My adventures in collecting and using home weather data

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've had the Davis Vantage Vue for over 12 years and it works great, no plans to replace it, but if I was shopping for a weather station today I might go in a different direction. It doesn't come stock with the ability to transmit data over wifi and the addon they sell to do that is another ~$200 on top of an already pricy unit.
 
https://ambientweather.net/

The Ambient weather station data is uploaded to this site, so if you have an internet connection and a browser in your shop, you can view all the data you want. You can determine if it is public or not.

Thanks for the link. I have neighbor station 1 mile north and another 1 mile south.

I'm running into location issues. There is no place on my property that is more than 50' from a forest of tall trees, a house, a garage, or lake.

I want to mount it at/on my workshop that is 15' from the edge of the woods. Wind speed is extremely compromised at this location. But I guess I really don't care about wind speed. I'm mainly concerned about rainfall, temp and humidity. Going to check out the 2 closest stations and see how/where they mounted theirs.
 
I'm running into location issues. There is no place on my property that is more than 50' from a forest of tall trees, a house, a garage, or lake.

I want to mount it at/on my workshop that is 15' from the edge of the woods. Wind speed is extremely compromised at this location. But I guess I really don't care about wind speed. I'm mainly concerned about rainfall, temp and humidity. Going to check out the 2 closest stations and see how/where they mounted theirs.

Welcome to the real world. :LOL: I say that not to poke you, but to poke weather observers and instrument manufacturers. For most of us, it is very difficult to get ideal measuring exposure, especially for wind.

I'm in about the same situation as you and I'm just going to roll with it and not worry about the wind too much.
 
Welcome to the real world. :LOL: I say that not to poke you, but to poke weather observers and instrument manufacturers. For most of us, it is very difficult to get ideal measuring exposure, especially for wind.

I'm in about the same situation as you and I'm just going to roll with it and not worry about the wind too much.

Yep I looked at the wind velocities on the Ambient user site and winds are somewhat consistent in rural areas, but not in cities. I saw a couple places in downtown Chicago where a site with 11 mph winds was less than a mile from a site with 0 mph winds.

And almost every lot in a city could not meet Ambient's suggested criteria for weather station placement - so far from a building so high, etc.

So I'm just going to roll with it also and put it on a post 4' above ground in a wind free area 15 from my shop. I'm certainly not going to put it 30' in the air like some shown on the internet. I'll need easy access to remove leaves and easy doesn't involve a ladder.

Went on a site visit to see 2 nearby weather stations. One is on a pole 10' above their garage, the other is mounted on a corner fence post. Fence post one is not ideal for wind measurements, but better than what my location will be.

ETA - ordered an Ambient 2902.
 
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ETA - ordered an Ambient 2902.


I’m sorry I didn’t mention this earlier, but if you order directly from Ambient Weather they throw in an additional thermometer/hygrometer for free. Orders through Amazon don’t include the extra sensor. Otherwise the price is the same.
 
I’m sorry I didn’t mention this earlier, but if you order directly from Ambient Weather they throw in an additional thermometer/hygrometer for free. Orders through Amazon don’t include the extra sensor. Otherwise the price is the same.

Thanks - my bad - I looked at the Ambient website ordering and didn't see it - I ordered from Amazon. I'll be ok with the standard setup. If I can get my post in the ground after several days of below 0 temps.
 
I have an Ambient 2000 on order. I guess they are a bit behind after Christmas (either direct or from Amazon).

Decided on the 2000 over the 2902 for the better display.
 
Are any of these units capable of measuring snowfall?
 
Are any of these units capable of measuring snowfall?
Generally, no. Snowfall is the trickiest thing to measure by observers. There are official procedures to do it that involve a cold flat surface. I won't get into it.

