Wind Speed Accuracy?? What are you seeing?

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  • (Edited)
So I have a 3-1 system that I've had it for roughly a year now.  I have placed it in different locations and currently  I have it on top of a 10 ft. piece of conduit which is mounted nearly at the top of my  6 foot fence (pic attached) - essentially it is 15 ft. off the ground.  

I have some reasonable open space near and around my home and it should be in a place where it catches a good percentage of the wind from most directions other than from E/NE direction.  On windy days where the local readings are gusts in the 30-40mph range I never scratch a reading above maybe 20-22mph.  I've had days where the gusts are 50-60 during crazy wind and front situations.  I still don't see things beyond the low/mid 20mph range indicated by my 3-1 sensor.  

I've resigned myself that these simply don't capture accurate wind readings.  Just wondering if any of you, whether 3-1 or 5-1 owners, feel you never really capture accurate wind readings.

Thanks,

Brad
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brad

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Posted 2 years ago

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brad

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Update:  I have a pretty windy/gusty day here today.  Accuweather shows sustained low 20s wind with gusts to low 30s (see screen shot).  I have a video clip showing the large evergreen trees in my backyard swaying pretty hard and my wind cups zinging along.  I go inside to check my station and my peak wind in the last 30 minutes shows 16mph.  I'd really like to see my equipment be accurate but I'm not experiencing it based on actual conditions and observations either visually or by referencing other sources in my area.  Thoughts?  Comments?  Feedback??


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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Brad,

It looks as though your sensor is swaying in the wind which will affect the readings. We would recommend mounting the sensor so it is not able to sway in the wind. We do have some customers who use guy wires.  Please review the information I posted at the bottom of this link as well for wind speed accuracy. Let us know if you have any further questions. Thank you. Enjoy your day!
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Linda Baessler

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Jennifer my system is mounted solid and have the same issues. Here is my comment.
I have two of your 5 and 1 sensors and the anemometer never can read wind speeds above 30 mph. I live in the desert where we have wind speeds of up to 50+mph's during frontal passes and the wind speed instrument can usually only measure about 25mph. It is too small and very inaccurate.

Very disappointing for this degreed Meteorologist.  

MIke
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Linda,

When comparing wind speed readings you want to compare it to something at the same height and location.  Where are you getting the 50mph wind reading from? For the most accurate wind speed reading the NWS recommends mounting it 33 feet in the air. We know our customers live in residential areas and are not able to do this. If you have obstructions in the area it will affect the wind speed reading. I have enclosed a reference point for the wind speed.





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Jeff Hyma

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I am in the middle of a tropical storm on the gulf coast and my unit is currently reading 4 mph. My unit is mounted about 5' above the top of a 10' shed in the most open part of my yard.
(Edited)
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Ron

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I have never received accurate wind speeds when the wind speed is above 20 miles per hour.But my weather station tells me it is going to rain every day and I live in the desert of Southern California. 
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Ron,

What is the model number of your weather station? If you are getting an inaccurate forecast reading we would recommend resetting the display when your local pressure is reading 29.92. You would do this by removing the adapter and batteries for about 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes insert the power back in the display. It will start the 14 day learning mode over again. When the learning mode is complete you should have an accurate forecast. Thank you. Enjoy your day!
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Ledrak

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Brad your station is only half as high as they recommend for wind speeds. Yes the trees are blowing but they have a lot more surface area for the wind to catch.  All those trees, buildings and the ground itself will slow the wind speed down close to the ground.
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brad

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Thanks Ladrek.  You are correct, that having it 30+ feet in the air will likely ensure I fully catch unobstructed wind.  

That said, you'd have to understand the layout of my land and location of my sensor.  Today was 43 degrees in the  upper midwest which is 13 degrees above the norm and this warmer air was brought in by these strong south winds.  My sensor will almost fully catch south winds.  Those trees are not blocking the wind as they are catching the same wind as sensor is.  That building you see in the background is south of me but is a full 200 yards behind my fence and there is nothing south of it for another full mile.  If anything strong winds flowing over a flat roof like that will have an accelerated down draft as it clears and pushes down the back of the building.  While I didn't necessary expect to register 30mph wind gusts consistently, given the direction of the wind and location of my sensor I should have picked up a few readings where my sensor caught a full gust of wind of 30 mph or at least 25 mph at some point across the day.  In fact, I'm sure it hit that level near the ground based on what I felt walking out in my backyard.  I didn't even register anything higher than 16mph all day when there were mid 30 mph gusts through much of the day.  

