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2017 News Archive

Capricorn User guide

The guide presents Capricorn FLX™ features, operation, and monitoring options.

This new self-guided slide presentation provides a visual overview of the Capricorn FLX™ Weather Station system with details on available components, monitoring options, installation and operation.

For flexible parameter selection and optimal sensor location, the Capricorn FLX™ Weather Station has been utilized in many applications including construction, military aviation, and mass transit. The modular system features proven, reliable mechanical wind sensors, temperature and/or humidity sensor(s) in a self-aspirating radiation shield, and many other meteorological sensor options.

Click for User Guide

Click for Capricorn Weather Station

PEAC Weather Station for HazMat

Data from the weather station automatically populates to help create a Protective Action Distance.

In HazMat or CBRN incidents, toxic cloud movement can be affected by wind, solar heating and cooling, humidity and precipitation as well as topographical features. Depending on meteorology, the toxic cloud could be several miles long, but only a few blocks wide. Changing wind patterns could cause the plume to shift, or meander in another direction.

PEAC® Software from Aristatek provides responders with vital information to make informed decisions such as evacuation at an incident scene. Its features include integrated mapping, an easy-to-use toxic or flammable vapor cloud dispersion model, and a comprehensive database of toxic industrial chemicals, biological agents, explosives, and radioactive isotopes. Utilizing a variety of modeling tools, the PEAC System quickly calculates standoff distances and exclusion zones based on actual met data and conditions.

Based on the request of several of our customers, data from CWS weather stations can be integrated automatically to provide on-site met data at an incident. Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue has used PEAC with their Orion™ Weather Station using a serial connection. Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety and the City of Moorhead Fire Departments utilize Weather Master Software to integrate their Magellan MX™ weather stations.

Integrated Tools for Public Protection: Plume Modeling Calculator

If a hazardous material produces a vapor cloud that is toxic by inhalation, the PEAC system can calculate a Protective Action Distance (PAD) based on meteorological data and other information available at the scene such as topography and source. Weather stations can be set up to automatically upload and update met data.

Click for PEAC Interface Tutorial

Link to PEAC Software by Aristatek

Freezing Rain Sensor

Freezing Rain Sensor helps determine the presence of ice conditions.

Following a winter ice storm, Vermont Electric Power Company determined that a better picture of weather conditions was necessary at their key locations.

Responding to the customer request, we have added a Freezing Rain Sensor for use with the Weather MicroServer.

The sensor uses resonant frequencies to determine the presence of icing conditions. Included is a built-in heater for automatic defrost.

The de-icing (heater) control is automatically triggered with accumulation of 0.5mm of ice on probe.

Click on Additional Sensors Tab for More Info

Solar Car

Eos II races across the Australian outback.

When the University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project was looking for a weather station to help them compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, they contacted Columbia Weather Systems.

A Magellan MX500™ Weather Station was mounted on a support vehicle to provide met data to help optimize power for the solar-powered, cruiser-class car dubbed "Eos II." Besides speed, cruiser-class vehicles focus on practicality and number of people in the car.

Gearing up for the race, electrical technical advisor Spencer Berglund related, "We've been test driving a lot for the past few days and have been using your weather station for gathering accurate power to drive data for our car. We will also be using it every day on the race."

The U of M Solar Vehicle Project is a student-administered, designed, and built project that teaches members about engineering and management in a complete product development environment. The diverse design and construction challenges help further the school's mission to "create the best engineers possible."

Eos II was one of only five Cruiser-Class cars to drive the entire course across the Australian outback on its own power. Congratulations team UMNSVP!

Watch for Eos II next summer at the American Solar Challenge!

Video shows Magellan MX500 on the support vehicle - look quickly!

Weather Server News Image

The newly designed online interface can be customized, and accessed through any web browser.

Keys Energy Services, a public power utility in Florida, is using our new cloud-based server in anticipation of Hurricane Irma. The company uses the cloud Weather Server to monitor weather conditions remotely to make key operational decisions.

