Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Needed: Weather Recording System

This winter has been absolutely wacky so far in Saskatchewan. The first frost was on September 13th; the next day, night time temperatures dipped to -5C. It didn't get that cold again for another month. November 3rd had a daytime high of 11C, and the 19th a daytime high of -18C. The week of the 19th was the one cold week of winter that we have had, until today. I'm currently sitting at -15C, -30 with the windchill. These current temperatures are exactly what Environment Canada says are average for here this time of year. Environment Canada also says, however, that it is increasingly difficult to accurately predict the weather. (Yep, they forecast a cold winter.)

What does this mean? Well, a couple of things. First, I could have extended my growing season beyond my previous wildest dreams with very minimal equipment. My chard was actually sprightly well into November, but I'd mentally decided the gardening season was over and didn't pick it. I will plan better for next year (although I don't know if I'll start any earlier this year - the thought of having to plan what seeds to start right now fills me with panic.)

Second, I need a good system of weather recording. A system where I can record minimum and maximum temperatures, precipitation, and any other information of note, such as whether leaves are budding and if pollinators have appeared. And one that allows me to compare days or weeks with those of previous years. Ideally, it would have some graphing functions. I like seeing information pictorally.

Does anyone know of any software that can do some or most of this for me? What do you do to keep track of the weather?

Third, I am trying hard not to panic about climate change - what good does panic do? - and mitigate and adapt. Perhaps a future post on this?

2 comments:

  1. Mark Bigland-PritchardJanuary 18, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Hi Eden. Don't know if this helps, but you can find historic temperature data at official weather stations at http://climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca/climateData/canada_e.html. For energy auditing work, I have saved this data into spreadsheets and created my own graphs - not too difficult to do though you need to allocate a few hours if you're doing several years at a time.
    Mark

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    1. Mark, I am hopeless with spreadsheet software but my husband has offered to make one for me. Thanks!

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