I'd like to know from anyone out there if they believe they get accurate wind speeds on their 3-1 or 5-1.  Maybe I'm being unrealistic about it but I'm questioning the general accuracy of the wind sensor.  
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George D. Nincehelser

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Barring a serious problem with your sensor, I expect you'll get similar results from any other anemometer at the same height and location.
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Linda Baessler

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Both my units are inaccurate. I had a friend bring over a  portable anemometer and was measuring a steady state of 40mph with gusts to 50mph. Which it was. My 5 in 1 sensor was measuring 18-22 mph. I think the arms to the cups are just too small to give accurate reading. Very diappointed!
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George D. Nincehelser

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So far this year my top speed has been 41 mph mounted at only 6 feet above ground level.  At the "official" 33-foot height I expect it would be much higher.
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Linda,

We responded on your other post. When comparing wind speed readings you want to compare it to something at the same height and location.  Where are you getting the 50mph wind reading from? For the most accurate wind speed reading the NWS recommends mounting it 33 feet in the air. We know our customers live in residential areas and are not able to do this. If you have obstructions in the area it will affect the wind speed reading. I have enclosed a reference point for the wind speed.



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caredlands

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it appears that the 3n1 is swaying back n forth --  could that result in lower speeds
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caredlands

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I have several davis weather instruments -- the size of the cup matters --  some are good for higher speeds others at lower speeds.   I think even a few feet away can make a difference in wind speed ---  that's what I find  --  I have 7 different anemometer sensors on my roof --  that don't all match up wind speed-wise


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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello All,

When comparing your weather station data against another local source, it's important to compare against a weather station that is using a sensor positioned at the same exact mounting height as yours. Note that professional weather stations are typically mounted 30 feet high, or more. When you are comparing your wind speed readings to your local readings they are typically mounted out in the middle of an open field with no obstructions around them for several 100 feet.  Living in a residential area we understand not all of our customers are able to do that. You are probably seeing the correct wind speed reading for your location.  We have included a chart to show you how much it can make a difference. Please let us know if there is anything further we can assist you with. Enjoy your day!

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brad

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I do understand and agree that ideal placement will provide accurate wind readings from all directions if above all structures and landscaping.  I definitely have some obstructions from certain directions but when I have wind coming from the south, SW or West, I pretty much catch all of it - no house, no tree obstructions.  So when it is blowing 30-40mph out of the south I should be seeing high wind readings - not 16 mph as my peak.  I don't necessary accept that because I'm not 15 feet higher that I'm missing the majority of wind when there are no obstructions from that direction.  This is what was happening when I first started this topic.

Separately, but likely related, here is something interesting.  Again, south winds the other day and I was seeing a peak of 14mph on my monitor.  However, the reading for my location on WeatherUnderground was showing 24mph!  And the MyAccurite app also had my 3-1 with a 24mph reading.  Why would my monitor be showing something that is as much as 40% off from what the 3-1 is delivering to WU or to MyAccurite??  The 3-1 is the source for reporting to all three places - the displays, WU, and MyAccurite app.  Why wouldn't my "peak" wind for the last 30 minutes not be showing 24mph??



(Edited)
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Brad,

If your display missed a data packet meaning it doesn't have 4 bars that could be why it didn't register the same peak wind speed reading as My AcuRite.  Are you seeing this regularly or was it a couple of times? Thank you. Enjoy your day!
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brad

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Yes, I am seeing this regularly on my 3-1 system.

