Weather data is recorded live at Newtown Square, Pennsylvania (Newtown Township, Delaware County) which is about 15 miles west of Philadelphia.|
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The data on the main page is
updated every 10 minutes at 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 minutes past the
hour. This 'Status Page' is updated manually, as needed.
|Current Weather Station Status
Last Updated :
Sun Jul 31 22:42:03 EDT 2016
|| Fully Operational
|| Fully Operational
| Relative Humidity
|| Fully Operational
| Wind Direction
| Wind Speed
|| Fully Operational
| Rain Gauge
|| Fully Operational
| Rain Gauge Heater
| Tower Web Cam
| Front Yard Web Cam
|| Fully Operational
Recent Events ...
- Sunday July 31,2016 : Replaced the power supply fan in the weather collection box.
- Sunday July 10,2016 : Replaced temperature/barometer sensor battery. Barometer
data for the past 24 hours is not valid.
- Saturday April 30,2016 : Replaced the relative humidity sensor which has
been acting up since early March. Appears that it got wet, which is not supposed
to hurt it, but apparently in some situations it does.
- Monday April 4, 2016 : Replaced the hard drive that holds the weather
data. It had been getting assorted errors for a while, and since the
system is so old, it was difficult to find a small hard drive that did not
have too much "mileage" on it.
- Sunday March 6, 2016 : Data collection computer crashed very early Saturday
morning (around 1 AM) but was not noticed until Sunday evening. Lost about 44
hours worth of data. Exact cause of the crash is unknown but strongly suspect
that is was disk related.
- Wednesday January 13, 2016 : Weather data collection computer crashed/hung around
12:40 AM which was not discovered until 9:30 AM causing loss of all data for 9 hours. Also
at 4:40 PM Sunday discovered that shortly before 4 PM the temperature and barometer data
stopped being read properly and the collection program was restarted. The problem
returned at 3:20 PM Monday causing no temperature and barometer updates until the crash early
Wednesday. As of 9:40 PM Wednesday the system has been running OK for the past 12 hours.
- Friday October 9, 2015 : Noticed a very large rapid drop in the barometer reading
that started just after midnight that was too extreme to be valid. Noticed that
the temperature/barometer sensor was reporting low battery. Replaced the battery and
readings immediately returned to normal. The low battery was not affecting
the temperature readings.
- Monday August 10, 2015 : Finally replaced the relative humidity sensor. The
new sensor is in a temporary location which may not produce the best readings. Hope to
relocate it back to it's original location by this weekend. Meanwhile the hard
drive that stores the weather data continues to act up occasionally. Hope to eventually
replace the entire box fairly soon once some other issues are resolved.
- Sunday June 28, 2015 : No data from 10 PM Saturday until about 2 PM Sunday due
to 14 hour power failure. May have lost a small amount of rainfall data between 10 PM
and about 6 AM.
- Tuesday June 16, 2015 : Complete loss of relative humidity data. Data had
been acting up a few times for the past week or two. This also causes loss of dewpoint
data since it is calculated using he humidity.
- Sunday January 25, 2015 : Replaced temperature/barometer sensor battery.
- Sunday December 7, 2014 : Made a minor change to how the wind direction is being read to compensate for a problem with the sensor. Hopefully it should produce better wind direction values until the sensor can be replaced.
Shortly after making the wind direction changes, noticed that the temperature and barometer readings had not changed in the past 20 hours. Discovered that no data was coming from the temp/bar sensor. The 9V battery in the sensor had only been replaced in August but was reading only 6V. Replaced the battery and restarted everything and the readings appear to be OK now.
- Monday August 11, 2014 : Replaced battery in the temperature/barometer sensor. It has been returning "low battery" for the past few days.
- Tuesday February 25, 2014 : Found out at work this morning that the Web page was not responding but nothing could be done about it remotely. Tuesday evening found that the data collection box had crashed [again]. Completely disassembled everything and gave everything a good cleaning and re-seated the boards and it is running fine for now. Will be keeping a closer eye on it while I decide what to replace it with. The weather data collection programs requires very little resources and I would prefer to have them running on their own system that will not be disturbed, so I hate to move them to some fancy new super-fast box which would be overkill and a waste. I have a few replacement possibilities that I will be investigating.
- Sunday February 23, 2014 : Discovered that the data collection computer had hung up similar to what happened on Feb 13 except this time the wind, humidity, and rain data were OK. The temperature/barometer sensor uses a serial port and the port was hung. Only had time to do a reboot which got things going again but now getting more suspicious that the box may be developing problems. The data collection box is a 17 year-old Pentium 133 system that has been running 24x7 since 2001. Over that time it has often run for well over a year many times without a reboot -- and most reboots that did occur were usually due to power failures. It has now crashed something like 4-5 times over the past 2 months, so something must be finally going bad and it may be time to replace it.
- Friday February 14, 2014 : Looks like wind speed was simply frozen last night and is working OK now.
- Thursday February 13, 2014 : Mid-morning noticed the humidity had dropped to zero. Since we were in the middle of a major snowstorm I figured something happened to the sensor due to the snow. It was not until about 11 PM that I realized that *all* of the readings had gone to ZERO. The sampling programs were still running but no valid data was being recorded. Restarted the programs and still no data. Rebooted the computer and data returned, however the wind speed sensor is not returning data. Around 5 PM had observed it was spinning, however it could have frozen since then. Otherwise data recording has resumed.
Wind direction remains in a degraded state and will remain that way until the spring.
- Wednesday February 5, 2014 : 6 hour power failure due to ice caused a 6 hour loss of data from about 11:30 AM - 5:30 PM.
- Sunday December 8, 2013 : Turned on the rain gauge heater just after 1 PM which quickly melted all of the snow that had accumulated over the past few hours and produced a large jump on rainfall graph.
Wind direction failed in October. A temporary fix was made in early November however the accuracy of the wind direction is degraded.
- Sunday September 15, 2013 : Replaced the battery in the temperature/barometer sensor.
- Saturday May 11, 2013 : Finally fixed a bug with the Webcam which caused an image to be dropped if the video device was in use when trying to get a new image.  This would cause the MPEG clip to stop when it hit the missing image. Now if the video device is in use it will try up to 5 times to get the image (which should always work) or skip the image if it can't get a new one. In either case, there should be no more short MPEG video clips.
- Friday March 29, 2013 : 8:45 AM Discovered that the weather data collection computer had died/crashed around 8:30 AM yesterday (03/28/13 0830). It did not immediately come back up. Repeated all the boards and seems to be OK now. Aprox 24 hours of data was lost.
- Saturday November 24, 2012 : Discovered around 7:30 PM that there had been no wind data since shortly before 2 PM Friday. It seems that yesterday I had accidentally cut the cable for the wind instruments while I was trimming some weeds and raking leaves along the side of the house where the cable runs. All fixed.
- Wednesday October 24, 2012 : Replaced the battery in the temperature/barometer sensor on October 18th. This caused the expected minor shift in the barometer calibration. Several minor adjustments have been made over the past few days.
- Saturday August 11, 2012 : Sometime shortly after 0340 the weather data collection computer crashed. System was restarted around 1135. About 8 hours of data was lost.
- Saturday August 4, 2012 : Added dew point to the Heat Index graph.
- Wednesday July 4, 2012 : Relative humidity had been acting up for a while. This happened a few months ago and then seemed to clear up on it's own. Decided to replace the humidity sensor. Ordered a new sensor 2 weeks ago but since then discovered that a broken wire (bad connection?) in the interface was causing the bad readings and was also causing incorrect wind azimuth readings. This was discovered on July 2 and so far after 2 days the readings have remained good.
- Monday January 23, 2012 : The rain gauge heater has not been on. Precipitation shown for today is from the aprox 2 inches of snow that fell on Saturday.
- Thursday December 15, 2011 : Finally was able to check the A/D calibration of the sensor interface with a more accurate standard and found there was roughly 8% error (high) which helps explain the high relative humidity readings. Made some minor changes in the software to compensate for it and so far the readings appear to be much closer to what they probably should be. Will keep an eye on it for the next few days and then decide if additional changes are needed. An immediate drop in the humidity reading of about 10% is very noticeable on he graph when the change was made about 8:20 PM. The barometer calibration was also checked earlier in the day and a very small adjustment was made.
