BloomSky How-To: Weather Station Position
A guide to help you optimize your BloomSky weather station position.
Personal weather stations are convenient, educational, informative and fun. In order to optimize your own weather station you must ensure you’re getting the most accurate measurements. Where the station is installed – siting it – will make a big difference in the accuracy of the data it reports. Read on for some important factors to consider when deciding how and where to install your station.
It’s Getting Hot In Here
Temperature is the first thing most people want to know when checking their personal weather station; unfortunately it’s also the most easily skewed based on where it’s set up. Poor airflow around the station, sitting near a cold snowbank or above a hot driveway – all of these situations can cause inaccurate temperature readings.
When deciding on a weather station position, look for an area clear of any large obstructions that can block the movement of air. Similarly, avoid installing your weather station at the bottom of a steep hill where cool will settle. Areas in which air can’t circulate won’t heat or cool as evenly as if the air could move freely. A standard guideline for siting a station is that the sensor should be no closer than four times an obstructions height. This distance is likely unrealistic unless you live at an airport or on a soccer field, so one of the best location options for your BloomSky might be high up, possibly on a roof.
There are some other considerations to weigh if you’re looking to the roof as your location of choice. The biggest factor is that a rooftop can heat rapidly throughout the day due to sun exposure; the roof will warm the air near the station producing higher temperature readings than the surrounding air. Ensure the area gets good airflow – if the weather station position allows for circulating air around it then the hot roof won’t have as big an impact on the station temperature.
When mounting anything on a rooftop, it’s worth investigating whether a lightning rod is necessary. The BloomSky weather station is waterproof, but mostly likely won’t stand up to 1.21 gigawatts. Take advantage of a previously installed lightning rod that may already be protecting a satellite dish or telephone lines. Mount the station near the lightning rod, or other objects that have a higher profile than your BloomSky, so it’s not the highest point on the roof line.
BloomSky community members share some images of how and where they have installed their weather stations. Click on the ‘Comments’ to view all the photos added to the post by users.
I Can See For Miles and Miles and…
If a picture is worth a thousand words, than the view your BloomSky offers is priceless. The wide-angle lens on the weather station brings the entire landscape into one frame, but pushes the center of the frame into the distance. An ideal weather station position will allow for several operational angles for the camera. Position the camera with the horizon just below the middle of the frame and the ground in the lower third. The ground can help give context to the speed in which clouds move by, and movement or action happening on the ground can make for a more engaging time-lapse. Browse the app to see how a good view can make a big difference in the number of people who follow your device.
When choosing the direction and angle to share with the world, try to keep the closest objects – such as bushes or trees – near the edge of the frame. Bushes, trees, or the side of a house that are too close to the camera will cause the view of the sky to be washed out and overexposed, particularly if they are darker colored. The closer to the camera an object is, the more it can throw off the exposure for the rest of the image so keep those obstacles off to the side. Keep the view clear by using a 70/30 guideline – 30% of the frame can be objects close to the camera, while 70% of the frame should be objects that are no closer than 15 feet from the station. Adjust your ratio higher as objects are closer and darker – if a big bush is in the frame, try to keep it under 20% of the view. Adjustments after installation may be necessary, so a good practice would be to check the view before you permanently install the station.
Can You Hear Me Now?
The BloomSky weather station transmits directly to your home wifi router, eliminating the need for a wired setup. The custom-designed wifi module built into the station works on a 2.4G network, which has a longer range than a similar 5G network. Minimizing the amount of power used when the station transmits data reduces the need to frequently recharge the BloomSky’s internal battery. This “power-conscious” configuration limits the station’s range to about 30 feet from the router. However the range will be further limited by metal roofs, or stone and brick walls. If the station is set up beyond its wifi range there may be gaps in transmitting updates. Try moving your station closer to the router if you notice the time-lapse videos have large jumps of time during playback.
Location, Location, Location.
Do your homework before you choose a weather station position – a bit of research will keep your station maintenance free after installation. You may not be able to meet all of NOAA’s standards for weather station siting while still providing the perfect view, but these suggestions will help you pick a location for your BloomSky that will maximize the accuracy of the sensors.
Use the checklist to pick an optimal site for your weather station, and have fun!
- Will the area heat up significantly faster than the surrounding area?
- Is there good airflow around the device?
- Are there objects in the frame that will block the view?
- Are the objects in the view far enough back from the camera that so as to not wash out the exposure?
Where do you have your BloomSky set up? Have you done any ‘out of the box’ modifications to perfect the location of your weather station?