Additionally, for the past couple weeks I've been seeing low/poor signal indicators on the My AcuRite app - see attached.  Initially I had them in red status but have been yellow consistently both outdoor sensors have new batteries with the 3-1 having lithiums.  Outdoor 2 is for a different Acurite system that has a standard sensor just for reading temp and humidity.  That display is showing 4 bars no problem so not sure why that one is showing poor signal.  Both sensors are within 50 -60 feet of the displays so distance shouldn't be an issue.   Please advise.   
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Edward Ward

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NOAA recommends weather stations be at a height of 33'

My sensor is 20' above ground, 10' above my house with no obstructions.So my readings are still off from other stations.

When the Atlas is released I may go 30' but then I may get sway.
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brad

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Yeah, it is impossible to have a sensor on a pole that long/high without sway.  Unless it is on something that is anchored in ground and part of pole system that is thick like a flag pole.
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SanFranShootr

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Even if there are no apparent obstructions, the ground and vegetation or structures up to a quarter mile away will have some drag effect resulting in decreasing the apparent wind at 15-20' versus 33'. That's why jet stream winds are significantly higher than ground wind velocities.
(Edited)
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SanFranShootr

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brad

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I understand and don't fully disagree however there are also scenarios where buildings and structures can actually accelerate or provide sustained wind gusts as well.  All I'm saying is that when I have a strong S or SW wind I get hit hard.  I've had siding ripped off my house which is no where near 33' off the ground.  My displays are not recording my peak winds.  I'm not expecting to fully catch and record all of the wind but sometimes I should absolutely record peak winds at 15' that are virtually the same at 33'.  When wind gusts are recorded in a town or city they aren't doing it at the jet stream level so that isn't a relevant point in my wind metrics.

See the photos:  
MyAccurite app data shows I had some huge wind recorded from my 3-1 sensor - 43mph.  However, my display only showed peak winds of 22mph at the time.  Also, my Weather Underground location also was showing 40+ mph winds.  MyAcccurite and WU are simply representing what my 3-1 station is capturing/recording.  Why are my displays not showing the same???  I think my apps are showing right while my displays aren't.  I have never had a display reading of anything more that 24mph on a day when I know I'm getting hit with 40-50mph wind  - even at or near ground levels. If the data is being sent to the apps why aren't the displays reading the same.  Not only then are wind levels not accurate it will mean my wind chill reading is not accurate either.

 








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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Brad,

Your display and My AcuRite update at different times. The display does not capture wind gusts and neither does My AcuRite. The wind gust would display on Weather Underground if it meets the qualification of a wind gust.  A sudden, brief increase in the speed of the wind followed by a lull. Gusts are reported when the peak speed reaches at least 18 mph (30 km/h) and the variation in wind speed between peaks and lulls is at least about 10 mph (17 km/h). The wind speed updates every 18 seconds on the display. We can see that you have 2 bars of signal strength. This means that your display is missing data packets / transmissions. This could be why you did not receive that peak wind reading because it was a missed transmission, however was able to be picked up on My AcuRite. Your display should always be showing 4 bars. If it is not then you are missing those transmissions. We would recommend relocating the sensor and or display if possible. Thank you.
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brad

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Thanks Jennifer.  I understand that perhaps the lower signal could cause packet loss and therefore loss of data transformation.  However, still doesn't add up.  I don't always have 2 bars and often have 4 bars.  Even with 2 bars, on a day where I routinely was experience and capturing 40+mph winds on myaccurite and WU, that not once did I record such peak winds on my display.  While I may lose some data I would have to be losing a ton of data.  You would think I would capture data showing the same peak winds a few times across the day - but never?  

Also, as for moving my sensor, I'm curious to understand how that will help.  My sensor is about 35-40 from my display.  Why would it be different/better if I moved it 10 feed one way or the other.  I'm getting a "weak" signal message regularly and I'm getting it right now in fact from my 3-1.  What else should/could I do?
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Brad,

The display and smartHUB register signal strength differently. The display goes off the data packets. If you have less than 4 you are missing transmissions. The sensor is going to send information every 18 seconds for wind speed reading. If it missed that transmission this would be why the wind speed did not register. On My AcuRite it measures true signal strength. You need at least 1 bar of signal strength to transmit to My AcuRite. It takes a snap shot of the wind reading at 5 minutes. This would be why it may register on My AcuRite and not the display.  Relocating the sensor would be a troubleshooting option to get better transmission to the display. Like Ledrak states below even a couple of feet has been known to make a difference. Thank you.
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Ledrak

