Don’t forget to give your weather station TLC this fall. Photo: K. Peter, Penn State
For those connected to the NEWA network, an article was posted on their blog reminding growers about the importance of maintaining their Rainwise weather stations now the 2017 season has officially come to a close. Regardless of the weather station brand you may own, maintenance is essential in order ensure accuracy of the weather data output. Some maintenance activity can be performed by the user; other work may have to be performed by a trained technician from the company.
General guidelines to follow
- Remove any debris from the rain gauge that can cause measurement errors. This should not only be done in the fall, but several times during the season. Monthly checks during the season are recommended.
- Keep the solar radiation sensor clean by removing any debris from the top of the sensor and wipe off using a damp cloth.
- Remove any accumulated dirt and debris from the temperature and humidity sensor. If you notice any data missing or values appear “off,” it is best to contact the company.
- Check the anemometer to see if it is operating correctly. The anemometer and weather vane should move freely in all directions. Issues occur when dirt accumulates in the bearings. If there are issues, it is best to contact the company.
- Leaf wetness sensors should be observed for damage or corrosion. If there are problems, the leaf wetness sensor should be replaced.
- To double check the accuracy of your equipment, it is best to compare to another weather station nearby to determine if there may be issues with any component. For example, we often compare our weather station at FREC with a nearby NEWA weather station in Adams County.
There are a lot of resources available on YouTube.com for maintenance guidance in general and for specific brands. Just use the search words “weather station maintenance.”
NEWA has posted more information on their website for maintenance and troubleshooting for their Rainwise stations; however, the nuggets of wisdom can be applied to other stations, as well:
NEWA Weather Station Guidelines
NEWA Maintenance and Troubleshooting Guide
When in doubt, it is always best to contact the company associated with your weather station for further guidance.