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2018 News Archive

Roof of building destroyed by high winds

Hurricane-force winds tear the roof off of a building in Port aux Basques, Newfoundland.

The roof was blown off a building in Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, Canada, as high winds battered the area on November 29. The incident was brought to our attention by our customer Marine Atlantic. They contacted us with the data log file to help verify the wind speed at the time of the incident.

The company operates the ferry service to Nova Scotia, and has an Orion Weather Station situated on an island not far from the building. The graph below shows a peak of 88.3 mph for the 10-minute average gust at about 8:30.

According to local news reports, hurricane-strength winds caused widespread power outages and property damage to the region. “Weather stations are working great and very pleased with the equipment,” they concluded.

The company has multiple Orion Weather Stations with MicroServer, Weather Display console and WeatherMaster Software.

Watch the video here.

Call for a quote toll free 1-866-625-8620 or email.

Lake Weather Station

Specialized sensors can be integrated with AIO weather sensor data via the Weather MicroServer.

Do you wonder: “Why should we buy a weather station from Columbia Weather Systems?” One reason is exemplified in a recent order slated for Honduras.

The customer requested an Orion™ Weather Station with a twist. He wanted to monitor the level and temperature of the water at his lakeside property. These sensors were easily incorporated via the Weather MicroServer™ with all parameters displayed on a Weather Display Console, as well as WeatherMaster™ Software.

CWS offers customized weather monitoring solutions via:

  1. a wide range of system configurations
  2. with many sensor technologies, and
  3. user-friendly monitoring options.

What are your requirements?

Call for a quote toll free 1-866-625-8620 or email.

Pulsar Weather Station mounted on vehicle

Pulsar 600 Weather Station mounted on Mobile Weather Vehicle of WCSH6 in Maine.

"The best technology when it comes to data collection for weather," according to a popular broadcast meteorologist. Our top-of-the-line Pulsar™ weather station model offers all-in-one sensor module with several parameter configurations to choose from.

Advanced features include Doppler radar for precipitation measurement with type and intensity, ultrasonic wind measurement with 0-75 meters per second range, and electronic compass for auto-alignment of wind direction.

The Pulsar line is popular for television station mobile weather labs and other applications requiring high accuracy such as Siemens, AT&T, and Raytheon.

Pulsar Weather Station Line

OMSI in Portland

OMSI in Portland, OR was the event venue.

Conference crowd

Over 300 attendees heard weather predictions for this coming winter season.

Oregon AMS Website

Link to video

Link to Speaker Presentations

Nader and Gary represented CWS at the 26th Annual Winter Weather Forecast Conference hosted by the Oregon Chapter of The American Meteorological Society (AMS). Over 300 weather enthusiasts gathered at OMSI to hear local experts. Here’s a recap:

  • Mark Nelsen from FOX 12 Oregon and KPDX TV reviewed last winter’s weather, celebrating correct predictions and needling the incorrect ones.
  • Jim Todd of OMSI filled us in on astronomical events of the last year, including launches by SpaceX and Blue Origin.
  • Tyree Wilde from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Rodd Hill from KGW-TV and Kyle Dittmer from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission predicted warmer temperatures, with estimates of snowpack and the number of snow events in Portland varied.

CWS is proud to participate with our local chapter of the AMS. We enjoy the monthly meetings, and the Winter Weather Conference is the highlight of the year!

Gary at AMS Conference

Gary speaks with visitors at the CWS booth.

Fall Leaves

Celebrating the Autumn by our resident photographer and president.

September was a busy month at CWS. We shipped one of our biggest orders ever to the Department of Homeland Security. It required all hands on deck -- but we were even able to get it out ahead of schedule!

Blog posting highlighted weekly themes for National Preparedness Month.

The updated Presentations page was released on our website with Powerpoint slides including a User Guide for each of our weather station models. This is particularly useful for our dealers and resellers who request sales tools.

The City of Boca Raton sent us a link to a news clip which showcased their weather station system featuring our Cloud Weather Server.

Welcome to Autumn!