The company has four Orion Weather Stations, whose real-time data can be easily accessed. On a day to day basis, Keys Energy monitors wind speed to determine if workers can safely operate machinery.

Our new cloud Weather Server features real-time weather data monitoring that is easily accessible on the Internet. Users can view the display screen remotely from any device using a web browser.

Multiple weather stations can be networked, with the display including an overview option to view key data points from weather stations simultaneously.

The cloud Weather Server comes standard with the Weather MicroServer, a CWS proprietary monitoring option available with any of our weather stations. The MicroServer automatically uploads current weather data to the Weather Server at a 5-second interval. Additional features are planned for phase two, and customization is available.

Click here for a video description

Click here for the Cloud Weather Server Page

Air Liquide's Data

Graph of Air Liquide’s data from Weather Underground for Sunday, August 27. Note significantly high winds between 3:30 and 10:00 p.m. (gusts up to 42 mph) with lowered air pressure.

Last week we received a call from Air Liquide, an industrial gas production company, for help connecting their Orio­n Weather Station™ to Weather Underground® in anticipation of Hurricane Harvey.

All CWS weather stations can feed data automatically from WeatherMaster™ software or the Weather MicroServer™ to Weather Underground, where the information is readily available online.

Click Here for instructions on how to connect your CWS weather station to Weather Underground.

pizza party

Enjoying good pizza and good company

Gary Bock photo

Welcome to our new Business Development Manager, Gary

Anniversary Celebration

Early this July, Columbia Weather Systems celebrated 20 years of engineering custom weather stations. Reflecting on the past 20 years, and looking towards the future, there was certainly much celebrating to be had.

Welcoming New Team Members

Gary joined us this month as our Business Development Manager. He has a background in environmental science, project management, and business development. He looks forward to connecting with new prospects and opening new markets and opportunities for CWS. “Great customer service is key to building new business,” he says.

Evan is a Marketing major at Portland State University, and the newest addition and intern to our marketing department. In addition to marketing and fighting fires, he also enjoys videography, and works on student film and media projects at PSU.

Evan Marketing Intern

Welcome to Evan, our new marketing intern!

Steven Gutierrez, Objective Engineer for Continental Tire, and the Capricorn FLX weather station.

Kathy recently visited the Continental Tires Uvalde Proving Grounds in Texas. Uvalde consists of 8.5 miles of track that represent almost every type of road terrain and condition.

They push cars and tires to their limits. Customized Capricorn FLX weather stations record track temperature and location specific weather conditions—data that their engineers use to develop safer, better tires.

Speed, handling, braking distance, tread wear, are some of the tests conducted. Every external variable is thoroughly looked at as Continental conducts their tests.Wet pavement vs dry pavement, cobblestone vs dirt vs pavement, cold vs warm temperatures. Nothing is over looked.

Seeing their engineers utilize our weather stations for their highly intense and precise work was a privilege.

Click here for Capricorn FLX page

Click here for Continental's Uvalde Proving Grounds

Weather Underground feed

Data presented in the Weather Underground iPad App.

WeatherMaster™ Software from Columbia Weather Systems now feeds data directly to Weather Underground® for meteorological data viewing from any Internet-enabled device.

WeatherMaster is a PC-compatible software which can be used with any CWS weather station model. (Previously uploading to Weather Underground required a Weather MicroServer™.) CWS weather stations earn the Goldstar rating from Weather Underground as a “high-quality station.”

Weather Underground is an excellent way for companies to make their weather data viewable to a broad audience including workforce and the public. It offers a graphically pleasing, real-time monitoring screen with weather station data, some historical data and graphs. It also adds radar where available and the option to embed widgets.

Besides the Internet network site, Weather Underground offers apps for iPhones and Android phones, as well as the WunderStation App for iPad® devices. This makes monitoring weather stations easy across devices.

