Sunday, December 25, 2016

we joined weather underground

"you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"  bob dylan

"...the inspiration for the name of the American radical left group the Weathermen, a breakaway from the Students for a Democratic Society."

both quote and embedded quote from here

we have become minor weather geeks. we have a very low tech rain gauge. a glass tube mounted on the fence. we have to go out to read it and empty it. easy to forget when it was last read and emptied. we also have a slightly less low tech temp thing that displays the inside temp and, thru an outside sensor with some kind of radio link, the outside temp. the house also came equipped with a dial style thermometer mounted just ouside the kitchen window.

we walk a lot so we check our temperature readings and consult Weather Underground and the national weather service. walking in the rain and/or wind is fun if one is properly prepared. well, the rain is ok but the wind is kinda not.

so we leapt cautiously into the higher tech  area of personal weather stations by acquiring one from Acurite. now we have this colorful display showing inside temp, outside temp, wind speed and direction, outside and inside relative humidity, and barometric pressure. we have also entered relevant info to both acurite and weather underground to have the info from our little station available as an option for this area. it may take a day or three for it to appear in the list of local stations.


the thing that sends this data to this display wants to be high up (recommended 33' !!!). that isn't going to happen. but it can go on a short mast attached to a drain vent poking up thru the roof.

here i go up onto the new roof. so glad this is a one story house.
TADA. a professional installation if i've ever seen one. pvc and stainless clamps. there is a leveling bubble on top of the unit. hmmm. how would one check this if the unit were on top of a tall pole?

32 comments:

  1. Thanks for the greetings, Robin Andrea!
    A Very Happy Christmas to you and Roger!
    Love!

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  2. Coincidentally, I've been cussing out WU all morning. They wiped out all my preferences (NOT unusual for them to screw up the time they send my forecasts, but annihilating everything is a first.) Mind you, I was still logged in ("Hola, C. Corax") I made the mistake of logging out; now I can't log back in. GRRRRRRRRR!
    That said, the "best weather" option, made possible by good folks like you, is a wonderful asset. Accurate forecasts for one's own location can be surprisingly different to regional forecasts. So thank you for joining in with other geeks and sharing your results!

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    1. Sorry, brain gas: "Best Forecast" is the correct name of the feature.

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    2. they haven't messed up anything we know about

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    3. They finally answered my query. They indeed are having problems with "the system that handles the log-ins" but hat it won't be fixed until people are back from vacation next week. Mind you, Wunderground is now owned by IBM, which evidently cannot afford to keep enough tech people on staff to fix things. Also too, the CEO loves Trump.
      I'd like to win the lottery, buy Wunderground then turn it into a cooperative. PWS owners would rule the day! We'd Make Wunderground Great Again!

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    4. Make Wunderground Great Again! yes!!!!!!

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  3. We have one and refer to it all the time. We put ours on the power pole out to the barns and it seems to be pretty accurate-- especially we like how much rain we got to gauge concern for flooding. It's about 30' from the house and maybe it doesn't matter if it's up or out ;).

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    1. does your station connect to weather underground

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    2. I have to ask the techie (he's under the house at the moment with a broken pipe-- 'tis the season and all that. He likes Weather Underground. I feel they are less accurate than weather.gov, which is where I get my weather. I wonder if they take info from people like us... They are a mile or two from us if they are not lying ;)

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    3. He says we are not connected. It's hard to say if we could out here as our internet is iffy at times, but he said we could try.

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  4. Interesting. You are the second person I've seen recently with this.

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  5. Nice but I will not climb on our two story roof to put up such a thing. I will keep walking out to the rain gauge in the field. I do need a wind gauge however.

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    1. i think it doesn't have to be on the roof.

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  6. I had been thinking of going more high tech recently also. You had me totally interested in getting one till I saw you up on the roof. Guess I will pass. Enjoy yours.

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    1. the directions suggest that it be placed at least 5 feet above the ground. that doesn't even require a ladder.

