A Stevenson Screen, used to house a range of weather measuring instruments

Measuring the Weather:

In order produce a climate graph you need to be able to record temperature and rainfall. How can we do this? Are temperature and rainfall the only aspects of the weather that we can measure?

This page from geographyalltheway gives you a lot of information on how we measure the weather, Copy and complete the table and then answer the question at the bottom of the page. You can then go on to look at how we use this information and create a climate graph using excel.

Where to locate a Stevenson Screen

You must know this. The word document below from GreenfieldGeography is an excellent summary.
Location of a Stevenson Screen.docx
Learn it!

Why do we use a Stevenson Screen?

Instrument Image Definition How to use and where to locate.

Wind Vane

Weather_vane_2748.JPG It is a mechanical device attached to an elevated structure; rotates freely to show the direction of the wind
  • Stand facing the same direction in which the sharp end of the weather vane is pointing while holding a compass in one of your hands to determine the direction of the wind.


external image 220px-Wea00920.jpg A device used to measure wind speed.
  • Place away from obstructions and high from the ground.
  • Keep your eye on one of the cups of the anemometer.
  • Count how many times the target cup turns in one minute.
  • Repeat twice and average the three readings to get the average revolutions per minute.

Whirling psychrometer

Whirling psychrometer.jpg The whirling Psychrometer is an instrument for the measurement of the temperature and humidity of the air. It consists of two thermometers exposed side by side.
  • Swing the instrument around above your head about 30 to 50 times. Record the temperatures.


barometer.jpg A Barometer is used to measure air pressure. Pressure is shown in Millibars.
  • Carefully read the air pressure indicated by the needle using the scale. Many barometers today are digital. Ensure that digital barometers are adjusted to the altitude at which they are positioned.


Haar-Hygrometer.jpg A Hygrometer is used to measure humidity, the moisture content of the air.

A wet dry bulb thermometer is also used to measure humidity.

  • Read the humidity shown on the scale. Note the scale in the picture shown.

Max/Min Thermometer

THERMOMETER, MIN-MAX.jpg The thermometer indicates the current temperature, and the highest and lowest temperatures since last reset.
  • The thermometer shows a reading at the top of the mercury section on both the maximum and minimum scales; this shows the current temperature and should be the same on both scales.
  • If the two readings are not the same, then the instrument scales are not correctly positioned or the instrument is damaged

Rain Gauge

rain guage.jpg The standard rain gauge consists of a funnel emptying into a graduated cylinder, 2 cm in diameter, which fits inside a larger container which is 20 cm in diameter and 50 cm tall. If the rainwater overflows the graduated inner cylinder, the larger outer container will catch it.
  • When measurements are taken, the height of the water in the small graduated cylinder is measured, and the excess overflow in the large container is carefully poured into another graduated cylinder and measured to give the total rainfall.
  • The cylinder is usually marked in mm and will measure up to 250 millimeters (9.8 in) of rainfall.
  • Each horizontal line on the cylinder is 0.5 millimeters

This pdf contains an excellent summary of how to measure the weather using the equipment above.


Climate Graphs:

Climate graphs are used to show the precipitation and temperature for a given location. Here you can find climate graphs for a number of different locations. Pick one and describe it in detail. Your description should include, maximum, minimum and average temperature, the temperature range, wettest and driest month, and average rainfall. You should also try to identify seasons, for example, is there an obvious wet and dry season, is the climate constant all year round or does the area have a climate similar to ours with 4 distinct seasons.

The BBC Bitesize website has a good summary of how to use a climate graph.
bitesize banner.jpg

Climate Graphs for the Earth’s Biomes.

Using this website, summarize the climate characteristics for each of the major Biomes. Your summary should include climate graphs, maps and a brief description of the climate including mean annual temperature and precipitation, as well as any seasonal variation.

I spy clouds:

Using the information on this page, create an eye spy clouds game for young children. Using pictures and simple language, you should describe the cloud and how it forms as well as any other information you feel is relevant. Here is an example of an eye spy game