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Brad I know moving the sensor a few feet either way may seem like it wont do anything but just looking back at your first pictures I see  high power lines and a commercial building close by. That building may have some kind of alarm system or a directional communication link that is coming your way. Also those power lines could be a problem. I know these sound like long shots and they are but haven't you been in a car listening to the radio and have it cut out sitting at a traffic light  and only have to roll up a few feet to have it come back on. Give it a try if you can, good luck
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Joseph McLaughlin

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One can say the wind speed depends on sensor location all day, but during a tornado my station never went over 35MPH yet we had consistent winds at 85 MPH for 15 minutes. Enough that the Bleachers at the ball field and several trees around all blew over in the same direction. 35 MPH winds would not do this. Not that I would expect at the price I paid to read tornado's wind speeds but some disclosure would be nice. I still love my station and use many means to see wind speeds.
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AcuRite Rachell, Employee

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Hello Joseph,

As stated above: When comparing your weather station data against another local source, it's important to compare against a weather station that is using a sensor positioned at the same exact mounting height as yours. Note that professional weather stations are typically mounted 30 feet high, or more. When you are comparing your wind speed readings to your local readings they are typically mounted out in the middle of an open field with no obstructions around them for several 100 feet. Living in a residential area we understand not all of our customers are able to do that. You are probably seeing the correct wind speed reading for your mounting location. Where do you have your sensor mounted?  Thank you.
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Paul Hamm

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My wife got me the 5 in 1 weather station about a year as a half ago. Was always disappointed with the anemometer. My father has a Davis weather station. So I recently did a side by side during a storm at the same height on top of their roof. My father's was showing 50+ mph mine never went past 25. Everything else seemed to be accurate until awhile ago the thermometer has started going crazy... went down to -40 to 120 degrees.
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Steve U

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I would guess your Temp Humidity board (inside 5 in 1) is contaminated or failed.  (seems common, but most users here are the ones who have issues, so not a good indication of % with no probs)
The replacement part is available from Acurite
My sensor is at 25', the neighbors trees are at 75' (and my lot is 60' wide). I have never seen over 24MPH here or the KCPALOAxxx area
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AcuRite Rachell, Employee

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Hello Paul,

We are sorry to hear of the issues you have experienced. Please verify you are following the battery recommendations and trying the following troubleshooting steps listed below.  If this does not correct the issue, we can tell you if the sensor is compatible with the replacement temperature and humidity board if you provide us with the model number of your sensor.  Thank you.

Batteries:

•Verify you are using fresh alkaline batteries or lithium batteries (when temperature is below -4oF/-20oC) in sensor.

•Quality brand batteries are recommended, including Duracell, Rayovac, Energizer, or Kirkland.

•Verify batteries are fresh. The battery expiration date should be at least 6 years out. Batteries can lose 3% power or more every year in storage.

•Heavy duty, extra strength or generic / store brand batteries are not recommended for use with AcuRite products because they may cause performance irregularities due to the way these types of batteries disperse power. Each battery should not exceed 1.6 volts.

•Rechargeable batteries are not recommended for use with AcuRite products because they may cause performance irregularities due to the voltage instability of these types of batteries.

•Mixing different battery types (brands, old/new, etc.) is not recommended.

Hard reset:



- Bring both units side by side and remove all batteries, unplug display if it has an ac adapter



- Change the ABC Switch to a different setting and ensure that both are on the same setting. example - If on A, move both to C



- Place batteries into the outdoor sensor first



- Place batteries into display



- Allow units to sit side by side until they connect.



