Treasures in the Meteorological Institute

Secrets revealed

A box of weather

Thanks to Birgitte I have discovered a treasure trove on the third floor of the Meteorological Institute – rooms full of old records of meteorological observations dating back to 1800’s – spent a happy afternoon delving into dusty brown paper packages (all tied up with string), and browsing amongst the shelves, boxes, and drawers full of old maps showing wind/current directions for various parts of the sea, books containing daily/monthly records of weather observations by the American and London Met Offices.



A lot of the records are written in German, the language used until the end of the occupation of Norway, but there is also English and French as well as Norwegian. 

weather records

I spent a long time trying to track down weather reports that cover the July 20th 1881 Gloup Disaster and the December 21st 1900 Delting Disaster in Shetland. Mysteriously the records seem to go up to 1880 and then stop, to then resume in 1906… so what happened in between..? Is this a conspiracy?



I found a map dated 8 May 1876, showing the prevailing weather conditions around the UK. Showing this to Birgitte she confirmed that the wind conditions around Britain looked dangerous. 

Strong winds over Britain
Am going back tomorrow to see if there is a similar map for September 2nd 1897 – the date of a disaster on Fair Isle.


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