The Parsons Advocate
Tucker County resident Dennis Filler has added some new equipment to his already existing personal weather station (PWS). His equipment has been operational and maintained since 2008 but was in need of an upgrade. To upgrade the existing Davis brand equipment, it would have cost an estimated $1,500 but a new system manufactured by Ambient Weather was only $500. Filler’s station is one of few still in operation in this area.
Filler said, “Recently I upgraded all my equipment. My equipment had been made by a company called Davis. Their technology was state of the art in 2006, but they are still based upon the standard of 2006 and had not upgraded their equipment. It is still very good equipment, but I had to go from a computer or another device to get to the relay to get to the internet.
So, now the technology I have put into place does not use a traditional weather vane or anemometer (an instrument for measuring the speed of the wind). It uses ultrasonics. It has a dome on it and when the wind blows through a slit it computes the wind speed and direction based upon the ultra-sonic chambers. The technology is modern and used with military and weather stations.”
Filler’s weather station broadcasts to four different programs that includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Civilian Weather Observation Program (CWOP).
Filler said, “All weather is local. When you get a weather report the nearest weather station is at the Elkins airport. Every airport maintains for local reporting and feds back into not only the FFA weather products but to NOAA. Pittsburgh is the area NOAA station where most of the forecast for this area comes from including weather alerts. All the programs use information from my weather station.”
Filler’s new equipment can detect lightning strikes for a 25-mile radius. It can tell the different granularities based upon certain signal characteristics. The lightning strikes create an electromagnetic pulse that goes through the air, so the demographics of this area do not interfere with the reading. That pulse creates a blip on the monitoring equipment and by looking at the size of the blip can determine how close or far the strike was when it occurred.
Filler’s antenna on his device allows it to instantly broadcast to his station and updates every 4.9 seconds. That information is then broadcasted to other programs at a different rate, but it takes no less than five minutes to produce a forecast.
The Ambient Weather PWS used by Filler can detect wind speeds and directions, humidity and dew points. It computes visibility although Filler is not sure how it does due to him not having a device that measures cloud cover. An UV (Ultraviolet) index reading that is granulated and measures the intensity of the sun and how much solar radiation is hitting a particular square of ground is also detected and rain is gauged by an event. For example, if it started raining on Friday and did not stop until Sunday that would be logged as an event.
Atmospheric and barometric pressure is also measured. They essentially refer to the same thing but depending on the usage they may have two distinct connotations. The main difference between barometric pressure and atmospheric pressure is that atmospheric pressure describes the pressure exerted by the atmosphere, whereas barometric pressure refers to a pressure measured by a barometer.
Filler said, “These forecasts are generated for our location. These are not coming out of Clarksburg Weather. This is weather that we think is going to happen here. This system’s program uses our local sensors to take and make our local forecast.”
Weather data from Filler’s and other local PWSs is available at weatherunderground.com , ambientweather.net and pwsweather.com/station/pws/kwvparso2 . Filler’s station ID is KWVPARSO2. (O two not zero two) and his CWOP ID is GW2194.