The Otter Valley Weather Station was setup in
May 2005 and consists of a set of Met Office approved sheathed
minimum and maximum thermometers, plus a wet & dry bulb hygrometer
calculator) housed in a Stevenson Screen. A standard
Casella 5" rain gauge is also used.
As an addition, electronic
measurements are also taken using a Davis VP2 Pro+ AWS which feeds directly back to a PC enabling the
production of continuous 5 minute data sets. Parameters which are
measured electronically are wind speed (anemometer at 10 metres) and
direction, grass minimum, soil temperatures at 10, 30 and 100 cm depth,
rain intensity (via a tipping bucket rain gauge), UV Index, solar
radiation and sunshine duration (Instromet
Sun Sensor). There is also a
webcam and gives a
'fish-eye 170° view of the sky
above this weather station location.
There is also a Boltek Stormtracker lightning detector that
detects lightning strikes up to 800 kilometres away. A
'live' web page that shows the lightning strikes in
real-time and places them on a map. It also differentiates
between cloud to ground and cloud to cloud lightning
The site is situated on
a relatively wide valley floor of the lower reaches of the River Otter,
near Dotton and north of the
village of Otterton. The site is sheltered to the east and west, and
slightly exposed to the north, and rather exposed to the south. The geology
of the area is predominantly Otter Sandstone of Triassic age with
the soils being sandy and characteristically red in colour.
close proximity of the sea (2 kilometres) to the south-east of this weather station means that is has a strong influence on the climate here, moderating high
temperatures during the summer with a sea breeze, and making severe frosts a rarity.