The Weather Rescue team are back with a brand new project – Rainfall Rescue

Here’s a message from the research team:

We know that many of you, like us, will be at home for an extended period and may be looking for a welcome distraction. If you do have some spare time, then we would again appreciate your help.

With the recent awful floods in February 2020, it has become more apparent that we need to better understand rainfall variations across the UK to plan improved flood protections for the future. The water companies also need to understand the chance of severe droughts and risks to the water supply. Climate scientists think the UK has experienced periods in the past with more rain than in February 2020, and also extended dry periods, but we lack the data to map out their effects in the detail required.

As with our previous projects, the data does exist – we love measuring the weather in the UK! – but for the years before 1961 the vast majority of measurements are still only on paper and so are not available for us to analyse.

This project is an enormous challenge – 65,000 documents have been scanned, containing an estimated 4 million rainfall measurements from the 1820s to the 1950s. We need your help to transform these documents into useful data.

Any help you or your friends and family can offer in these uncertain times would be greatly appreciated.

Best wishes,

Ed, and the Rainfall Rescue team

PS. For those interested in the data recovered from past projects, you can download it here:

The data for the 1900-1910 project is available to registered users and will be completely open access in a few weeks when the scientific publication describing the data is published.


Get involved in the new project at