The weather station is an Davis Vantage Pro 2 (Plus) with the instruments located on my roof in Bellmere, near Caboolture in South East Queensland, and they are approximately 20m (66 feet) above mean sea level. The receiver is connected to a dedicated PC running as a Database Server with automatic imports from the weather station software into a SQL Server database every two minutes and five minutes. Two minute data is stored for one day, however five minute readings are kept for historical reporting and are automatically imported to the main database just after midnight. Data is captured from the weather station using 'Virtual Weather Station' software and this software is used to save data into a simple text (CSV) file. This data is then imported into the seperate database using SSIS packages and TSQL scripts.
The Webcam, satellite receiver and the lightning detector are all connected to a separate "Imaging Server" due to the extensive processing these tasks need. Periodical data imports from various extenal websites are also made by the Imaging Server for the compilation of weather forecats and weather charts. Any charts, images or forecast data are automatically copied to the separate Webserver for publishing to the webiste. A separate webserver has been created due to the amount of hacking attempts we receive from various countries around the world.
All servers are connected to each other by a wired network and all servers and network equipment are powered through their own battery backup UPS. A generator is also available to supply power to all of the servers and network equipment in the event of an extended power failure caused by storms or other extreme weather events.
If you would like any more information, contact us and I will happily provide extra details.
The first data recordings in the five minute historical database occurred on the 9th February 2007 and the database currently contains 652,712 individual weather recording. Lightning detection commenced 1st November 2008, however this data is not stored in the database.
Hardware / Gadgets
A mixture of hardware is used to make Caboolture Weather and this hardware uses the software below to extract and present the data. Please visit their website for product details and copyright / legal information.
Davis Vanatge Pro 2 (Plus) Weather Station - Main hardware for the capture of local weather data. Website
Boltek Storm Tracker - Lightning detection hardware used to detect and locate lightning strikes. Website
Foscam FI8905 - Outdoor wireless IP night vision webcam, sitting on top of the BBQ and pointing to the west. Website
Agasio A602W - Outdoor wireless IP webcam, sitting on top of the BBQ and pointing to the west. Website
WeSaCom APT-06 - Used to receive data from the Polar Orbiter Weather Satellites in the VHF frequency range Website
Quadrifilar Helix Antenna - Home built to receive the satellite images from the NOAA satellites. Instructions
Eaton UPS - Provide power filtering and backup power for all servers. Website
Caboolture Weather is almost totally automated and makes use of the following software to collect local data, plus download data from various sources on the Internet. Please visit their website for product details and copyright / legal information.
Microsoft SQL Server (Express) - Main database and data import and transformation software. Website
Virtual Weather Station (VWS) - Retrieve data from the WMR200 weather station into text files for import. Website
NexStorm - Lightning detector software to display lightning strike data and calculate storms. Website
NSLog - An excellent little application that 'hooks' into NexStorm and enables data imports. Website
WxSim - Weather forecasting software that downloads data off of the internet, plus my data, and produces forecasts. Website
Digital Atmosphere - Weather charting software used to produce weather charts and radar maps. Website
WebCamXp - Webcam software for scheduled snapshots and streaming of live webcam video. Website
WxToImg - Software to process data from NOAA satellites. Website
Open GrADS - Software to process GRIB files and generate weather forecast charts. Website