For Christmas Kevin gave me a WH1081 wireless USB weather station. It has a wind vane and anemometer, minimum and maximum thermometer, barometer, rain gauge and hygrometer mounted externally. It communicates wirelessly with a base station inside the house. The base station is connected to the server in the loft and there is much chatter between the two. The server runs pywws (Python Wireless Weather Station) software developed by Jim Easterbrook. This processes the data from the weather station at regular intervals and submits the information to a number of different sites. You can check the weather for IPERTHSH12 on Weather Underground (wunderground.com) and on the Met Office WOW site (wow.metoffice.gov.uk). You can also follow the current weather and 12 hourly forecasts on twitter (@newtyleweather). I also wrote up my own pages to display the weather information (cribbing from various other sites on the web) and give further details here: http://wx.mixedbredie.net/
The current location is suboptimal but I wanted to get it up and running to check whether I could read the station inside the house through the 600mm stone walls. It is mounted on a pole attached to the corner of the kitchen extension at the back of the house. It is too low and there are too many close obstructions affecting micro conditions. Ultimately, it will be mounted on the chimney stack where it out of the influence of walls and trees. In an ideal world the wind apparatus would be mounted above the roof and the temp/pressure/rain sensors at 1m above ground level in a clear site but it comes down to supplied cable length again. There are a number of best practice principles for siting weather stations to ensure good quality weather data and this information is just a web search away:
For most back garden / suburban weather stations placing the sensors in “standard” conditions is just not going to happen and so the quality of the weather information reported should not be used in any seriousness. For small overviews of weather conditions then aggregating geo-coded twitter feeds might be useful but at larger scales the errors increase.
At the moment the base station is in the loft because the USB cable to connect to the server is only 50cm long. Thus the climate conditions reported on the “inside” page are not the conditions we are currently living in (but not far off 🙂 but those of the loft. If I can get a USB extension cable (8 – 10m) then I can mount the base station in a more useful place inside the house.