Lincolnshire County Council is to install a weather station in Caistor - about eight miles from Brigg - to provide more reliable forecasts to the Met Office. This should interest the many Brigg Blog followers who follow the weather with interest.
Normanby Top, just outside Caistor, is the highest point in Lincolnshire at 168m (551ft) above sea level.
The council currently operates nine stations across the county that monitor the weather. At £20,000 each, they don’t just measure the wind direction, they collate a huge range of information ranging from the level of grip on the road surface, to the temperature at which dew will form on the road.
The county is so large that it’s broken down into eight climatic ‘domains’ that each have their own unique characteristics. These include the; Trent valley; Lincoln ridge; the Wolds; the east coast; Grantham; Fenland; and Wisbech.
The data that’s collected by the weather stations is transmitted to the Met Office’s headquarters in Exeter. There, it’s fed into computer models that provide the national forecast, as well as a more detailed forecast for Lincolnshire. The Met Office provides a daily forecast to the county council for each domain and also individual forecasts for each of the 43 gritting routes. This information is then used to make decisions about whether to go gritting or not.
Richard Fenwick, winter maintenance engineer at Lincolnshire County Council, says: “Caistor is one of the highest points in the county and over the last few years the local road network has been badly affected by snow and ice. It seems to have a micro climate of its own and so we’re going to install a weather station there. With a better understanding of the local weather conditions, we can provide a more tailored gritting service.”
Lincolnshire County Council has 43 gritting trucks and treats all A and B roads - a third of the county’s roads. In a single night they cover 1,869 miles of road - the equivalent of driving from Lincoln to Moscow.