I would like to get access to a time series of data on atmospheric pressure over a short timescale. I need to get a feel for how much variation there is over seconds and minutes, so a data point every second for an hour would be great, but anything in that direction would help. Ideally for a temperate (UK) climate, but anything would help.

In no sense am I an Earth Science person - I am an electronic engineer, developing an augmented reality device to train surgeons in a new surgical procedure. I'm getting some hard to explain results, and after eliminating some obvious and some not-so-obvious possible causes, I remain a bit baffled. Fluctuations in atmospheric pressure interfering with pressure readings within a supposedly closed, rigid, system are about the final thing I can think of. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • $\begingroup$ After the 2022 Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai eruption, a pressure wave of around 2 hPa was measured at the other end of the planet in the United Kingdom (see Wikipedia). Probably papers discussing this pressure wave also have some plots of background fluctuations to put those 2 hPa into context. $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your reply :) It lead me ultimately to the UK's Met Office free data service, but that required writing code to access data :( $\endgroup$
    – Chisatholm
    Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 9:48
  • $\begingroup$ link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00521-022-07275-5 try follow this publication $\endgroup$
    – Weiss
    Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 10:25

1 Answer 1


Perhaps you would want to point your attention towards crowdsourced data, e.g. data from vehicles, smartphones and private weather stations etc. Unless you can get direct access to raw output from a barometer operated by a meteorological institute, crowdsourced data will perhaps be the only network where you can resolve pressure in the timescales you are aiming at.

Take a look at figure 1, in this article, there you can get a rough idea of small-scale fluctuations and synoptic scale changes. You can try getting that data or simply download a barometer app to a few smartphones and analyse the results. Usually, smartphone barometers have relatively high precision (but low accuracy). Alternatively, look at the WoW Network hosted by UK Met Office and KNMI, which presents data from private weather stations.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure whether most public-sold instruments have the resolution to reflect proper values at such short time scales as seconds? I would think you may need specialized instruments for that, but I don't know off hand. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 15, 2022 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ Most of them do, but you'll need bias correction to get good accuracy. Barometric sensors in smartphones are so sensitive that you can even see a signal if you lay the phone on a desk next to a window and open it. Many Android phones can give you output as high as 10Hz. $\endgroup$
    – Whir
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 10:15
  • $\begingroup$ That's quite impressive. What method of measurement do they use, any idea? Would think adding any documentation examples on precision/accuracy/bias would be helpful in giving a starting place for anyone looking at doing this themselves :) $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 7:55

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