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Davis Weather E-news
APRIL 2014
In This Issue:

Vantage Connect Brings Home the Gold

The introduction of Vantage Connect has gotten a lot of attention from the agricultural world! We've gotten plenty of feedback from growers who are thrilled to have a way to get their real-time weather data from remote weather stations to their WeatherLink Network page.

Davis was also recognized at the Connected World Conference, where the solar-powered Vantage Connect earned a Gold Award for Remote Monitoring. Read all about it in The Prairie Star's AgWeekly.

Hellloooo Spring "Camping"

Peter and Teresa Linn like to "camp" with all the comforts of home - including knowing what's going on with the weather.

Pete wrote, "I have been using our Vantage Vue weather station since 2011 and have been very happy with it. Being pretty dusty here in northern Arizona, the only maintenance I do is take the cover off and clean off the solar panel and window.

"Since I like it so much, why not use it on our travel trailer? I just attached a short section of metal tube to the ladder, painted it black to blend in and attached it with hose clamps, and use the existing console inside the trailer. It works great and we now have all the weather info in our different camping locations to enjoy! Other campers have thought it was a great idea as well!"

We think it's a great idea too, Pete!

AnemometerWeather Check Quiz Question 1:

True or False:
The dust on Pete's Vantage Vue is probably mostly plain old sand and dirt, but the dust in your home is mostly made up of human skin cells.

Extra Credit: According to Pete and Teresa, the best way to stay warm when camping is to turn on the heat in the RV and snuggle under your blankets, while sipping hot cocoa made in your cute little galley. But the Boy Scouts have some recommendations, too. Which of these is NOT a Scout recommendation for staying warm while camping in cold weather?

A. Toes cold? Put on a hat.
B. Don't sit on a snow bank.
C. Don't spill fuel on your hands.
D. Pack dried jalapenos to crush into food or into your gloves and socks.
E. Wear baggy clothes.

(Click here for answers.)

What a Difference a Day Makes

James Wessels posted a little visual lesson on our Facebook page that illustrates the how fast weather can change:

He wrote, "Yesterday [March 20], the air mass came here in [Northwest] Germany directly from the Sahara and Spain, thus it was...a warm 21°C [70°F] . This morning brought a cold front from the Atlantic..." (5.7°C is 42°F.)

That's a BIG Aircraft - and a Game-Changer

They had to build a very loooong aircraft hangar in Cardington, Bedforshire, England. Why? Because it has to house the world's longest aircraft, the Airlander: a fantastic, odd, balloon-like thing that doesn't need a runway, operates with a crew of two (or remotely with no crew), and can carry 50 tons of cargo, anywhere in the world. The Airlander, at 302 feet/92 meters long, is 60 feet/18 meters longer than a Boeing 747. It can fly for days and deliver its cargo anywhere -- even if there is no landing strip.

Airlander, built by the British aeronautics company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), uses four turbocharged, V8 diesel engines to propel it. It gets its lift from helium bladders and the shape of the hull. It can hover for 21 days straight then zoom (?) off at 100 mph/161 kph and fly for days without refueling. For the Airlander, coming in for a landing means settling down gently on any flat area -- land, ice, or water.

The US Army oversaw the development of the original Airlander, as did a Vantage Pro2, as shown in this still from a BBC video. Click on the image to see the whole, very cool, video. Source - BBC News / BBC Sport / bbc.co.uk - © 2014 BBC

Airlander will take its first flight in 2016. Want to join the celebrities that will be aboard? You can -- HAV is having a contest for tickets. You can read more in Wired . Click here for more about Airlander and the contest.

"Peanut Gallery" Assists Our Tunisian Reseller

Check out the new installation in Tunisian by Expertise Technologie D'Information. Looks like they are getting plenty of help from some future meteorologists.

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AnemometerWEATHER 101

Never Mind the Temp, What's the Heat Index?

(This story original ran in the June, 2003 issue of the E-Newsletter. We thought it deserved a second airing.)

All good Weather Dudes and Dudettes know that when someone wants to know how hot they will feel outside, and they ask "What's the temperature outside?" they may be asking the wrong question.

The temperature is only part of the equation for how a person perceives the heat. The other half of the equation is humidity. Add them together and you get the real question: "What is the heat index?"

For example, let's jet over to the Persian Gulf, or maybe the Gulf of Aden. We check the thermometer and see that it is a pleasant 115°F/46°C outside. We can take 115ºF! But a few minutes into our dune-stroll, we faint away with heat stroke. We should have also looked at the relative humidity, which, on this particular day, is a not terribly unusual 34% (dew point: 80ºF/27°C). That leads to a heat index of a whopping 152°F/67°C.

In the U.S. A., we saw some mighty impressive heat index readings during a particularly torrid heat wave in 1995. During the late afternoon of July 13, Cedar Rapids, Idaho, reported not-so-awful temps of 100ºF/ 38ºC, but with a relative humidity of 61% (dew point of 84°F/29°C), it felt like 134°F/57°C. On the same day, Appleton, Wisconsin, reported an almost balmy temp of just 101°F/38°C, but with a relative humidity of 71% (dew point: 90°F/32°C), the heat index was a killer 159°F/71°C.