All Hands on Deck -- short video

Link to Presentations page

Boca Raton Fire Station -- news clip video

Cell Modem in Enclosure

Cell modem communication is a convenient option for remote monitoring.

The Cell Modem communication option with the Weather MicroServer provides a remote connection to the Internet, enabling functions such as real-time data viewing, downloading datalog files, and connection to a cloud server such as Weather Underground or the proprietary CWS Cloud Weather Server.

After initial configuration by CWS, the customer is responsible to provide cell service.

This option is popular for local government agencies, landfills, and weather networks.

Click for Weather MicroServer and navigate to the Communication Tab

Air Quality Conference

The conference drew air quality monitoring agencies and vendors from all over the country.

Sun with smoke

The sun appears to be a deep red as fires from surrounding areas continue to burn and affect air quality.

With our recent expansion into Air Quality, it was fortuitous that the National Ambient Air Monitoring Conference was in Portland this year. Somewhat ironically, with the wildfires across the western United States, the air quality in the Portland metro area has been some of the worst ever.

Note the chart showing particulates PM10 and PM2.5, 24-hrAvg, for the past few days from our on-site Orion AQM.

Air Quality Index Chart

The Air Quality Index in the Portland Area reached "unhealthy" levels this week.

One highlight of the conference was seeing the SciArk™ by Envirolytics which features our Magellan MX500™ Weather Station. The SciArk is “a field-deployable, alternate-fuel, EPA certified, zero emissions, solar and wind assisted mobile lab.”

SciArk Mobile Lab

Envirolytics CEO Alan Joseph shows Nader the SciArk Mobile Lab featuring the MagellanMX 500 Weather Station.

For more info, watch the video here (The weather station makes a cameo appearance at about 2:50.) “You have a great product! We couldn’t do what we do without you guys,” said Alan Joseph, CEO.

Our Air Quality Monitoring instruments can be used independently with the Weather MicroServer, and/or in conjunction with additional meteorological sensors. Click here for more information.

SciArk Interior

The SciArk utilizes the Weather MicroServer.

Solar Car

EOS II solar car visited CWS with the UMNSVP team.

We enjoyed a visit from the University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project Team on their way home from the American Solar Challenge which finished in Bend, Oregon. Columbia Weather donated a Magellan MX500™ weather station to the project. The weather station is mounted on the lead vehicle during races to provide strategic data. Met measurements are correlated with course info and solar car data to optimize speed and energy consumption.

Racing in the Cruiser Class of Multi-Occupancy Vehicles, UMNSVP placed first in the Formula Sun Grand Prix (a track-based qualifier) and second in the ASC. Congratulations and thanks for stopping by!

Orion AQM Plus

Orion AQM Plus measures gaseous pollutants, met parameters, and particulates.

The new Orion Air Quality Monitor expands the environmental offerings from Columbia Weather Systems to measure common gaseous pollutants Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and ozone (O3) with meteorological parameters humidity, air pressure and temperature. The Orion AQM Plus model adds particle measurements PM2.5 and PM10.

This new system offers a more cost-effective solution that can be paired with additional meteorological parameters to provide a comprehensive air quality monitoring in micro-climates with complex terrains and urban areas.

Monitoring is accomplished via a MicroServer, and data can be downloaded for archival and analysis.

Click for More on Air Quality Monitoring

Desktop Display

Color Weather Display

We are updating these Real Time Monitoring interfaces. The new design is rolling out of production effective immediately.

One update is the new wind direction pointer which clarifies where the wind is blowing from and points where the wind is blowing to. The design retains the dark background with bright lettering suitable for control room environments.

A no-charge firmware upgrade is available for Weather Display consoles purchased since Version 2.4.9434, 04/24/2017.

A no-charge firmware upgrade is available for Weather MicroServers purchased since 9/9/2015.

Besides the new look, the MicroServer upgrade includes support for some of our newest sensors including the Pulsar 100 Doppler Radar Precipitation Monitor and the new Air Quality Monitors.

If your system is prior to the above specifications, please contact us for upgrade options.

