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2019 News Archive

Nader explaining the bird spikes.

Nader explaining how the bird spikes protect the ultrasonic wind sensors.

We had some special visitors in the office! These second and fourth graders are studying weather in school and stopped by to learn how our meteorological instruments are built and used to monitor the weather.

Customization is key at Columbia Weather Systems. Every system we build is custom-engineered, from the sensor integration to packaging. This Magellan MX500 sensor module is destined for a Portable Weather Station system.

In this video Alex is trimming the liner for the transportation case with his ingenious hot-wire foam cutter. The foam insert keeps the sensitive electronics, including the meteorological sensor module, and other components from shifting during a potentially rugged deployment.

Link to Magellan MX Portable Weather Stations Page

Larissa, Natural Resources Director for the Shoalwater Bay Tribe, came by to pick up their new Air Quality Monitoring System. Vincent gave her a run-though of the components (about 1 min edited video). The tribe wants to monitor environmental conditions in the area and display the data on their website.

Their system configuration includes:

  • Orion AQM Plus with measurement of particles (PM2.5 and PM10); gaseous pollutants NO^2, SO^2, CO, and ozone O^3; humidity, air pressure and temperature
  • Orion 533 for rainfall, wind speed and direction
  • Two radiation sensors (Combined UVA/UVB and pyranometer)
  • Monitoring via Weather MicroServer™ with WeatherMaster™ Software

For more information about Air Quality Monitoring systems, which can be integrated with additional meteorological parameters, visit the link below.

Link to Air Quality Monitoring Page

Weather Master Software

Modesto Dairy incorporates weather data for dairy farm efficiency

When Modesto Dairy Solutions was looking for an accurate, durable weather monitoring solution to optimize production and manage milking operations, they chose Columbia Weather Systems.

“We use Temperature, Humidity, Wind Speed, Wind Direction and Wet Bulb for our cooling control. We also trend and record other weather data for the customer to see,” automation engineer Bill DeWitt says.

Modesto Dairy’s custom, proprietary technology incorporates CWS weather stations and temperature/humidity sensors to help manage production efficiency and cow comfort.

Click here for the case study

Weather Master Software

High temperatures were reflected on Weather Master™ software.

September brought with it some noteworthy weather! The Portland metro area experienced record-setting temperatures early in the month, with our office Orion Weather Station™ measuring a high of 95.9°F (see photo.)

A massive thunderstorm rolled through mid-month, revealing over an inch of rainfall in a 30-minute time period.

Weather Master™ software allows users to monitor real-time data for one or more CWS weather stations.

Link to Weather Master Software

Mobile command center with Orion weather station

Mobile Command Center for DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency featuring an Orion Weather Station and display.

LDV recently shared photos of a new Mobile Command Center for DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. The vehicle features an Orion Weather Station and Weather Display console.

Click to LDV for more photos and description

Link to Orion Weather Station Page

This quick video (1 min.) gives a sneak peek inside the transport case of a CWS portable weather station headed for the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre in Belize. Popular with environmental research applications and HazMat teams, CWS portable weather stations provide sensor and electronic components housed in a rugged polyethylene carrying case with foam padding and roller wheels, allowing for safe and rapid deployment.

Link to Portable Weather Stations

RH/Temperature Transmitters

Relative Humidity/Temperature Transmitters

Flexibility to integrate new technologies and customer requirements is a hallmark of our business model at Columbia Weather Systems. The following products are now available:

Relative Humidity/Temperature Transmitters

Standalone Relative Humidity/Temperature transmitters with 4-20mA interface are now available for easy-to-install indoor and outdoor applications. Both unit options offer two 4-20mA outputs for temperature and relative humidity readings.

These transmitters combine easy installation and minimal maintenance with accurate, reliable measurement. Customer applications include industrial automation, agricultural, and electrical power generation.

Link to Relative Humidity/Temp Transmitter Page

Custom screen for 13 WHAM TV – ABC in Rochester, NY

Custom screen for 13 WHAM TV – ABC in Rochester, NY

Rochester NY station 13 WHAM TV – ABC sent us this photo of their WeatherMaster™ screen, which was custom-branded by our new full-time team member, Alex Pulido. One benefit of the latest release of our WeatherMaster Software is easier customization such as adding customer logos for brand identification like the monitor on their Mobile Weather Lab.

It is fun to work with customers who send us photos and give us the opportunity to promote them as well. (We also appreciate customers who have to keep their secrets more closely guarded whether for competitive advantage or national security.) If you’re able to share, please keep those photos coming!

Read the case study here

Grace's retirement open house

Jeff, Grace, Martha, and the lovely cake!

Yesterday we celebrated Grace Henry, who has been with CWS since 2012 and our sister company Hinds Instruments since 1995. We’re sad to see her go, but grateful for the time she has spent with us. Here’s to a well-deserved, relaxing retirement!

Grace's retirement open house

Catching up with friends and colleagues

Alex Pulido

Alex joins CWS as our newest FT employee.

We are happy to welcome Alex Pulido as a permanent, full-time employee. Alex started as a web application development intern from Portland Community College two years ago, and has been working as a part-time contractor since then. His new role will encompass production system integration, as well as software/web development.

In his spare time, Alex enjoys disc golf and cooking.

AQM Presentation

The new Orion AQM Presentation

A new self-guided presentation provides an overview of the new Orion AQM Air Quality Monitoring System with details on sensor components and features. Compactly designed to help make our environment a healthier and safer place by measuring, analyzing, and understanding the data of air pollution, the Orion AQM is easily deployable in air quality monitoring networks for urban areas, industrial sites, and transportation hubs.

