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Davis Weather E-news
WEATHER IN ACTION

Officially the Southernmost City Vantage Pro2!

Vantage Vue mounted atop van


Can you find the Vantage Pro2 here in Ushuaia, Argentina? (We gave you a hint!)

Vantage Pro2 has officially landed in the officially southernmost city in the world: Ushuaia.

Our Argentine distributors, Mercobras S.A., were recently called upon to replace Ushuaia Port's broken (non-Davis!) weather station with a brand new Vantage Pro2.

Ushuaia is the capital of the Argentine island province of Tierra del Fuego. But it's just a hop, skip and snorkel from Antarctica. Well, maybe not a hop and skip, but it is only 3,990 km (2,480 miles) from the South Pole.

Boatloads of travelers en route to and from Antarctica, Buenos Aires, and the Falkland Islands stop at Ushuaia Port, known as the Port at the End of the World, and are treated to views of spectacular snow-capped mountains and green forests; as well as opportunities for skiing, hiking, and diving. They are also treated to a (not) balmy summer climate, where, on average the temperature in December is 9°C (48°F) . (Don't even ask about winter temperatures, but if it gets over 1°C (34°F) in July you're lucky. The winter low record is -25°C [-13°F]).) Despite high humidity, there usually isn't much precipitation, so fog and overcast skies are common. Then there is the wind - if you like a breezy, cool day, this is the spot for you, and you'll go crazy taking dramatic photos of trees bent by the relentless wind.

But the Mercobras Vantage Pro2 is ready to face it all. Mounted on an antenna tower 24 meters (78 feet) high, it is already reporting its chilly data to the Port's web site.

Thanks to Guillermo Perez, of Mercobras, S.A. for the photos!

Weather Check Quiz Question 1:

True or False: In Tierra del Fuego, the Andes run east-west, instead of north-south.

(Click here for answers.)


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WEATHER 101

Wind Chill Formula Mimics Human Body

Everyone knows that you'll feel a lot colder on a cold windy day than on a cold, but windless, day. A breeze is cooling, so on warm summer days even the dog knows to lie in front of the fan.

In cold weather, a brisk breeze seems to suck all the warmth right out of us. That is almost literally what's happening, because our bodies try to protect exposed areas by sending more blood to the surface. In windy conditions, evaporation and the rapid wisking away of warmed air close to the skin then increases the rate of heat loss. We lose heat faster and feel even colder!!

While we all understand it intuitively, meteorologists have struggled with a way to describe this phenomenon in a way that was useful in predicting the dangers of winter winds. But in this day of computer modeling, it became simpler to create an accurate and useful index that will give us a "feels like" temperature.

The 2001 NWS Wind Chill Temperature Index was designed to interpret the weather conditions like a human body, specifically, a human face. For example, while wind readings are made typically at 33 feet, the index calculates what the speed is at about 5 feet. It includes theories of heat transfer and skin tissue resistance. It assumes it is a clear night with no warmth from the sun and that the person is wearing suitable, dry clothes.

Using this index, your Vantage Pro2 or Vantage Vue console, uses air temperature (T) and wind speed in mph (V) to create wind chill by this formula:

Wind Chill (°F) = 35.74 + 0.6215T - 35.75(V0.16) + 0.4275T(V0.16)

Knowing the wind chill temperature, a person can accurately determine the danger of frostbite and hypothermia as well as whether or not to take the heavy parka when the weather is not terribly cold, but there is a breeze. Check out the color-coded graph on the NOAA's wind chill page.

You can see the wind chill on your console by pressing 2nd and CHILL. It's a very useful number, in our opinion!

Weather Check Quiz Question 2:

Is there an upper temperature limit for wind chill?

(Click here for answers.)

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TECH TIPS

Low Battery Message

On our Davis Facebook page, Phil posted that he got a brand new Vantage Pro2. He loves it, but was not happy that the console kept scrolling a low battery message. Phil wondered why the message appeared, even though he was running the console using the power adapter.

The "low console battery" message that might appear on either your Vantage Pro2 or Vantage Vue console comes on when the three C cell batteries in the console should be replaced. That little console is pretty "smart," but it can't tell the difference between a dead battery and no battery at all. Because Phil had not installed batteries in his console, the message would continue to appear. Installing batteries, even if you are using the power adapter, is a good idea, not only to get rid of this message, but also to keep your console powered in case of a power failure - which is not uncommon during the kind of storm that makes you really want to see your weather data!

(Note: You should not confuse the low console battery message with another low battery message that may appear on your console: "LOW BATTERY STN X". This one refers to the 3-volt lithium cell in the integrated sensor suite. This battery is a backup for the solar panel, keeping your ISS powered during periods of low sunlight. It is a very long-lived battery and, in conjunction with the solar panel, will provide power for years and years.)

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DAVIS IN THE NEWS

Canada Has Storms to Chase Too

A story in the Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan) features Regina storm chaser, weather web-master, and Vantage Pro owner, Greg Johnson. Check out the story for a wonderful glimpse at a a fellow weather "fanatic"!

