The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has its own weather station for measuring temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and solar radiation. The weather station is located (in decimal degrees) at:
- Latitude: 44.226
- Longitude: -76.4916
The station is mounted to the top of the mechanical room on the roof of Walter Light Hall, and has been collecting weather data since the spring of 2004. A new, expanded station was installed November 2005.
UV Index: UV Index is a measure of how much ultraviolet radiation is reaching the weather station. UV is only a portion of the energy from the sun, but it is the radiation that causes sunburn and skin cancer. Note that this reading does not take into account any UV that bounces off snow or water.
Solar Radiation: Solar radiation is simply a measure of the intensity of the sun's radiation, both direct radiation and any reflected radiation. The measurement includes all of the visible, infrared and ultraviolet spectra. Nominal radiation is 1000 watts per square meter; a low solar radiation means that there is cloud cover.
Temperature: Temperature and humidity sensors are housed inside a fan-aspirated radiation shield, so that the readings won't be affected by reflected heat in the summer, or any solar radiation.
Relative Humidity: Humidity is a measure of how much water vapour is in the air. However, air can hold differing amounts of water vapour depending upon the air's temperature and pressure. The weather station expresses humidity as the percentage of water vapour in the air compared to the amount of vapour the air is capable of holding.
Pressure: Air pressure is a measure of the weight of air pressing down upon an area. Cooler air tends to sink; warmer air rises. Fast changes in air pressure mean that there are fast changes in air temperature happening over a large area; this is why air pressure measurements can predict changes in weather. Generally, the higher the air pressure, the more fair the weather will be, but the absolute value is not as important as the changes in value. Changes are measured over a three-hour period, and if there is more than 0.1 kPa change over that time then the barometer can be said to be rising or falling slowly; greater than 0.3kPa and the barometer is rising or falling quickly. A rising barometer indicates improving conditions.
Daily rainfall: The record daily rainfall in Kingston happened October of 1972, when it rained 79.5mm in twenty-four hours. Peak rainfall periods for Kingston are September to November and April to June.
Wind Speed/Direction: Wind speed is averaged over ten minute intervals, and gives the dominant wind direction at any given time. Wind chill is calculated based upon how fast the air is moving. The faster air moves, the easier it is for air molecules to transfer heat from the skin; wind chill gives the apparent temperature for a human standing outside.