For example you can check the battery charge level to see when to go to the field to replace batteries. If you look at your data on a routine basis, it will help you achieve a high quality data set.
Remote weather station FAQS
When leveling and orienting your weather instruments, what level of precision should you be looking for?
The more level the better. Dead on 00 for x and y is best or you’ll end up with errors in radiation. If you look up Lambert’s cosine law it will tell you the errors you could expect on clear sky days from the solar radiation measurement. Rain gauges are especially problematic, especially with a tipping bucket or a drop counting rain gauge. If it’s off level enough, it won’t collect the rainfall measurement. We recommend you keep your station level within two degrees in both x and y for best possible measurements because if you get four or five degrees off level, that’s going to be problematic for your data.
What are best practices for measuring weather variables in urban areas? Any recommendations for that kind of installation?
The micro-environments in urban areas are more severe than in natural areas. So put your weather station at the location you are interested in, not two blocks away or on the other side of the building where there is sun instead of shade. You have to take into account the microclimate effects. Many urban areas will put out dense networks of weather instrumentation to try and characterize microclimate effects and get more localized observations for their stakeholders.
Do you have a specific checklist to follow when it comes to remote weather station installation?
We highly recommend using a checklist. We have a general installation checklist here and weather station installation considerations here.
Do you have any recommendations for calibration or maintenance of your weather instruments?
Most instruments will have some degree of drift in the measurement and lose accuracy over time. Routine recalibration of weather instruments is standard practice. Each manufacturer of radiation sensors, humidity sensors, temperature sensors, or barometric pressure sensors will specify a drift and give recommendations on how often to recalibrate the sensors. We recommend replacing the ATMOS 41 solar radiation sensor every two years. And we have the same recommendation for the barometric pressure and relative humidity daughterboard. We feel strongly about keeping the sensors accurate, so those components are field swappable, and we’ve tried to make that easy for the user.
If you’re dealing with remote weather station installation in a place that might not be very stable like a glacier surface, what do you suggest for a situation like that?
In a glacier, you should drive a post very deep into that glacier to make sure there’s enough stability to hold your weather station in place. It’s a tough situation because the heights above the surface are going to change over time. And the presence of the weather station might induce some microclimate effects like melting. It would be a good idea if you had remote data access and photos in your stream to see what’s happening in near real time so you can fix the installation if you have problems.
Discover the ATMOS 41 weather station and the ZL6 data logger.