The American Grand Champ of deceptive temperature readings, however, has to be New Orleans. Back in July of 1987, the heat index was a hellish 177°F/81°C, despite temperature readings of just 91°F/32°C. (Relative humidity: 97%!!)

So next time you are wondering whether you ought to take your lunch break out on the patio, instead of looking at your Vantage Pro2 console's readout of the outside temperature, you might want to check heat index instead.

AnemometerWeather Check Quiz Question 2:

We all know that heat can be deadly. Every year, an average of about 200 people die from heat-related disorders. Are the following statements about heat stroke true or false?

A. Symptoms of both heat exhaustion and heat stroke include dizziness, vomiting, weakness, and headache. However, if the victim is sweating, he or she is probably not in danger of the more dangerous heat stroke.

B. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical treatment.

C. First aid for heatstroke includes moving the victim to a cool place and using tepid water, fans, and ice packs to lower his or her temperature.

D. More men than women are heat stroke victims.

(Click here for answers.)

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AnemometerTECH TIPS

New Anemometer Design Proving Itself in the Field

A few years ago, our engineering team took a long, critical look at our anemometer. Basically, it was a very good device - accurate, reliable, sturdy. But as our weather stations aged out in the heat, cold, rain and wind, we began to see a few old anemometers appearing in our repair department.

Our old design collected wind speeds by measuring the opening and closing of a reed switch as the cups spun. The vane was factory installed and calibrated to ensure correct wind direction. If you ever had to replace your wind vane, you had to take extra steps to make sure it was correctly calibrated. The wind cups also had a magnet in them. If the cups were improperly installed, or had slipped down on the shaft, it could cause a failure to report wind speeds.

Our engineers, being engineers, set out to redesign the anemometer so it would be even more robust, more sensitive, easier to install, with a wider range and fewer moving parts, but just as accurate as always. And that's just what they did.

Our current anemometer design uses a solid state technology, a vane that installs in only one way so it doesn't require calibration, and wind cups that contain no magnet. Our wind speed range has gone from 2 to 150 mph (3 to 241 kph) to 1 to 200 mph (1 to 322 kph). The new solid state anemometer has been shipping out on all our weather stations for the past several years and we're now seeing our repair staff dusting the empty shelves of their AICU (Anemometer Intensive Care Unit).

When we introduced the new and improved anemometer, we knew it was even better than the really great one we had before. But it is sure nice to have the analytics, customer testimonies, and wind tunnel test results prove us right.

(We really should post a YouTube videos of our engineers beaming with pride at the whirling forest of anemometers on our roof! There's an awful lot of back patting and high-fiving going on.)

AnemometerWeather Check Quiz Question 3:

The pointy, brass tip of the wind vane points:

A. In the direction the wind is coming FROM
B. In the direction the wind is going TOWARD
C. In the direction you should run if a grizzly bear happens upon you as you ponder your wind direction.

(Click here for answers.)

Get Ready for Hamvention! All Ham, All the Time!

Are you going to Hamvention, the world's largest amateur radio gathering? Davis will be at there! Dayton Hamvention 2014: Makers... The Future of Ham Radio will be held at the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio, May 16 -18. Our booth number is NH0238.

Come by and tell Dale, Clark or Susan how our new anemometer design is different from the old one. The first ten of you to do so will get a Davis tote bag!

(And if you tell Clark that you think the San Jose Sharks are the best team in the NHL and are destined to win the Stanley Cup this year, you may get two...and a hug...)

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AnemometerI spy a davis weather station

Just Enjoying the View in California

Dale Prohaska hiked up to High Point Lookout, 5,140 feet (1,567 meters) above the Pacific near the southern California town of Temecula, only to run into an old friend.

"This one is the more expensive cousin to my Davis station," he wrote.

(Dale, your Vantage Vue may be less expensive, but it doesn't act like it!)

AnemometerWeather Check Quiz Question 4:

If Dale put on his binoculars and looked down at the Temecula valley, what is he likely to see?

A. People sunning on the Pacific beach
B. Vineyards and maybe hot air balloons
C. City streets and shopping malls
D. Probably not much, Temecula is famous for its thick tulle fog

(Click here for answers.)

Don't Worry, Vantage Pro2 is Here

Joshua Ortiz spied this Vantage Pro2 used for emergency management in his hometown of Guayama, Puerto Rico.

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Anemometerdavis in the news

Roanoke Enjoys Weather & Veggie Gifts from Grad Student

This Vantage Vue is one of 11 provided by a grad student to the students of Roanoke, Virginia.
Photo by Beverly Amsler, used with permission.

The people of Roanoke, Virginia, now know what's going on with the weather, thanks to a Virginia Tech doctoral student. For her doctoral project, Tammy Parecee looked for places to set up community gardens. One of the first steps in that process was collecting weather data. So she installed weather stations! She raised enough money to install 11 Vantage Vues in Roanoke schools. Now the students learn about weather, the citizens have access to real-time weather data, and community gardens produce fresh veggies for low income residents. It's a win-win-win.

