October 13, 2006, Newsletter Issue #35: Protecting Weather Stations Against Weather

Tip of the Week

We've heard of a weather sensor being destroyed by lightning. True? Yes. You can predict the weather but you can't control it.

When you build a weather station, how do you know if your sensors are weatherproof? Usually the coatings on the sensors will be waterproof and free of UV interference or radiation.

You can prevent "lightning rod" rooftop sensors by placing wind direction monitors and remote sensors on tripods firmly staked in the ground within wireless range of the main indoor unit. If you must have a high-gain antenna that can gather weather information from several miles away, let the lightning story be a warning. Make sure your system can temporarily survive without an antenna and that you have backup sensors. You can attach a lightning rod to your antenna for double protection.

After all, you don't want to be the "News of the Weird" story on the Internet about a weather forecaster getting hit by lightning while setting up a weather station.

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Carma Spence-Pothitt