is an important consideration because it can impact the overall value and affordability of the station. Generally, weather stations with more features and capabilities tend to be more expensive, while simpler weather stations with fewer features tend to be more affordable.

When considering the price of a weather station, it is important to weigh the cost against the features and capabilities that are most important to you. A more expensive weather station may offer additional features such as wireless connectivity, greater accuracy, or more durable materials, which may be worth the investment if you require these features. However, if you only need basic weather information, a less expensive weather station may be more appropriate.

It is also important to consider the long-term cost of owning a weather station. A cheaper weather station may have lower quality components and require more frequent maintenance or replacement, leading to higher costs over time. A more expensive weather station may have higher quality components that require less maintenance and last longer, leading to lower long-term costs.

Overall, the price of a weather station should be considered in relation to the features and capabilities that are most important to you, as well as the long-term cost of owning and maintaining the station. By selecting a weather station that offers the right balance of features, capabilities, and affordability, you can ensure that you get the best value for your investment.



New Book – Durham Weather and Climate Since 1841

Durham Weather and Climate since 1841 Front Cover

The British have always been obsessed by the weather. Astronomers at Durham Observatory began weather observations in 1841; weather records continue unbroken to this day, one of the longest continuous series of single-site weather records in Europe. Durham Weather and Climate since 1841 represents the first full publication of this newly digitised record of English weather, which will be of lasting appeal to interested readers and climate researchers alike.

The book celebrates 180 years of weather in north-east England by describing how the records were (and are) made and the people who made them, examines monthly and seasonal weather patterns and extremes across two centuries, and considers long-term climate change.

Local documentary sources and contemporary photographs bring the statistics to life, from the great flood of 1771 and skating on the frozen River Wear in February 1895 right up to Durham’s hottest-ever day in July 2019 and its wettest winter in 2021.

Extensive links are provided to full daily weather records back to 1843. This volume is a sister publication to Oxford Weather and Climate since 1767 by the same authors, published by Oxford University Press in 2019.


Durham University has a venerable history of observational climate science. When Gordon Manley, perhaps the greatest British climatologist of the 20th century, arrived in Durham in 1928 to establish the Department of Geography, he resolved to place the Durham Observatory weather records on the same basis as those of the Radcliffe Observatory in Oxford, which had long been recognised as a valuable resource. This book updates and extends Manley’s pioneering work. ― Karen O’Brien, Vice-Chancellor, Durham University

This definitive book beautifully discusses the variations in the weather and climate in Durham over nearly two centuries, including all the highs and lows. The long-term view provided by these detailed records clearly highlights the warming of our climate and the fingerprint of human influence on our weather, even at this local scale. ― Ed Hawkins MBE, University of Reading, UK

This lovingly-crafted history will be the envy of all long-term weather stations around the world. Tim and Stephen have respectfully interpreted the painstaking efforts of those who came before them, delivering an engaging and useful volume which transports you to the University grounds throughout the seasons and the decades.

As the Earth continues to warm, these kinds of careful histories will only become more important. ― Linden Ashcroft, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Durham Weather and Climate since 1841 undertakes a comprehensive rescue and analysis of this hugely valuable long-term meteorological station record including an in-depth reconstruction of the station history.

The resulting meticulous data analysis provides key new insights into long-term UK climate changes that are essential to understanding our rapidly changing climate. ― Peter Thorne, ICARUS Climate Research Centre, Maynooth University, Ireland

Climate science relies on long, carefully re-evaluated meteorological records. It is this long-term view that allows changes in weather and climate to be assessed and put into perspective. In Durham Weather and Climate since 1841, Tim Burt and Stephen Burt, two widely-known experts in the field, present another long record.

The book describes the history of weather and climate in northern England and the role of weather in daily lives. It tells the story of meteorological measurements in Durham, which at the same time is a story about astronomy, the University and about the life-long dedication of individuals such as Gordon Manley – and the authors of this book. ― Stefan Brönnimann, University of Bern, Switzerland

Durham has long been known for its eminence in meteorology and climatology. In this beautifully illustrated volume, Stephen Burt and Tim Burt place Durham’s long record of observations in their complete historical and social context.

