Tuesday, April 24, 2007

..and the Wind Cries "Ferg"

It gets quite windy where we live, so close to the foothills. It’s kind of fun to watch the water in the toilet bowl bob up and down as the pressure changes. There have been nights where the whole house shakes and I’ve been afraid that the windows would break. This isn’t an idle worry as I’ve known people who’ve had their windows broken. One night was particularly bad and I barely slept as the wind screamed outside, hurling its fury in gust after gust after gust. I felt like a zombie at work the next day and found that many of my coworkers had suffered the same fate. One guy told me the wind speed topped out at 89-mph at his house, which he measured on his home wind anemometer. I was intrigued by this…and decided to buy one for myself.

It was easy enough to order the parts online from Inspeed and before long there was a lovely little package delivered with my name on it. I mounted this baby to my deck and hooked it up to some data logging software. What fun! Already I’ve logged many days of wind data and made corresponding plots like the one below. I’ve learned that there is a steady gentle breeze off the foothills that picks up slightly most days in the afternoon. The real wind storms, however, seem to prefer the cover of darkness .

Wind Speed Chart

With spring ramping up there will be some awesome wind to look forward to. So far it’s only reached 46 mph, but I’m hoping to beat that record. Eventually I’d like to see if I can set this up further out in the yard since in its current configuration the house blocks wind from the north – but that means I’ll have to get a wireless transmitter. Ah, what an expensive project this is turning into!


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