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:



Something Demonic

We had a short, sharp and pretty intense rain band come over this evening and, in its wake, it left some interesting skies. I headed out with my camera to catch some of the sights and, without a doubt, the most impressive was this:

Something Demonic (1)
Click image for larger version


Another early morning crash

The WS3600 base station suffered another crash last Saturday. As with the previous crash it happened in the early(ish) hours of the morning so I lost a fair bit of data before I noticed that it had crashed.


Early Morning Crash

During the early hours of this morning the WS3600 base station crashed (first time since 2007-01-21). This is, of course, extra annoying because it means I didn't notice it until gone 08:00 this morning so I've lost getting on for 6 hours of data.


Another witnessed reset

At around 08:00 this morning I witnessed a reset of the WS3600 base station. There was a beep, the display cleared, then all LCD items turned on and then the backlight came on. Finally, after a short while, the display went back to normal and a minute or two later data was being received from the transmitter again.


Frozen Wind Vane?

Around 23:00 yesterday the wind vane settled on NW (315°) and sat there until around 07:00 today. I noticed this because the wind direction graph for most of this morning is a straight line:

Of course, if there's no wind at all, the vane won't move, but in that case I don't actually plot a point on the graph — I only plot a direction if there's an associated wind speed.

I suppose it's possible that for all that time the wind vane managed to record exactly the same direction but I've never seen it do this before in all the time I've been running the station. Given how much rain, hail and snow we've had over the last few days I'm wondering if the vane actually froze in place. One bit of evidence that makes me think this might be the case is the fact that the direction settled back into its normal plot (varying around a general direction) at around the same time as the Sun would have started to warm it up (around 07:00 this morning).


More rain data recorded

It really is starting to look like the rain bucket is back from the dead. We've had some snow today, not as much some parts, but some. And, once again, the rain bucket has recorded something.

It might be too early to say so, but it really is looking like it's started working again all on its own. For the moment I've reinstated the rain graphs and data on the main site and I'll be keeping an eye on how things go.


Sundogs and Circumzenithal Arc

This afternoon I was lucky enough to catch a display of a pair of sundogs and a circumzenithal arc. The arc was rather faint, nowhere near as good as the last display I saw. Despite this I grabbed my camera and tried to record what I saw.


Return of the rain bucket?

The rain bucket attached to my weather station died around April last year. Since then, apart from one time when I opened it up to have a look inside, it's never registered a single thing.

Until a few days ago.

While checking some data this morning I noticed that there was rain recorded between around 07:00 and 09:00 and again between around 12:00 and 13:00. Checking that same day for a station near me it does seem that there was precipitation that day. The times appear to be different but, if I recall correctly, that was the day we had some snow so the different times could be down to the snow melting.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this. I'd be surprised to find that snow caused the bucket to spring back to life and given the nature of the problem (in the past the bucket hasn't recorded anything even when I've picked it up and given it a good tilt) I'd be surprised if it was the volume of water that caused it to work.

Something to keep an eye on...


After a long run, another crash

For the first time since 2006-08-21 the WS3600 base station has crashed on me. Looking at the logs it seems it crashed just after 21:11.

This is the longest run I've ever had without any sort of hang or crash of the base station — I was starting to think that it might finally be working properly. Seems I was wrong.

It's also probably worth mentioning that Ian, who had previously commented that he thought he'd fixed his WS3600, is still suffering from crashes.


Pictures from today's storm

As promised earlier, here are some images of the damage caused by today's storm:

Today's storm

It's very stormy today, probably the worst I've seen in a long time, easily the worst I've seen since I started running the weather station.

We've lost power three times so far today. The first couple of times were enough for the UPS to handle but the third loss looked like it was going to be a long one so I shut the machines down (hence a a hole in the data today).

The wind during the power loss was quite scary — I'm having trouble recalling when I last saw wind like that. We appear to have lost a couple of tiles off the roof and we've also lost a garden fence. After things calmed down, but before the power came back on, I took a walk around the village to see what other damage there was and was surprised to find there was remarkably little. I saw a couple of collapsed garden sheds, a couple of collapsed fences (one of which was impaled on a tree) and a lot of debris lying around. I only saw one damaged tree (part of this Willow had collapsed).

I took my cameras with me and took some pictures. Given that I can't rely on the power at the moment (it's still blowing a gale out there and it is forecast to get worse again before it gets better) I won't be downloading them until much later.

As usual I'm not recording wind speeds anywhere near like they really are due to the design and location of the anemometer. A personal station just down the road from me is showing far more accurate speeds (showing a maximum gust of 57mph as of the time of writing).

As much as I find it all interesting, I'll be happy when it's over.

Update: Here's an image of some damage that I took on my mobile phone (like I said above, I'll grab the images off the actual cameras when everything has calmed down):


Records for 2006

Now that I've got 1 year of data and, more to the point, now that I have data for a whole calendar year, I've extended the records section of the site to include the records for 2006. This includes min/max/average values for each month as well as the values for the whole of the year.