WeatherFlow Tempest Weather Station

Jun 19, 2005
877
130
6
New Mexico
I bought this some months ago from indiegogo (basically a Kickstarter). It just arrived today. So far easy setup and it's a simple one unit. Until I get it mounted to a more permanent pole, I have it attached to a tripod (it's also provided a 4/20 bolt mount/typical tripod mount). This may be a way for storm chasers to monitor local conditions, while parked in the field. Overall, seems to working well except for some spurious lightning detection. I got it because of the sonic anemometer, and thus no moving parts.
 

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Reactions: Jeff Duda
Jun 19, 2005
877
130
6
New Mexico
Unfortunately, they haven't provided lots of details about their error bars... I have another station running to compare. I haven't gone full met nerd, so I don't have any scientific grade stuff to compare though. Maybe I can bring it to work though...

This is the mount for the tripod. The other provided is a 1" pole mount.
 

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Jun 19, 2005
877
130
6
New Mexico
Yep, it's your standard bolt holes for a tripod.

Here is where the data is being published.

Ignore any data before about 7pm yesterday, I moved it around a few times. I also figured out what was making the lightning strikes give false positives, it was a bug zapper we had running.

The site has a clear fetch for wind to the west, but I may have some issues with solar radiation, I believe a tree will throw a shadow over it. A problem with having trees on your property...
 
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Reactions: Jeff Duda
Jun 19, 2005
877
130
6
New Mexico
Robert - what's your update after a few months of use?
It's been working great. What I thought were false positives for lightning actually weren't. It's just is very sensitive to any charges developed by very small storms. The rain gauge may be off for short brief storms, but it seemed to nail the amount on a day with a steady rain. Overall my favorite part is the sonic anemometer, so no moving parts.
 
Jun 19, 2005
877
130
6
New Mexico
Great - any thoughts on the accuracy of the sensors?
As far as I can tell, I don't have any calibration laboratory available, it is as good or better than any personal (non scientific grade) weather station. There hasn't been anything way off and noticable. The only exception might be the rain gauge.
 

Jeff Duda

EF6+, PhD
Staff member
Supporter
Oct 7, 2008
3,403
2,267
21
Broomfield, CO
www.meteor.iastate.edu
I noticed a lot of WeatherFlow branded weather stations were providing observations in the hurricane landfalls along the US coast this season. Seems they have become popular enough to start filling data gaps in the surface network. I think that speaks as much to their quality as anything else. (could also be the price, though, but apparently they're still as good as more expensive units.)
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
7,309
872
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50
Lansing, MI
skywatch.org
Thanks. How does it record winds? Instant? Averaging? That's my biggest need and typically find that's where this price point often fails :) I was looking at the STORM and it averaged winds over 30 seconds which is a hard no.
 

GPhillips

EF4
Jul 8, 2004
316
49
11
Topeka KS
Thanks. How does it record winds? Instant? Averaging? That's my biggest need and typically find that's where this price point often fails :) I was looking at the STORM and it averaged winds over 30 seconds which is a hard no.
rdale

This is from their FAQ, Technical Questions section

"Good question! Our proprietary sonic anemometer actually samples wind every 1sec, then reports the 3sec average to the hub. The hub makes the 3sec data immediately available to the app, via UDP multicast, and via BLE spec. The hub then calculates a 1min average (+ lull & gust) and publishes that data to our servers in the cloud. This scheme allow us to sense and report detailed nuances in the wind field. We have been evaluating user-configured update intervals — but it’s not available in our software yet. "

I saw someone complaining about some funky winds when it's raining, but don't know if that's a characteristic of the system, or just an observation by one person in his experience.
 

Lou Ruh

EF2
May 17, 2007
196
48
11
SE PA
I saw someone complaining about some funky winds when it's raining, but don't know if that's a characteristic of the system, or just an observation by one person in his experience.
I have my Tempest up and running in SE PA in a somewhat sheltered location (way too many trees in my neighborhood for good wind readings). I had not seen the "funky winds" until yesterday when RH was high and accompanied with heavy rain ... my winds were, at times, exceeding 50mph ... and the aforementioned trees were barely moving. I went out wiped everything down and things returned to normal. The unit definitely has some quirks/limitations.