The big freeze in Reading

By Stephen Burt, Department of Meteorology Weather records began at Reading University College (as it was then) back in 1901, but in all the years since we’ve never had a March day as cold as yesterday, Thursday 1 March 2018. At noon yesterday, the temperature stood at just -3.5 °C, and with a strong north-easterly wind … Continue reading “The big freeze in Reading”

Sea breezes – in Reading?? Surely not!

By Stephen Burt It often comes as a great surprise to residents of Reading and the surrounding areas to find that  sea breezes occur this far inland. In fact, they are not uncommon: in an average year we see around half a dozen, more in warmer summers. There have been several in the recent warm … Continue reading “Sea breezes – in Reading?? Surely not!”

Fellows of the Royal Society are human too

By Jonathan Gregory In early May I was surprised and honoured, as well as happy, to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. One of the best consequences of this so far has been that I was allowed the opportunity to give a speech to members of the department one afternoon at an informal … Continue reading “Fellows of the Royal Society are human too”

The new International Cloud Atlas

By Stephen Burt Automatic weather stations (AWS) are increasingly commonplace in meteorological reporting systems: today more than half of all surface observations come from sites that are partly or fully automated. AWS have many advantages, particularly in remote sites, or providing observations outside of normal working hours (for instance, almost all UK night-time synoptic observations are … Continue reading “The new International Cloud Atlas”

Weather forecasters face storm of criticism – so is it time for a new look?

By Andrew Charlton-Perez Former BBC weather forecaster Bill Giles’ criticism of weather forecasts raises questions about how weather is communicated generally. Mr Giles has hit out at forecasters for regularly warning the public about the potential consequences of imminent severe weather, arguing they are ‘behaving like nannies’ and could cause the public to become ‘immune’ … Continue reading “Weather forecasters face storm of criticism – so is it time for a new look?”

Winter weather – and cycling in Reading

By Roger Brugge This tongue-in-cheek look at Reading’s weather in winter and its relationship to cycling safety was prompted by a couple of ice-related accidents experienced by members of staff during the cold and foggy weather of the morning of 24 January 2017 while cycling over the new cycle/pedestrian bridge in the town. The University’s … Continue reading “Winter weather – and cycling in Reading”


Release Date 16 December 2016 A new weather vane with a hidden message has been unveiled on the roof of the University of Reading’s Meteorology building after being chosen as the winning design. The weather vane was created by Dr Helen Dacre, associate professor in Meteorology, and selected by an expert judging panel. The winning … Continue reading “METEOROLOGY BUILDING GETS A WEATHER VANE AT LAST – BUT CAN YOU UNDERSTAND ITS CODED MESSAGE?”

What is an ORCID?

By Karen Rowlett Research Publications Adviser, University of Reading Library Have you been asked for your ORCID ID yet? Increasingly, research funders, employers and publishers are asking their researchers to sign up for an ORCID ID. What is an ORCID ID? An ORCID® identifier or ORCID iD is a 16-character identifier that can be used … Continue reading “What is an ORCID?”

Open Access week – and atmospheric effects of solar eclipses

Next week is ‘Open Access Week’ , and to celebrate this, all Royal Society journal content will be completely free to access from Friday 21 October until 6 November. Solar eclipses rarely cross populated regions, but provide great opportunities both for science and science outreach when they do. The recent 20 March 2015 solar eclipse … Continue reading “Open Access week – and atmospheric effects of solar eclipses”

Launching a weather balloon at the University of Reading

Weather forecasts these days are hi-tech: satellites orbiting the Earth continually watch the current weather and feed this information into some of the largest supercomputers in the world. But satellites can’t give us a complete picture of the current weather and, to fill in the gaps, we use a seemingly low-tech solution: helium balloons. Thousands … Continue reading “Launching a weather balloon at the University of Reading”