If you’re doing pretty much anything outside then the weather is obviously a factor, but if you’re going out field recording or taking photos then the weather becomes more critical. And if the aim is to record the weather, then obviously it is completely critical. So I’m not sure why its taken me this long to realise it, but learning about weather patterns & behaviour is something worth investing some time & energy into.
Now I’m sure most people rely on TV News weather forecasts or online resources, but depending where you live these may range in how specific they are… Locally I really appreciate the rain radar here which provides an animated display of rainfall over a 3 day or 5 day period…. which lets me change my thinking from ‘Saturday is going to be rainy’ to ‘Saturdays going to be wet but late afternoon should be ok…’ (I put a red dot on my house – its going to rain about 2am tomorrow morning!)
But slowly I decided I want to learn more, to understand whats happening and why. Having lived in Wellington for a decade or two now I know what to expect from different fronts eg a cold front from the South will be bitterly cold, while from the North (as per that chart above) will be blustery, warmer & likely less heavy rain. But come September I am going to spend 2 months on an island in the Seto Inland Sea, where I will be outdoors as much as possible, shooting photos, timelapse & video along with recording sound, and I do not know anything at all about the weather patterns there…. but I will need to!
I grew up on a farm, so weather dictated what my Dad did each day. And one of my most distinct childhood sonic memories is of my Dad walking down the hall after breakfast or lunch & tapping the barometer before he headed out to work. Now this shows how naive I was – I never really appreciated why he tapped it. In a vague sense maybe i thought it was a bit old & cantankerous & needed a prod to make sure its working. But a month or so ago I bought myself a barometer & finally realised why you tap it: its about change!
The advantage of owning a barometer is that it provides very local feedback on the weather. So as per that barometer above, you can see it has a little rain icon on the low pressure side and sunny on the high pressure, but it isn’t like you sit & watch it change. And thats why you tap it: to see which way the pressure is moving. I tapped mine just before & sure enough the needle jumped 2 or 3 stops – the pressure is dropping due to that northerly front coming through tonight.
OK so thats about the limit of my knowledge for now – please feel free to share any valuable insights you have or resources…. I just went to the kindle shop and bought a few ebooks on weather for homework
And just for fun (& really due to shooting timelapse)
So who do you rely on for weather info when heading out recording or shooting?