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SDR Deposit of the Week: Get wind of this weather data

Bird Rock weather station

Weather is often a hot topic for discussion (no pun intended!), even here in the usually moderate Bay Area where thoughts on the current drought are frequently proffered. But our discussions of the weather would be baseless if it weren't for weather data and our ability to track weather changes over time.

Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove has been tracking the weather in their neck of the woods for years. Detailed data from this weather monitoring project is now available online via the Stanford Digital Repository in the Hopkins Marine Station collection.

These weather data can be used in a myriad of ways. Hopkins researcher Chris Patton wondered why his bike commute often seemed more windy in the afternoon than in the morning. To find the answer, he turned to the Hopkins weather station data and analyzed the wind speed and direction for his morning and afternoon commute times. Check out the story on the Marine Life Observatory's web site to see what he learned!

While this is a fun example of how these data can be used, there are also many who find the information invaluable for more serious scholarly pursuits.

Researchers at Hopkins Marine Station track weather data using equipment installed at two locations: West Beach and Bird Rock. The equipment measures wind speed and direction, temperature, solar irradiance and humidity. The records are accumulated and averaged every ten minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The West Beach Weather Station has been in operation since 1999; the Bird Rock Station was established in 2002. The data are collected and updated in the Stanford Digital Repository every year.

Current conditions and plots of data from the last 24 hours can also be found on the Marine Life Observatory's web site.