Some of these devices have heaters for the rain gauge. Davis Instruments has a heater for the rain gauge that eventually measures the water equivalent. From this, depth can be imputed, but that's a dangerous game because it depends on the temperature, dewpoint and other factors. Ultimately, "water equivalent" is still a good measurement to have, but is also probably not what you want.
 
I have my Ambient 2000 up and running. What a nice station.

I decided to add the lightning detector. Should be interesting to see how that works.

Right now, I'm pretty happy with what gets sent to the Ambient cloud, so I'm not working on any projects to collect my own data, yet. The information how to make it ship to your own server is pretty simple and basic.

Overall, it is a nice little system.

I had one fun glitch. When I turned on my console, it immediately "grabbed" an instrument cluster about 1/4 mile away. I couldn't figure out how to make it grab mine.

I called their tech support number and it was an easy fix, but not obvious from the instruction manual. The gentleman who helped was very knowledgeable and immediately knew how to get me up and running. (Go into settings and change the ID which is printed on the bottom of the instrument cluster.)
 
Installed my Ambient 2902 on 12/28. I'm also happy with the data sent to the Ambient cloud. Definitely a large amount of data to look at if I want to.

It's fun to monitor. SIL called from AZ asking what the weather was. I gave her a full report and sent her some graphs. Probably more than what she was looking for.
 
I bought a Davis Vantage View weather station a couple of years ago. It has been in "test mode" clamped to a table on my driveway since. (Test = too lazy to mount on roof but still collecting/publishing data)

I have catchement water meaning my water supply is what my roof catches from rain and delivers to my storage tank. So rainfall is very important to me.

Temperatures/humidities are fairly consistent. We have no heat or a/c. If it gets cold I put on sweats and wool socks. It it gets hot the ceiling fans come on automatically based i=on monitoring temperature sensors in each room.

I plan to implement a level sensor in my catchment tank to alarm for clogs from the refill line. In other words, if it is pouring rain or there has been substantial accumulated rain but the tank level did not rise, maybe there is a leaf clog somewhere.

Is all this necessary? Of course not. But staying intellectually engaged has its own benefits!
 
I plan to implement a level sensor in my catchment tank to alarm for clogs from the refill line. In other words, if it is pouring rain or there has been substantial accumulated rain but the tank level did not rise, maybe there is a leaf clog somewhere.

Is all this necessary? Of course not. But staying intellectually engaged has its own benefits!

Taking photos of nice memories is not necessary. Going for a walk after you've had your exercise for the day is not necessary. They engage us, as you say, so they are good.

I look at weather observation and data collection a lot like photography. Capturing the moment for posterity for you to ponder, or maybe someone else to ponder.

Thomas Jefferson was an avid weather observer. Just so happens that besides getting hand cramps from the multiple copies of the Declaration of Independence he was working on, he had enough time and energy to record the temperature during those meetings. Many of his observations then and at Monticello are still cited in research today.


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I just saw this thread after the latest post and thought I would mention another off the shelf option. I have a tempest weather station in my yard (Tempest Weather System) which also allows you to see other stations in their network (Station map).
I'm also a weather nerd, but I got it to enhance my irrigation system - it integrates with the Rachio controller and so it skips watering if it's rained recently or is reliably predicted to do so that day. I found that the default web weather used by Rachio didn't really match the rainfall in my yard. I've had it for a couple of years and it continues to perform well. I've had no problems with the solar powered station and it links flawlessly to the hub inside my house that's ~50 ft away.
 
I have an analog thermometer and an analog hygrometer in the shade on my back porch, as well as an analog barometer in my office. I look out my window to the flag flying in the boatyard to get wind direction and a rough estimate of windspeed. I go through stretches where I am diligent about recording the data in a notebook and stretches where I am not.
 
I just watch the Weather Channel here in Houston!
I have an Alexa Show and it displays the local weather, probably from the Weather Channel, but it can be way off from what I see at my home. Not unusual to see the early morning temperature 10-15 degrees different than what I see at my house, same issue with wind and rain.
 
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