How good are citizen weather stations? Addressing a biased opinion

Simon Bell*, Dan Cornford, Lucy Bastin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The UK is home to a dense network of Citizen Weather Stations (CWS) primarily set up by members of the public. The majority of these stations record air temperature, relative humidity and precipitation, amongst other variables, at sub-hourly intervals. This high resolution network could have benefits in many applications, but only if the data quality is well characterised. Here we present results from an intercomparison field study, in which popular CWS models were tested against Met Office standard equipment. The study identifies some common instrumental biases and their dependencies, which will help us to quantify and correct such biases from the CWS network.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Early online date3 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Bell, S., Cornford, D., & Bastin, L. (2015). How good are citizen weather stations? Addressing a biased opinion. Weather, 70(3), 75-84., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

Funding: EPSRC CASE award (10002388)


  • amateur
  • quality
  • bias
  • uncertainty
  • hobbyist
  • user-contributed
  • volunteered


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