They describe the struggles and accomplishments of the observers, both the famous and those who quietly carried out their daily duties. Burt and Burt take these centuries’ worth of observations and turn them into analytical descriptions of Durham’s climate, month by month and season by season, linking climatic events with citizen’s daily lives.

Packed with statistics, meteorological and climatological analysis, and historical commentary, this will be of interest to anyone interested in long-term climate change, observational records, historical climatology, weather analysis and the history of meteorology. ― Victoria Slonosky, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Durham provides an excellent record for discussing climate change in north-east England and for a wider area. ― Chris Folland, Met Office, Exeter, UK

While the Durham record is less well-known than the Oxford one, it is still impressive and its analysis will give a picture of a very different location. Climate change is an increasingly significant issue. The volume is very timely. ― Andrew Goudie, University of Oxford

About the Authors

Dr Stephen Burt has published widely on many and varied aspects of British climatology, including case studies of notable weather events including gales, snowstorms, heatwaves and thunderstorms, and citizen science data rescue projects including the hourly Ben Nevis Observatory records and 350 years of Met Office rainfall data.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society and a member of the American Meteorological Society and the Scientific Instruments Society. Previous books include Oxford Weather and Climate since 1767 (with Tim Burt) and The Weather Observer’s Handbook. He is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading.

Tim Burt retired in 2017 after 21 years as Master of Hatfield College and Professor of Geography at Durham University. Before that, he was Lecturer in Physical Geography at Oxford University and a Fellow of Keble College (1984-96) and Director of the Radcliffe Meteorological Station (1986-96). Tim has run the Durham Observatory weather station since 2001, not as old as the Radcliffe, but still with records dating from 1843.

Tim has published widely on the Durham and Oxford records as well as in other areas of physical geography (notably, hydrology and water quality, fluvial geomorphology). He is now an Emeritus Professor at Durham University and a Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol. An undergraduate at Cambridge, Tim has an MA from Carleton University, Ottawa, and a PhD and DSc from the University of Bristol.

Available at Amazon here:

How I Started Durham Weather

Keep up to date with Durham Weather

Weather and weather forecasting is now big business.

Since 1976, i’ve continued to measure local weather, although several house moves around the North East (Ferryhill, Kirk Merrington, Langley Park) and a trip to college in Newcastle had made the weather measurements a little sporadic in the 90’s. However, 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 1990s 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). I began swapping thoughts and weather measurements with them.

In the late 1990s the first real automated weather stations came onto the market. 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 myself. 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. (It was a halved tin of baked beans opened out and nailed to a plank). Sometimes it was a thermometer screwed to the doorframe. (My dad wasn’t impressed with 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. This 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 netatmo weather station equipment used to measure the weather at my durham weather station

Now, in Durham, the shiny NetAtmo gizmos log everything automatically and all the averages and the 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 for ages.

I did have a little battery problem when I first got the kit, but NetAtmo sorted it out by sending me a replacement sensor in a couple of weeks. You can get one in the Durham Weather Shop.


Tonga volcanic eruption detected in Durham!

Tongan volcanic eruption shockwave in Durham Weather data

On 15th January a sub-marine volcano, Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai, just off the coast of Tonga, exploded with incredible force. The blast wave was visible from space and caused tsunami waves all around the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean.

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The eruption was some 10,000 miles away from the UK, on the other side of the World. For those that don’t know, Tonga is close to New Zealand, so a long way away.

On the morning of the 16th, reports started coming in on Twitter from different parts of the globe, showing disturbances in atmospheric pressure.

I looked on my weather station records, and sure enough, the eruption was detectable here in Durham!

The disturbance can be seen in the atmospheric pressure chart. Twice. The first pressure wave from the eruption arrived here at about 7pm UK time. Then a secondary disturbance at about 2am on the 16th.

The reason for two disturbances? Well, one pressure wave went round the globe polewards, the second went ‘the long way round’. Both pressure waves came at the speed of sound, so took their time getting here, but you can clearly see them on this chart.

Small World, eh?

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