Blog

Radar Maintenance Until 3 PM 7/1

The radar is down until approximately 3 PM on Wednesday July 1st for maintenance.

Be aware that starting Monday July 13th the radar will be down for approximately 2 weeks. Technicians will be swapping out the pedestal. See the NWS blog article for more information.

Here Comes The Sun

You might have noticed a couple new readings in the “Current Conditions” section of our home page. I’ve installed 2 new sensors on our main weather station, a Davis Vantage Pro2, to measure output from the Sun.

One sensor reads a narrow band of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The 290 – 390 nm spectrum of the sun’s shortwave energy particularly affects human health. Readings are translated into a universal UV index (1 – 16 scale).

The other sensor measures broad spectrum solar radiation (a.k.a. “solar irradiance”, “solar insolation”) between 300 – 1100 nm. It’s output scale is 0 – 1800 Watts per meter squared (W/m2). This is useful for solar energy management & approximating cloud cover / ambient light. You may wonder “can’t I just look out a window?” If you are in Marquette, yes. If you are elsewhere, no.

Continue reading “Here Comes The Sun”

Instrument Calibrations

As noted in the about page, I regularly check our sensors to be sure they are within specifications. Over the last couple weeks I have been conducting tests.

Temperature was right on. That’s typical, as our sensor is pretty bulletproof. I have a platinum RTD digital thermometer that’s accurate to within 0.1° F (best to check on a cloudy, windy night to eliminate radiation as a factor). I also have a laboratory-grade aspirated psychrometer with a dry bulb thermometer that’s extremely accurate. It’s analog, so the biggest challenge is reading between the lines. But my tests show the station’s thermal sensor is within 0.5° during the day which is quite good. There’s also a backup sensor on site as well. At night or on cloudy/rainy days, the two sensors are normally within 0.2° F. During sunny days, height (7 ft vs 21 ft) and shielding differences (active vs passive ventilation) can frequently lead to 1° differences in either direction. 2-3° differences are not out of the question when it’s particularly calm and sunny.

Continue reading “Instrument Calibrations”

Radar Malfunction

The National Weather Service Marquette has experienced a radar transmitter failure.  See updates below.

See: https://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=mqt&product=FTM

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UPDATE 2/16/20 10:00 AM: Radar has been returned to service.

UPDATE 2/16/20 7:00 AM: Radar transmitter out of service again. Technician will work on it this morning.

UPDATE 2/13/20 1:20 PM: Radar has been returned to service.

UPDATE 2/12/20 2:40 PM: Parts are on order. Return to service expected by 4 PM tomorrow.

UPDATE 2/12/20 8:00 AM: Radar transmitter out of service again.

UPDATE 2/10/20 6:30 PM: Radar has been returned to service.

UPDATE 2/10/20 4:50 PM: Radar transmitter out of service again.

UPDATE 2/9/20 12:30 PM: Radar has been returned to service.

Radar Down from 9/9 – 9/13

The National Weather Service Marquette will be replacing some radar equipment starting Monday September 9th through Friday September 13th. During that time, you will see a “Down for Maintenance” indicator where the radar image typically resides on our home page.

For more info, see their blog article: https://www.weather.gov/mqt/KMQT_SLEP

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UPDATE 9/11/19: Apparently the NWS radar techs wrapped up their work 2 days early. The radar was returned to service this afternoon.