Davis on the Open Road

See Scott Slater. Scott has had a weather station in many stationary locations, including his home and vacation property since 1998. This made Scott very happy. But Scott and his wife love to camp and take to the open roads in their travel trailer, and this made Scott very sad.

Hear Scott lament: “I can’t be without my weather stations, even on vacation!”

So Scott, being Scott the Brilliant, decided to install a station on his travel trailer, “with little effort and cost.”

“The criteria in my design,” Scott told us, “was that I needed to have a setup that was secure as well as quick and easy to set up and take down while camping. I purchased two 8′ [2.4 m] sections of extension pipes which can lock together with a push button. One of the two sections pipes gets cut, one end of the cut pipe mounts permanently to the tongue jack with clamps, the other end of the cut pipe mounts to the base of the sensor suite. The full section of pipe basically mates with the pipe on the base of the sensor suite, with the opposite end mating with the pipe permanently attached to the tongue jack. It sets up and comes apart in less than 30 seconds. The console is mounted inside the trailer using heavy duty Velcro.”

Now see Scott. He is one happy camper.

“It works like a charm, is easy to set up and put away, and makes weather on the road a blast. Even my wife is finding the weather station is an essential part of camping.”

And one happy Davis customer! “I really enjoy Davis weather equipment. It’s so reasonably priced, reliable, robust, accurate and intuitive too. Plus the technical team is always a pleasure to work with if I have a problem, which I have to say has been a long, long time ago. Thanks, Davis for making such great weather instruments that are versatile enough to be used in so many places.”

Vantage Vue on RV
Scott’s Vantage Vue in the working position on the front of their travel trailer.
 
Vantage Vue mounted to RV
Close-up view of the pipe mounted to the tongue jack. Note that the top of the pipe mounted to the jack is tapered to accept the base of the full section of pipe. This allows the pipe to be rotated so the sensor suite points north. The top pipe mounted to the sensor suite mates with the full section securely with the push button.
 
Vantage Vue on RV
Here’s the station broken down and ready for storage.
 
Vantage Vue on RV
The mast pipe is clamped to the tongue jack with a combinations of two sizes of conduit hanger clamps bolted together that can be purchased at any local home improvements store.
 

This was featured in our February 2017 newsletter.

Vantage Connect & Vantage Pro2 Help Tame Crazy Weather for Anderson Valley Winery

The Charles family of Foursight Wines

The Charles family, Bill and Nancy Charles and their daughter and son-in-law Kristy Charles and Joe Webb, with two other important members of the wine-making team.

The Charles family has been working a piece of land in the lovely Anderson Valley of California for generations. But in 2006, Bill and Nancy Charles, along with their daughter and son-in-law, Kristy Charles and Joe Webb, opened Foursight Wines and began to produce small lots of estate-grown Pinot Noir, Semillon, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Anderson valley fog

The Anderson Valley has crazy temperature swings, but those extremes are often pleasingly moderated by fog.

The Anderson Valley, just outside of Boonville and just west of the famed Napa Valley, is one of the most unique wine-producing areas in the world. Growers there work with some of best—and some of the most extreme—weather conditions in the wine-making world. It’s cool and coastal with the long sunny days of California summers, but it is also a long, narrow valley that channels whipping winds. It also has crazy temperature swings, which can be very good—or very bad—for wine grapes. The valley is known for the highest diurnal temperature swings in the wine-growing world. Joe, who is Foursight’s winemaker and President of the Anderson Valley Wine Association, has recorded a 62-degree swing in one day, going from 107°F (42°C) in the afternoon to 45°F (7°C) that night. This is actually a very good thing, he told us. The extreme swings in temperature add to the quality of the grapes. Daytime highs provide a richness and fullness of the flavor to the fruit, while night time cool weather keeps the acidity of the grapes high—very good for premium wine grapes. But low temps can also lead to crop loss. Then there’s the wind. The winds change direction and speed on a daily basis. Warmer, drier winds zip out of the southeast to dehydrate the air, while cool winds bring in moisture from the northeast.

How could the growers cope with wind and temperature changes that vary more than any wine growing region in the world?

For the first few years, the weather sometimes won the battle. The first year’s production amounted to about 400 cases of Pinot Noir. Not bad, but the Charles’s knew they could do better. While each year was better than the last, the weather continued to be both their greatest asset and their greatest nemesis.

