November 3rd, 2006

hydrobear

Weather geek

The other day I bought a little gizmo at Costco. It's a home weather station with a wireless remote sensor to record outside temperature and humidity. It also is a clock which sets itself using radio signals from the atomic clock in Colorado. There is also a built-in barometer to record atmospheric pressure as well as show the 24-hour trend in pressure. The sensor takes in all of the data and makes a prediction as to what the weather will be like over the next 24-hour period. It's a neat little system for only $30. There seemed to be a problem with the barometer, however. It was giving me a reading of only 24" of Hg while the t.v. weatherman was telling me it should be around 30". Hmmmm. Something wasn't right. It then clicked in my head that I seemed to recall the pressure in Chicago was also always around 30". How can that be?!? ABQ is at 5000'! The pressure SHOULD be a lot lower at this elevation. Could there be some sort of normalization factor? To the Internet! It took about a minute of surfing to find my answer. Yes! I was right! The Weather Service standardizes all barometric pressures to eliminate the influence of altitude and temperature. That way they get an idea of the influence of low and high pressure systems which effect weather without the influence of non-weather related factors. The pressure for 5000' elevation should be around 24" of Hg which is exactly what my instrument was reading. Yay! I love geeking out on stuff like this!

Oh, and to throw out a little political drama for today. Bill Clinton came to town yesterday to stump for Democratic candidates. All were welcome. Laura Bush is coming to town today to stump for Republican candidates. If you want to hear her speak, you have to pledge to volunteer for the Republican party. *lol* Nothing like being all-inclusive! You're either with us, or against us! Kinda like a loyalty oath, eh?
  • Current Music
    "The Saints Are Coming" -- U2 and Green Day