Feb 082015
 
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(UPDATE at bottom)

Ever wondered how much rain fell at your house during monsoon season? In Arizona its a regular concern. Do I need to water, or turn-off the sprinkler system? Monsoonal thunderstorms can flood a narrow tract of land, and completely leave everything else untouched. I would come home from work and my grass would be wet. Still, I would have no clue if I got a trace or an inch of rain.

Ever wondered why there is frost on everyone’s car, but not yours, or vice versa? Because of our aggressive terrain, over night temperatures can vary considerably. Bellemont is routinely very much colder because of its location. I live in Switzer Canyon. It often has a slightly different set of weather conditions compared to the Flagstaff Airport. Some days, I swear they keep the airport weather station in a locker, or shed, or oven or refrigerator.

A friend of mine, LG from Cal Poly, introduced me to Wunderground.com. On Wunderground, I learned about Personal Weather Stations (PWS). Quickly, I was hooked! Many of you may not understand, but these PWSs are cool, gadgets. Not only can you see your very local weather, but you can share it via the Internet and places like Wundergound with others. Very cool! Very connected!

I don’t want to get into all the choices you can make on a PWS. But, there are some key features depending on how you want to use it. I relied on my friends at Ambient Weather for details to select my system. I had two key drivers in the end. First, it had to be capable of operating at 7000 feet, the approximate altitude of my house. Second, it had to be reasonably priced.

I selected a Oregon Scientific system. It was quite easy to set up and easily pair with software from Ambient Weather. It was a great starter system. Over the years, I have had to often replace pieces of the system, but in general it has provided good service. Oregon Scientific systems continue to be very compatible with various software.

I have also had experience with Davis, Acurite and Ambient Weather brands at this point. I doubt I will ever buy and Oregon Scientific station again. Their stuff is made in China and I believe  their quality has declined. It’s just too expensive to keep one online. Davis is very advanced and pricey, but damn good. Acurite is becoming the gold standard for entry-level, backyard systems. Ed at Ambient Weather brings his personal passion to bear and brings innovative designs on a regular basis. I used Ambient Weather equipment to trouble shoot my engine problems on my boat last summer. Simply great!

This last week, my Oregon Scientific bit the final bullet and is permanently gone from my roof. What to do now? More on that later.

It looks like we have a very wet pattern over the horizon. Winter might show up for late February and March.

UPDATE: Below is the 10-day total precipitation forecast from the GFS Model. I think Flagstaff is in the 2+ inch zone.

10-day total precipitation forecast from the GFS computer model.

10-day total precipitation forecast from the GFS computer model.

 

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