Watching the weather
Watching the weather

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Watching the weather

1 Recording the weather: from the surface

For well over a century, formal observations of the prevailing meteorological conditions have been recorded at official weather stations around the globe. In the early days the information was chiefly gathered by the military, ever mindful of the risk that even the most carefully devised strategy is at the mercy of short-term changes in the weather. It is hard to imagine that forecasting success rates were high for more than a few hours ahead, so military discipline and scientific curiosity may have been essential for keeping the observation networks going in the early days. In addition to supplying data for forecasting, records of past weather are an important input into climatology.

Skip Your course resources

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371