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  7. I love this, although I feel nervous seeing people ascending ladders and working on rooftops. In the very early 1980s when I was a secretary to the resident biologist at the University of Michigan Biological Station on Douglas Lake near Pellston ("Ice Box of the Nation") Michigan, one of my duties was to stop at the station's weather station (housed at small cedar structure with a cute little roof for shelter) on my way from the dining hall to my office in the lab. I was to jot down the day's data, using a number 2 pencil and a form that had been xeroxed and re-xeroxed to near illegibility, and then to post the data at lunch tine on the bulletin board outside of the dining hall. My boss was nuts for weather and his boss (a professor of Earth Science) was even nutser for weather. When I was a little girl my grandfather, dyed in the wool Scots, would tell me, "If you want to know about the weather, stick your head out a window." Honestly, while in the university's employ, I missed more than one day of posting the weather data, and I feel a little bad about that now, but back then I'm sure I was thinking, "Come on! We all take that walk twice daily between the dining hall and the lab, so if you want to know about the weather, all you have to do is open your eyes!"

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    1. i'm ok on the roof. have spent many hours on one roof or another doing something important.

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  8. I'm impressed! I absolutely refuse to climb up on our roof; I have a fear of broken bones and unspeakable pain. But I do wish we had our own personal weather station. If you want to get some more practice putting them up, I can give you driving directions. ;-)

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    1. it does not need to be that high off the ground. it could be on a pole secured to the railing of the deck i think you have.

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  9. Some longtime local friends have a WU station at their house! I think it might be attached at the side of the house, some distance off the street and high enough to catch the wind. But anyway, that's my go-to for really local weather. And it's great!

    There are a few other stations within a couple miles, and it's interesting how sometimes the readings can vary within such a close proximity.

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    1. we have noticed that disparity between stations in arcata

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  10. We are connected to a startup business connected to the meteorology dept.of our local university. They provide an awful lot of gigaws and gadgets incl. service and there are indoor and outdoor measurements of temps and humidity in all sorts of places around the house and garden. All or most data are transmitted back to them as part of a deal.
    I think all we need now are these balloons that go up daily to measure what-was-it-again.
    Seriously, all this has curtailed our freedom to a larger extent than the two cats we had for a long time.

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  11. do all the gigaws and gadgets need a lot of attention? do you have a way to view the data collected?

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  12. The recommendation for placing an anemometer a certain distance above the ground and not too close to any structures or trees is so that you can measure the wind speed as it exists above all the obstructions that slow it down. The main reason for that is that weather forecasting needs free-stream wind, not wind close to the surface. But we live at the surface, so the wind at 50 feet, or 100 feet, or 200 is not relevant to us. So a few feet off the ground should be OK, assuming no nearby obstructions.

    I measure only rainfall, but my recording rain gauge is a little recalcitrant when I have been trying to figure out exactly how much rain has fallen over what period. One thing I like about it is that it can be calibrated.

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    1. the rain gauge on our thing can be calibrated. we haven't had enuff rain yet to see if it agrees with the low tech glass tube.

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  13. I should also mention that it's not always easy to get true temperatures. The NWS used to (and still may) put thermometers in boxes with louvered sides to protect it from direct solar heating and allow plenty of air flow around it. It's very easy to get temperature variations because of direct solar heating as well as from things like thermal radiation from the side of a house too close to the thermometer location. There are other potential problems that affect even NWS stations sometimes. For a long time the one at our local Rome Ga station gave abnormally high readings. One of the local TV weathermen noticed and told the NWS, which found some problem with the readings. So, if you took the "official" Rome temperature from that station, it was wrong, even for its own location.

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    1. the temp reported by our thing agrees with two other low-tech outside thermometers... so far. i have to assume (naively?) that acurite has built a thermometer in their sensor that is shielded from direct solar heating

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  14. Roger: As much or as little attention as we want. We have a display in the kitchen and one of us - not me! - spends a bit of time playing with elaborate spread sheets and tables incl. fancy displays on his computer and his smartphone monitor where he also has the data from the PV panels and the solar energy surplus we feed into the grid. If you love ecxel this can be heaven.

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    1. i do appreciate a good spreadsheet. robin says you are in hospital. nice of you to drop by. hoping you are getting better

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  15. My wife has kittens when I go on the roof. Might get myself a new weather station

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