Friday, December 9, 2016

Wonderful Website on Barometers

We sometimes have things to thank the government for that we might not appreciate. In this case I refer to their propensity to change website addresses, often in more or less random fashion without any apparent improvement. It could be some form of job security. We thank them because when trying to find a nugget they moved or removed, we found instead a goldmine of related info at another location.

The Fischer Precision Aneroid Barometer. An example of state of the art barometer workmanship. 

The NWS, for example,  recently changed many if not most of the links to where they store weather data, but that is not the example at hand.  Sometime ago, we discovered that NOAA had put online a copy of the remarkable book Manual of Barometry (WBAN), the mother of all bibles of barometer related science. In our announcement of this with a short description of the book we included the link to NOAA for the document.  It is that link which has now gone missing.

But in searching for a replacement, we discovered two things. First a really remarkable website devoted to barometers at

I am embarrassed that I did not know about this tremendous resource, and look forward to studying all that is there. Barometric pressure and its trends remain the fundamental tools for understanding present wind and for anticipating wind changes, and this pressure data also remains the most valuable way to evaluate weather maps underway or at home.  Thus we should all be barometer buffs on some level, and for any barometer buff, this site is a goldmine.  (I would add to it our site and the link to our own work on barometers at and this link that applies some of these ideas to the Pacific NW

And sure enough, the Analog Weather site was smarter that we were; they actually downloaded a copy of WBAN and put it online.  We have a rare printed copy here, but this is such a massive reference (>1000 pages of small type, presented in a really convoluted section structure) that searching, book marking,  and annotating the pdf version is a big help in using it. 

The NOAA scan (17 Mb) has useful bookmarks, but you can add your own to refine the sections, which brings up the second point we discovered.  Namely—and I have to guess it is just a coincidence—but with the disappearance of the free NOAA copy from the NOAA site, there now appears a Google scan of the book that is for sale from them for $5. The Google scan (175 Mb) and is is crisper images, though the 17 MB version is perfectly readable; it also has bookmarks but they are not useful. Each has to be named to have any meaning.  So now, it is easy to find this pdf copy in any search engine, but it will likely be the $5 version that is 175 Mb.

If you have any ties to a university, then you can download the Google scan from Hathi Trust, which is another way to look at it online and search contents, or print individual pages.  An in house copy of the Google or NOAA scan from Analog Weather is likely best bet for long term study... and there is no other kind of study possible with this book!

Once again, a hearty thank you to the folks at Analog Weather for their excellent barometer resource.

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