Orion AQM measures the most common gaseous pollutants nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and ozone, with near-reference measurement performance. Incorporating temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure, algorithms compensate for the impact of ambient conditions on the sensor elements. Additionally, Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and PM10) in the ambient air is measured with the AQM Plus. Proprietary algorithms enable ppb measurements at an affordable price using electrochemical sensors.

Link to Page

Link to SlideShare

Weather MicroServer

New Weather MicroServer security upgrade available.

Cyber-security can be a factor when customers consider adding a weather station to their network. A new Weather MicroServer firmware update offers network security enhancements, addressing potential vulnerabilities identified through third-party independent testing.

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIS), a division of the US Department of Homeland Security, has issued an advisory reporting that the new version “addresses all the above vulnerabilities found on the Weather MicroServer.” Also of note, “No known public exploits specifically target these vulnerabilities.”

As always, if your weather station includes a Weather MicroServer, contact CWS for a no-charge firmware upgrade. For equipment purchased prior to September 2015, a hardware upgrade also may be required. Please contact Columbia Weather Systems via phone (503-629-0887) or email

If network security is a potential concern for your organization, see a variety of solutions here.

cloud base monitoring

CWS now offers cloud base measurement option.

Cloud Base has been added to the suite of available measurements with the CWS monitoring options including WeatherMaster Software™, the Weather MicroServer™, and coming soon to the Weather Display Console. This feature was requested by our long-time customer CW Price, a supplier to the aviation industry based in South Africa.

An important meteorological variable for aviation safety, cloud base can help determine whether pilots may use visual flight rules or instrument flight rules for take-off and landing.

The height of the cloud base can be measured using a ceilometer, a pretty expensive piece of equipment. Alternatively, The US Federal Aviation Administration, and other agencies, suggest a calculated measurement to estimate the cloud base from surface measurements of air temperature and humidity by calculating the lifted condensation level.

The calculated parameter of cloud base is available with any CWS weather station that measures air temperature and relative humidity.

Please note: CWS weather stations are not FAA certified.

Weather Monitoring Page

This new video (about 3 minutes) gives an overview of CWS’s proprietary weather monitoring software with WeatherMaster 5.0™ PC software offering:

  • Real-time met sensor monitoring including calculated parameters
  • Data logging, trend graphs, and reports
  • Multi-station monitoring
  • Alarm notification
  • Automatic CAMEO/ALOHA interface for hazardous chemical plume modeling
  • Automatic interface to Weather Underground

Weather Master Software PAGE

Environmental Monitoring for Optimizing Solar Power Generation Efficiency White Paper

"Weather Stations for Solar Power Monitoring" white paper

Cleanspark, a microgrid company with controls for distributed energy resource management systems, uses a Solar 2 Weather Station from Columbia Weather Systems to give context to their performance metrics.

They use weather-corrected solar generation data, based on measured irradiance from the weather station, versus modeled irradiance when calculating actual performance versus modeled for contractual obligations. Additionally, weather data “will be the basis of certain alarm conditions as well as reporting,” according to Bryan Huber, chief operations officer. “Weather information is highly useful for load and production forecasting.”

Based on the CWS’s flagship Capricorn model, the Solar 2 Weather Station includes barometric pressure, mechanical wind speed and direction sensors, and temperature and humidity sensors housed in a radiation shield, in addition to panel temperature and solar radiation sensors. Individual sensors allow for optimal sensor placement.

A custom sensor configuration can combine a variety of sensor options including up to four temperature sensors and two solar radiation sensors.

Our new White Paper "Weather Stations for Solar Power Monitoring" describes additional options for weather monitoring for the solar energy industry.

Weather Stations for Solar Power Monitoring

CWS anniversary dinner

Thanks for 21 years!

A quick snap from our Anniversary Dinner last weekend, just for the record.

WeatherMaster 5.0™ i

WeatherMaster 5.0™ Main Screen

Link to Weather Master Software Page

WeatherMaster 5.0™ is a major release, updating the CWS proprietary weather monitoring software to standardize to the new design of the Weather Display and Weather Server.

  • HTML-based display screens make it easy for us to add graphical features and customize screens including wind roses, trend graphs, and logos for customer branding.
  • New Daily Statistics screen integrates Max/Min and other statistics for a more complete data snapshot.
  • New Latest Measurements screen reveals all available parameters, including specialized calculated parameters such as Wet Air Density.
  • The new platform will make it easier to add features in the future for general development and specific user requirements.
  • Better synchronization with the Weather MicroServer provides a unified user experience.

Current WeatherMaster customers contact us for a free upgrade. Once your customer status is verified, we will send you an email with a link and instructions to download the new version.

Capricorn FLX™ Weather Station

Capricorn FLX™ Weather Station with added rainfall and solar radiation sensors for Galaxy Investments.

Positive feedback from customers was a great way to start 2019!

An Engineering Consultant from Kinston, NC noted: “so far the Orion 420 is a big hit... the analog interface to our controls system worked out very well. You guys did a good job putting it all together for an easy ‘top of the buildings’ install."

Pictured is an installed Capricorn FLX™ Weather Station (a particularly complicated foreign sale) that came with a message from a lead engineer at Galaxy Investments: “Thanks for your ever-supportive responses.”

At Columbia Weather Systems, we pride ourselves on personal customer support and responsiveness. It’s always nice to hear when our efforts are appreciated!

Orion 420™ Weather Station​

Capricorn FLX™ Weather Station​

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