Digital Weather

My lovely wife recently gave me a gift of a new weather station. The remote sensor is pictured below, and as of this morning is securely strapped to the support for the grape vine.

I’ve wanted one for years, but had the unfortunate issue that someone else close to us gave me one that didn’t work very well as a gift and I didn’t want to offend them by replacing it. Enough time has passed now that the upgrade to one that can receive a signal from more than 2m away should pass without comment.

The accuracy of it is probably not as good as measurements made by professional organisations, but even so I’m thinking of starting a daily record and comparing it to the forecasts and (if available) actuals from the Met Office. A quantitative comparison of very local climate data with forecasts would be quite interesting, especially any bias or persistent error in the min and max temperatures.

Weather sensor – temperature, wind speed, wind direction, rainfall

4 thoughts on “Digital Weather

  1. My weather station died, wind bit clogged and doesn’t turn and I can’t free it without what feels like breaking it. Apart from that it was very good.

    I wrote a program to collate the data and analyse the weather myself, storing highs lowers, average temps for each month and average wind direction etc etc etc – great fun. Then I added a Raspberry PI to monitor the sun (visible and uv and IR) and also hooked it up to a solar panel to plot the power that could be generated each day.

    I also worked out cloud cover percentage etc.

    What starts with a weather station (that can transmit long enough distance) leads to other ideas 🙂

    • How long did it survive?

      It sounds like lot of fun! I’m not sure there’s an easy way to download the data from this one without either trying to build an alternative receiver or modifying the existing one somehow. It does have a memory though so my plan was just to write a couple of numbers in a spreadsheet occasionally.

      Did you do any analysis of the results against other datasets like weather forecasts?

      • Mine survived a couple of years. The data was easy to download but the software was utter rubbish with displaying it. Not only that it didn’t tell me what I wanted to know so I used the software to download then exported it, then wrote my own program to analyse.

        No I didn’t compare datasets. I was in the process or writing my own weather forecasting but then it broke and I lost interest. I did compare my figures with met office data at the end of the year to see if my rainfall and wind was right but what I soon realised is that my garden (and probably yours) is totally different wind and rain wise to the “area”. My wind came around a town and was funnelled between 2 very small hills to make my wind direction always slightly different form what we should have, and my rainfall was within range of what can be expected over each month and year but varied wildly with anyone elses.

        There is a website where hundreds or thousands of these weather stations upload their data to and you can see all their real time data. What you notice is that when the met office say wind will be south east, for example, everyone elses direction shows different from north to north west (ie, same or opposite and everything in between). Everyones weather is different for their own garden because of houeses, hills, trees etc etc. Temperatures vary wildly also. I noticed that the air temp 10 feet up was upto 5 or 7 degrees different from the ground and also degrees different from one end of the garden to the other. Making comparisons is very difficult on all but the broadest detail.

        Comparing datasets won’t give you much I don’t think. Fun to try though, and well worth a go 🙂

        • What weather forecasting algorithm were you thinking about using? Not persistence forecasting I assume, although it has its advocates!

          I’m sure there will be a lot of noise, I’m just interested in whether there are any broad patterns at all within that variation, e.g. on average we tend to have warmer temps than forecast.

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