Let's talk about the weather...

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Steve

lost again...
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Lorain County, OH, USA
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A rainy day is the perfect time for a walk in the woods. ~Rachel Carson

I'll admit it; I'm a weather geek. Even as a little kid, I made an electronic weather station, and have always had an assortment of rain gauges, thermometers, etc.

Here in Ohio, we have four real seasons, and they are all distinct and beautiful in their own way. My personal favorite is Autumn, although after just a short burst of enthusiasm, it often becomes dark and dreary. It prepares me for warm winter nights by the fire, and reminds me of things unfinished that need attending to.

We are gardeners, and since retiring, have increased the size of our vegetable and fruit plots. When my last electronic weather gizmo died, I finally invested in a real weather station: one of nearly professional quality, and frequently seen on industrial sites, businesses, and larger farms.







I've installed the rain collector, thermometer, hygrometer, solar, UV, etc. on a post in my garden, and have the anemometer on a pole on the roof of my house. All this transmits to a monitor in my kitchen and a second monitor connected to my computer. This records local conditions, which I then post to a local weather web page and to Twitter every couple hours. I've also added soil temperature and moisture sensors at different depths in my garden and yard to help with keeping the garden healthy and productive.

When we travel, I usually have a battery/solar/crank-up weather radio with me. Ohio isn't as volatile as tornado alley, but the weather can change quickly and drastically. I've seen temperature swings of 30-40 degrees in a few hours a number of times. On trips, I take a handheld weather station to see what conditions are when in different parts of the country. Here's me checking the wind chill on top of Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.




Subaru used to include a weather band radio in their Outback audio system, but discontinued that feature in the model before mine. Something many outdoor Subaru enthusiasts complained loudly about.


So, the point of this thread, is to ask what folks here on Overland Bound use to monitor the weather while traveling, what you use to check the weather while planning a trip, or whether you just ignore the weather and adapt your plans as you go.

Even though I enjoy monitoring and sharing my weather conditions, I rarely let whatever is forecast effect my plans when hiking. I love a walk in the rain. But for sailing or kayaking, I keep an eye on the forecast and may postpone a trip.

I realize that a sizable portion of Overland Bound members live in areas of the country where the weather rarely changes, and watching the weather never comes to mind. But for the rest of us, what's your weather alert system, radio, etc.
 

Hank_

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This looks like a fun hobby. I would sure like the weather up here in Michigan to change. I'm getting tired of the gloom and rain and getting ready some snow.

Hank
 

roamingtimber

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I've been looking at handheld weather stations lately, any recommendations @Steve? Weather is a bi g deal in the PNW, more so in the mountains where this time of year weather affects avalanche conditions and that really dictates what you're able to do.
 

SLO Rob

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I saw those pictures @Steve and thought, "oh it's one of those guys!" Awesome hobby and an easy obsession. I miss weather. I live in a place with very little change season to season and very little rain. I yearn for "inclimate" or bad weather often.
 
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Lifestyle Overland

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@Steve I'm also interested in a unit for our home (camper). It would be cool to know what speed the wind got up to before we blew away ;)

Any recommendations in the $100-$200 price range?
 

Overland-Indiana

Overland Bound - Midwest Regional Ambassador
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I usually just use an app on my phone and will adapt to the weather as needed. Because of kids and the wife we have to make plans quite a ways in advance so regardless of weather we still have to do the trip because if we postpone it then we may just have to cancel it. And @Steve as you know, I am in Indiana so we are neighbors, the weather is crazy here. Like you said, the temp can change by 30-40 degrees in just a matter of hours!
 

Steve

lost again...
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Thanks guys. If you are interested, my weather website is Avon-Weather

@roamingtimber and @stringtwelve There is a wide range of handheld weather instruments from a few dollars to several hundred. Some just show temperature or wind, and some do everything imaginable. The top-of-the-line Kestrel has a ballistics table built into it, and takes wind, temperature, altitude, humidity, etc. into account when showing target shooting corrections. Of course it is $800, too...

A new variety of wind gauge is one that attaches to an iOS or Android device via the headphone jack or bluetooth. Here are a couple choices for that option in the $40-$80 range. http://www.rainmanweather.com/site/catalog/Pocket-Wind-Meters/WeatherFlow

Kestrel is widely regarded as the best handled weather station, and they offer a wide variety of models with an assortment of features.Here are the models available at Rainman Weather: http://www.rainmanweather.com/site/catalog/Pocket-Wind-Meters/Kestrel If you go with a Kestrel, be sure yo review the Bluetooth feature, and make sure you really want to use what it does. It adds a substantial cost over the non-Bluetooth version, and reports are that it is slow and unreliable. YMMV. I have the Model 4500.

