Irma And Cats

I’ve been reading about the devastation across the Atlantic, caused by Hurricane Irma.

I can’t begin to imagine what this feels like.  Wind has always been my least favourite weather since I was a kid.  When I was very young, we had a tree blow over.  It caused no damage, but it was a big tree.  My bedroom at my parents’ house had lots of tall trees outside the window and I was always worried that one of them would fall over towards the house.

I don’t like places that are too hot.  I don’t mind cold, but I don’t like snow unless it’s up a mountain and I’m on holiday.  Rain annoys me but at least it serves a purpose.  I don’t mind thunder and lightening on their own as long as I’m holed up somewhere.

But wind scares me, with its ability to pick things up and move them when they shouldn’t be moved.  The devastation caused by Irma is horrible.

Perhaps a more light hearted weather related story has been in the news this week.

Between 1883 and 1904, meteorologists stationed atop Ben Nevis logged temperature, precipitation, wind and other data around the clock.  There were three meteorologists, a cook and a cat in the observatory at an altitude of 1,345m (4,411ft), and not to forget their pat cat.

They would often have to dig themselves out to take the readings when the snow was bad but it’s still one of the most comprehensive sets of records of its type.

Their measurements are held in five big volumes that now need to be digitised to be useful to modern researchers.  Scientists are seeking the public’s assistance in this digitisation – you can go to the website to help.

They hope to gather 2 million data points by November.  I’m hoping that they may, in some way, give us a better understanding of the weather to stop hurricanes doing so much damage.

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