Micro-weather is a growing area in the US. What Micro-weather means is that you, as the data producer create weather information specific to your location. For example, when you live in the suburbs of a large city, you may notice that your temperature is much lower (4-6 degrees) than in the city. In part because there is probably trees and grass near your home, which reduces the heat production. The reality of asphalt is that it produces a lot of heat. That heat has to go somewhere, but since there are buildings all around to trap and contain the heat.
Micro-weather stations such as NetATMO and Bloomsky allow you to see what the temperature is in your area specific to you, rather than NOAA’s broader reading from the big city where it is always warmer. The features and functions to consider in your weather station and how you utilize the information generated is critical. First of all the features include the following:”
- Barometric pressure
- Wind speed
- Wind Direction
- Air quality
Where you place both the system you consider and how you present the information becomes important then as well. Bloomsky has a wonderful mobile device application as does NetATMO. In both cases, the application can show all six functions. You then have to consider the placement of your sensors, as the reality of sunshine can impact the sensor considerably. IE, your thermometer in the sun will be warmer than in the shade. But in the shade may not capture the full reality of the temperature in the sunshine.
Houses impact rain fall. So having the rain gauge under the eaves of your home will produce misleading results. The Wind is relevant to this as well. In that first off wind is impacted by your house, which blocks the wind if your gauge is behind your house. You can always consider having the gauge on top your house, but then changing batteries becomes an interesting ordeal. I currently have mine in the back of the house on the deck. I figure I get readings that are important for where I am. I am more likely to sit on the deck or the back porch than I am to be sitting on the roof of my house.
Micro-weather is a huge and growing area. Once you have your station, you can share with all the other people around you. I’ve had a weather station at my house for more than ten years. It is fun to graph how the weather changes over time!