Albrightsville Pennsylvania Weather Station
One of my hobbies/interests outside of photography is meteorology and weather tracking. Living in Albrightsville Pennsylvania up in the Poconos we have many microclimates. It is so bad the weather reports on the news are hardly ever close to accurate in this area. To deal with these issues (and feed my hobby) I’ve been running a local weather station in my backyard for a couple of years now. I’m also publishing data on the internet.
The setup is actually pretty cool, even if straightforward. The Davis Instruments Vantage Pro 2 unit’s gauges are connected wirelessly to the main console which in turn is connected to a mac mini via USB. On the Mac, I’ve installed WeatherCat which takes the data from the Davis system, stores, processes, and most importantly publishes the data to WUnderground, Citizen’s Weather Observer Program (CWOP), PWS Weather, Weather Cloud, and most importantly (for me) my weather site that I host here on hoke.org.
Weather Site Redux
I recently redeployed/redesigned the site using a new solution MeteoTemplate that runs PHP and MySQL to manage the entire dataset, forecasts, as well as pulling in other weather/climate information from various public web services. You can dig through all the various information over at the main site, and there is a lot of data to look over 🙂
First off, it is one of the most clearly laid out and clean designs I’ve seen… One of the problems I’ve had with other solutions is that they are data overload and lack something in the design or layout. Jachym who created MeteoTemplate has both design and code chops which show through in the way the entire solution comes together. Each section on the main page is a ‘block’ that can be downloaded and deployed anywhere on the homepage, grouped in block sets (menu blocks) with drop-downs, etc. This allows for a completely flexible and customizable look and feel.
The install was fairly straight forward, some tweaks and re-reading of the wiki was necessary, but I had it mostly up and running in about an hour.
So now that I have things running pretty smoothly, next up is adding a heater for the rain collector so that I can measure the precipitation over the winter, find a weather camera solution I like, and maybe look at a BloomSky system to augment the Davis unit. I’m also thinking about building a lightning detector and sharing that data with Blitzortung.Org, moving my wind detector to a higher location and adding UV and Solar Radiation sensors to the system … but thats for another day and post 😉
Oh, almost forgot – the weather image at the top of this post is also automatically generated by MeteoTemplate – something else to play with 🙂