Vantage Vue Stands Up to TWO Tornados in One Looooooong Night

This awesome shot of the supercell that produced several tornados was taken by Accuweather Meteorologist Brandon Sullivan in Stephenville,Texas, on April 26.

Quite a few of our more unlucky stations have encountered a tornado. But Michael Kennedy’s Vantage Vue survived (for the most part) not one, but TWO tornados within a couple of hours!

The hearty little station has been peacefully reporting on the drought-stricken weather of Cleburne, Texas, for several years. Michael told us he bought the station because his home is far enough south of Fort Worth that most of the time the forecasts don’t apply to his location.

“There is no such thing as a weather warning siren this far out in the county,” he said.

But on the last weekend in April, the dry spell changed to downpours, flooding, lightning, huge hail, and reports of at least EIGHT (and as many as 19!) tornados touching down near his home. When Michael’s Vantage Vue was hit by the second tornado’s 120 mph/193 kph winds and huge hail, it lost its wind cups, but otherwise didn’t miss a beat.

“On Sunday, April 26th,” Michael wrote, “we had been experiencing hours of 15 to 20 mph [24 to 32 kph] winds and constant thunder and lightning for almost six hours. However, no rainfall. At about 10:15 p.m. we went to bed only to be rattled within minutes by a tornado striking our property. I jumped up and ran into the kitchen and looked at my weather station console and it was showing a 121 mph [195 kph] wind with a rate of rain at 72.00 inches [1,829 mm] per hour. We experienced major property damage, but the weather station was still functioning. At about 12:30 a.m., another tornado struck our property and unfortunately this time was accompanied by large hail. My station did not perform quite as well. Two of the wind cups were sheared off by the hail.”

Others were not so lucky. The tornados sheared off roofs, tossed trees onto homes, and even flipped 18-wheelers, but miraculously, no serious injuries were reported.

Michael, who is an engineer, and his family were left rattled and picking up the pieces, but impressed by the Vantage Vue’s toughness.

“The remaining features worked as advertised. It was a very scary event for everyone in our rural community, but I just wanted to let you folks know how impressed I was with what your equipment was obviously designed to withstand. I assure you my next equipment purchase will also have the Davis name on it. However, if your equipment can withstand two tornados in two hours, it may be some time before I am in the market for new equipment. Thanks for producing a product that is truly worth what you ask for it.”

(For a little taste of scary, check out this video taken by storm chasers Spencer Basoco and Lawrence McEwen, as their chase vehicle’s windshield is smashed to smithereens by the sudden downpour of 5″ to 6″ (13 to 15 cm) hail.)

Michael’s replacement wind cups are in the mail. May they live long and hail- and tornado-free!

This was featured in our May 2015 newsletter.

Matthew Puts This Vantage Vue Down, But Not Out

Vantage Vue knocked down by Hurricane Matthew

This Vantage Vue was ripped from her mount, floated off on the storm surge, and dumped back on the beach. After a little TLC, the sensor suite was back to work!

When Hurricane Matthew had finally passed over Charles Huck’s home in South Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, in October, Charles ventured out to assess the damage. He found an old friend, down, but far from done. His Vantage Vue was ripped from her mount, floated off on the storm surge, and dumped back on the beach, where Charles found her lying in the weeds. The wind speed shaft was too bent to work, and she was full of sand and seawater, but after a little TLC, the temperature, humidity, wind direction, and rain gauge were all quickly back in working condition.

Hey, when we say we built that thing to be tough, we meant it. Thanks Charles!

This story was featured in our November 2016 newsletter.

Davis Weather Stations in the CosmoCaixa Science Museum of Barcelona

Weather system in museum in Spain

Our Spanish distributor, Darrera, is taking Davis weather technology to the people of Spain. First they hit the airwaves, showing off the Vantage Pro2 on the program El Escarabajo Verde on Spanish public TV.

Then they hit the CosmoCaixa Science Museum of Barcelona, one of the most important museums in the country on environment, nature and space, where they installed a new set of interactive weather experiments.

“The different experiments showcase in a fun and engaging way how wind, temperature, humidity, rain, and solar and UV radiation are measured,” Darrera’s Marc Arazo told us. “As you can see, they work thanks to Davis sensors.”

“Each experiment is connected to an analog panel meter that reflects the changes as they occur, and is also accompanied by a touch screen monitor that shows real-time weather data from the Davis station located on the CosmoCaixa rooftop, as well as visual and textual explanations about each specific variable. All the weather data from the rooftop station is stored in a Weathercloud meteOS server, which features a stylish browser-based user interface.”

Weather system in museum in Spain

“One important thing,” he wrote of the sensor suite on the roof, “was to separate the rain gauge from the tower so rain would not be affected, while being able to install the anemometer at the top. The whole system is protected with our new stainless steel-copper lightning protection kit and a surge protector.”

Here is a YouTube video of the rain collector’s tipping bucket in action.

Gorgeous installation, Marc! Gracias por las fotos!