WeatherHawk is another well known name with a slightly lower price point than Kestrel. Here are an assortment of models: http://www.rainmanweather.com/site/catalog/Pocket-Wind-Meters/Speedtech

I'm not familiar with Skywatch, but Rainman Weather offers an assortment of them, too: http://www.rainmanweather.com/site/catalog/Pocket-Wind-Meters/JDC-Electronic

Most of these are available on Amazon, eBay, or your favorite online discounter. Note that by simply signing up for the free membership at Rainman Weather, you get a link to a discount price sheet. I saved over $300 on my Davis weather station this way, so be sure to check the prices. Scaled instruments is another great vendor that carries Davis and Kestrel products, and I've bought a lot from them, as well. Like Rainman, they offer discounted prices via a member price list. https://www.scaledinstruments.com/product-category/kestrel/

(Note that Davis Instruments and some of the other brands do not allow advertising below a set price point, hence the "member" pricing. It isn't that these guys are trying to get your personal info, but that that is the only way they can offer the best prices. Both are small, one-man shops with excellent customer service.)

Ambient Weather offers an even wider range of handheld devices, although some might be of questionable value. Check reviews on the real low cost stuff. http://www.ambientweather.com/handheld.html

As with any precision device, the results you get are dependent on careful use. Don't stand upwind of the wind speed gauge to get an accurate reading, don't have the temperature sensor in bright sun to get the ambient temperature, stand near the dryer outlet to get humidity, and other common sense techniques. I added a wind vane mount to my Kestrel, and mount it on my walking stick/monopod. That gives me a better wind speed/direction indication. That's what you see in the photo above.

For a completely different option, you can always have a portable mast to mount to your rig or trailer with a full wireless weather station sending to a console. The Davis Vantage Vue is not much more expensive than a mid-range Kestrel.
http://www.rainmanweather.com/site/products/6250-Vantage-Vue-Complete-Wireless-Weather-Station
(Note that more hardware/software would be required to connect to your computer.)


That ought to be enough to get you started. If you need anything else, I'd be more than happy to try to help!
Steve
 

Robert OB 33/48

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Hello Steve,

In Holland we really have a very simple way of checking the weather.
You put up a stone on a rope outside your window on a tree or pole.

This is how it goes.
1. If the stone is hanging down, there is no wind.
2. If the stone cast a shadow, there is sun.
3. If the stone moves, there is wind. If it moves a lot, it is stormy.
4. If the stone is wet, its raining
5. If you cant see the stone, its foggy.
6. If the stone is fallen to the ground, then there is no weather that day.

Greetings from Robert
 

Steve

lost again...
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Lorain County, OH, USA
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@Robert OB 33/48

That's incredible! Can you send one of those stones to me to add to my weather station? Would it be inaccurate due to the different magnetic variance her in Ohio compared to Holland? Is there a specific type of rope I would need? If so, please include that, too. Please bill my PayPal account for any expenses. waytooobsessedwiththeweather@gmail.com

:grinning:
 

Overland-Indiana

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Haha..... @Robert OB 33/48 I use the same method.... Although in @Steve area and mine we would have to check our rocks pretty often since the weather can make drstic changes in a matter of a few hours lol
 

Steve

lost again...
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I know that some of you have already had to dig out quite a bit of snow and Little Tykes vehicles (I'm thinking of your daughter, @stringtwelve ) Well, we're just getting our first snow with any accumulation here in northern Ohio this morning. This will make heading Florida in a few weeks so much more enjoyable, as we've had unseasonably warm weather so far this year. It was 52° yesterday.

 
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toxicity_27

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It's been unseasonably warm here too, though today it's much more Minnesota like, a balmy -6F, -26F windchill. Not bad.
 

RescueRangers

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I realize that a sizable portion of Overland Bound members live in areas of the country where the weather rarely changes . . .
Hey, our weather changes here in Florida, it is two degrees warmer today than it was yesterday.


But for the rest of us, what's your weather alert system, radio, etc.
I have NOAA Weather channel on my CB which I use if I think anything may be coming our way. My Jeep came with weather forecasting on the Nav system that I use once in a while. And the Nav system has weather alerts, such as Thunderstorm or tornado warnings. If I get an alert on the Nav system I automatically turn on NOAA.
 

Byron Eby

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I saw those pictures @Steve and thought, "oh it's one of those guys!" Awesome hobby and an easy obsession. I miss weather. I live in a place with very little change season to season and very little rain. I yearn for "inclimate" or bad weather often.
Are you referring to California?

LOL
 

Byron Eby

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It is already going to be warming up to the 70's next week here in Sacramento. This could be detrimental to our snow pack...