Welcome to the COL website
COL stands for Climatological Observers Link, an organisation of people who are interested in the weather.
Its members are mainly amateur meteorologists, but many professionals and observers from schools, universities and research establishments also belong to COL.
Many members run weather stations and keep records, ranging from daily rainfall and temperatures with averages maintained in log books or spreadsheets, to numerous weather parameters recorded every few minutes using elaborate electronic equipment, often displayed in real-time on their own websites.
Even so, you do not need to keep records to be a member of COL. We have no age limits and while most of our 400 or so members reside within the United Kingdom, a growing number are based abroad, from Europe to as far afield as Australia.
While a certain amount of data is displayed on this website, members receive our monthly bulletin, which is sent out by email or in the post. Members can also login to this site and download past and present bulletins at will.
Each monthly bulletin contains:
Photograph of the Month
Durness, Sutherland, Scotland - July 2014
© John Spurgeon
- A synopsis of the previous months' weather
- Extensive columns of data from about 350 reporting stations, including information on:
- Temperature (air and ground), precipitation, sunshine
- Number of days with snow, fog, thunder, etc.
- Wind, cloud cover
- Monthly articles on thunder activity, optical phenomena, snowfall plus:
- A station details section, where notable events and records are described daily
- Temperature, precipitation and sunshine data from about 12 sites scattered across the British Isles
- Monthly mean surface pressure map for the British Isles, and anomaly maps for temperature, precipitation and sunshine
- Details of newsworthy weather events from around the world
- Letters and correspondence from COL members
- Each monthly volume contains about 44 A4-sized pages and, at the end of the year, an annual summary edition is produced.
Monthly issues are published by about 20 days after the end of the month in question. Members can also download past bulletins, and have access to an online bulletin which displays all monthly weather data submitted through the website.
You can download a sample bulletin here.
Monthly Data on Maps
As a member, you can also access a full range of monthly data plotted onto interactive maps. You can see at a glance the distribution of temperature, rainfall, snow, thunderstorms and several other parameters, and you also have the ability to scroll and zoom in on particular stations. Clicking on the station circles provides even more data.
You can see an example of one of our maps here.
You can visit our forum here. Anyone can read it, but only members can post messages.
The forum has the following categories:
- Short Term Weather Events - thunderstorms, gales, snow, etc.
- Long Term Weather Patterns - seasonal and monthly data, droughts, cold spells, etc.
- Climate - how and why it is changing, impacts, etc.
- Recording the weather and making observations
- Suggestions - a chance for members to contribute to the development of COL
- Any other weather or climate related content that does not fit in with the above
Members need to login and access the forum via the members menu if they want to post messages.
Having recently published its 500th monthly bulletin, the next milestone is the 50th anniversary in 2020. COL may be now into its forties, but we have plenty of other ideas to keep the organisation fresh and relevant in today's world. We are always keen to welcome new members. Whether you have an old Six's thermometer on a north wall, or thousands of pounds worth of sophisticated computer-controlled sensors, whether you are recently retired or just starting junior school, whether you are a professional meteorologist or just 'interested in the weather', get in touch and see what we have to offer.
You can find out more about joining COL here.
Annual subscriptions can be as low as £11 and you can join online!
Get in touch
If you need more details, contact our membership secretary.