- Saturday December 10, 2011 : Have been getting LOW BATTERY warnings from the temperature/barometer sensor for the past few days and replaced the battery. Verified barometer calibration against KPHL.
- Thursday-Friday August 25-26, 2011 : On Thursday evening I became aware of how during a period of heavy rain earlier in the day, the rain gauge was not working properly. Analysis of the sensor logs indicated that the tip bucket was taking too long to complete most tips causing the tip to be counted as multiple tips. A quick visual inspection Thursday evening did not reveal anything conclusive, however a more detailed inspection Friday evening confirmed that the something was not quite right, but no obvious cause. With the upcoming hurricane Irene event, I wanted to be sure that the rain gauge would be working 100%, so I swapped it out with the original one that had been in use from 2000 until 2007 when the magnetic switch failed and it was swapped with a new one. Since then the original one has been repaired and was set aside to be used as a spare - for a situation just like this. It's good to have spare parts around.
- Thursday August 18, 2011 : A seed got stuck in the rain gauge shortly after 6:10 AM causing the tip-bucket to become stuck around midway. Did not become aware of this until about 9:30 AM where was now reporting around 30 inches of rain over the previous 3 hours. Removed the seed and was able to correct the data (approximate).
Relative Humidity Update: The relative humidity readings continue to be not quite as good as they should be, but a little better than the were earlier in the summer. Most of the time the readings change like they should, however sometimes the value may be as much as 20% higher than it should be. I expect to order a new humidity sensor fairly soon which should completely correct the problem.
- Tuesday June 21, 2011 : Discovered that there was an error in the code that reads the temperature data that was causing a -0.5 degree C (-0.9 degree F) error in the reading. It looks like this error, which causes temperatures to be slightly lower than they should be, has been present for a long time. The error was corrected. Considering that most thermometers can easily read 1-2 degrees different, this error is probably not all that significant. Immediately after the correction was made, the corresponding bump produced on the temperature graph was almost undetectable. The only other possible side-effect is on hot humid summer days, a 1 degree increase could result in a 2-3 degree increase in the heat index that is calculated depending on the actual temperature and humidity values.
As a followup to the June 12 relative humidity problem, since then generally the relative humidity readings have looked OK, however a few strange reading have also been observed. On at least 3 days in the mid-morning when as the temperature is rising, the relative humidity is falling (as it should), however it appeared to drop much lower (and faster?) than it should have for a short period, such as dropping from 70% down to 20-30% in less than an hour then rising to a more expected 40-50%. This problem is being investigated. It is possible that the sensor element may need to be replaced.
- Sunday June 12, 2011 : Became aware of bad relative humidity (and dew point) data most of the day. Discovered that the box that contains the humidity sensors outside that protects them from rain had fallen from where it is mounted and was on it's side which likely allowed the sensors to get wet during the early morning rain. Re-mounted the box which should be enough. So far the data seems to be OK now.
While fixing the humidity sensors (6:20 PM) I noticed that the sun was hitting the temperature sensor. I had noticed a small spike in temperature shortly before 7 PM most days over the past 2 weeks. I had seen this a few time last summer but could never identify the cause. There is a small sun shield to block the early morning sun but there never was a problem with the late after noon sun. The neighbors behind me had some large trees cut down over the past 2 years and this most likely opened up a path for the sun to hit the sensor at various times. I made a temporary modification to the sun shield that should eliminate the temperature spike, however I more permanent solution is needed.
- Sunday April 17, 2011 : Checked over the wind/rain interface on Saturday attempting to determine the cause for some extremely high wind gust that are measured from time to time. Could not find anything wrong. Will continue to monitor the problem. Some wind speed data between about 5-7 PM while I was performing tests may not be accurate. The rain gauge heater was turned off last weekend.
- Sunday March 13, 2011 : Checked over the cable from the wind and rain sensors. Could not find anything actually wrong, however the signals look normal now. Still seeing very high wind gust readings which are not right. Will continue to monitor and investigate. There is a 1 hour gap in the wind data from 1 PM to 2 PM when the sensors were disconnected.
- Sunday March 6, 2011 : Looks as if water has gotten into the cable leading to the wind sensor. When the switch contact in the wind sensor is open, the water is pulling the normally-open high signal to less than one volt and the interface is basically seeing a continuous "low" and is not recording any wind speed. This may have been causing the funny reading seen lately. Not much can be done about it right now but when it can be worked on, it will be a good chance to install the new wind sensor too.
- Thursday January 27, 2011 : Power went off about 6 PM and was off until about 8:45 PM. Top of a pole snapped and took out power over a fairly wide area (many blocks). Everything seems to have recovered OK but there was almost 3 hours of lost data. Nothing interesting was going on.
Wind speed and direction are still out.. hopefully just ice from yesterday.
- Wednesday January 26, 2011 : Getting some freezing rain mixed with snow and wind speed and direction are not responding.. hopefully simply due to ice.
- Sunday January 23, 2011 : Have been getting LOW BATTERY warnings from the temp/barometer sensor for the past few days and replaced the battery. Verified barometer calibration against KPHL. Everything seem to be working fairly well lately except for occasional false rain counts and occasionally wind speed readings seem to be either too high or too low. Can not find anything definite wrong but will be continue to keep a close watch.
- Sunday October 3, 2010 : Noticed several times over the past few weeks strange wind speed counts. Discovered several breaks in the insulation in the wire for the wind sensors running between the tower and the house. Looks like something had been chewing on the wire in several spots. Replaced the run and readings have returned to normal. Also cleaned up a splice for the rain gauge, hoping it might fix the random false tips that are being detected. So far it does not seem to have made much difference.
- Thursday May 27, 2010 : Thunderstorms in the area 9-10 PM with a few somewhat close lightning hits. Noticed around 11:30 PM that the rain gauge was giving continuous counts as if it was stuck. Checked it and it was OK. Also noticed that there were not wind speed reading over the past hour or so. Replaced the chip that contains the input buffers for the wind speed and rain gauge, and operation returned to normal.
- Sunday February 28, 2010 : The new relative humidity sensor is online as of about 10 PM. So far the readings look much more like they should be. This new sensor should also eliminate many of the drop-out problems that the old one had.
- Saturday February 27, 2010 : Since installing the new interface on February 2, a problem was discovered where excessive contact bounce was causing the wind speed to be reported higher than it should be. It is not clear why this was not a problem with the old interface. This lead to switching back to the old interface during Feb 20-24. An initial attempt to fix the problem was tried Feb 25-26 which was unsuccessful. A second attempt made on Feb 26 appears to have corrected the problem and we are back on the new interface as of late evening Feb 26. Rework of the interface also added a second A/D converter which will be used with a new Relative Humidity sensor that hopefully will go online over the next few days.
- Tuesday February 2, 2010 : Over this past weekend I finally built the new interface for the wind and rain sensors that I had been planning for make for the past several years, which replaces the 30+ year-old M6800 microprocessor system which had been acting as a "temporary" interface since 2001. The new interface, while logically very similar to the old one (8-bit A/D converter and counters), connects to the data computer via the parallel printer port instead of the serial port. Control bit outputs select which device will be read on the 8 data lines. It had been running in parallel with the original interface since Sunday evening, and shortly after midnight Tuesday, the old interface was disconnected and now running on the new interface. One feature of the new interface is that wind speeds will no longer be limited to 63 MPH. The limit is now 255 MPH.. at least in theory. The new interface can detect when the rain gauge is "stuck" and alert someone (me). Probably the biggest feature is this new interface uses only a tiny fraction of the power of the old M6800 microprocessor system which had been running 24/7 since the fall of 2001 (making PECO happy). The new interface will also allow for new features to be added more easily. Will be keeping a close eye on things over the next few days for any problems.
- Thursday January 28, 2010 : Adjusted barometer calibration to match the KPHL site. Was reading about 0.03 low. Modified sampling program to read the calibration value from file now to make re-calibration easier. Doing 'kill -s NOHUP' will re-read the calibration value.
