I recently was out in my back yard when it was breezy, and when I glanced up at my weather station, I noticed the anemometer cups weren’t spinning. They’d twitch just a bit, but not spin. I had a feeling I knew what was up (A spider had “tied” them down), but it required a trip to the roof to check.
Once on the roof, I took the station down (my 10ft mast detaches at the half way point so I can work on the station). And indeed, an industrious spider had managed to put a web in each cup, and then linked each cup to the ISS (Integrated Sensor Station). Impressive. I cleaned the station up with some paper towels (including the solar panel), and got the spider down to the ground (attached him to the roof line, and let him lower himself down). Then put the station back up.
Checking my submitted weather data, at first, I thought I had lost a month worth of wind data, but checking again, showed about 12-16 hours of it missing (can’t really tell when the wind was zero MPH vs when the anemometer was stuck). Then the question became, how do I keep this from happening again, and me losing a week+.
First, software. I submitted a request for Weathercat to notify me when wind data remains at zero for a long time. Others on the forum also suggested I sign up for AWEKAS, which apparently WILL notify if sensors stop making sense (no wind for days/weeks). So, here’s my station on AWEKAS.
Second, how do I keep spiders off the station. I’ve thought about putting “Tanglefoot” on the mast, but that seems like a pain. I’ve also heard flea collars will repel them, so I think I’m going to try that up by the station next time I’m on the roof. For now, though, if you own a weather station, you may want to check your station in the summer to make sure a spider hasn’t made a home and wrapped up the whole thing disabling any of the moving parts. =)
Mark G. says
i am having spider problems now. My VP 2 has been up 6 years and this is the first time this has arisen, to my knowledge. I noticed that the wind was 0mph but the vane was turning from West to South regularly. I am going to try a flea collar too. We relocated one spider. But I think there is another. Maybe a whole family! Good Luck!
It could be. The times it’s happened with my old rain gauge, it was a spider that laid some egg sacks in the spoon, then tied everything together. =/
The vane never had an issue (guessing it’s too much mass/force for a spider web to hold back), but…
Let me know how the flea collar goes. I don’t plan to go back up to the roof until my annual maintenance around Halloween/Thanksgiving (timed so I’m up on the roof putting up Christmas lights at the same time). =)