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B Charles

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Can't comment on the wild temp swings you recently experiencing as that sounds like a bug or defect causing that condition.  However, the wind reading scenario is something I've come to accept is simply a limitation of these units.  I have had crazy wind at times and I can't scratch anything north 25-28mph when I'm getting slammed with 40-50+ winds once in a while.  I'm seeing much higher readings on MyAcuRite app which is strange but not on my displays.  Net-Net:  These are consumer grade devices.  While I'd like to think it could/should be something that offers sophistication and full accuracy of the core capabilities these units offer perhaps that isn't realistic expectation in a consumer grade device for $150 - $200.  
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Paul Hamm

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Yup. Eventually I'll get a good hard wired Davis one where they are more accurate and update instantly. They can also give reading above 150mph. My parents house was 100 yards from an F3. My fathers weather station was still on the roof after it passed.
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AcuRite Rachell, Employee

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Hello Paul,

As we stated above, The National Weather Service recommends mounting the sensor 33 feet above ground with no obstructions within 100 feet for the most accurate wind speeds. You should receive an accurate reading for where it is mounted. We understand not all of our customers can mount this high. If you are comparing to a local news station, they typically follow the National Weather Service guidelines.  The accuracy of the station will depend on where the unit is mounted.  Thank you.
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Zaeem Khalid

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Acurite, I am sorry to say but the accuracy of your instrument is not up to the mark. I have repeatedly tested your weather station against handheld anemometers and personal weather station, 25 % less wind is reported on average. I agree with all the explanation you provided on top, however it doesn't change the fact that the weather station is unable to record winds properly.
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Linda Baessler

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Agree, we are seeing the same thing.
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Zaeem & Linda,

We are sorry you are having issues with your weather station. This is an older post you are responding on. Zaeem we responded to you other thread.  Can both of you please provide us with the following information:

What are you getting for a wind speed reading, and what do you think you should be getting? How high is your sensor mounted? Are you able to take a picture of your sensor and the area around it so we are able to see what the issue may be? I have attached a reference guide below:





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brad

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Zaeem:  I started this post and understand your frustration.  The default response from Acurite to this topic is to continually reply that the desired or best practice placement of the sensor at 33ft.  Like you, I agree with the explanation they provide and can understand it that is the recommended placement to represent accurate readings.  However, it still doesn't address the fact that there are times that my unit which is at 15ft NEVER represents peak wind speeds like what is actually occurring.  So high winds always and exclusively only occur at 33feet or higher??  Hogwash.  

While I don't expect my unit placed at 15 feet to necessarily capture fully peak winds often it should happen at least sometimes.  The fact that on a crazy windy day - like 40-50+ mph conditions - my unit NEVER captures anything the mid-high 20s.  Certainly there are a few times during the day when my unit would get slammed with 40 mph winds at 15ft.  One of these days I'm going to extend my unit off my chimney which will be above the recommended 33 feet.  I can almost guarantee it still won't represent peak winds accurately. 
(Edited)
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James G. Bennett

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I agree that the wind speed reads very low. I also can't get a reading above about 25MPH, even when the wind is shaking our house from the same side as our weather station and nearby stations are recording 40MPH. I've relocated my unit to three different locations and the results are the same. I just came up with an idea to test if it will read higher. I'll use a garden blower and point it at the cups. The blower will certainly be much higher than 25MPH!
(Edited)
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Doug Barkus

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Put it on a pole, stick it out your sunroof and drive down the road at different speeds.
Compare to your speedometer.
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James G. Bennett

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I checked this morning and I was able to get the speed up to 61MPH with my shop vac connected to blow, which is more than double the highest reading that I've ever seen. (I have no idea what the air speed really is from the shop vac.) We live on a ridge, so we have nothing to interfere with the speed readings from that direction but a couple of power lines (about 200 yards away) between the back of our house (where the station is located) and the Rocky Mountains over 5 miles away.
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Fletcher Armstrong

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James, If you are blowing only on one side of the rotor (presumably the side in which the cups face the wind), you are not going to get the same reading as when wind is blowing equally on both sides of the rotor.  (Does that make sense?)  Good thinking, but I'm not sure it really tells us if this thing is accurate or not.
(Edited)
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James G. Bennett

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I did make sure to blow across both sides. My test goal was not about accuracy, but to simply see if it would read higher than 25 MPH. For accuracy, I would like to borrow a hand-held annemometer to compare during strong winds.