The Barometer Handbook
Reviewed by Thom Burns
To read a David Burch book whether
it be Modern Marine Weather,
Radar for Mariners or The Barometer
Handbook is to delve into a subject in its
entirety. He also tries to make solid scientific
information and resources in this
case critical to weather predictions
accessible in lay terms.
According to Burch and my U. S.
Navy experience, with the
exception of trained meteorological
in the past were used at sea
primarily to learn if the pressure
was going up or down,
and how rapidly or slowly
the changes were occurring.
From this limited observation
set, we made an educated
guess of likely consequences,
usually in conjunction
with other observations.
Outside of professional
marine use, little effort was
made to know the true pressure
for several reasons. We
did not know what to do
with it if we had it, and more
often we could not get it if
we wanted it, because most
barometers were not calibrated.
“This has changed. We now have
many valuable applications of accurate
pressure, we also have affordable ways
to get it, and we have convenient ways
to prove our instruments work properly,”
according to Burch.
"The barometer remains the most
important tool for evaluating and predicting
the weather. This book explains
why knowing accurate values of the
atmospheric pressure can improve this
process and benefit all applications.
Ways to evaluate and calibrate aneroid
and electronic barometers using readily
available data by Internet or telephone
are clearly described. Tactical applications
to marine navigation are covered.
The book also includes worldwide average
monthly pressures and their standard
The Captain who watches
his barometer watches his ship.
These nuggets of information allow
the average recreational mariner to calibrate
their barometers. With this accurate
information, Burch shows how to
apply it to modern weather predictions.
The Barometer Handbook would be a
welcome addition on the bookshelf of
serious mariners concerned about generating
accurate weather predictions. If
you leave it on the coffee table, it may
lead you to display your vast collection
of calibrated barometric devices.
Published by Starpath Publications,