Interested in the Tempest System but have some questions?
Check out these FAQs from prospective customers...
- Do I need a smartphone or tablet to get through setup?
Yes. You can only set up your Hub through the iOS or Android mobile applications. If this isn't an option or if you have a Windows phone, use a friend's or family member's iOS or Android device for the setup process. Once the Hub and Tempest device is set up and configured to WiFi, you can access the data anywhere on the web.
- What is the wireless range of the Tempest device?
The Tempest device communicates with the Hub via sub-gHz radio and can maintain connection up to 300 meters (1000 ft+) in an unobstructed, clear line of sight with no interference. Under normal conditions, the maximum range will be less where walls and other obstacles will reduce the signal strength. The Hub should be placed no farther from the router than any other wirelessly connected devices. Max range may vary with obstructions, wall materials, signal interference and power.
- Can I use this on a moving vehicle?
The device and software is not designed to support use on a moving platform. There is no GPS in the hardware, so the station location needs to be updated manually if the equipment were to be relocated. Wind direction is determined by aligning the device to true north. Rain readings are triggered by vibrations detected by the haptic rain sensor, so a moving platform, especially on the road or water, would cause false rain readings.
However, when you're parked at a location, the system would still be a great asset for weather observations. The Hub (base station) connects to WiFi but it is not necessary aside from the occasional software update. A phone or tablet with a Bluetooth connection to the Hub is all you need to get current data from the Tempest device. The Tempest device transmits data over radio to the Hub. The Hub does need to be powered, requiring 1 A, 5v power supply.
- I live in an apartment building. Can I install a Tempest on my 3rd floor patio?
Sure, but know that some of the data collected at this location will be heavily affected by the siting limitations. For example, wind speed and wind direction, rain readings and even temperature readings would be heavily influenced by the environment in which the Tempest device is installed.
- Does Tempest come with a warranty?
Yes! Your purchase of a Tempest System includes a 60 day, no questions asked return policy, an 8 month better forecast guarantee, 2 year manufacturer’s warranty and a 10 year limited lifetime warranty. These policies are automatically available with every purchase, no registration required, no extra purchase necessary. You can read full details here.
- Can I show my Tempest’s weather data on my website or blog?
Definitely! There are several ways to integrate your Tempest data into a website. If your website uses WordPress, you can use the beautiful Weather Station plugin. You can also link your station to Weather Underground or use the desktop software, Weather-Display. If you are an experienced developer (or know someone who is), you'll want to check out our API (https://weatherflow.github.io/Tempest/).
- Can I link my station to report data on Weather Underground?
Yep, only if you want to! It’s easy, instructions can be found here.
- Can I see a map of all Tempest stations?
Yes. You can view the map of all publicly reporting Tempest stations in the mobile app or in your web browser: TempestWx.com/map
- Where does the Forecast come from?
The forecast data displayed in the Tempest app is produced by WeatherFlow. Our modeling systems start with data from a variety of third-party sources, including global and regional numerical models from US and European weather agencies, as well as WeatherFlow’s very own in-house regional numerical models. The forecasts are enhanced using the rich source of observations in WeatherFlow’s proprietary machine learning (AI) forecasting platform to improve the forecast for your specific location. See here for more forecast FAQs
- How is Tempest's forecast better than others?
Improvements are made to the local forecast as the machine learning (AI) ingests observations from your Tempest System and other observations in your area. We pay a great deal of attention to the quality of the observations coming from your Tempest and our Continuous Learning AI seeks to improve the quality of your unique observations. You will notice advantages in accuracy over other forecasts starting about ~60 days from the time of installation. You may notice additional improvements going forward as we learn more about your local weather.
- How do I clean the Tempest device?
Under normal conditions, you should not need to clean the Tempest device. Rain and wind will keep it sufficiently clean. In some cases, you may notice foreign build-up in the wind gap where the ultrasonic anemometer takes readings. In this case, we recommend removing any debris (cob-webs, pollen, detritus) with a gentle spray from a hose or faucet.
- I live near the beach. How does the Tempest sensor device fare in salty air?
The plastic housing is a marine grade, UV resistant material, making it well suited for use in coastal environments. Salt air can be damaging to electronics over time, but the device is well protected, inside and out. Should anything fail under warranty, we would be happy to issue a replacement.
- Do I need to have WiFi?
Yes and no. Most owners will locate their weather station at home and connect to a home WiFi network. Doing this will enable consistent weather data to flow into our servers and allow anytime data access. It is possible to operate a Tempest System via your smartphone, however, only current data will be reported when the phone is directly connected to the weather station (via BLE).
- How does the ultrasonic anemometer work?
The ultra-sonic anemometer is composed of 4 transducers housed in the top of the device. The Tempest measures wind speed and direction based on the time of flight of ultrasonic pulses between pairs of transducers. This allows for a high degree of accuracy especially in variable wind conditions. An ultrasonic sensor is very good at detecting light winds and has an advantage over mechanical sensors which require momentum to rotate their bearings. Tempest’s ultrasonic anemometer has an upper detection limit of 100mph (~160 kmph). Any wind speeds above this threshold may be outside of accuracy specifications.
- How does the haptic rain sensor work?
Tempest uses a patent-pending haptic rain sensor housed in the very top of the device. Using a combination of pressure and capacitance, Tempest measures and counts each falling raindrop. The haptic rain sensor provides a new and alternative method of measuring rain that brings more value to rain data. It is a unique instrument that measures rainfall accumulation and rate and is also able to record the time rain began, the rain event duration down to the minute, and the relative intensity ranging from very light to extreme rainfall.
- Does the rain sensor detect or measure snow?
No, the haptic rain sensor does not reliably detect or measure snow. The impact of falling snow is too light for the sensor to pick up.
- Do I need a solar radiation shield?
Nope! It is true that siting a thermometer in direct sunlight will result in skewed temperature readings, however, Tempest accommodates for direct sunlight using thermodynamics equations incorporated into the software. The raw temperature reading can be corrected to the true ambient temperature with known variables measured by the device; solar radiation and wind speed as well as the known thermal capacity of the device itself.
- Can the Tempest device detect lightning?
Yes. Tempest detects cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud lightning activity. The onboard lightning sensor detects electrical transmissions from lightning activity up to 40km (approx. 25 miles) away and gives an estimate of distance. While the sensor algorithm is smart enough to reject man-made signals such as microwave ovens and motors, it’s important to place the Tempest away from electrical disturbances for best performance. Lightning detection equipment can be very expensive and the best, most reliable data is provided by networks of interconnected hardware. Tempest provides access to the best lightning data available. See more on Tempest's lightning detection.
- What is the temperature operating range of the equipment?
- The Hub (base station) is not intended to be used outdoors. It should be in an environment where the relative humidity never reaches 95% or more because water could condense on the circuits and cause damage.
- The Tempest device's operating range is from -35 F to 140 F. It can survive in lower temperatures but certain sensors may no longer report data or may report inaccurate readings.
- The rechargeable LTO battery in the Tempest device will operate down to approximately -67 F. Below this temperature, the battery will continue supplying power and will be able to recharge as soon as the temperature warms up enough.
- How durable is the Tempest device?
The Tempest device is made with a marine-grade, UV resistant plastic formula for the device casings, which are designed to improve durability and keep the devices shining white for many years to come. No matter where you live; in the heat of Central Florida, the bitter cold of Canada, or across the seas, the Tempest won't degrade after years of weathering.