- Sunday January 24, 2010 : Added a fan to the relative humidity enclosure. Hoping for better readings. Replaced batteries in the outdoor sensor while everything was apart.
- Saturday December 19, 2009 : Precipitation shown is from approximately 12 inches of snow.
- Saturday-Sunday December 5-6, 2009 : Precipitation shown is from approximately 2 inches of snow/sleep/freezing rain mix. Freezing rain stopped wind speed readings for about 12 hours.
- Thursday November 12, 2009 : 7:30 PM discovered that sometime just after 6 PM the previous day the rain gauge became stuck and had been registering continuous .01 counts since then. The stem of a leaf which fell in the funnel was cleared and an initial attempt was made to fix the data to show something closer to reality. In this situation the best that can be hoped for is to adjust the data so that the most accurate total amount over the period is show, however the actual time of the rainfall is not accurate. As of 8 PM Thursday, there has been light rain from tropical depression "Ida" for most of the past 24 hours.
- Saturday August 22, 2009 : Just after midnight thunderstorms passed through and there were a few close lightning strikes. Noticed about 1 PM Saturday that just after midnight the wind direction had been reading continuous NORTH. Replaced the A/D chip and normal readings returned, however then put the original chip back in and readings still looked normal. This has been see in the past a few times. Located some low voltage protection diodes that were purchased a year ago to protect the A/D converter (which were never installed) and connected one to the wind speed signal from the sensor (input of the A/D). Will see if this helps.
- Sunday August 9, 2009 : Thunderstorms passed through about 6:30 PM with several close lightning strikes causing a few power "blinks". Did not notice until Monday evening August 10 that wind direction was reading constant NORTH since the thunderstorms the day before. Once again, a nearby lightning hit appeared to take out the A/D converter for the wind speed sensor. Investigated further on Tuesday morning and found that A/D chip to be very hot. Replaced the chip and readings returned to normal. Also questioning the 43 MPH wind spike during the storm. Some of it could have been from noise on the line from the sensor from lightning.
- Friday June 19, 2009 : Wind direction started reporting continuous NORTH readings on the evening of June 15th. This was not noticed until June 18th. Finally got to investigate late June 19th. Re-seated the A/D chip and the readings returned to normal.
- Monday May 11, 2009 : Noticed Saturday evening that wind speed data was bad. Was reporting average winds around 30 MPH and maximum of 63 MPH. Finally got to look at closer Sunday evening and determined that the counter that counts the wind cup rotations for each 2 1/4 second measurement interval was not being reset after it was being read. It would count and report and then keep counting which produced some rather interesting detailed wind graphs. Finally got a chance to look at the interface closer about 1 AM Monday and re-seated the counter chip and related chip that generates the reset signal and the problem has been corrected. This interface seems to need to have chips re-seated every few months. The interface is a 30 year-old microprocessor system which generally works pretty well, but at times it shows it's age.
- Sunday April 26, 2009 : Noticed that humidity data had stopped updating 04/20. Reset the base unit and readings did not return. Had noticed some readings over the past month or so that looked a little off and since the battery in the remote unit had not been changed in a while (January 2008) decided to try a new battery. Readings were restored however the reading of 30% seems a bit low, but maybe it is OK. Will monitor the readings over the next few days to see if further work is needed. Also noticed a few week ago that the CWOP barometer quality site was showing the barometer readings were off somewhat (normally they are very close). Checked it again and it is further off. Reading will become lower when the battery is weak, however the battery had been replaced back in November and should not be due for replacement yet and the battery check was not indicating low battery. Changed the battery anyway and the reading jumped up from 30.24 to 30.27 which is about where it should be.
- Monday January 16, 2009 : I realized earlier today that when I unplugged the Christmas lights a week ago, I had unintentionally unplugged the rain gauge heater. Oops! It was back on about 10 PM Monday and precipitation shown in the late evening is actually from snow earlier in the day.
- Sunday December 7, 2008 : The precipitation shown near noon is from snow that fell over night.
Over the past few weeks I rebuilt the rain gauge heater that had caused problems in the late summer when I found that it had become unattached from the outside of the funnel, and yesterday I installed it on the rain gauge base outside. I just swapped funnels with the new rain gauge that I had put out there back in October and connect the wires to a short cord that plugged into an extension cord (already there). All that remained to to was to plug in the other end of the extension cord once I got back inside. Well, I forgot all about it and wouldn't you know, we got about 1/2 inch of snow sometime over night and the heater wasn't ON. When I realized this late Sunday morning, I plugged it in and in less than 0.02 inches of the melting snow been recorded. So the heater is working and it will be ON through the winter. If the much colder than normal weather we have been getting for the past month continues through the winter, we could be in for more snow than normal this winter, however rainfall has been well below normal for the past 6 months or so, and that might make it a DRY winter, without much snow.
- Tuesday November 25, 2008 : Replaced battery in the temp/barometer sensor. It had been sending LOW BATTERY warnings for the past few days. The new battery caused the pressure readings to jump a few points higher however, after checking with the KPHL site, the readings are now right on so no re-calibration was done. Also, rebuilt the old rain gauge heater and replaced the magnetic switch over the past weekend. It is expected to be put back in service sometime over the next few days.
- Saturday October 25, 2008 @02:00 : There has been no rain for the past 4 weeks and rain is predicted for this weekend, so I figured that I should check the rain gauge to make sure there was no debris in it and is working OK and I discovered that bucket tips were not being recorded. The magnetic switch had failed. I had a spare switch and attempted to replace it and during it's final positioning it cracked. I had purchased a new rain gauge over the summer so for now I have put that in service. I expect to be able to obtain a new magnetic switch for the old one and it will be used as a standby spare. A new wind sensor was also purchased but has yet to be installed. I hope to get to it before the weather gets too cold.
- Saturday September 6, 2008 @02:00 : Had been noticing irregular behavior of the rain gauge for a while. Discovered that the heater that was added to the under side of the funnel last year had come loose and essentially "fell down" into the tip bucket an prevented it from moving.. so it was removed. It will be replaced before the cold weather returns. It needs to be secured better.
- Monday August 11, 2008 @23:00 : Replaced batteries in humidity base unit and readings were restored. A few resets just prior to changing them produces some rather strange displays.. indicating that the weak batteries were probably causing all sort of problems with it. Seem to be OK now. Also made minor adjustment to the barometer calibration. It had been running just a tad higher than it should have been. Unfortunately I think it tends to drift around a little bit depending on the battery voltage.
- Monday August 11, 2008 @07:30 : Power failure just after midnight for slightly over an hour which was too long for the various UPS-es to handle. Everything came back up OK when power returned except for the rain/interface which caused loss of about 7 1/2 hours of data, and somehow the relative humidity also went out about the same time (it all runs on batteries). Reset the RH receiver in the morning but still out. Will investigate further. It could decide to come back on it's own.
- Monday July 7, 2008 : FINALLY was able to get up on the tower to replace the wind sensor cable yesterday, so after about 6 months of no wind direction data and degraded wind speed data, things are back to normal. However, upon inspecting the actual wind sensor, I found that the movement of the wind direction vane seems a bit stiff. It moves, but requires a bit more wind than it should take to move it. So looks like under light wind conditions, wind direction readings may not be as accurate as they should be. Looks like after 8 years it may be time for a new wind sensor. Also trimmed a lot of branches from trees near the tower that were partially shielding the rain gauge below them.
- Saturday May 17, 2008 @21:00 : The rain gauge started reporting continuous counts about 4 AM Monday May 12. The problem was electrical and it was disconnected until about 8 PM today. Found that something (?) had cut (or chewed?) through the cable to it and causing a short. The section of cable was replaced. Rainfall on May 12 and May 16 was entered manually to show the approximate amount, however the time may not be accurate.
- Sunday January 27, 2008 @19:00 : Moved the relative humidity sensor. Essentially in the same location.. just a little further away from the window it is near. Suspected that previous location may have been slightly warmer than true outside temperature since it was so close to the window. Before relocation it was reading 2-3 degrees higher temperature than the regular station temperature. Now it is reading less than 1/2 degree higher. Too soon to tell exactly what effect this will have on humidity readings. Humidity readings have been lower than they should be. This is first attempt to figure out why and try to correct it. Also replaced the batteries in the remote unit while I was moving it. Trying a set of Lithium AA batteries. They should work better in cold weather.
