Siting & Installation for Tempest Follow
If you haven’t already, review the Tempest Quick Start Guide
Once your Tempest hardware is configured and you are able to view weather data in the Tempest Weather app, we recommend placing your Tempest in an easily accessible location as a next step. This can be either a temporary location or your permanent long-term site depending on accessibility and personal preference.
Rule #1 “Keep it simple” when mounting your Tempest in a suitable long term location. You don’t necessarily need an elaborate installation to achieve useful accurate measurements.
Rule #2 “Siting is key" … and it's easy when adhering to a few simple principles. The Tempest is extremely accurate and can detect small differences in the micro-climates of your backyard. Following these basic guidelines will provide you with the best weather observations and forecasts for your location:
- Choose an open location with good exposure to direct sunlight throughout the day.
- Avoid close proximity to surfaces such as buildings, walls or the ground, while also avoiding any unnatural heat or moisture source such as vents or active chimneys.
- For most owners, the recommended installation is between 6 to 8 feet (1.5-2.5 m) above the ground surface and away from obstacles. Exposure to direct sunlight and an open sky should be prioritized.
By following these guidelines you will collect measurements of temperature, rain, humidity, lightning and sunlight, which are accurate and well representative of your location. You will also get very accurate wind measurements from the Tempest device which will be useful for understanding the general level of wind at your location. And all the measured parameters from a basic installation will help improve your forecast! If you are interested in better estimating the winds aloft (NOAA standard reporting is at 10m) please consider a roof installation as described below.
Tip/Warning: The Tempest is solar powered and needs the sun’s energy to charge. Be sure your Tempest’s solar panels receive as much sunlight as possible!
Types of Installations and Mounting
Flat Base Attachment: The easiest installation method is to attach your Tempest on top of a fence, wall, railing, pergola, etc using the flat base and a small wood screw (included). The standard flat base attachment can cinch to a screw head to secure the Tempest device to any flat, level surface. This is the easiest way to temporarily secure the Tempest device. The flat base can also attach to a standard camera mount (¼"-20 threaded bolt) which is more suitable as long term mounting option.
Flat base, wood screw & keyhole slot
Flat base & ¼-20 camera
Flat base mount examples
For more detail on the flat base mount, see our step-by-step guide.
Pole Mount Attachment: Not everyone has access to a surface that allows use of the flat base mount while also siting the Tempest an appropriate distance away from obstacles. You may want to use the included pole mount with a pole. The pole mount attachment is designed to fit a standard 1.25 inch antenna mount or any one-inch nominal pole or pipe (1.315 inch outer diameter) and anything in between.
Pole mount examples
For more detail on the pole mount, see our step-by-step guide.
A universal mounting kit (shown above, left) is available for purchase in our online store. Alternatively, the schedule 40 PVC pipe in our kit is readily available at many hardware stores and is very easy to work with. PVC pipe works quite well for shorter mast length (up to 4 feet) installations attached to existing structures.
For installations using longer mast lengths (greater than 4 feet), such as a pole placed directly in the ground or when you want to get above other obstacles, we recommend using schedule 80 PVC or a metal pole. The 10-foot galvanized steel “top rail” used in chain-link fencing and available at most hardware stores is the perfect diameter for the pole mount. Longer poles require adequate support; either brace them against a structure or bury enough length in the ground.
See our gallery of Tempest installations for more ideas!
Professional Installation is an Option: If you feel you would rather have assistance with your installation, we have a team who can help. WeatherFlow has partnered with InstallerNet to make available nationwide professional installation. Especially if you realize you could substantially benefit from a roof installation this may be a good option - safety first!
InstallerNet can schedule a background-checked installer to come to your property to perform any of the installation types in this guide. If you are interested in learning more about this service please visit their Professional Install Site.
More info on Wind: The Tempest provides very accurate wind measurements but choosing your installation site usually involves some compromise on wind measurements. As illustration, the weather stations in Weather Flow’s industrial grade network and in NOAA’s observing network generally measure winds at a height of 10 meters, and anemometers are only installed in ideally suited areas. Winds are slowed by obstructions as far as several hundred yards upstream, making ideal instrument siting for clean winds very difficult. Nonetheless some Tempest owners may have locations which have reasonably clean wind fetch and may want to prioritize reporting winds that are more representative of the area. This will mean mounting the device above a roof line or on a tall structure that will place it above obstacles that may block the wind.
