As we learned at the March Indoor Meeting, Canadians have been collecting weather data for a long time!
The video below shows the installation of weather stations across Canada since the 1840s.
What you maybe didn’t know (because I sure didn’t), as Guest Speaker, Professor Alan MacEachern explained, is that the information collected from these stations was done on a volunteer basis by members of the local community by hand and sent by mail for inclusion in the records.
While much of the data that volunteers recorded was quantitative such as temperature or precipitation readings, those volunteers also recorded personal qualitative remarks, and up until now, that data has never been analyzed.
McEachern and his team are interested in the qualitative remarks that were made by the volunteers, some more than 150 years ago, and are also working towards making that information public and digital such that people like you and me, can ask questions such as “What was the weather like on the day I was born?”, or “What date has my favourite migratory bird arrived in my home town over the last 100 years”. These observations may also help us to understand how the annual cycles or phenology of some species are being affected by climate change. For example, has the date in which a certain plant species begins to flower been earlier and earlier over time?
Quite an interesting talk through the history of weather and nature observations, through the eyes of Canadians over the last 150+ years.
If you are interested in learning more about historical weather data in Canada, you can visit the Government of Canada’s Historical Climate Webpage here: http://climate.weather.gc.ca/
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS
- The AGM will be here soon- for those who have purchased tickets, we will see you there on Saturday, April 14th!
- Speaking of the AGM, we are still in need of some bucket draw items. If you have anything you wish to donate, you may bring with you to the AGM (just come a little early to do so)
- On May 6, 2018, from 10 am to 1 pm, the Thames Talbot Land Trust is hosting a nature outing. If you are interested, please RSVP.