Logging Weather Data

Amazon.com has this $75 LaCrosse Weather Station on sale for $25 today only. I'm tempted by it because it's almost what I want, but not quite - it seems odd that it won't tell you the barometric pressure (although I am guessing this is how it forecasts the weather "trend") and I'd really like a device that will log data that can be retrieved for use on your computer - ideally, automatically, although this is a lot to ask on the Mac platform, so I'd settle for a manual download if it would store at least a week's worth of data.

I doubt that establishing my own personal climate normals is really that useful. Another potentially useful feature, that of measuring the temperatures of different areas of your yard (to identify microclimates that warm up earlier in the spring or stay warm later in the fall) is also curtailed by the streamlined features: Although the station can accept data from up to three individual temperature sensors, it automatically combines these for an average reading. It calls this "more accurate," but gardeners know better. Here's a link to the manual (PDF).

Anyone out there work with temperature sensors and computers, or datalogging environmental data in general? Or has anyone found an off-the-shelf product that does at least some of these things? It's a long-term goal of ours to set up a simple system that will give us some around-the-yard data I can really use.

In later posts we'll be tackling a variety of DIY weather reading projects - maybe we can find someone who can help us add the tech side to the list!


melonkelli said...

This isn't weather related, but more of a sun tracking project:

A friend of mine suggested that when we first moved into our new house we should take a series of pictures of the yard before we planted anything. We used our digital camera and took photos at 2-hour intervals one day out of every month. It was pretty easy because I just set the camera in the second floor window and set my watch to go off. It would be much easier with a webcam set up to take a photo of the garden. That would also make a cool time lapse set of your garden through the year.