As of 23:00 dewpoint was still reading about 10 degrees lower than 4 other nearby stations. Will be keeping a close eye on it.
- Sunday January 27, 2008 @00:30 : Replaced battery in humidity base unit and readings returned. Also started getting LOW BATTERY reports from the temp/bar sensor a few days ago, so replaced it's battery too. Wind is still in a degraded state. No direction readings and speed readings are often higher than they should be. At least getting a relative indication of wind speed. The rain gauge heater has been working very nicely so far.
- Sunday December 16, 2007 @13:20 : Wind direction had been running in a degraded state since about December 7, however it appeared to be working better on it's own around Dec 11-12, but then speed readings dropped out for 2 days. On Dec 14 it appeared that both returned, however, the speed readings were good, direction was not. About 6 AM Sunday Dec 16, speed started reading incorrectly, and it appeared that the signal from the speed sensor signal was somehow getting mixed in with the direction signal. There is most likely water in the cable or in a connection somewhere causing crosstalk between the signals. The result is totally useless speed and direction data. The bad speed data that began around 6 AM has been removed and for now speed and direction data has been turned off. I hope to get a chance to look into the problem outside later this afternoon but there may not be a whole lot that can be done right now.
- Sunday December 9, 2007 @23:50 : Made a temporary fix that should provide some limited wind direction data. Not sure how accurate it will be but at least it should change as the actual direction changes. Can possibly make some refinement to it after I see exactly how it is working. Suspect that one of the conductors inside the cable up to the sensor has failed. If the failure is on the tower it could be a little while before it can be repaired. I need run some additional tests.
- Sunday December 9, 2007 : On Friday noticed that wind directions seemed to be stuck at "north" but not sure if it was simply due to ice. Now on Sunday, after 48 hours of constant "north" readings indicates there is a problem with the sensor or the interface. Will try to investigate later today.
- Sunday July 8, 2007 : No relative humidity data for the past week. Finally got a chance to check it. Reset did not restore data. Since it has been a while since batteries were replaced, replaced both indoor base and outdoor sensor batteries. Data is restored.
- Saturday June 23, 2007 : Noticed a few rain counts during Thursday, Friday, and Saturday yet there was no rain since Wednesday. Found that the rain gauge funnel was clogged and had a small amount of water in it. This must have been seeping through the clog since Wednesday giving an occasional count. Let the water drain and then cleared out all of these extra counts and added them in to Wednesday data where they should have been. Rainfall shown on Wednesday June 20 may not have really been spread out as much as shown, but the actual amount should be pretty accurate.
- Thursday June 7, 2007 : Late Wednesday evening I got back to looking at the wind/rain interface computer again and decided to start from scratch with (another) close visual inspection of the main processor board. I had already found a broken connection during a brief look about a week earlier. I also re-seated all of the chips. It did the trick. About 1 AM it came back to life. So as of 1:30 AM everything is back to normal. Unfortunately during the outage period we had 2 major rain storms and no data was recorded. I do have some estimates which I will merge in with the data so that at least the monthly and yearly rain totals will be a little better than if I do nothing. In total, just a few hours short of 3 weeks (21 days) of data was lost. Fortunately there was no rain during the first 10 days of this period and only 3 periods of rain during the other 10. This is the first time in the almost 7 years that I have been recording weather data that there was a failure of this length. I have plans for some changes that should reduce the chances of something like this happening again, but this is basically just a hobby, so no guarantees. I am not NOAA :)
- Tuesday June 5, 2007 : Late in the evening I finally got some time to take a closer look at the wind/rain interface computer. I was able to determine that the microprocessor was "trying" to run, that is, generally the signals on the board looked reasonable, but something was not quite right since upon power-on it seemed to just enter a fairly tight loop, and just hangs. After a good 3-4 hours I had to give up for the night, but it looks hopeful.
- Friday June 1, 2007 : Late in the evening, actually about 1 AM Friday, I had a chance to open up the relative humidity box to check it out further. Appears that corrosion (?) had caused the power connection to the camera that "reads" the humidity gauge to become intermittent. After considerable "jiggling" and connect/disconnect cycles of the connector, and a few false starts, I was able to achieve a reliable power connection which restored the humidity data.
- Monday May 21, 2007 : I noticed that the relative humidity data had been out most of the day. The data loss was due to a very poor image quality from the camera that reads the sensor. I cycled power (which often corrects odd problems) and the image would return briefly and then become a garbled. Something is not right but I don't have have time to look into it any further right now. It has to be either the actual camera or the power supply. My guess is the power supply, or power related.
- Thursday May 17, 2007 : About 8 AM there was some kind of power glitch were I suspect power failed for a few seconds. The UPS kept the main servers and the weather station data collection computer going but it was discovered later that evening that the wind/rain sensor interface (not on UPS) had not been running since about 8 AM. This interface computer is actually a pre-historic (pre-PC era) homemade 6800 microprocessor that was put back in service in 2000 to be the interface between the wind and rain sensors and that data collection PC. This thing originally dates to back in the late 1970's and has been doing it's job quite well. After a quick investigation and several reset attempts it did not appear to be coming back anytime soon, at least not until I had time to dig into it's four wire-wrapped circuit boards. Unfortunately it was going to have to wait..
- Saturday March 17, 2007 : About 7 PM Friday evening I added a crude prototype of a heater for the rain gauge. Initial indications through the evening of March 16 during a major sleet/ice storm, it seemed to work nicely. It still needs some fine tuning and to be made more permanent but the basic idea seems to work. There may not be too many more chances to test it this season. Hopefully it will be in it's final form and full operation for next winter.
- Wednesday March 15, 2007 : Replaced the battery in the temperature/barometer sensor. It had been issuing "LOW BATTERY" warnings for the past 2 days.
- Sunday March 11, 2007 : The new magnetic reed switch for the rain gauge arrived on Friday however, I was not able to install it until today. As of about 5 PM the rain gauge is back to being fully operational. Also, the switch to DST caused some minor data timestamp problems. The major ones were fixed. Hopefully the few that may remain will not cause any problems and correct themself on April 1.
- Monday March 5, 2007 : Contacted Davis Instruments (manufacturer of the rain gauge) and they are going to send me a new magnetic reed switch -- free of charge! These switches are not expensive. A new one that should have worked purchased through an alternate supplier would have cost $1.25 plus about $8-10.00 of handling and shipping charges.. but free is better :-)
- Saturday March 3, 2007 : Was able to investigate the rain gauge problem in more detail. Discovered that the magnetic reed switch that is activated when the collection bucket tips has failed. A backup manual rain gauge was mounted and will be used to do manual updates following rain. The amounts should be good but the time of the rainfall will be off. Meanwhile I will be looking for means to repair or replace the rain gauge.
- Wednesday 28, 2007 : As of about 1 AM Monday the rain gauge has been stuck. At first I thought it was just frozen but 2 days of above-freezing weather has not clear it. Wednesday 6:30 PM I remove the funnel and the tip bucket appears to be free but it is still registering continuous rainfall tip counts. Must be a short in the line. Probably will not get a chance to look at it further until the weekend. In the mean time it has been dry and I am manually clearing out the rain counts so the graph looks correct.
- Friday February 9, 2007 : Ice in the rain gauge from snow earlier in the week and on Wednesday started to melt on Thursday 2/8 and caused the tip bucket to get stuck. Climbed up to free it Friday morning. At times during Thursday until Friday morning there may have been some strange rainfall numbers displayed. The bad data has been removed. There was still a small piece of ice in the bottom of the funnel that will get recorded when it finally melts.. someday.. maybe this weekend.
Through the winter, rainfall that is displayed may be from snow/ice that fell several days earlier.. which finally melted.
- Sunday January 21, 2007 : Discovered around 8 PM that wind data had not been updating since 10:40 PM Saturday. Weather logging box was in a strange state. May have something to do with the uptime counter rolling over. Killing and restarting the sampling programs seems to have solved the problem. Roughly 24 hours of wind and rain data was lost, however there was no rain during this period and winds were light.
- Monday November 27, 2006 : Relative humidity readings dropped out back on November 22. Reset did not fix problem. Replaced battery in base unit evening of November 24th. Seems to be OK now.
- Friday October 27, 2006 : Noticed during the day that the wind direction reading did not look right. Seemed too steady from
the north since north = 0 volts from the sensor. Detailed data showed readings jumping between north and NNE at an odd rate. Later in the evening confirmed that the wind direction signal only has noise on it being picked up from the wind speed pulses wire inside the same cable. Nothing appears to be wrong inside. Hopefully Sunday I may get a chance to check outside. Meanwhile since probably sometime Wednesday Oct 25 afternoon the wind direction data is bad. Wind speed seems be OK.
- Sunday October 22, 2006 : Suspicious that rainfall on Friday had not been counted, checked the rain gauge and found it about 1/2 full of water and clogged with leaves. Estimated it had about 0.5 inches of uncounted rain. Adjusted data for Friday to include the missing counts.
- Thursday July 27, 2006 : Just before 1 PM temperature data dropped out and the sensor started returning a steady reading of 31 degrees. This was discovered around 7:30 PM. The outdoor sensor was missing! The sensors consists of a small plastic capsule on the end of small 2 conductor wire. Over the years I had noticed that this capsule would get bent relative to the wire. No idea why. Apparently this bending caused the wire to finally break. A spare sensor was installed and all is well again. The 6 hours of missing data will be approximated when I get time.. probably this weekend.
- Monday June 26, 2006 : 7 PM - Rain gauge was clogged. There was a dead beetle in the bottom of the funnel making a perfect plug for the drain hole. The funnel was full of water. I let the funnel drain slowly so all of the water was counted. This resulted in about 1.6 inch rain spike at 7 PM. No way to really be sure how much rain really fell but probably was well over 2 inches. As time permits, I may "spread out" this 1.6 inches to more accurately reflect it falling over a longer period. Any new rain should be counted now.
- Sunday June 25, 2006 : Rain gauge is not recording properly. Most likely due to debris in the funnel. Hope to get a look at it by Monday afternoon.
- Sunday April 30, 2006 : Discovered about noon Sunday that the humidity readings went out again shortly after reseting the base unit Saturday evening. Replaced the batteries in the outdoor unit. No difference. Replaced the batteries in the base unit and readings returned. Batteries were last replaced in Sept 2005.
- Saturday April 29, 2006 : Humidity readings from the remote went out about noon Friday April 28. Unit was reset that evening but readings did not return. Reset again Saturday evening and readings
returned. Will be keeping an eye on it. It may be ready for new batteries.
- Monday March 20, 2006 : Re-calibrated barometer about 8 PM. Was reading about 0.03 low.
- Monday March 13, 2006 : Noticed some weirdness with wind direction readings. Probably started sometime Saturday or Sunday. Re-seated some chips and boards in the wind sensor interface around 10 PM and readings started looking normal again.
- Saturday March 4, 2006 : Power failed from 01:40:01 to 01:41:17 however for some reason the wind/rain sensor interface failed to come back up properly so there was no wind/rain data until the problem was discovered around 12:30 PM and corrected by 12:40 PM. Also loss of wind data overnight of March 2 - March 3 due to ice.
- January 15, : 2006 : Very strong winds. Found indications that winds very likely exceeded the 63 MPH limit imposed by the sensor interface. The interface uses a counter which will overflow (wrap around like an odometer hitting 9999 and 0000) when the wind exceeds 63 MPH. I found a sequence of readings 52 55 6 5 58 1 29 which strongly imply that the 6 5 and 1 readings were actually wrap around of actual 69, 68 and 64 MPH winds. The reported readings were adjusted to reflect this.
- November 16, 2005 : It is strongly suspected that during rain in the evening of November 16, the relative humidity sensor got wet. It is very likely that the humidity did rise as shown however, it caused the constant high humidity reading through the night until the sensor dried out.
- November 3, 2005 : Discovered early the previous day that humidity was not updating. Forgot to check it that evening. Reset the base unit Thursday morning. Appears to be OK.
- October 13, 2005 : Discovered about 8:30 AM that the wind/rain interface seems to have failed again about 20 minutes after it was reset the prior evening. Reset it again and it came back up. As of 11 AM it seems to still be running OK. Result was no wind/rain data from roughly 8:00 PM 10/12 to 9:00 AM 10/13. I have been planning on building a new interface for a while now. Recent events will probably speed up that activity..
- October 12, 2005 : Brief power failure around 9:30 AM. The wind/rain sensor interface did not come back up so there is no wind/rain data updates since then. Will remain out until I get home about 6 PM. UPDATED 7:25 PM : Wind/rain interface is back up. Data now updating. A board had to be re-seated.
- October 9, 2005 : Re-calibrated the barometer @ 8:00 PM. It was reading about 0.05" higher than all of the local NWS sites. Shows up as little .05 step in the barometer line on the graph.
- September 27, 2005 : Discovered about 10 PM that relative humidity readings had dropped out. This seems to happen from time to time and sometimes it will come back by itself. Decided to wait and see what happens over night. Wednesday morning (Sept 28) discovered that readings did not return and readings were missing from both remote sensors. Replaced batteries in the base unit about 8 AM and seems to be OK now. Battery was last replaced 7 months ago.
- August 15, 2005 : Thunderstorms came through just before midnight 8/14. Several close lightning hits and power went off at least 3 times over 10 minute period. Looks like when power returned after the first failure, wind and rain data was bad. Later confirmed there was a problem and replaced 2 chips on the interface board for rainfall counts and wind speed counts. The wind direction A/D chip is running very hot but seems to be working. Plan to investigate further. Looks like one of the close lightning hits was picked up by the sensor wiring. As of 1 AM 8/15 data appears to be OK. Total rainfall reading for the thunderstorm is probably a little low.
- June 5, 2005 : Rainfall June 3 and 4th but once again the rain gauge became clogged with tree debris and the total rainfall was reasonably accurate but the time and rate of rainfall had to be estimated.
- April 4, 2005 : Noticed that relative humidity line was flat at 59% from about 6 AM to 7 PM. Sensor was not updating. Reset base unit about 7:50 PM. OK now.
- April 4, 2005 : There was heavy rainfall on Saturday April 2. It is strongly suspected that sometime before or during Saturday, the rain gauge funnel became clogged with debris. This caused lower than actual rainfall readings on Saturday and for the funnel to fill up with water, and possibly overflowed. The most of the rainfall shown for Sunday and all for Monday April 3-4 is from the accumulated water in the funnel slowly seeping through the blockage and being actually counted late. Total rainfall shown of approximately 2.5 inches is probably close, but could be a little on the low side.
Update at 7:40 PM : Confirmed that the rain gauge was indeed clogged with tree bud debris. I allowed it to empty slowly to count the remaining water in the funnel. Since there was no rain today, I took the total for today of 0.74 inches and added it back into the Saturday data. The actual rate of rainfall shown for Saturday might be off a little but the total for the event should be pretty close.
- March 16, 2005 : When I changed the wind speed back to the old way on March 8, a bug was introduced which caused all wind speeds to be reported as 1/2 of their actual value. This has been corrected and all data from March 8 now shows the correct wind speed.
- March 8, 2005 : Discovered that the change made on Feb 18 in the way wind speed is measured is causing the maximum wind speed to be limited to 31 MPH. All of the wind gusts at 31 MPH during the day were actually higher. Changed it back to the old way about 10:30 PM.
- March 8, 2005 : Rainfall shown on Feb 25 is from snow on the previous day. Rainfall on March 8 is from a mix of rain and snow.
- February 22, 2005 : Minor glitch with the humidity sensor in the late evening. Replaced indoor and outdoor sensor batteries in the process but that did not appear to be the problem. Interference to the wireless sensors on 443 MHz from the 442 MHz repeater is suspect. Will require more investigation.
- February 18, 2005 : Change made to the way wind speed data is processes for gust readings. Gusts are now measured over a 4 1/2 second period instead of a 2 1/4 second period. This may result in generally lower gust readings, but in some cases they could still be as high or higher. Hard to really be sure. Hoping to change so that I can measure then both ways and see what the difference actually is, and then pick one.
- February 5, 2005 : Wind direction is OK again. Most likely something on the tower was obstructing the wind vane.
- February 3, 2005 : Looks like wind direction is out again. Most likely the same outside cable splice that keeps getting water inside. I hope to confirm tonight and repair over the weekend - if necessary.
- January 25, 2005 : Adjusted precipitation amount for Jan 22 to indicate the 10 inches of snow that fell. using the standard 10:1 snow to rain ratio. The rain gauge is still frozen and will remain disconnected until it thaws and empties. For the next few days any additional snowfall will be entered manually.
- January 23, 2005 : About 10 inches of snow fell on Jan 22. Snow in the rain gauge started to melt this afternoon but then later froze, causing continuous rain counts. Rain gauge was disconnected about 9 PM and extra rain counts deleted.
- January 20, 2005 : Precipitation shown around noon today is from about 1 inch of snow yesterday melting.
- January 15, 2005 : Problem with the wind speed sensor was identified and fixed about 2 PM. The problem was a loose piece of rope supporting Christmas lights on the tower became wrapped around the wind sensors [Oops!]. There appears to still be an unrelated problem with the wind/rain interface which is causing occasional bad readings. This will be worked on throughout Saturday afternoon and evening.
- January 14, 2005 : Starting about 5 AM wind speed readings are acting strange. They totally dropped out for a while then came back about 7 AM but were snowing intermittent drop outs all day long. The wind data collection program got totally confused about 4 PM and stopped collecting data. Reset it about 7 PM and showing zero wind speed. Under investigation.
- January 11, 2005 : Reset the wind/rain interface at 8 PM and it came back up. Some rainfall data during the day as been lost.
- January 11, 2005 : Wind data stopped updating about 9:30 AM. The sensor interface seems to have crashed. This also effects rain data.
- January 1, 2005 : Wind direction seems to be working OK now.
- December 31, 2004 : Thanks to the warm weather today (high of 52), I was able to get up on the tower to check out a connection that was suspect to be causing the current set of wind direction problems. The connection definitely was not in perfect condition, so all 4 wires were re-spliced. Data seems to look better but too early to tell for sure. Will be keeping a close eye on it over the next few days.
- December 21, 2004 : Was able to get the wind/rain interface going however wind direction is not being measured properly. The most error seems to be for directions from S, SW, W, and NW with the recorded values shifted more towards south. Symptoms are somewhat similar to in the past when water got into one of the outdoor cable connectors, however, all of these problem connectors were eliminated a year ago. Will be investigating the problem, however doubtful that anything can be done until after Christmas.
- December 20, 2004 : Had been noticing that wind direction readings had seemed a bit off lately. Was able to confirm that there is indeed a problem that appears to be with the sensor interface. While investigating the problem, the interface appears to have failed completely. This causes a loss of all wind speed & direction data as well as rainfall data. Will investigate into it further this evening.
- September 25, 2004 : Near 10 AM humidity readings went out. This seems to happen at times when the base unit looses contact with the remote unit. Reset the base unit about 1 PM and readings returned. Was able to interpolate the missing data.
- September 17, 2004 : Have been suspicious of low rainfall readings over the past week or two. Found that the rain gauge funnel was clogged with "an unknown substance". This is the third time that unidentifiable stuff was found in the funnel. It is clear for now.
- September 15, 2004 : Relative Humidity base unit locked up about 6 AM Monday (9/13). Was not discovered until late on Tuesday (9/14). Was reset 8 AM Wednesday (9/15).
- September 12, 2004 : Wind speed is working again. Not sure why. The temperature/barometer sensor started reporting "low battery". Replaced
- September 4, 2004 : Wind speed has been dropping out at times for the past day or so. Seems to be getting worse. Under
- August 19, 2004 : Wind direction is fixed. Problem was a bad A/D chip in the interface circuit. Possible that it could have been caused by a nearby lightning strike, but no way to know for sure. All wind direction data from late-July to 7 PM today is bad. It is hard to be sure exactly when the data started going bad.
- August 14, 2004 : Additional investigation of the wind direction problem points towards the computer interface for the direction sensor. A crude correction factor has been applied to the raw data to try to get the readings a little closer to reality while investigations continue. Error is the worst on the west side of south around to the north.
- August 2, 2004 : Something is wrong with wind direction readings. The azimuth reading appears to be about 1/2 of what it should be. Preliminary investigations revealed no obvious problem inside. Probably won't get a chance to look at it further on the tower until the weekend. Hope to also get a chance to fix the tower Web cam.
- August 1, 2004 : Relative humidity readings went out about noon. Discovered at 7 PM. Replaced the battery in the base unit and seems to be OK now.
- April 28, 2004 : Relative humidity readings were out for about 11 hours from roughly 8 AM to 7 PM. The tower camera will continue to be out for at least another 2-3 weeks.
- April 6, 2004 : Finally fixed a long outstanding bug in the graph generation program which messed up the x-axis date labels when switching from EST to EDT. It would skip the date of the change. Now the graph is labeled correctly.
- April 4, 2004 : The tower camera will most likely be out of service for the next several days, probably until next weekend.
- April 3, 2004 : Finally got to climb the tower to investigate the tilted camera. I think I fixed it but in the process it looks like an intermittent power cable was disturbed and now the camera is not working. I hope to get back up there tomorrow and repair the connection.
- March 18, 2004 : Finally getting some melting and wind speed and direction are now working again as of 9:30 AM. The tower camera has also completely cleared up. Precipitation shown for Wednesday and Thursday March 17-18 is from melting of about 1 inch of snow/sleet on Tuesday March 16.
- March 16, 2004 : Wet snow and sleet today. Wind speed and direction sensors appear to have iced up about 6 PM. Also some ice/snow on the camera lens.
- March 7, 2004 : Problem with the outdoor relative humidity sensor starting about midnight Saturday. Corrected about 2 PM Sunday.
- February 16, 2004 : Tower camera went out again about 7 PM yesterday. The problem appears to be somewhere outside. It could be a while before I can investigate, but it also could come back by itself like it has done before. Once again, about 2 PM today the camera seems to have returned on it's own.
- February 8, 2004 : Replaced a run of cable from the wind sensors with a single run of new cable. This eliminated several troublesome connectors and provides a more permanent fix to some temporary repairs that had been made over the past few months. Hopefully this should hold things for a while. Wind data is back online as of about 5:40 PM.
- February 7, 2004 : Problems with wind speed and direction beginning last night. Sensors taken offline 4 PM Saturday.
- February 4, 2004 : Tower camera came back online by itself about 6 AM. No idea why.
- February 3, 2004 : Tower camera is out again. This time it may be out for good. Under investigation.
- February 1, 2004 : Rainfall shown is from some melting from various snow/sleet during the past 2 weeks.
- January 21, 2004 : Added 3 new history graphs for Heat Index, Wind Chill Index, and Temperature & Barometer.
- January 21, 2004 : The tower camera has been OK for the past few days but not convinced that it is 100% stable. Problem might be temperature related. Still under investigation.
- January 14, 2004 : Added Minimum Wind Chill Index to the weather summary data. This is the lowest wind chill index during the maximum wind gust. It is possible that this lowest wind chill index may not occur at the time of lowest temperature or maximum wind gust. This function complements the Maximum Heat Index that was added this past summer.
- January 13, 2004 : The tower webcam has been acting strange today. The problem was first observed back on December 9 and appeared to be power supply related. Now the problem is back. The picture tends to drop out or change to strange colors. Will look into it first chance I get. If the problem is the actual camera, then not much can be done about it until we get some warmer weather.
- January 11, 2004 : The graph shows some periods during January 9-11 that may suggest that the relative humidity data was not updating. Data was being reported and updated, however it appears that the RH sensor may not have been responding to actual changes in humidity -- possibly due to the extreme cold weather during this period.
- January 6, 2004 : Found indication of a bad section of wire leading to the wind sensor. Replaced a small section of it and wind readings now look good again. All wind direction data from early December 2003 to January 6, 2004 is suspect. Some segments are definitely bad.
December 30, 2003 : Seeing intermittent humidity data dropouts over the past week. Replaced the batteries in both the remote and base units. Hope that fixes it for a while. Wind direction has been out all week. I hope to get a chance to look at it in detail on Thursday.
- December 18, 2003 : There was another drop out of wind direction data from about noon Dec 16 to 6 AM Dec 17. Not sure what is causing this. I hope it is a simple cable/connector problem and not the actual wind sensor. Until it fails for an extended period of time it may be difficult to locate the problem. Will be keeping an eye on it.
- December 9, 2003 : 3:15 PM - Picture on tower camera has gone out. UPDATED 8:27 PM - Appears to be power supply problem. Camera is back on.
- December 8, 2003 : Wind direction mysteriously came back on it's own Sunday morning. Rainfall shown for December 7-9 is from 5-6 inches of snow on December 5-6.
- December 5, 2003 : Relative Humidity went out again about 8:40 AM. No image from the camera. Cycled power to camera at 6:15 PM and image returned.
- December 4, 2003 : For the second time in about a week I am seeing steady reading of NORTH for wind direction. First time was during a period of low winds and was somewhat believable. This second time it went to steady NORTH during moderate winds. A reading of NORTH corresponds to 0 volts from the wind sensor. This looks like there is a problem somewhere. Hopefully is is just a bad connection somewhere and not the actual sensor. I will be investigating further.. but probably not until the weekend.
- November 29, 2003 : Modified the Weather History page so now start and end dates are used instead of a start date and number of days.
- November 20, 2003 : Rain gauge fixed. A connector got wet and a contact corroded off causing loss of signal.
- November 20, 2003 : Found bad connection to rain gauge. Suspect that this has been a problem since sometime between November 8 and 12. Hope to have it repaired later today (hope it fixes the problem). Rainfall data for November 19 and 20 was approximated.
- November 19, 2003 : Rain gauge is not registering.
- November 7, 2003 : Replaced battery in temperature/barometer sensor at 6:25 PM. Caused slight jump in barometer readings.
- October 24, 2003 : Relativity humidity data was not updating from about 1 PM October 23 until 7 AM October 24. This is an ongoing problem where the video data just drops out then returns later. Possibly a loose connection somewhere but I can't find it.
- September 18, 2003 : Peak wind gust of 43 MPH from hurricane Isabel at around 8:20 PM, moved the webcam rotor system on the tower slightly off from vertical causing the picture to be slightly tilted. Should be an easy matter to reposition it.
- August 25, 2003 : Humidity data back about 9 PM. Not sure what the problem was. Started to work while I was checking it. Guess it just wanted attention and could go out again.
- August 23, 2003 : Humidity readings went out about 9 PM. Under investigation.
- June 12, 2003 : Found water inside on of the connectors in the wind direction/speed cable. A repeat of what happened back in November 2000. Bypassed the connector and wind direction is now reading correctly again.
- June 11, 2003 : For the past 2 weeks noticing that wind direction seemed to be more consistent from the SE - SSE than would be expected. Confirmed that there is a problem with the wind direction sensor. Suspect that water from all of the recent rains has gotten into a connector. Similar problem was observed back in November 2000. Looking into making repairs but it may take a few days. Looking back at the data, it appears that the data started going bad sometime about May 20-23.
- April 24, 2003 : For the past week seeing occasional relative humidity mis-reads which are reported as a very low (less than 10%) reading. Added some code to the humidity data collection program to try to capture additional information when this happens to hopefully find the cause so it can be fixed. Also still looking at the occasional wind speed dropout problem. It seems to come and go at irregular intervals.
- April 8, 2003 : Wind speed was not reading from about 2000 04/07 until about 1500 04/08.
- March 7, 2003 : Wind speed and direction are operational again. Rainfall shown for March 7 is from melted sleet/snow/freezing rain of March 6.
- March 6, 2003 : Freezing rain starting late morning has frozen the wind sensors.
- February 20, 2003 : Rainfall shown for Feb 18-20 is from melting of Apr ox 16-18 of snow on Feb 16-17. The amount shown is double what was actually measured since the rain gauge missed a good bit. Totals shown for the 3 days are a reasonable estimate. The actual amount was probably a bit higher.
- February 16, 2003 : 9 AM Tower camera tilted down to protect from snow. Expecting 12-16 inches today. Web page image changed to the front yard camera.
- February 7-9, 2003 : Rainfall shown for February 7-9 is from 7 inches of snow overnight Feb 6-7.
- January 30, 2003 : Rainfall shown for January 30 is from about 2 inches of snow on January 29.
- January 29, 2003 : Replaced battery in the barometer/temperature sensor. Caused about 0.08 inch jump in pressure readings. Pressure readings tend to be lower as the battery gets weaker. The sensor was just beginning to issue LOW BATTERY warnings 2 days ago. Battery typically lasts 6-8 months.
- January 10-29, 2003 : Been having intermittent problems with the weather data collection computer. It has been crashing and doing other strange things for the past few weeks. Finally swapped out the PC with another one on Jan 26. Still seeing some intermittent unexplainable events, but will continue to let it run for now. Hopefully something conclusive will eventually turn up. Because of this, there may be intermittent periods of lost data until the problem is identified and fixed.
- January 16-17, 2003 : About 1 inch of snow overnight. With the expected continued cold weather, it could be a few days before it melts and is registered in the rain gauge.
- January 8, 2003 : Rainfall shown for January 6-8 is from melting of about 2.5 inches of snow on January 5 and another inch on January 6.
- January 4, 2003 : Suspect that wind direction froze up from shortly before midnight to 6 AM. Perfectly steady wind direction reading for 6 hours. Conditions were right for it.
- December 30, 2002 : Lost relative humidity data again. Moved the indoor RH receiver to a new location just below the window containing the outdoor sensor. The receiver is now less than 3 feet from the transmitter. This better work. So far so good.
- December 29, 2002 : Rainfall shown for December 26-29 is from melting from snow/sleet on December 25. Total snowfall was about 1.5 inches.
- December 14, 2002 : Have been seeing intermittent dropouts of humidity data. Replaced receiver battery. See if that helps.
- December 11, 2002 : Freezing rain caused about 3 hour wind speed data drop out. Also blocked the rain gauge causing excessively high counts with it started to melt. Bad data was removed. Results shown should be reasonably close to reality.
- December 6, 2002 : 10:00 AM : tower camera returned to normal. Rainfall shown for today is the melting of 9 inches of snow yesterday. It will probably continue into Saturday.
- December 5, 2002 : Snow began falling around 5 AM. Tower camera lens is covered with snow about 5:50 so video feed changed to front yard camera for now. Will be returned as soon as the tower picture clears. Total of about 9 inches of snow fell through the morning and afternoon. Expected cold temperatures will probably keep snow in the rain gauge from melting for a few days.
- December 3, 2002 : Hard disk errors on the weather data collection computer about 2:15 PM caused loss of data until 6:50 PM. System recovered after a reboot, however, it looks like the hard drive is on it's way out. Attempted to replace the hard drive but could not get the system to recognize and boot from the new drive. Had to return to running with the old drive, which could fail again at any time.
- November 8, 2002 : 7:40 PM - Reset the humidity receiver. Seems to have fixed the problem.
- November 8, 2002 : Starting about 1 AM the relative humidity reading became "stuck" at 61%. Data capture is working but for some reason the readings are not changing. Will be investigated further this evening when I get home (sometime after 7 PM).
- July 15, 2002 : Minor changes to the Web page display to now include a maximum heat index for days were the temperature went to 85 or above.
- July 7, 2002 : Power failure for almost 2 hours. UPS kept things going for about 40 minutes but about an hour of data was lost after that.
- June 11, 2002 : Two brief power failures at 3:40 PM and again at 4:15 PM caused loss of RH and wind/rain data until two systems could be manually reset at 6:45 PM.
- June 8, 2002 : Seeing intermittent RH data dropouts over the past few weeks. Replaced battery in receiver fixed it. Also replaced battery in sender.
- May 14, 2002 : Problems with the computer that gathers relative humidity data starting just after 12 PM. Moved the RH hardware to another system just before midnight. About 12 hours of RH data was lost.
- April 6, 2002 : Unknown system problem caused the weather recording program to stop recording data about 11 PM. The problem was not discovered until about 8 AM the next morning. About 9 hours of data was lost.
- April 5, 2002 : Cleaned out the rain gauge. Found a long seed stuck in the funnel hole which was probably the cause of the frequent sticking of the tip bucket that had been observed over the past few weeks. Also found a suspect bad connection on the wind sensor cable that may have been the cause of some funny readings earlier in the week. No more bad readings since then.
- March 9, 2002 : Moved some things around and accidentally bumped something with the humidity sensor which caused it to stop updating around 1 PM. Problem was not discovered until about 2 AM Sunday and was quickly fixed. Roughly 12 hours of humidity data lost.
- February 22, 2002 : Experimenting with automatically moving the tower camera away from the sun during sunrise. Goal is to tilt the camera down below the horizon at 6 AM each morning and then move it back up at 9 AM. These times will need to be adjusted from time to time over the next 4 months as sunrise gets earlier and earlier. This is to prevent the sun from shining directly into the camera during sunrise.
- February 19, 2002 : Moved the tower Webcam around more to the east to prevent the camera from being aimed directly into the morning sunrise. This is damaging the camera, leaving faint 45 degree streaks in the picture. It's not that bad but will will get worse if nothing is done. Looking into a way to automatically point the camera away from the east in the early morning and then move it back later.
- January 20, 2002 : Got about 3 1/2 inches of snow yesterday. Tower camera snow melted OK about 9 AM. Camera will be pointed lower then normal today to be sure that the melted snow drains away properly. Precipitation shown on Jan 20-22 is from melting snow from Jan 19.
- January 19, 2002 : Started snowing about noon. Had planned to point the tower camera down to prevent snow covering the lens.. but waited too long. Picture turned to gray about 1 PM. Camera is now pointing at -88 degrees. As soon as the snow melts a little and falls out, the picture should return. Web page picture switched to the front yard camera which is indoors and is fine.
- January 10, 2002 : Precipitation shown is from melting melting snow/ice from the previous day(s).
- January 9, 2002 : Rain gauge is stuck at 11 AM producing continuous counts, or reading of 2.6 inches of new rain every 10 minutes. Counts are being manually cleared until it can be "un-stuck" when I get home this evening.. or it un-sticks itself.. which it did about 1 PM.
- January 8, 2002 : Precipitation shown between about 11 AM and 3 PM is melting snow/ice from the previous day.
- January 7, 2002 : Snow and freezing rain. Wind speed and direction froze about 6 PM. Wind speed returned just before midnight. Wind direction returned about 10 AM the next morning.
- January 1, 2002 : Minor software glitch caused slightly distorted wind speed readings from midnight until about 11 AM. Actual wind speeds were probably about double what is shown.
- December 24, 2001 : I think the intermittent wind speed dropout problem has been fixed. Found a bad connection. Still under investigation.
- December 12, 2001 : Added a live picture from the tower mounted camera to the main Web page.
- October, 2001 : For the past few weeks there have been several instances were the wind speed stopped reading. It looks like the magnetic switch in the sensor might be sticking closed. This causes no wind pulses to be produced for various lengths of time. Under investigation.
- September 30, 2001 : Relative Humidity (and calculated dew point) data was added.
- August 12, 2001 : For unknown reasons, the wind speed was reading continuous ZERO from 5:00 AM until just before noon. Looks suspicious.
- July 29, 2001 : Computer problems just after midnight caused loss of all data from 12 AM to 4:20 AM and then loss of wind and rain data only from 4:20 AM until just before noon. System ran out of memory for unknown reasons.
- June 19, 2001 : Wind direction problem corrected 11 PM. Interface computer problem.
- June 17, 2001 : Starting about midnight, wind direction reading continuous 360 degrees. Suspect that water from recent heavy rains may have gotten into the cable.
- April 25-26, 2001 : Wind direction may be having a problem. Data looks strange from about 5 PM 4/25 until 7 AM 4/26. Could be a bad connection. Will keep an eye on it.
- March 8, 2001 : Rainfall shown on March 7-8 is from melting snow on March 4-6.
- March 6, 2001 : Light morning snow. Rain gauge appears to be stuck. Producing continuous "counts". Probably due to ice.
- March 5, 2001 : As expected, wind speed sensor froze again about 3 AM. Was able to free it from the ground around 9 AM.
- March 4, 2001 : Winter storm. Late afternoon sleet caused the wind speed sensor to freeze around 6 PM. Was able to free the wind speed sensor from the ground about 9 PM. Still getting sleet and freezing rain so it may freeze up again overnight.
- February 23, 2001 : Rainfall indicated is from melting snow from 7 inch snowfall on February 22.
- February 22, 2001 : Weather computer (pete3) crashed about 1:00 PM. Was reset around 7:45 PM. Almost 6 hours of data was lost.
- February 13, 2001 : Overnight sleet and freezing rain produced a sudden count of 22/100 inch of rain at 8:10 AM. Suspect that the rain gauge got stuck again. Count was manually set to 1.
- February 5-6, 2001 : Winter storm starting early hours of Feb 05. Started as rain 4-10 AM, changing to sleet then snow about 10 AM at which time the wind speed indicator froze. Wind speed resumed about 9 AM Feb 06. Rainfall counts on Feb 06 are from melting snow. About 11" total snow.
- February 3-4, 2001 : Unknown failure caused loss of wind data from about 8 PM Feb 03 to about 10 AM Feb 04. This is second time where it just stopped updating the wind data and then resumed for no apparent reason.
- January 20-21-22, 2001 : Sleet and freezing rain starting 6 PM Jan 20 caused the wind sensors to freeze up. Wind speed resumed about 12:30 PM Jan 21. Wind direction resumed about 11 AM Jan 22. Rainfall shown on Jan 21-22 is from the melting snow/ice on Jan 20-21.
- January 2, 2001 : Moved the wind/rain data collection program from pete to pete3. Now all weather data collection is done on one computer.
- December 31, 2000 : Rainfall shown is from melting snow from snowfall of 5-7 inches on December 30.
- December 20-24, 2000 : Rainfall shown is from melting snow from snowfall of about 1-2 inches on December 19.
- Monday December 18, 2000 : Hard disk problem on pete3 caused loss of data from about 1500-1900 EST.
- Thursday December 14, 2000 : Determined that the battery in the barometer sensor was weak and was causing the low pressure readings. Battery was replaced. Readings are now normal. The large spike in pressure at 10 PM was when the battery was replaced.
- Thursday December 14, 2000 : Ice storm between about 2-7 AM caused some strange wind readings. Suspect that the wind speed indicator may have been frozen between about 3-6 AM. Also, NWS reported much more precipitation than was measured, so there may have been ice problems with the rain gauge too.
- Sunday December 10-13, 2000 : Barometer readings appear to be from 0.5 to 1.0 inches low. Under Investigation.
- Sunday November 19, 2000 : Found another connector that water had gotten into. Replaced the plugs and connector. Wind direction is now fully operational again.
- Saturday November 18, 2000 : Confirmed that there definitely is a problem with the wind direction. Found water inside one of three cable connectors. Replaced the connector. Readings look a little better but still not right.
- Thursday November 16, 2000 : Beginning to suspect that something is not right with the wind direction readings. For the past few days, the sensor is positioned showing wind from the W-NW yet is returning a reading of SSE.
- Sunday November 4, 2000 : Wind sensors were raised on the tower from the 30 foot level to the 65 foot level. Sensor is now above all trees within 100+ foot radius.
- Sunday October 22, 2000 : New rain gauge installed at 10 foot level on the tower. New wind sensor installed at 30 foot level. Live data recording of wind and rain data begins about 2200 EDT.
- Friday January 28, 2000 : Begin recording of temperature and pressure data.
Sun Jul 31 22:42:03 EDT 2016