Catching up, and a crash

Not much has been happening since my last post, hence the reason I've not posted for some time.

The base station of the WS3600 has crashed three times, the latest being today, so this still continues to be a problem.

Also, the rain bucket still seems to be a little intermittent in the way it records rain (not that I've got it positioned in the best location).


Easter Sunday Snow and Another Crash

We've had pretty much no snow around here all winter but, last Sunday, we woke up to find that it was snowing pretty hard and, by the time it had finished, we had something like 2" of snow on the ground. It was enough to build a snowman in the garden although it did melt pretty quickly and by late afternoon there was almost no evidence that there'd been any snow.

Still, it was nice while it lasted.

Also, on Sunday, the base station of the WS3600 crashed again. That's the second time this month.


UK Storm and other bits

Today's storm has been interesting so far, but not for the reasons I was expecting. For one thing, so far, at my location, it hasn't been quite so bad as I thought it might be. We've had worse winds recently (especially the storm a couple of days after the Lincolnshire earthquake) and, so far, it's nowhere near as bad as the January 2007 storm. The main reason why it's interesting is how low the pressure is at the moment.

As my weather station got up and running I noticed that, on and off, I'd get pressure spikes and dips – these would last for one reading, rarely two, and would throw out my graphs and stats. Because of this I added a little bit of "filtering" for the graphs and other things so they'd ignore values that seemed too hight or too low.

For no specific reason I'd set the low point of the filter to 970 hPa. When I got up this morning the pressure reading was already below that and still falling. Because of this I had to make changes to the code that creates my graphs, and also to the code that adds the data to my SQL database, so that the low point is 960 hPa. The pressure is still falling and I suspect I might need to change this again so that the low point is 950 hPa (this would result in a range of 950 hPa to 1050 hPa, which would actually fit rather well with the usual range mentioned on this Met Office page).

Edit: (2008-03-10 13:00 UT) Sure enough, I've just had to modify the minimum pressure filtering again to take it down to 950 hPa because the pressure has just fallen below 960 hPa.

In other recent news (I've not really written much on this blog recently, sorry about that) I've had a couple more base station crashes. The first was on 2008-02-28 and I lost about ½ an hour's worth of data. The second was on 2008-03-08. This is the first time in quite a long time that I've had two crashes so close to each other.


Records for 2007

The records for 2007 (including min/max/average values per-month and also for the whole year) are now online.

I now have weather data for two whole calendar years.


Anemometer Now Working

Further to my earlier entry, the impeller in the anemometer has started working again. Some time after 13:00 this afternoon wind speeds were being recorded again. It would appear that today's rain and wind has finally cured the problem.

I'm still not sure if this was another case of heat causing a problem (initially this seemed possible given that when it first stuck we were having some very warm days, but the last couple of days have been much cooler) or if something had got stuck and the wind and rain has finally cleared it (I have noticed some webs around the anemometer so it's possible that a spider is to blame this time). It remains to be seen if the problem will return when winds are lower than they are now.

Either way I guess that, at some point soon, I probably need to get the anemometer down and give it a good clean (not such an easy job given where it's located).

Anemometer Not Working

Last Thursday I noticed that no wind speeds had been recorded. While it was a fairly calm day we'd also had the odd breeze and I'd have expected something to have been recorded during the course of the day.

Looking at the underlying data I noticed that I was getting data from the anemometer, that the direction was being recorded and was changing (for graphing and other purposes on the main site I "ignore" directions that have 0 wind speed). Using a binocular I watched the impeller for a short while and noticed that it just wasn't spinning (I also couldn't see anything blocking it). By the looks of things this was similar to a previous case of the impeller apparently getting stuck but, in that case, it seemed to be done to heat from direct sunlight.

I've been away for a long weekend camping and, when I got back on Monday evening, I noticed that the impeller was still stuck.

Over night, and this morning, it's been wet and windy and the problem is persisting. It would appear that, whatever has caused the impeller to stick, is something serious and isn't going to be cured by a period of wind and rain. So, until I have the time to get the ladders out and take the wind vane down (which will be a fairly large job as I'll have to cut away all the ties and stuff that are keeping the cable in place), it looks like my weather station is lacking any way of recording anything to do with wind.


Another early morning crash

The WS3600 base station suffered another crash during the early hours of Sunday morning. Annoyingly I didn't notice this until the afternoon so quite a bit of data was lost.



Seen over our village during a walk yesterday evening: