Frequently Asked Questions - Weather Station FAQ

Weather Station FAQ

Yes. All assembly and design works are undertaken from our factory in Warwick Queensland. All mechanical parts are made in Queensland and assembly of electronic components is completed in Australia. Our electronic components and printed circuit boards are supplied from overseas, as these parts are not manufactured in Australia.

We proudly have Australian Made certification!

A compliance Weather Station requirement will vary from industry to industry; however, our standard systems will meet most industry standard requirements.

We supply many weather stations for specific compliance projects.  This includes NSW EPA requirements under AM-1, AM-2, AM-3 and AM-4, TfNSW R272 QA Specification, QLD TMR Road Weather Monitor standards & all Australian State and Territory compliance requirements.  This can include weather stations to meet Australian Standard AS3580.14:2014, along with other complementary requirements.

In these cases, it is often very important to select the right solution to save you money and time in the long term.  Call us today to discuss your compliance weather station needs.

We provide email, telephone & remote support (such as Skype, Teams, Zoom etc) for all our customers, both in Australia and overseas. We can also remotely connect directly to your PC or weather station when suitable.

If you want to use a local contractor for your support, we can provide the necessary support to them.

When it comes to installing, servicing or maintenance of your weather station, we have our own dedicated service team travelling Australia-wide (this includes remote locations).

Environdata has designed and developed its equipment based on over 40 years of experience in Australia and overseas.

This means our Weather stations are designed specifically to survive the harsh extremes of Australia’s climate, from the heat, humidity and high rainfall of the wet tropics of the North, to the heat and dust of the arid dry climate of the Pilbara and the ‘Red Centre’, to the snow and rain of the Southern Alps and the salt laden winds of the maritime sea coasts.

Our stations are robust, reliable, and easy to service. We have developed our weather stations to be easily installed requiring a minimal amount of technical knowledge.

We are the manufacturer; you deal directly with us.  Spare parts and advice are readily available and you are dealing with the same people who designed and built your weather station, keeping more jobs here in Australia.

How and where to site a weather station is one of the most frequently asked questions. The intended application of your weather station and the surrounding environment are key factors.

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 the immediate area, up to 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).

Or:

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).

Microclimate Siting

Microclimate weather stations have installation requirements that are not too difficult to meet in most cases.   The data is collected so the specific effects of the surrounding terrain are recoded. This includes, building control situations, crop trials, human heat stress monitoring, feedlot animal comfort studies, and most horticultural uses.

In this instance, the weather 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, and for human heat stress monitoring, the weather station would be located in the same conditions as those faced by the workers of concern.  It is important to select a site for the weather station that is representative of the intent of the monitoring. 

Typically your desirable exposure ratios are a 1:4, so a nearby obstruction should be no closer than 4 times its height to the base of the weather station.  Wind instruments should be mounted at 2m above ground, temperature and humidity at 1.25 to 2m, and the rain gauge at 1m to 2m above ground.  Solar radiation sensors should not be shaded or have nearby structures reflecting light or heat onto them.  Solar panels need to face the north at a suitable angle (in the southern hemisphere).

Meso-scale Siting

Typically undertaken as part of a licencing requirement or a meteorological need, Meso-Scale weather station siting requirements are more stringent.  To achieve optimum results, the Bureau of Meteorology guidelines or the Australian Standards 3580.14:2014 should be consulted.

These standards call for a 10-metre mast for wind speed and direction sensors. Temperature and Reltive Humidity should be at 1.25m above ground to meet the BoM guidelines, or 2.0m to meet the Australian Standard.  The rain gauge at 0.3m to 1.0m above ground.  Solar radiation sensors should not be shaded or have nearby structures reflecting light or heat onto them.  Solar panels need to face the north at a suitable angle (in the southern hemisphere).

Trees or other obstructions need to be no higher than one tenth (preferably one thirtieth 1/30) of their distance away.  (A 10m high tree should be at least 100m away, and ideally 300m away for example).  The terrain should be flat and level, and grassed.

These requirements may be very difficult to achieve in practice, therefore some compromise is usually required, keeping in mind any sensitive receivers, prevailing winds, and the intent of the monitoring!

Some of the main uses for a 10-metre mast are to monitor the 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.

We offer a range of communications options to your weather stations.  This can include satellite, cellular, radio and internet based solutions.  The best option usually depends on if you have cellular data connectivity at your site, or if you need secondary telemetry methods.  Call us to discuss the most suitable option for your specific weather monitoring requirements.

Your weather station programming can be changed by editing the schedule file and uploading it to your weather station.  If your system is connected to our WeatherMation LIVE Service, we will do the programming change for you remotely. 

If your weather station is not able to be reprogrammed by us remotely, we can provide you the updated schedule file, and associated documents such as new sensor connection list or MODBUS Value lists. 

Then you load the file with WeatherMation Direct software on your laptop, with our support of course.

The dew point temperature, commonly referred to as ‘Dew Point’, is a measure of the amount of water vapour in the air.

Consider the air to be like a big sponge that can soak up water vapour. Also consider that this ‘sponge’ can hold different levels of moisture at different temperatures. As the air gets warmer its ability to hold more water vapour increases. Conversely, the air can hold less moisture as it cools.

The dew point is the temperature at which the air, if cooled with its current water vapour level, can hold no more moisture; meaning it is ‘saturated’ (with moisture).

It also follows that cooling the air further will result in some form of precipitation – that is, fog, rain, dew, sleet, hail or snow, as the air cannot hold any more water vapour in a gas form.

The dew point temperature can be calculated from the air temperature and relative humidity, and either the barometric pressure or the elevation above seal level if that is not available.

Relative Humidity is another means of expressing the amount of moisture in the air, as a proportion of the amount of water vapourthat air mass could hold as vapour at the current temperature.

Common uses for Dew Point:

The dew point temperature can be a useful predictive tool in combination with other weather sensors to predict fog and frosts. This has applications across several industries and is particularly useful for agriculture, roadside weather stations and aviation.

Dew point is also used in spraying applications, where it can be used to determine the likelihood of heavy dew overnight, which can impact upon the spray procedures. If the dew point temperature is close to the temperature expected overnight, then there is an increased likelihood of dew or fog formation.

Relative Humidity can be calculated with a wet bulb thermometer and a dry bulb thermometer, using a psychrometric chart as below. Wet-bulb temperature is measured using a thermometer, with the glass bulb or sensor tip wrapped in a wick, which is kept wet. The evaporation of water from the wet wick has a cooling effect on the thermometer and the rate of evaporation from the wet-bulb thermometer depends on the humidity of the air. Therefore, less humidity means more cooling, which means a lower wet bulb temperature, and a bigger difference between wet and dry bulb temperatures.

psychrometric chart

The difference in the temperatures indicated by the two thermometers gives a measure of atmospheric humidity. This chart allows humidity to be calculated from wet and dry bulb readings. (The dry bulb temperature is another name for air temperature). It also explains common atmospheric behaviour that we see daily. We’ll break the chart down for ease of explanation:

The vertical lines represent dry bulb temperatures.

Read the relative humidity by finding where the wet bulb temperature and the dry bulb temperature readings intersect. The nearest constant humidity line is the relative humidity for the given wet and dry bulb temperatures. In the example to the left (20°C dry and 10°C wet) gives 25% relative humidity.

You can also read the wet bulb temperature from the chart, when you know the air temperature and relative humidity, using the same principle of finding the intersection of the relevant lines.

The weather station data logger can indicate an alarm condition via SMS or contact output (or both) when a specified condition is met or exceeded. 

This condition can be from a single sensor or a combination of sensors (e.g. wind speed and wind direction). The condition can be tested every minute from the Current Readings or using one of the data storage memory intervals. There are also options for setting the maximum number of SMS per day, the hysteresis and other settings.

For WeatherMation LIVE connected systems, WeatherMation can send SMS or email alerts based on your weather conditions, to your nominated users, at your nominated contact times.

Call us to confirm how we can meet your requirements.