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Long-Term Meteorological Station Potsdam Telegraphenberg

Main building, about 1900

The Long-Term Meteorological Station is globally the only meteorological station which can be proud of such a comprehensive measurement programme going back without gaps over a period of more than 100 years.

With good reason, the founders of the observatory designed and named the associated meteorological station as “secular” (säkulum = centenary). The concept aimed at setting up a station which would work under largely unchanged measurement and boundary conditions for a very long period. This concept has proved its worth, first of all thanks to the contribution of all the scientists who have ever worked at the station, and – not least – owing to Reinhard Süring himself.

The data has been proved to be homogeneous. The historical conditions for observation have been kept up until the present day. Among these are the

  • unchanged location (the station has not been moved, no changes to the observation site)
  • unchanged surroundings
  • unchanged methods and rules for observation, unchanged equipment
  • time at which data recorded according to mean local time
  • recording of values which are not observed elsewhere
  • analogue (continuous smoothly varying) recording of the most important meteorological values (see measurement programme)


The station's measurements series are representative for the surrounding region for various spatial and temporal scales.

Hence, the Potsdam climate series comes out as a jewel among the meteorological long-term series worldwide. How unique this series is, can be illustrated by the table below.

From the beginning of PIK, more than 500 meteorological long-term series which are based on daily values and start before 1900 have been collected from all over the world. This unique collection presents a representative survey of the quality of the long series existing worldwide. This table clearly depicts that the series of the long-term station Potsdam is the only one which has been carrying out the whole measurement programme without any station move, measuring gaps, or change in measuring instruments.

Oobservation data of meteorological stations (long term, worldwide)

Met. value Measurement series beginning before 1900 Complete measurement series Complete measurement series in Germany Stations
precipitation 92 8 1 Potsdam
Tmax 160 11 2 Potsdam, Bamberg
Tmit 102 15 2 Potsdam, Bamberg
Tmin 189 23 2 Potsdam, Bamberg
relative air humidity 64 3 1 Potsdam
sunshine duration 5 2 1 Potsdam
air pressure 8 5 1 Potsdam
water vapour 5
wind 52 1 1 Potsdam
soil temperature 1 1 1 Potsdam
covering of snow 1 1 1 Potsdam
frost depth 1 1 1 Potsdam
Tmin near the ground 1 1 1 Potsdam
cloud coverage 59 1 1 Potsdam
cloud forms 1 1 1 Potsdam
soil condition 1 1 1 Potsdam
sight 1 1 1 Potsdam
weather trend 1 1 1 Potsdam
precipitation kind 1 1 1 Potsdam
extra measurements 1 1 1 Potsdam


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