You can read all about this wonderful doctoral candidate in a story by Beverly Amsler on WVTF.org

(We especially loved the charming quotes from the local kids. Jack Plogger said "It measures humidity in the air. So we can know if when you sweat it'll stick to you." And the brilliant Adrian DiMarco summed it up thus: "Science and math linked together equals weather." Yes!!!)

AnemometerWeather Check Quiz Question 5:

WhichTWO of these facts about Roanoke, Virginia, are indeed, big fat lies?

A. It was an English colony whose residents all mysteriously disappeared sometime between 1586 and 1587.
B. It used to be called Big Lick.
C. The name Roanoke came from the Algonquin word for "money."
D. The big weather hazard in Roanoke is flooding.
E. It is the first home of New York's NHL team, the Rangers.
F. It is Wayne Newton's home town.

(Click here for answers.)

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Anemometerjust for fun

It's Not a "Blood Moon," It's a "Vantage Vue Moon"

If anyone tells you weather buffs are not artistic, show them this very cool and eerie photo, called "Vantage Vue Eclipse," taken by Sebastien Celine Corti from his terrace in the south of France.

We are not sure how he did it, but we sure think it's beautiful!

 What do you think of the E-Newsletter? How can we improve? How do you use your Davis weather products? E-mail us at news@davisnet.com.


Question 1: True or False: The dust in your home is mostly made up of human skin cells.

False. There are skin cells in there, but it's got lots of other gross stuff, like animal dander, human hairs, ashes, pollen, insect excreta, burnt meteoric particles, dead dust mites, and plain old outdoor dirt and sand, depending on where you live.

Extra Credit: Which is NOT a Scout recommendation for staying warm while camping in cold weather?

Oh no, you did NOT just choose jalapenos as way to stay warm in the snow! Jalapeno-stoked tacos may make your tongue and tummy nice and warm, but this is not a Scout recommendation. See the story in Scouting Magazine.

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Question 2: Are the following statements about heat stroke true or false?

A. If the victim is sweating, he or she is probably not in danger of the more dangerous heat stroke is FALSE. Although some heat stroke victims show "anhydrosis" or lack of sweat, many people with temperatures higher than 105ºF/40.6ºC sweat diffusely. Don't assume that sweating means the person is not in danger. Lack of sweat is often a symptom only of late heatstroke and is even less common when the heatstroke is brought on by exercise in a hot environment. If a person shows the symptoms, and has been exposed to high heat, assume he or she has heatstroke.

B. TRUE, heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical treatment. Call 9-1-1 and begin first aid.

C. TRUE, first aid for heatstroke includes moving the victim to a cool place or a vehicle, removing clothing, and spraying with tepid water. Directing a fan at the person will help with evaporative cooling. Ice packs placed on armpits, groin, and neck can help. Transport the victim to the hospital with air conditioning on.

D. More men than women are heat stroke victims is FALSE. The numbers of female and male victims are equal. However, infants and the elderly are more at risk.

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Question 3: The pointy, brass tip of the wind vane points In the direction the wind is coming FROM. Note that the direction you should run if a grizzly bear happens upon you is AWAY from the bear.

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Question 4: If Dale put on his binoculars and looked down at the Temecula valley, what is he likely to see?

B. Vineyards and hot air balloons! The area is called the "Jewel of Riverside County" because of the excellent grape-growing conditions. The Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival will be held the last weekend in May - still time to get reserved concert tickets!

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Question 5: Which two of these facts about Roanoke, Virginia, are big fat lies?

A. is not a fact! You are thinking of Roanoke Colony, which was in present day North Carolina.

E. is also fiction. Roanoke has never had an NHL team. Not that they didn't try. The Roanoke Express first played in the ECHL back in the 1960's but the team skated their last season in 2003-2004.The Rangers have been New York's beloved NHL team since 1927.

Not lies: B.& C. It was called Big Lick! No wonder they changed the name to one that means money!
D. Floods are a problem in Roanoke -- sometimes as the result of hurricanes.
F. Wayne Newton grew up there, wishing perhaps, for a drier climate for his voice.)

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Each month after the E-News goes out, we receive messages back. Sometimes the messages are in response to a story we shared; other times they are a request for help of some kind. We read all the emails, answer those we can, and pass the rest on to the appropriate departments. If you're interested in the fastest possible reply, news@davisnet.com may not be the best place to send your message. Questions about how things work should be addressed to tech support directly at support@davisnet.com. For general information about the products, contact sales@davisnet.com. To request a catalog, see the links for catalog requests on our web site at www.davisnet.com/contact/catalog.asp.

What do you think of our E-news? Please continue to send your comments, weather URLs, and story suggestions to news@davisnet.com. We look forward to getting your comments and any responses you have to the Davis E-News. Member participation is what keeps the Davis E-News alive and kicking.

Well, that's it for this edition. You'll be hearing from us again next month!
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The Davis Weather Club E-Newsletter is published by Davis Instruments.

Vantage Connect, Vantage Vue, Vantage Pro2, Vantage Pro2 Plus, Vantage Pro, Vantage Pro Plus, Weather Monitor, Weather Wizard, WeatherLink, WeatherLinkIP, Weather Envoy, and Perception are trademarks of Davis Instruments Corp.