How and where do I site my Weather Station?
How and where to site a weather station is one of the most frequently asked questions. The main determinants of how and where to site a weather station and sensors are the intended application, and the surrounding environment of the desired location itself.
Microclimate Versus Meso-Scale Monitoring:
A weather station records the weather exactly at the point it is located. In some applications, we wish to infer that those readings are valid for a radius of 1 to 2 kilometres. This is called a ‘microclimate’ application. In other situations, we would like to infer that the readings are valid for up to 25 kilometres. This is called a ‘Meso-scale’ application.
In choosing a location for your weather station, you must first decide whether you wish to record either:
a) The weather specifically relevant to your location i.e. the weather experienced by your building or crop including the effects of your immediate local terrain (Microclimate monitoring).
b) The weather of the general locality (say within a 25 km radius), but as far as possible unaffected by the local terrain (Meso-scale weather monitoring).
Requirements for microclimate monitoring (a) are less stringent, and data is usually used for comparison purposes with a similar crop / building in another location. The other primary uses for microclimate monitoring include where the specific effects of the surrounding terrain are what is required. This includes, building control situations, sewage treatment plants, feedlot animal comfort studies, and most horticultural uses.
The station should be located as close as possible to the area under investigation. For example, in crop trials, the preferred siting would be on one side of the crop. It is important to choose a site that is clear of trees or overhangs. Nearby trees should be no higher than one quarter of their distance away.
Requirement (b) is more stringent, and to achieve optimum results, the Bureau of Meteorology guidelines should be consulted. This includes a 10-metre mast for wind speed and direction sensors and solar radiation sensors, with trees or other obstacles no higher than one tenth (preferably one thirtieth 1/30) of their distance away. The terrain should be flat and level.
These requirements may be difficult to achieve in practice, therefore some compromise is usually required.
Some of the main uses for a 10-metre mast are to monitor the meso scale effects of wind in industries such as feedlots, manufacturing and mining, in accordance with satisfying EPA licence conditions. This is particularly important when an industry produces odours, dust, or other airborne particles that may impact on the surrounding environment.
For more information on our WeatherMaster series weather stations, which are ideal for microclimate applications, and our EasiData series weather stations, which are ideal for meso scale applications with our 10-metre mast, please refer to our main weather station page.