Phase 1 complete!

After just 10 weeks, the 3656 Operation Weather Rescue volunteers have completed the transcription of all the hourly rainfall, temperature and pressure data taken on Ben Nevis and in Fort William between 1883 and 1904!

There was skepticism from many about whether this citizen science approach to rescuing historical weather data would work.

It has. And, it has far exceeded our expectations.

The amazing volunteers have given their time and made a real difference to our understanding of past weather and climate. Thank you.

We have also completed the quality control for all the rainfall data. 177504 hours of observations were taken on Ben Nevis and 124176 hours in Fort William. (Just 48 hours are missing on Ben Nevis, and 1776 hours in Fort William.)

This data has already been sent to the UK Met Office where it will be included in the UKCP18 project, which will be completed early next year. Part of UKCP18 will be an updated dataset of daily and monthly rainfall across the UK back to 1891 and perhaps earlier. The Ben Nevis and Fort William data will be a valuable addition in a region with very few existing observations, especially at higher elevations. The Met Office team have already demonstrated that this data improves their reconstructions of past rainfall.

We are now busy working on finalising the temperature and pressure datasets. We will also use these to calculate the humidity, and there are still the wind observations to finish transcribing.

Attention turns now to the next phase for Operation Weather Rescue.

Today, we refresh the project to start transcribing the Daily Weather Reports. This summary of the weather across much of western Europe began in 1860 and has been produced by the Met Office every day since. Originally, the observations were sent by telegraph cable from weather stations across Europe to London where they were collated and used to provide storm warnings and early weather forecasts.

This data has never been digitised, and consists of twice-daily observations of pressure & temperature and daily rainfall amounts. The data comes from Scandinavia to Spain, and from Ireland to Germany, and almost every country inbetween. The data for the year 1900 has been added to

We need your help!


One thought on “Phase 1 complete!

  1. Anita December 6, 2017 / 2:29 am

    This is an absolutely amazing project! As a civil engineering technologist, climate change is top of mind. I’ll share this to my +700 engineering colleagues in Toronto, Canada to see if we can get your team some help from across the ocean.


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