The weather station is a Rainwise* MKIII sensor and transmitter package and the WS-2000 Data Logger.. The MKIII package is mounted at the top of a 20 feet Rohn 25 tower. The reason for mounting it at this height is so that wind speed and direction measurements are taken at the height used by fire weather forecasters.
The MKIII package measures air temperature, barometric pressure and relative humidity in addition to winds. The system is powered by an internal battery recharged by solar radiation. Data from the system is transmitted over a 418 MHz radio telemetry link to the WS-2000 Data Logger and a Windows computer located some 300 feet away from the station. Apart from a bearing problem in the anemometer (wind speed sensor), the system has been trouble free since installation in early 2004.
Weather data from the computer is published on the Internet (the k0gs.us webpage) and submitted to the Citizen Weather Observing Program, CWOP, a world wide network of privately owned weather stations. My data is also submitted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA), for possible use in forecasting and climatological archives. Before the data is used, it is subjected to a series of tests to determine its usability as described in the "Specifications" section. For more information about CWOP click on the link to Citizens Weather Observing Program below.
<== As you can see in the picture, the propeller anemometer is mounted on top of a white "beehive" containing the temperature and humidity sensors. Ambient air is drawn upward through a tube surrounding these two sensors (inside the beehive) by the temperature difference between the black wind sensor and the white beehive. This is a proprietary Rainwise feature. The barometric pressure sensor, radio transmitter and battery are located in the main housing. On the front of this housing is the solar panel which faces south in this installation.
The complete installation (minus the computer and software) is shown in this picture. ==>
Note the black rainguage.
The installation is located on top of a mesa that has a 360 degree un-obstructed horizon and un-restricted exposure of the sensors to meteorological parameters. This is an important consideration in siting weather stations that are part of a meso-scale network. All too often one sees weather sensors that are influenced by trees, buildings or tall vegetation that, for example, can drastically influence relative humidity readings on calm days. The station sits approximately 400 feet higher than West Bijou Creek, about 2.5 miles to the west. Because of this, the incidence of cold air "pooling" or the existence of a temperature inversion thicker than 400 feet is greatly reduced.
Data from the station is sent to a receiver positioned inside the house, some 300 feet away. The receiver and computer interface was supplied by Rainwise. Software for the weather system came from Ambient Weather **. It runs under the Windows*** operating system. All weather parameters are read and updated every two minutes then stored in the central computer's memory. The data is formatted for transmission over the Internet to the web page server. In addition, the data is distributed to the Citizen Weather Observing Program, CWOP, where it is picked up by the National Weather Service and several university research groups.
* Rainwise, Inc. P.O. Box 443 Bar Harbor, Maine 04609-0443
(207) - 288 - 5169 http://www.rainwise.com
** Ambient Weather, LLC 6503 W. Frye Road Suite 11 Chandler, AZ 85226 http://www.AmbientWeather.com
***Windows Registered Trademark of Microsoft Corp.