mobile mesonet questions

I am very new at this and I have a few questions. How do you build a mobile mesonet? I have been looking at all of the other websites that you have here but I am still not sure about it. What kind of weather station do you buy? I noticed that jketcham got a WM918 Wx Station. Is this a good one to buy. Also what do you do with all of the wires? I looked at some of the wireless weather stations but they were very expensive. I have a Dodge Grand caravan. (year 2002, I think) Also, what are all of the supplies that you need? Thanks for your help! :oops: :?:
 
Do a search on "mobile mesonet"

Simply search for mobile mesonet.

Davis Weather Instruments seem to be a favorite for most people. It's reliable, easily converted and reasonably priced for different systems.

The same goes for Oregon Scientific Instruments. They are somewhat lower in price, but I haven't heard much bad about them. Just a little different in how the data comes through.

At the upper end of the spectrum are the RM Young Scientific INstruments. These are the types that NOAA used on their MM and we see on the Oklahoma Mesonet Stations dotting the landscape. Very accurate, and very, very expensive.

Another company comes to mind is PEET Bros. They seem to have an actracively priced weather station, but I don't know anything about them. There's another company out there that does some custom stuff and is at the higher end of the "consumer grade" equipment, but I can't think of their name right now.

As far as putting one together, there are lots of ways to do it. Wireless seems to be about the best way so you tear up your vehicle stringing wires around. Since I have a fairly beat up pickup and I'm not too worried about how silly it looks, I went with a cabled Davis Weather Monitor II. I believe there may be a wireless version of this, but you will pay more for it.

NOw that all that is aside. be sure you know what to do with all that data. Just putting up for the "Hey look at me, I'm a weather geek" thing is pretty much wasting your time and money. I went for a long time on just FM Radio and NOAA Radio plus the knowledge I gathered in forecasting. That's where the real stuff comes in. I love to see how well my forecasts pan out against everyone here. The biggest reasons I got the MM was the fact that I've started reporting my information to the public. I wanted to give them accurate information and my guessing at wind speeds, hail sizes, etc... just wasn't doing it. I will also report to NWSFO OUN when I find myself in a position to do so. I know we had some pretty stiff winds not too long ago and their mesonet station was showing 45 mph where I was 5 miles south of it showing 61 mph. No one else was around that I could see. Being the fact it was 3:30 a.m. probably had something to do with that.

Good luck and I hope that helped some.
 
Thanks for the help John! I am actually the most interested in the anemometer. I think it would be very nice to know what the actual wind speed is instead of guessing all of the time. Do you know if you can just but an anemometer without all of the other stuff. Would that be cheaper or would it be better to just do the entire mobile mesonet? Thanks. :D
 
MM Questions

Charles,

There are various systems on the market. It really depends on what you want to do with it. If your not adverse to sticking your hand out the window there are the Kestrel series of hand held anemometers. I've heard lots of good things about these, but I don't particularly like to stick my hand out in lightning or hail.

Davis has the Weather Wizard III which is a pretty base unit, but will give you outside temp, wind and wind direction. I've seen these go for about $150 on e-bay. Vortex is another one that is a straight anemometer www.inspeed.com for about $75. I'd suggest the pole mount to get the cups out of the vehicle slipstream and a more accurate reading.

I'm sure there are others out there as well, but those are the ones I know about.
 
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