Since I was a young lad, I was fascinated with weather. I read everything I could get my hands on. In elementary school, I checked out a book, several times, about a pair of Navy pilots who flew into hurricanes. In the book, their two young boys stowed away on the aircraft and the plane was forced to make a landing on an island. There, while awaiting rescue, they made weather instruments from common objects.
Over the years, I too tried to make instruments, with varying degrees of success.
The science of meteorology have changed in 50 years. The data presented to the right was generated by a personal weather station (PWS), a fairly sophisticated set of sensors that collect and present the current weather, and a basic forecast based on that data. While it doesn’t have the capacity to model complex weather or long range forecasts, this is a sophisticated piece of technology.
The station that I have set up is the Ambient Weather WS-2000. It combines an array of sensors, mounted out doors, that includes, a rain gauge, anemometer, wind direction, temperature, humidity, and solar radiation (for the UV index). The indoor sensor also provides barometric pressure.
The console (mounted indoors) communicates wirelessly with the sensor array. The sensor array transmits the data to the console every 16 seconds using a frequency of 915MHz. The listed range is about 300′ line of site, but this drops off with any obstructions. The console displays the current sensor data graphically and as well as numerically. It also connects to the internet using 2.4GHz WiFi to my home network and uploads the data to Wunderground and Ambient Weather. Those sites both provide access to the data via web browser or mobile app.
The console gives you a good at-a-glance view of conditions, and the short term forecast. In the case of the widget displayed to the right, the data that was uploaded to Ambient Weather is polled and formatted for display.