I live in an area where there isn’t a lot of easily accessible or good quality weather information. A lot of the websites that claim to provide local weather are actually funneling readings from the closest international airport which is 100km away which is not representative.
Weather Underground is a website that integrates all the standard weather sources (airports, governments, etc) with a network of more than 35,000 personal weather stations on a website providing rich weather information. It’s a great website for anyone to quickly check the website, but especially good for hobbyists, pilots, or anyone interested in weather. The company has an interesting history worth reading.
A Personal Weather Station (PWS) is basically equipment setup by an individual to measure the outdoor temperature, humidity, wind speed/direction, barometric pressure, etc. Weather Underground allows for individuals to log the data from their stations on their servers so it’s available to the world and fully integrated into the “weather map.” Lots of companies make off the shelf hardware and software for this, but since the protocols for this aren’t difficult, I thought it would be fun to make an inexpensive station using the Raspberry Pi! The best information about Wunderground PWS’ is on the Wunderground Wiki.
For my weather station, I decided to start with just temperature & relative humidity. In the future I might decide to barometric pressure and wind speed. I based the the project off of the Adafruit DHT Humidity Sensing on Raspberry Pi with GDocs Logging tutorial which I’ll refer to a lot in this blog post. This project is very similar, but instead of uploading the data to a google docs spreadsheet we send it off to Wunderground….
DHT Humidity Sensing on Raspberry Pi with GDocs Logging: Humidity and Temperature Logging From Your Pi to the Cloud! In this tutorial we’ll be showing how to utilize C for high-speed GPIO polling to handle bit-banged sensor output. Many low cost sensors have unusual output formats, and in this case, a “Manchester-esque” output that is not SPI, I2C or 1-Wire compatible must be polled continuously by the Pi to decode. Luckily, the C GPIO libraries are fast enough to decode the output. (read more)
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