Ever wonder what the weather’s like at Monolithic? No? Okay, but just in case you were wondering, we have the answer — a Weather Underground connected weather station. It was a Christmas present for David B. South and it’s got all the bells and whistles with temperature, wind speed, barometric pressure, rainfall sensor, humidity, data logging.
Weather Underground is like an open source weather service with over 180,000 personal weather stations in the United States. Anyone can join their network. They have a list of recommended weather stations on their website. Some cost over $1000 and feature ultrasonic wind sensors. We went for the more sensible $400 model.
We installed the system on the tower used to distribute WiFi signals around Monolithic’s campus. With the external weather station installed, a link needed to be made through the internet to Weather Underground. Registration was straightforward and in no time the Monolithic Domes KTXITALY5 weather station went live earlier this year.
The weather station wirelessly transmits to a full-screen base-station in the office — which also records indoor temperatures and humidity. The data logger is very interesting. You can see the totals and graph almost everything over time.
It’s cool technology and fun to watch.
However, weather is one thing technology has never tamed. We’ve had droughts where we were told by “experts” that we’d never recover. Now we’ve had two years of record rains, filling all the reservoirs over capacity and flooding the rivers. The nearby Trinity River is currently at flood stage. I wonder what the “experts” will say now.
For all the beautiful days there is a cost — dark skies, violent storms. In the north it can be weeks without power following a blizzard. For Texas, it’s the threat of tornadoes, hurricanes and massive thunderstorms.
For people who live in a Monolithic Dome home, weather is more entertaining and less threatening. I’m not kidding when I say that. Nothing is better than watching a giant thunderstorm from inside a concrete dome.
And with our weather station we can see exactly how strong the storm is.