In case you were curious
as to how to interpret some of the weather data you see here (or how we
determine this data), use the following guide:
The icon that you see
(Sunny, Partly Cloudy, Rain, Thunderstorm, Fog, etc) is generated using
the latest weather report from the Indianapolis International Airport.
In general, these conditions are accurate for our area. We would
use Anderson Airport's reported conditions, however they are not updated
except when the airport is open. Therefore, it is more accurate to
use the ones that are frequently updated in Indianapolis.
We also use something
called "Smart Forecast" to over-ride the conditions that the airport
gives us. For instance, if there is currently a rain rate being
reported by the weather station, we know that it is currently raining.
Therefore, we can safely over-ride the conditions the airport gives us
and replace it with our own generated conditions. We can take this
a step further by taking into consideration the actual rain rate.
If the rain is coming down fast, we know it's a "Heavy Rain" condition.
If it is gusty, we can also consider that this might actually be a
As you can see, there
is some room for error in the "Current Conditions", however this should
be a fairly accurate guess as to what the conditions actually are at our
I'm sure you can guess
what air temperature is. We get this reading by using a sensor
that is enclosed in a shielded (but non-aspirated) case. The case
is designed to keep the probe in complete darkness, preventing the
temperature from being affected by solar heating. There are slots
in the case that allow for airflow around the sensor.
Our weather station
reports relative humidity. This is the amount of water vapor
actually in the air, divided by the amount of water vapor the air can
hold. This value is actually calculated from the station's reading
of the dew point, or the temperature at which the air would be saturated
given its current moisture content.
High dew points are
generally uncomfortable in the summer (most people will say it feels
humid when the dew point is above 60 and will say it is sticky and
uncomfortable at dew points over 70). When a storm is approaching,
dew point can be a predictor of how severe a storm might get.
Frequently, the higher the dew point, the higher the potential for
approaches, dew point can help determine how cool it might get
overnight. It will be difficult for the air temperature to drop
below the dew point (exceptions would include a cold front coming
through and bringing a different air mass with it). As the air
temperature reaches the dew point, water vapor in the air will begin to
condense, a process that actually releases heat. This condensation
is what forms dew and fog.
Our anemometer is
located on a radio tower, approximately 30 feet off of the ground and
clear of all possible obstructions. The anemometer is located a
considerable distance from any trees or buildings near its height.
This allows for accurate readings of our wind speed and direction.
Our station includes a
barometer. This force that is exerted by the weight of the air on
the sensor. 29.92" Hg is considered 'average' at sea level.
Numbers above this generally predict fair weather, and numbers below
predict rainy weather. The barometric trend (rising or falling)
will help in predicting if the weather will clear or turn more
We have imbedded a
temperature probe into a piece of asphalt on our property. This
probe is approximately 1/2" from the surface of the asphalt. The
probe is also compacted into the asphalt using putty, allowing for a
good thermal seal.
The purpose of this probe
is to allow us to be aware of when the road is cold enough that it is
likely to have ice formation. It is important to remember that no
two road surfaces are identical and one road may ice before another.
Other factors (such as wind and available water) can play a part in road
icing as well. When this sensor is near the freezing mark, please
take extra caution while driving.
We have buried a
temperature probe into the soil on our property. This probe is at
4" in depth and is in compacted soil. In the spring, heavy rains
sometimes occur while the ground is still frozen. This will often
result in flooding conditions. By using the soil temperature
sensor, we can often anticipate when flooding may occur following a
A soil moisture sensor
is imbedded in the soil on our property. This probe is at a depth
of 3" and is buried at a 45 degree angle (per installation
instructions). By using this probe, we are able to see how
saturated the ground is, and how likely it will be to accept more water.
If we receive a heavy rain when the ground is already saturated,
flooding is the likely result.
A lower number reading
means more saturated soil. The following ranges were included as a
guide with the sensor (obviously aimed towards farmers irrigating
Saturated Soil. Occurs for a day or two after irrigation.
Soil is adequately wet (except coarse sands which are drying out
at this range)
Usual range to irrigate or water (except heavy clay soils).
Irrigate at the upper end of this range in cool, humid climates
and with higher water-holding capacity.
Usual range to irrigate heavy clay soils
Soil is becoming dangerously dry for maximum production.
Proceed with caution.
For our purposes of
flooding, a number of less than 10 centibars is a concern. A
reading under 20 centibars is a possible concern if it is an extremely
Our weather station
includes a sensor to measure the UV Index. The UV Index is an
indicator of the intensity of UV-B rays. The following chart (made
by the EPA) is a good guide:
Wear sunglasses on bright days. In winter, reflection off snow can
nearly double UV strength. If you burn easily, cover up and
Take precautions, such as covering up and using sunscreen, if you
will be outside. Stay in the shade near midday when the sun
Protection against sunburn is needed. Reduce time in the sun
between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses,
and use sunscreen.
Take extra precautions. Unprotected skin will be damaged and
can burn quickly. Try to avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 4
p.m. Otherwise, seek shade, cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses,
and use sunscreen.
Take all precautions. Unprotected skin can burn in minutes.
Beachgoers should know that white sand and other bright surfaces
reflect UV and will increase UV exposure. Avoid the sun
between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seek shade, cover up, wear a hat
and sunglasses, and use sunscreen.
Solar radiation is a
measure of how much of the sun's energy strikes our sensor. This
includes the entire electromagnetic spectrum, and not only the UV-B