Bergenfield's Place in the World

The location token is centered on my backyard weather shelter.


Site Description and Issues

I actually began keeping weather records while in high school during the early 1960's. Unfortunately, the bulk of these early records are lost. The current string of records began in 1983. My weather station was originally located about a mile to the east. I moved to the current location in September 1998. In some ways, the earlier location provided a better exposure for my instruments. Initially, my garage ( the building to the east of the thermometer shelter ) was one story tall. We built a second floor on the garage in 2005. This room serves as my study-den-computer room and weather center.

The current site for my thermometer shelter and rain gage do not meet the accepted ´official´ standards. According to the National Weather Service, the shelter should not be closer to an obstruction than twice the height of the obstruction. As you can see, the garage on the eastern side of the site presents a problem. Not only does this structure block the flow of air, I am concerned that the late afternoon sun warms the siding, causing heat to radiate towards the Vantage Pro Integrated Sensor and the thermometer shelter. This issue may have become more acute when the addition was built above the original garage. The Vantage Pro doesn't have an internal aspirating fan and I'm afraid that the recorded maximum temperatures, particularly during the summer months, may be too high. When I compare maximum temperatures between the Vantage Pro and the maximum thermometer in the weather shelter, the Vantage Pro's readings are often a degree or so higher. During the summer, this can be an issue when temperature thresholds like 90ºF or 100ºF are crossed. Lets be honest, a reported maximum temperature of 100ºF is quite a bit more impressive than 98ºF or 99ºF. On the other hand, minimum temperatures recorded by the Vantage Pro and the thermometer shelter are usually the same.

Backyard
My backyard weather center, looking north from an attic window. The 2 boxes towards the lower right are bee hives.

All wind vanes and anemometers are all mounted on my roof top. There are no tall trees or buildings nearby that might compromise their accuracy.

I use the standard 8" National Weather Service-style rain gage to record precipitation totals. Its simple and accurate. I have used a number of electronic rain gages and they all have proven disappointing. My Vantage Pro tends to over-report rainfall by about 10%.

Even though my backyard may not not provide the perfect exposure for weather instruments, it is typical for properties in the neighborhood.