Author Topic: WS-2000 in winter  (Read 643 times)

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Offline alanb

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WS-2000 in winter
« on: September 15, 2021, 02:12:05 PM »
Can freezing and thawing, snow and ice damage the rain gauge components in the WS-2000 array? Is it a good idea to cover the rain funnel in the winter to keep the snow and ice out, or is it OK to just leave it open?
Alan - Ambient WS-2000, WH31E x4, WH31L

Offline Rover1822

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Re: WS-2000 in winter
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2021, 04:15:54 PM »
I don't have your actual conditions, I'm in in SE VA , but it does freeze here,  I have not had an issue.
 
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Offline Notsorusty

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Re: WS-2000 in winter
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2021, 08:54:11 PM »
A weather station, by definition, would require the ability to record all outside conditions. Snow and ice would have to be considered in the design. I have had my station up for several years in the Chicago area and everything is working thru all the seasons. Although these stations don't measure snow when the snow captured on the rain gauge does melt the water equivalents can come close to the snow totals (sometimes). The picture below shows a collection of snow from this past January. My station is on a pole just above the basket at the top of the garage.

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« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 08:58:20 PM by Notsorusty »
Station Name: Silver Creek
Latitude / Longitude: 41.925 N, -87.872 W
Elevation: 633
City: Franklin Park
State: IL
Hardware: Ambient Weather WS-2902
Software: AMBWeatherV4.0.0

Offline Gyvate

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Re: WS-2000 in winter
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2021, 10:54:55 AM »
Can freezing and thawing, snow and ice damage the rain gauge components in the WS-2000 array? Is it a good idea to cover the rain funnel in the winter to keep the snow and ice out, or is it OK to just leave it open?
My WH65 outdoor array (I-shape vs. WS-2000 Y-shape) had no issues with snow/ice damage. I however needed to remove snow from the solar sensor and the solar panel with a broom - could be worse with a Y-shaped array.
The I-shaped array gives much less space for snow (or birds).
I built a DIY heating coil inside the rain gauge housing, basically a 15 W heating coil for terrariums which I activate/de-activate via a thermostat whose probe is also inside the rain gauge. Worked perfectly.
The snow in the funnel would not hold long and was usually counted as rain with a one day delay.
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Offline alanb

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Re: WS-2000 in winter
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2021, 02:53:17 PM »
I found a plastic container lid that fits perfectly over the rain funnel. I am not sure what the lid is from, but it is sort of like the lid on a large peanut butter jar. I had to remove the bird spike ring from the funnel, then the lid slipped rignt over the funnel and doesn't obstruct the solar panel or solar sensor at all. I tied it down to the Y arm of the WS-2000 with a piece of light aluminum wire so the wind won't blow it off.

I realize I will still need to brush any snow and ice off of the solar panel and sensor, but this modification should keep the snow and ice out of the rain funnel and tipping spoon mechanism. Next spring it will be easy to remove the lid and reinstall the bird spikes.
Alan - Ambient WS-2000, WH31E x4, WH31L

Offline BoDuke

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Re: WS-2000 in winter
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2021, 12:28:33 PM »
I always like to cap the rain gauge for winter to prevent the aforementioned freezing and thawing on my WS-1550-IP (Ambient osprey Y-shaped station).  Since I have the bird spikes and don't want to remove and re-mount them, I remove the funnel.  Then I bought a 4-inch PVC plumbing cap, which is a bit big, and used some silicone caulk to fasten it on the sensor array.  The caulk holds but is also easy enough to pry apart by hand without tools.  However, this year I drilled a couple holes in the edges of the PVC cap and used zip-ties to strap it on.  I'd like to find something that fits snug and goes on and off even easier but haven't come across any other caps, lids, or clever ideas yet.

I also brush the snow and ice off the whole array as needed.

(Hi to a fellow Iowan, @alanb)

 

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