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Scientists seek to rescue Ben Nevis weather data
© Nilfanion

Scientists seek to rescue Ben Nevis weather data

06/09/17Environment

Scientists are seeking the public’s assistance in efforts to rescue a unique set of weather records gathered at the summit of the UK’s highest mountain.

From 1883 to 1904, meteorologists were stationed atop Ben Nevis, logging temperature, precipitation, wind and other data.

Their measurements are held in five large volumes that now need to be digitised to be useful to modern researchers.

It will involve copying tables into a database. Experts say the Ben Nevis records contain some fascinating reports on major storms from the period.

A fresh analysis could possibly lead to improvements in the performance of today’s forecasting models.

Professor Ed Hawkins, who leads the Operation Weather Rescue: Ben Nevis project, said: “The data these men took is incredible, and it’s arguably the most detailed mountain weather measurements we still have even today.

“And because the data was acquired over a century ago, it’s a very good baseline from which to try to assess any changes that we’ve seen since then to our weather.”

The Ben Nevis observatory was administered to collect upper-atmosphere information. This is now performed by satellites, radars, and radiosondes (balloons).

The public can help with the conversion at the www.weatherrescue.org website.

Pan European Networks Ltd