Again, if you don't have the perfect “wind location” or a desire to install your Tempest more than 8 feet above the ground, please know our AI based Tempest Cloud will still provide great information about your backyard wind and additional readings on the unobstructed wind in your area. In short, even with a basic installation, your station will be extremely useful for you and others.
While not recommended for most Tempest owners, installation on your roof can be a good option in two different situations:
- In thickly wooded or urban areas, a roof installation may be the only place to get a clear view of the sky and separation from obstacles. Your roof may be the best place to obtain accurate measurements and keep your Tempest charged.
- A roof installation may also be best for measuring winds representative of the area. IF you have a suitable location with no surrounding obstacles (hills, trees, buildings, etc).
If you do choose to mount on your roof we recommend placing your Tempest at least 3 feet above your peak roof line. Some variation of the following three roof mounting techniques will work for most homes:
Peaked roof & gable mounts
Non-penetrating flat roof mounts
Custom Installations: Some owners will want to install a tall pole or get creative with other mounting solutions. This is fine and you will see several such creative solutions in our gallery. Regardless of your installation type, it is important to eliminate significant vibration in your mount. The haptic rain sensor measures rain from vibrations and introducing extraneous vibrations may create disruptive, false signals.
Orientation & Alignment
Proper orientation and alignment is necessary for accurate wind speed and direction as well as maximizing exposure of the solar panels to the sun. The Tempest device should be oriented upright and as level as possible.
In the northern hemisphere the arrow on the side of the device should face towards geographic north (true north), with the solar panels facing south for optimal exposure to the sun.
In the southern hemisphere the arrow should face south with the solar panels facing north.
|Tip: You can use a compass (or the compass app on your phone) to find north/south. Stand directly behind or in front of your installation and locate a north or south reference point that will help you align the Tempest device when you’re mounting it.|
The alignment does not need to be perfect. If your Tempest device is aligned slightly off, you can easily apply correction for wind direction in the app. Open the app, go to settings > stations > choose your station > manage devices > choose the Tempest > Advanced > Wind Direction Offset > rotate the dial to adjust the direction > tap Save.
For Accurate Rain Measurements
Avoid vibrations - The structure used to mount your Tempest device needs to be sturdy and should not shake, sway or vibrate. For example, a Tempest mounted on a flag pole with a flag waving in the winds will transfer vibrations to the device and trigger the haptic rain sensor. This would cause the sensor to falsely detect rain or impact the accuracy of rain measurements.
Worried about siting for rain measurements? - While the meteorological standard for measuring rain accumulation is a sensor height of 30 to 40 inches above ground, to achieve the best blend of wind, temperature and rain measurements, we highly recommend installing your Tempest at a height of at least 6-8 feet. The additional height does not affect measurements of rain intensity or the value to forecast improvement. And our Rain Check system utilizes radar and other nearby sensors to more accurately estimate accumulation at your location.
For Accurate Wind Measurements
The ultrasonic anemometer needs clearance - Be sure no objects are within 6 inches (~15 cm) of the top of the Tempest device. The ultrasonic anemometer needs sufficient clearance so signals are not reflected back toward the instrument.
Range & Maintenance
Range is great but not unlimited - The outdoor Tempest device and the WiFi Hub (base station) maintain a radio connection to each other. The maximum allowed range will vary with obstructions, wall materials, signal interference, power and inclement weather. In direct line of sight, the Hub and Tempest can maintain a good radio signal over several hundred feet (more than 1,000 feet in our tests) but you may want to test the connection as you install it.
You can view the level of connection in the app; go to settings > stations > choose your station > status > scroll to view each device's RSSI value. A value between 0 to -80 indicates a good connection.
Accessibility is nice - It is unlikely owners will need to routinely inspect or perform maintenance on the Tempest device, however, it’s simply less work if you install it in a relatively accessible location.
Keep up to date metadata - A common saying among meteorologists is that “the more you know about an observation, the more useful it is'', so we encourage all owners to keep the information about their station height and exact location accurate and up to date. Doing so will improve your Tempest system’s ability to provide you with the best weather data for your location. To update the device metadata, open the app > go to settings > stations > choose your station > manage devices > choose the Tempest > edit the height above ground setting if necessary.
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