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Dec 23 2019

The meteorologist George James Symons published the first annual volume of British Rainfall in 1860. This pioneering work contained rainfall records from 168 land stations in England and Wales. He was elected to the council of the British meteorological society in 1863 and made it his life’s work to investigate rainfall within the British Isles. He set up a voluntary network of observers, who collected data which were returned to him for analysis. So successful was he in this endeavour that by 1866 he was able to show results that gave a fair representation of the distribution of rainfall, and the number of recorders gradually increased until the last volume of British Rainfall that which he lived to edit, for 1899, contained figures from 3,528 stations — 2,894 in England and Wales, 446 in Scotland, and 188 in Ireland. He also collected old rainfall records going back over a hundred years. In 1870 he produced an account of rainfall in the British Isles starting in 1725.

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