Click here for Weather Master Software page

Click here for CWS Weather Underground station

Pulsar 800 lightning bolt

Lightning detection is now available with the new Pulsar 800 Weather Station.

“The added lightning detection feature helps customers who are concerned with public safety in their planning of a wide range of outdoor activities,” CWS President Nader Khoury explains. “This ranges from sporting events, to public concerts and outdoor military training”.

The sensor analyzes radio wave emission of the lightning and delivers a count of recognized strikes within a 10 km (6.2 mile) radius. It is designed for professional meteorological applications and provides reliable data, even in extreme conditions.

In addition to lightning detection, the Pulsar 800 includes Doppler radar precipitation, ultrasonic wind speed and direction, temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, solar radiation, and an electronic compass.

Combined, these features make the ­Pulsar 800 “an all-in-one source for making informed decisions regarding public safety,” Nader says.

Click here for Weather Stations with Lightning Detection

Marketing Weather Stations

Experiencing, enjoying and measuring the weather for former broadcast engineer of 41 years Michael Koenig has truly been “a lifelong passion". He began building his own weather instruments while still in early grade school.

Recently retiring to southwest Florida, a region known for having the most thunder and lightning storms in the country, he reached out to CWS to acquire a high-performance station to track the anticipated "crazy weather". He eventually selected an Orion Weather Station.

Michael wrote that he chose CWS because we:

  • Offer the highest technology possible across all market segment and price points,
  • Have great system integration between all components, and
  • Provide “exemplary” customer service.

“Thanks for delivering a stellar product," Michael comments. "I can't think of a more capable station for southwest Florida!”

Read the full story here

Marketing Weather Stations

Bethany is our Marketing Intern

Weather Station Software Intern

Alex is our Software Intern

We are happy to welcome two of our summer interns.

Bethany Villero just graduated from George Fox University with a degree in Business Management. She will be assisting in our marketing department. Besides a “fascination for storms and cloud formations,” Bethany has run her own portrait photography business for six years.

Software intern, Alex Pulido, is working on our proprietary Cloud Server and other monitoring products. This internship will complete Alex’s Web Development degree from Portland Community College.

Another marketing intern will be joining us in June from Portland State University.

Welcome aboard!

Smart Water Weather Monitoring

Show and tell Weather MicroServer system diagram for the AWWA presentation.

Nader gave a presentation on weather monitoring to the AWWA’s PNWS Oregon Subsection April Meeting hosted at the North Clackamas County Water Commission.

With the rise of data-driven decision-making and inter-agency collaboration, weather monitoring is becoming increasingly important across government agencies. The Internet of Things movement is a big drive toward Smart Everything – Smart Phones, Smart Cities, Smart Governments. With the integration/interoperability of city-wide agency systems, “Smart Water” plays a significant role and weather monitoring can be a part of it:

  • Monitoring for drought/flooding
  • Stormwater management
  • Data points and more

Weather stations can be a tool to provide information for analysis, to make data available to other agencies, and to the public.

Utility weather station with DNP3

Utility weather station with DNP3 interface

In an our quest for continual improvement and meeting customer requirements, we have added a DNP3 Serial interface to the Weather MicroServer.

DNP3 (Distributed Network Protocol) interface is mainly used in process automation systems used by utilities such as electric power, water/waste, transportation and the oil and gas industry.

The DNP3 Serial interfaces via an RS-485 port with configurable baud rate as well as master and slave addresses.

Additional information:

Mobile Weather Authority

Mobile Weather Authority features Magellan MX500 and Weather Master Software.

A mobile broadcast communication truck and “rolling weather station” provides 13WHAM television station in Rochester, NY a unique tool to accomplish their goals:

  • Track Western NY Weather
  • Educate students in Meteorology
  • Maintain competitive advantage

The Chevy SUV features the Magellan MX500™ Weather Station and Weather Master™ Software. Click a link below to read more.

Mobile Weather Authority Case Study PDF

Mobile Weather Authority Application Page

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