Case Studies

  1. Environment
  2. Weather/climate/seasonal (Outdoor)

Rugged, outdoor Tinytag data loggers provide temperature data for weather observation

An amateur weather observer uses Tinytag data loggers to maintain a weather record and determine how climate changes over time.

Two Tinytag Plus 2 (TGP-4020) data loggers and one Tinytag Ultra 2 (TGU-4020) are used in Trevor Goodall’s weather observation station. The data contributes to Trevor’s personal weather record, as well as being sent to other weather observers and the local community.

Trevor Goodall is an amateur weather observer who started keeping instrumental weather records back in 1978. Since then, he has operated three different weather stations, all within an approximately 30km radius in North East Yorkshire. His current observing station of 7 years is in a small rural village around 12km from Scarborough.

Trevor uses many of the instruments typically found at a standard climatological station: traditional glass air temperature thermometers; a Stevenson Screen; rain gauge, barometer, wind vane and anemometer; sunshine recorder, grass, concrete and earth thermometers; and more. He is also a member of the Climatological Observers Link and sends his weather data to them every month. This data is used in a monthly bulletin which includes the previous month's weather statistics, observation notes, letters, and other information for weather stations across the UK and abroad.

Located at the site near Scarborough, inside a Stevenson Screen, a Tinytag Plus 2 (TGP-4020) data logger with a thermistor probe measures the temperature just above short-grass level. A second logger (within the same Stevenson Screen), Tinytag Ultra 2 (TGU-4020), has its probe placed on a concrete slab to measure temperature. Both of these loggers measure the data at 3-minute intervals. A third logger - another Plus 2 TGP-4020 - with its probe sited inside a radiation shield is located approximately 2km away from the main observing site to measure air temperature on open farmland at 5-minute intervals, at a slightly lower altitude than the main site, for comparison.

The main objective of Trevor's monitoring is to maintain a weather record for his own use as an enthusiast, helping to determine how climate changes over the years. He enjoys sharing his readings and statistics with other weather observers, particularly regionally, and has an interested following from local residents who enjoy reading the monthly figures. The local church newsletter also publishes a shorter report from Trevor each month.

Trevor exports the data from the loggers into spreadsheets using the Tinytag Explorer software. The data taken from the two Tinytag data loggers located inside the Stevenson Screen is used as a backup of measurements taken using traditional thermometers, which guards against errors that may occur when reading traditional thermometers. This also helps to fill in any gaps in manual measurements, such as when Trevor is on holiday, leading to an unbroken record of data.

The second Tinytag Plus 2 data logger, located on open farmland, is the primary source of temperature data at this location. This location is not easily accessible for maintaining traditional instruments on-site.

Having heard about Tinytag data loggers from a weather observer colleague, Trevor says, "I chose these loggers because of their ruggedness, accuracy, and long battery life. It is also easy to attach sensor leads of varying lengths as required."

Trevor finds Tinytag data loggers "ideally suited" to his needs, especially as he finds the Tinytag Explorer software easy to use and the data easily accessible to arrange into spreadsheets per his requirements.

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