Woodford Modern Aneroid Barometers new for 2015
Producing a new style of barometer is not something Woodford do without great care. Founded in 1860, Woodford have produced a variety of reliable and accurate barometers in a number of styles but it has been many years since they have launched a new range.
A collection of three barometers of a new, modern style, has just been launched. In this range a much lighter tone of Oak has been used. This is contrasted nicely with a very dark stained rim. The ‘two tone’ effect is somewhat reminiscent of the Art Deco style.
Each barometer has the same reliable and precise Woodford brass mechanism engineered in Germany, and as previously, all the surrounds are made, finished and checked here in the UK. The contrast of the two wood tones works very well indeed. It is clear to see why Woodford take their time in bringing out new additions to their collections.
This Sunday, I had the pleasure of hanging one of their new models (number 1628) in the kitchen of our Buxton home. The setting up of the barometer was, as usual, very simple. A quick look on the Internet (BBC Weather) told me the local air pressure. Taking a small screwdriver to turn the adjuster on the rear, I simply matched the barometer reading of air pressure to match the BBC figure. The barometer was now in sync with local air pressure and will accurately show changes, allowing me to predict the ever-changing weather in this part of Derbyshire. Barometers, I find fascinating; they are both handsome and useful additions to the home. Using one becomes addictive, particularly when you become fascinated by weather patterns and predictions.
Inside the barometer there is a little set of metal bellows that contain a partial vacuum, this very sensitive chamber is the corrugated metal shape you can see at the heart of the barometer. Changes in local air-pressure cause the bellows to expand or contract. This, in turn, affects an indicator needle that accurately gives a reading on the pressure dial. The way the barometer shows this rise or fall in pressure is quite clever, in so much as the mechanism is design to ‘stick’ only to be released when the barometer glass is gently tapped. This ingenious trick allows you to observe and note the direction of the needle and how much it moves from reading to reading.
The speed that air pressure changes is a big factor in indicating of the kind of weather approaching.The fluctuations of the barometer needle are measured on a surrounding scale. The modern scale is in millibars, older barometers show ‘inches’. Woodford barometers show both types of scales. What these scale actually reveals is the weight of the air pressing on the earth at your location. This air pressure changes on a regular basis and has a significant relationship with weather and temperature, generally speaking drier, warmer weather occurs at higher pressure and cooler, wetter conditions result when the pressure drops.
A good rule of thumb:
A sustained DROP in pressure is a sign of more chance of rain; a sustained RISE in pressure is a sign of less rain to come.
If pressure is dropping quickly then the arrival of high winds in the next 24 hours is very likely.
The subtle movements over a period of time can tell you a great deal more and as you learn about pressure changes and weather fronts you can really predict a great deal from tapping your barometer.
Woodford Aneroid Barometers also have a ‘marker needle’ this is operated from the front of the glass by a small knob. This allows you to mark the last position of the reading, thus indicating how far and in what direction the needle has moved since last you measured it.
I really enjoy owning barometers, they are a great addition to the house and, after some practice, are a reliable, trustworthy way of predicting the local weather. The new range of modern barometers is a very fine addition to the Woodford collection.