Do-It-Yourself Weather Forecasting

Someone once said you can do a decent job of predicting the weather by simply saying tomorrow will be the same as today. I can do that one better.

The outdoor measuring unit.

A couple of years ago, my son gave me for Christmas an AcuRite weather station from Costco (or you can buy direct from the AcuRite website).  It measures temperature and humidity (indoors and out), wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, and rainfall. The outdoor module transmits the outdoor measurements wirelessly to an indoor display. Rainfall is measured by the weight of a tiny cup. When filled, it tips the rainwater out. The mechanism counts the number of tips and adds that amount to the weight in the cup. There is a way to calibrate the rainfall, but I never have. It is accurate enough the way it is. Snow clogs it up, but I can easily see the amount of snow from my window. This raw data is manipulated in every which way to tell you more than you want to know about the weather, all displayed on an indoor monitor.

The most useful is the amount of rainfall. Often I will wake up to wet streets, but did it rain a lot or a little during the night? My weather station will tell me. I don’t need an accuracy to a tenth of an inch.

Even so, I will check it several times a day, often to compare the indoor and outdoor temperatures (both show on the monitor). If it is cooler outside in the summer, open the windows and turn on the intake fans. If it is hotter outside, close up and keep that heat outside.

It also creates an amazingly accurate weather forecast that it displays in a crawl at the bottom of the monitor screen. It is so accurate, I assumed it was received by some sort of phone or WiFi connection from a central source, but no, it is calculated from its own data.  They don’t give the details of the algorithm they use, but it works for me.

Will it ever replace TV’s Kathy Orr? Never!

About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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