Barton Weather Collection
Tom Barton shares the story of his Collection of Weather Data
I moved to Washington from the Manchester-Hooksett area in December of 2007 but was already intrigued by its weather after having spent many days during the prior two years up here camping and clearing the land for my house site and driveway.
That December of 2007 broke a 135-year-old record for snowfall in Concord, NH. Here in Washington, we got at least 40 inches of snow that month. I had already heard a few times that winter is a little harsher and longer up here than down at lower elevations, and I had seen Phil Barker’s snowfall numbers on the town website, which I thought were pretty impressive!
Being fascinated with weather, especially extreme events, since I was a kid, and now living in a place where the current weather played a large part in my day-to-day activities during the winter months, I decided to start keeping a daily log for future reference. I wanted to be able to look back and see how the current week, month or season compared to the same periods in prior years in terms of snowfall, rainfall (starting in 2017) and temperature.
I also wanted to record things like first/last frost of the season, leaf out dates, earliest/latest measurable snowfall, mud season, and snow gone dates and to make a record of any unusual events. Plus, with all the talk of climate change, I wanted to see what the temperature and precipitation trends were locally, once I had at least 20 years of data.
Tom’s methodology for measuring and recording weather data
My location is on North Main St (Route 31), about 1.3 miles north of the Washington Store. The elevation at the house is about 1750’. For instruments, I use 4 outdoor temperature sensors, 3 of which are placed in different locations. Two of them are Accurite units, one is a ThermPro and one is a SensorPush. Three of the 4 units are placed about 3-4’ off the ground and in the shade. I have an Accurite 5-in-1 weather sensor that measures temperature, humidity, rainfall, barometric pressure, wind direction and wind speed.
3 of the 4 sensors have indoor displays and the SensorPush, which I just started using in 2022, is connected via Wi-Fi and internet to my computer and cell phone so that I can get the data whether I’m home or away. As a backup for rainfall (if the weather station collector is blocked with ice or debris), I have an old fashioned rain gauge.
I measure snowfall with a yardstick in anywhere from 1 to 10 different locations in a large flat area (over 3000 sq ft) of my yard depending on the amount of drifting, and then average the results. Often times, with very dry snow, and if there is significant drifting, I’ll also measure down at the bottom of the hill in order to get an accurate measurement.
Temperature readings are taken once a day at about 10 PM, and I then enter the high and low temperature and the precipitation for each day on my spreadsheet, along with a short summary of the day’s weather in a Notes column.
At the end of each calendar month I transfer that month’s data to my monthly totals spreadsheet (which also compiles totals and averages) and then I write up my summary for that month, the results of which are posted monthly on the Washington, NH Facebook page, and updated on this webpage page on an annual basis. View a PDF of Monthly Summaries posted on Facebook since May 1, 2019.
More of Tom's research and analysis is available at our Museum!
In addition to the charts, tables, and other statistical data available on this page, further detail data and results from Tom's analysis are available in hardcopy by visiting the Washington Historical Society's Museum.
Annual Temperature & SnowFall Charts
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Daily Weather Log
(Starting January 2008)
Use the "Search" field for a custom inquiry. For example type 12/31/11 to call up the record for December 11, 2011, or type the word snow to return all Weather Details that mention snow.
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