This spell of unseasonably nice weather has promted a thought.... I've had one of these electronic weather stations since around 1999. It recently gave up the ghost so I bought a new one a couple of months back, pretty cheap but I was interested in the internet options. What a revelation it's been! Doing some related googling I was astonished to find out what was available. I had no idea that there was a whole world of fellow weather geeks out there! Does anyone else have one of these stations, they're absolutely fascinating toys. Cheers, Bill.
Hi Bill , Fellow weather geek astronomer here in West Yorkshire . I have the Maplin ( Watson W-8681 /Fine Offset Unit ) . Been running it since Christmas 2009 . Have had minor problems with spiders and tipping bucket rain gauge . Needed a good air blast to move the two residents on. They had web welded the unit near the lightweight bucket fulcrum! I changed to Cumulus software from that made available with the supplied kit sandaysoft.com/products/cumulus . It's free but good enough that I donated . I submit reports daily on a weather forum but you could run from your own website. The anemometer/direction unit could/should be higher but I am less keen on ladder climbing than in my youth. If anything fails I know where to buy the spares . There are pricier units but this does the job for me !
Hi Len, It's a Maplin "Gadget" weather station and I'm using it with Cumulus too. I got it up and running in no time and it seems to work without any problem so far (data wise) but the rain gauge is rubbish. The moulding looks like it's not square and it doesn't tip properly. It only reads a fraction of what I measure using a conventional cylinder. I'm going to be re mounting an annemometer from another station on the chimmney over the holiday weekend to get it up in the clear. The Maplin one is only about 2.5m above ground next to the green house. It was the Cumulus forum and all the links I found there after that amazed me. I was surprised to find so many blogs and other forums about personal weather stations. Depending on the finances (and whether I have a job in six months) I'm going to upgrade to a better quality system later in the year. Davis seems to be the standard but I quite like the look of the Peet Bros kit. Either way they'll have a hard act to follow as my old Oregan survived some horrendous blows. cheers, Bill.
Hi guys, Good to hear you're having fun with your weather stations - thats something on my list of 'wants' - had wondered about the maplins one a few times now, will have to check out 'Cumulus' aswell...
Hi Mark, I've just seen an ad for the latest Maplin one and it was nearly 3 times what I paid for mine! I don't know if I got a discontinued range or what but the current one looks pretty much identical. Still not too bad for the money. (We've got a "proper" set up on the building and it cost thousands!) Dozens of people seem to be using them online and even given the limitations I would say go for it. It's great to see the data building up for your location even after a short while. Ahh takes me back to my meteorology classes, dew points and tephigrams, happy days!, now it's all just a click away... As for the Cumulus software its very good. Highly recommended and the related forum has lots of info. cheers, Bill.
The internet-linkable weather stations are very good for the price. The problem, like anything else, is that they need maintenance. In that respect, after a couple of years, they start to demand new components - which are often very expensive.
In fact, many of these things could be said to be akin to cheap desktop printers: you get the machine dirt cheap, but the consumables set you up for a lifetime of paying out hand-over-fist.
Because costs are falling and competition hotting-up, I've found that it's cheaper to buy an entire new station every few years than buy a new anemometer, then a new temperature sensor, then a new radio transmitter for the old station I have. I recently found a very good kit that was only about £50 more expensive than one temperature sensor for my old station.
In any case, few if any of these stations meet scientific standards of measurement, and there is no real way to calibrate many of the parameters unless you also have calibrated British Standard instruments, taking your total costs to prohibitive places. In practice, you end-up blindly accepting the digital numbers churned out. Despite a £200 price tag, I was shocked to find a solar radiation sensor drifted by up to 5% per year - and that's according to the manufacturer's admission!
Hello, That's been an interesting week or so weather wise! Clobbered twice although the second big blow we got did get any real attention. The first , on the 8th Dec nearly took the annemometer out of my hand! Pretty wild but the second storm, on the 12/13th, although just lower in peak gust speed had a higher average sustained speed and for longer so in my book was actually the worst of the two.
There are lots of video on youtube about the wind turbine going on fire. Here's a short video of the remains.
Forget the so called Hurricane Bawbag, we had Hurricane Bampot this morning!!! What a night, In 12 years of having a pws I've never actually seen the annemometer read three figures, 7.15 am this morning it recorded 103k/hr. Place is wrecked, fences gone, gutters down, slates away, green house smashed. That's four big depressions gone right over here since the 8th December each one a little stronger than the last, hopefully there won't be too many more! Keep watching the skies.... Happy new year to all! Bill.
Scotland seems to have a higher than average number of amateur weather stations. www.scottishweather.net/index.php A pity that storm didn't pass further north...it could have 'taken out' my new unloved car park light. Bad luck with the weather, hope you get it all repaired soon!
Finally got around to registering with the SWN. Quite quiet but I think local is better in that area. I've registered on a couple of others but they seem just a bit too "big" with an awful lot going on!
Anyway after hearing on the news that it's been the wettest April in England I've just totalled up my numbers for April. Assuming no further rain tonight I've had 49.6mm this April (last year was 53.6mm). I think this is about average for here, need to check though....
The closest official station for rainfall as the crow flies from my place is Paisley. For April the 1971-2000 average is 60mm, so I've been a bit drier past two years but what really surprised me is March's figure. The average is 110mm, this year my total was only 29.6mm! Fascinating!
Hello Bill, In my part of the world we had 104mm of rain in April or 222%. 26mm of that total fell as snow on the 3rd. The mean temperature for the month was also 2.2°C LOWER than March You may find this Spanish website of interest. By using the drop-down boxes below the orange headings you can get the daily weather readings for your area stretching back to 1973. www.tutiempo.net/clima/Glasgow_Airport/12-2011/31400.htm
It's remarkable that there are such differences over a relatively short distance. I've had a look at the website, it's really good. It would be nice if the Met Office would have an easy interface to this sort of information.
On a side note, when I was visiting Tom on Saturday evening there was a rather unusual appearence of a "Parry Arc" (I think thats what this is), a brightening on the 22 deg arc above the sun caused by ice crystals in a uniform layer of thin cirrostratus
Pic taken with the camera on the phone so not the best shot.