Click for Color Weather Display Page

Click for MicroServer Page

Fire 5 Reasons

Accurate, on-site weather data can benefit water utilities in many ways.

Meteorological data can be a critical tool for water utility managers to make intelligent decisions to improve efficiencies, safety, and public information.

Whether dealing with water supply, stormwater, or wastewater treatment, weather conditions impact both routine operations and emergencies.

Starting with Water Week 2018, we launched a new article series unpacking how Smart Water Utilities can utilize weather instruments and met data in these five areas:

  • Operations
  • Odor Control
  • Public Service
  • Data Analytics and Automation
  • Drone Use

Click to Read Article

Vincent in the lift

Vincent in the lift to access the Orion sensor module atop the GRE wall.

Last week Vincent and Nader had an unusual opportunity to participate in the commissioning of a new Orion Weather Station for the Ground Run-up Enclosure (GRE) at the Portland International Airport. The GRE purpose is to reduce environmental noise during aircraft engine testing. Operation is impacted by weather parameters -- primarily wind and temperature.

The Port of Portland operates the facility and chose an Orion™ Weather Station with Weather MicroServer to replace their old system.

Vincent and Nader inspected the installation and verified the data stream. In addition to everything working smoothly as expected, a highlight of the excursion was observing a couple of military planes taking off close by.

click to read the expanded story with 30-sec video

Hinds/CWS Owners Photo

Helen Hinds (center, widow of Gene) with members of the Hinds Family who are owners of Columbia Weather Systems: Paul and Julie, James and Nancy, Tom and Judy, Nader and Martha (Hinds) Khoury

We’ve made no secret of the fact that Columbia Weather Systems is a family-owned small business. Today we’d like to offer a glimpse into the family.

Last week we celebrated the retirement of one of the CWS owners, Paul Hinds, president of Hinds Instruments, from which CWS was spun off in 1997. It was a bit of a history review.

  • In 1971, Hinds International was started by Gene Hinds, joined by his eldest son Paul. In later years, sons James and Tom also joined the company as it grew.
  • Rebranded “Hinds Instruments”, the company narrowed its focus to manufacture two very different scientific instruments – photoelastic modulators and weather stations.
  • Gene retired in 1995 passing ownership of the company to the three sons who were active in the business, along with their spouses. The eldest son, Paul, has been president.
  • In 1997, the weather station business was spun off to create Columbia Weather Systems headed up by Nader Khoury and his wife Martha (Hinds) Khoury.

These video clips from speeches at Paul’s retirement party offer some insight into the character of the company leadership. The first is from Tom Hinds who takes over as president of Hinds Instruments. The second are some reflections from Paul himself.

Fire 5 Reasons

Accurate, on-site weather data is an important component of incident response.

If you are in the business of emergency management, public safety, fire, hazmat, etc., this new article on ourwebsite might be of interest to help sell your department on the idea of having a weather station ... or two or three.

"Being aware of the weather conditions before, during, and after an incident is imperative.”

Fleshing out ideas from a previous blog post, this article goes into greater detail with more specific information and insightful quotes from industry leaders.

Click to Read Article

Pulsar 100 Precipitation Monitor

The new Pulsar 100™ Precipitation Monitor offers the latest technology in rich precipitation data.

The 24-GHz Doppler radar precipitation-only monitoring system was developed in response to the requirements of Ferrari for vehicle testing, and “will be useful for applications that require fast response, high resolution, and precipitation types,” according to Nader Khoury, CWS president. “The Pulsar 100 is a powerful sensor with the latest technology that gives us rich data for multiple types of precipitation.”

  • Distinguishes precipitation types such as rain, freezing rain, hail, snow and sleet.
  • Maintenance-free, making it useful in areas that are difficult to access.
  • Detects precipitation from the first drop, enabling users to make immediate decisions and eliminating the delays of an accumulation-based system such as tipping bucket.

Data is monitored via the Weather MicroServer offering a variety of real-time monitoring and data collection options including Internet and industrial protocols.

Click for Pulsar Weather Stations

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