Weather Check Quiz Question 3:

True or False: Canada has almost as many tornadoes per year as the United States.

(Click here for answers.)


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MAILBAG

Snakes on Your Rain Collector?

Vantage Vue mounted atop van

John Koenig, of Bayside, Texas, wrote to beg us for help in keeping "the National Bird of Texas (mockingbird) from standing on the rim of my rain gauge and making post-worm deposits into the rain bucket."

After John's Vantage Pro2 rain data dropped to zero, he climbed up to his rain collector and found about an inch of non-rain droppings in the bottom. We had a few suggestions (besides moving the rain collector down to a spot that is easier to access and clean) including mylar strips and bird tape.

John had an idea of his own: a plastic snake. He promises to keep us all informed if Texas's National Bird can tell a dead plastic one from a live and scaly one.

When the Swallows Return to ... Alaska?

Vantage Vue mounted atop van

Since we love birds, at least the kind that don't aim at our rain collectors, Mark Stadtmiller, of Tolsona, Alaska, thought we might like this photo.

"It's a tree swallow that likes to sit atop my weather station. This is the second year the swallows have taken to the perch and we're looking forward to seeing them again next year."

Weather Check Quiz Question 4:

How is a warbler like a meteorologist?

(Click here for answers.)

Big Bugs & Little Airplanes

Barb Conine liked our photos in the last issue, noting how cool it is that we got "the biggest bug and the smallest bird to advertise your line of weather stations!"

And the joke about the "jumbo jet" at the airport in the San Juan islands was not lost on Barb. Barb, who used to be one of the owners of the local air taxi in the area knows what she is talking about.

"Looks like an Otter, to me, through the window but could well be a Caravan, too," she told us.

Barb, at that terminal, "jumbo" is a relative term.

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Weather Check Quiz Question 5:

How big is the world's smallest piloted airplane?

(Click here for answers.)

Summertime in Nevada: 122°F

Noelene James-Mitts, of hot, hot, hot Laughlin, Nevada, is a fan of Davis tech support. They walked her through getting her data on Weather Underground (KNVLAUH4).

"Now the fun is watching how many hits a day we get and with the temperatures reaching up to 122°F (50°C),we have had as many as 90 hits a day. Our Vantage Pro has been sitting on the roof for 10 years now and is still operating just fine in spite of the high heat."

Words to Memorize

Jan Null, of Golden Gate Weather, liked the weather vocabulary words we had in our last issue. He pointed us toward the fantastic AMS Glossary of Meteorology, which has, we think, every possible weather word in the English language. 

Jan's all-time favorite? "Agnostic chart—A prognostic chart that no one believes."

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

ANSWERS TO QUIZ QUESTIONS

Question 1:True or False: In Tierra del Fuego, the Andes run east-west, instead of north-south.

True. After running generally north-south through seven countries (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina) and 5,000 miles (8,000 km), they turn sideways in Tierra del Fuego.

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Question 2: Is there an upper temperature limit for wind chill?

Yes. At about 93°F (34° C), a breeze begins to make you feel warmer rather than cooler. On a hot day, you'd want to know the Heat Index (pless the 2nd and HEAT buttons on your console) or, even better, the Temperature Humidity Sun Wind Index, if you have a Vantage Pro2 Plus or a Vantage Pro2 with a Solar Radiation Sensor.

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Question 3: True or False: Canada has almost as many tornadoes per year as the United States.

False. We in the United States are the tornado champions, by a long shot. However, Canada, it might make you feel better to know you are probably a distant second. According to the Canadian government's Get Prepared web site. "Tornadoes are relatively common in Canada, but only in specific regions: southern Alberta; Manitoba and Saskatchewan; southern Ontario; southern Quebec; the interior of British Columbia; and western New Brunswick. Tornado season extends from April to September with peak months in June and July, but they can occur at any time of year."

Greg Johnson's hometown of Regina is on the record books for one of Canada's worst tornadoes, the 1912 Regina Cyclone, an F4 that killed 28 people.

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Question 4: How is a warbler like a meteorologist?

Both pay close attention to the weather, especially changes in temperature, daylight/darkness ratio, and wind direction.
Both are hormonally induced to fatten up as the days grow shorter.
Both have been known to make non-stop flights of up to 2,500 miles (4,000 km).
Both are excellent singers.

Warblers, however, tend to wait out bad weather in a sheltered spot.

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Question 5: How big is the world's smallest piloted airplane?

The title goes to the Bumble Bee II, designed and owned by Robert H. Star of Phoenix, Arizona. Bumble Bee II had a wing span of 5'6", a length of 8'10", empty weight of 396 pounds, and a top speed of 190 mph. (Notice we said "had." The Bumble Bee II was apparently not a great flying machine. It was completely destroyed in a crash that Star barely survived.) Lots more tiny plane info can be found on Aerospace Web.

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WHO YOU GONNA CALL?

Davis!
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.We think you should know that 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 new E-news format? 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 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.