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  • Description: In 1899, two long-term experiments, Rotation I and Rotation II, were started at Saxmundham Experimental Station in Suffolk, UK. Rothamsted assumed responsibility for the site in 1964, until 1986, when the experiments were finished. The soil is typical of large areas of Eastern England. Monthly meteorological data is available, 1966-1985, based on daily manual recording. Daily data is not currently available.
    Average annual temperature and rainfall (1966-1985) are 9.5 ÂșC and 618mm, respectively.
  • Date Start: January 1966.
  • Date End: December 1985.
  • Recording: Manual recording daily at 0900GMT; data available as monthly summaries only.
  • Automatic data recording began: Not available.
  • Address: Saxmundham Experimental Station Meteorological Station, Saxmundham, Suffolk, United Kingdom.
  • OS Grid Ref: TM 36837 63750.
  • Latitude/Longitude: 52.221 N 1.466 E
  • Altitude: 37 m asl.

Key Contacts

  • Andy Macdonald

  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom
  • Sarah Perryman

  • Role: Data Manager
  • ORCID:
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom
  • Margaret Glendining

  • Role: Data Manager
  • ORCID:
  • Organisation: Rothamsted Research
  • Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom


Saxmundham monthly meteorological data available from e-RA

Monthly meteorological data recorded at Saxmundham, Suffolk, from 1966-1985. Based on daily observations (not available). The 1966 and 1967 summaries are taken from the Rothamsted Annual Reports; subsequent years are from the 'Numerical Results' or the "Yields of the Field Experiments' for 1968 - 1985.

Available as Open Access data: Rothamsted Research (2019). Saxmundham monthly meteorological data summaries 1966-1985. Electronic Rothamsted Archive

Variable Units Description When recorded Method of measurement


AIR TEMP °C Mean monthly air temperature, mean of maximum and minimum air temperature Jan 1966-Dec 1985 Recorded using a mercury-in-glass sheathed column maximum thermometer and a spirit-in-glass with indicator bar minimum thermometer, both housed in a naturally aspirating temperature screen.
DEW POINT °C Mean dew point Jan 1968-Dec 1985 Derived from wet and dry bulb temperature, recorded at 0900GMT. Measured with mercury-in-glass column thermometers, the wet bulb thermometer with a bulb covered by a cotton wick kept moist from a water reservoir. Both thermometers housed in a naturally aspirating temperature screen.
S30T °C Mean monthly soil temperature under bare soil at 30cm Jan 1967-Dec 1985 Recorded at 0900GMT, using a specially adapted thermometer set at 30cm under bare soil.
GROUND FROSTS days/month Total nights per month when grass minimum temperature was below 0 °C Jan 1968-Dec 1985 Grass minimum temperature recorded using a spirit-in-glass with indicator bar minimum thermometer, with cotton sleeve and anti-condensation shield on upper part of the instrument.


RAIN mm/month Total monthly rainfall Jan 1966-Dec 1985 Measured at 0900GMT, recorded in a 5 inch (12.7cm) diameter rain gauge, including all precipitation (snow, rain, mist and fog).
RAIN DAYS mm/month Total days per month when rainfall was 0.2mm or more Jan 1966-Dec 1985


RAD MJ/m2/day Mean solar radiation Jan 1967-Dec 1985 Measured on a solarimeter Jan-Dec, 1967; by a radiometer built at Rothamsted up to 1972, then a Kipps Solarimeter from 1975. No data Dec 1972-Dec 1974.


WINDSP km/hour Mean monthly wind speed (at 2m) Jan 1967-Dec 1985 Measured by a cup anemometer at 2m, total daily windrun (km/day) divided by 24 to give km/hour. No data May-June 1984 as anemometer failed.


EVAP mm/month Total monthly open water evaporation Apr 1967-Nov 1985 Evaporation is the mean of measurements of water loss from two open water tanks installed (refilled) in the spring of each year. They are 56 cm diameter, 30 cm deep and set 15cm deep in the ground. Water level is about 6cm below the rim. Spring, summer and autumn months only.

Datasets available

Title (hover for a longer description) Year of Publication Type DOI or Link Version

Weather Data

Saxmundham monthly meteorological summaries 1966-1985 2019 OA 10.23637/Sax-1928223556-01 01
Additional data is available through e-RAdata. Please register for access.


Key References


  • Cooke, G. W.(1968) "The Saxmundham Experiments. Weather", Rothamsted Experimental Station Report for 1967
    DOI: 10.23637/ERADOC-1-120


  • Cooke, G. W.(1967) "The Saxmundham Experiments. Weather and cultivations", Rothamsted Experimental Station Report for 1966
    DOI: 10.23637/ERADOC-1-14

For further information and assistance, please contact the e-RA curators, Sarah Perryman and Margaret Glendining using the e-RA email address: