Monday, January 7, 2013

The Weather

If you read this blog directly on the web (and not using an RSS reader), then a few days after Christmas, you might have noticed a new weather report on the left hand side of the page. If you do use an RSS reader, here it is:

This is the result of one of the coolest Christmas presents I received this year (and I received a lot of very cool presents -- thank you!): the Ambient Weather WS-2080 Wireless Home Weather Station. It is super awesome, because you can see the weather history at our house, not just the general Seattle area. I was careful to mount it on the roof, so the wind speed and direction should be accurate (though I worry that being only a foot or two off the roof will artificially inflate the temperature during the summer). We also get this awesome set of graphs:

All of this is available because I hooked the station receiver up to my computer and downloaded some software which is configured to send the data to and to Both of these show the same data, in slightly different ways. The rainfall rate is particularly neat; there's a self-dumping rain guage which allows the graphs to show how heavily it's raining, and to compute hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and annual rainfall totals. And the software keeps track of records of all types, including longest dry streak and longest west streak.

As an aside, if you read a lot of blogs and aren't using an RSS reader: well, you should. The one I personally use is Google Reader. Just click the red subscribe button and punch in the URL of the blog you'd like to follow, and it will keep track of any new unread posts. Very useful if you read a bunch of blogs on a daily basis which don't always have new content -- you can go to one place and see all the new stuff that people have posted.

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