In 2008, the weather was particularly devious and Foursight Wines lost nearly half their crop to an early spring frost. It was clear that the only way they would end this battle with the elements would be to know their enemy! They knew they needed weather stations in each vineyard. However, the 15 acres that was hit hardest by the frost is over half a mile from the winery. How could they track weather conditions 24/7 in remote vineyards?

That’s when Vantage Connect and Vantage Pro2 came to the rescue! The Charles family now tracks conditions in all their vineyards, including the two most remote areas, on their tablets and smartphones. When temperatures drop to near 30°F (0°C), Vantage Connect sends text messages so the growers can turn on overhead sprinklers to raise the temperature to avert frost damage. They can see when a temperature inversion is putting a virtual lid on their vineyard and can turn on fans to mix the air. They can track growing degree days to help determine when the fruit is ready for harvest. And the best part is that they can see these weather events from the comfort of the winery, their bedrooms, or even from their vacations in Lake Tahoe or Hawaii.

Foursight vines

Fruit-laden Foursight vines with micro-sprayers.

This year Foursight Wines hopes to meet its goal of 1500 cases of sublime wine, glowing with a uniqueness that could only come from grapes grown in this special valley. While Mother Nature will never bow to our human authority, Vantage Connect and Vantage Pro2 has let the Charles family make her a true partner in the process.

You can check out the weather at Foursight Wines on their WeatherLink.com page.

This was featured in our October 2015 newsletter.

Michael Padua, the Maverick Meteorologist of Naga City

Michael Padua with his Vantage Vue

Michael Padua, up on the roof with his newest weather station, a Vantage Vue. It joins Michael’s trusty sidekick, Vantage Pro2, in watching out for storms in Naga City, Philippines.

David Michael V. Padua is the Executive Director of the Typhoon Preparedness Center in Naga City, Philippines, and clearly knows his weather (and weather stations!). He was recently featured in the The Philippine Daily Inquirer as the “One Man Weather Center.”

The “maverick meteorologist” has been a weather buff since childhood and may be one of the few who considers himself lucky to live in a place so well “blessed” with cyclones. He feels that people in the Philippines have had a “fatalistic bahala na [come-what-may] attitude” and his mission is to change that.

His web site, Typhoon2000, is a resource to many in Naga City, the Philippines, and internationally. He tries to make information understandable so residents can prepare for storms. He even offers a text message updater for up-to-the-minute storm information.

When a storm is threatening, Michael is constantly on his laptop. He manages to update his web site every hour when an area is threatened, compared with the four-times-a-day updates from the web site of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

He has rustled a few feathers at PAGASA, with whom he swears he doesn’t want to compete. But compete he does. Rather famously, back in 2004, he forecast that Cyclone Unding would indeed hit Naga City, while PAGASA said it would miss Naga City. Unfortunately for Naga City, Michael won that bet.

Michael is no newbie when it comes to Davis stations. “I’ve been using Davis products since 1995 when I got a Weather Wizard III,” he wrote. “It was destroyed by STY [Super Typhoon] Angela and replaced in 2004 with a Vantage Pro. That one was partially damaged by STY Durian. Then I added a Vantage Pro2 in 2007. I have just installed my fourth Davis product, the brand new and award-winning Vantage Vue which I purchased from your Phillipines distributor, Apex Inc.”

As Michael likes to say, “Thundering Typhoons!!!”

This personal weather station spotlight was featured in our January 2010 newsletter.

When Vantage Pro2s Take a Vacation…

Vantage Pro2 in Turks and Caicos

…they might go to the Turks & Caicos Islands. This lucky one belongs to Seamus Day and sits “on the very edge of the island, sited on Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos Islands, just pure ocean until you hit Africa to the east 2,500 miles (4,200 km) away.”

The Vantage Pro2 enjoys the same view as Seamus does when he looks out his home’s back window. “We are right next to the ocean, but elevated about 110 feet (35 m) on a cliff with a path to the beach below.”

Seamus got his station for use in his helicopter company. The company has since been sold, but the weather station stayed with Seamus.

While the weather is generally, well, fantastic on Grand Turk (some restaurants require that gentlemen wear “dress shorts” for dinner, and one time someone needed a sweater in the evening), Seamus’ station has seen some weather action. “We occasionally get hurricanes here, last year being the worst in fifty years with Hanna and Ike back to back, in a single week. Hurricane Ike came barreling in from the northeast in this exact position, with winds at 145 mph (233 kph). We are in the trade winds so we get high average wind speeds year-round, mainly from the east, with lots of sunshine and very little rain, allegedly only 27 inches (686 mm) per year; I will confirm if this is true next year!”

Meanwhile, pass the sun block.