Weather Gadgets

January 31, 2008

Flying Robots to Create Weather Pollution and Pollen Maps


After this week of news we may want to create new type of weather category - Weather Robots. These round robots with their red eyes are actually air-sampling devices with direct links to the internet. These robots look for pollen, but soon a network of 100 air sensors called CitySense in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will perform a task, only looking at pollution and air pressure instead of pollen.

According to Pink Tentacle:

The so-called "Pollen Robots," which weigh 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) and measure 30 centimeters (1 ft) across, consist of a monitoring unit housed in a spherical styrofoam shell. A pair of eyes glow 5 different colors -- white, blue, green, red and purple -- to indicate the level of Japanese cedar and cypress pollen in the air. Two hundred hay fever sufferers around the country have volunteered to hang the Pollen Robots outside their homes, where they will monitor the air and send minute-by-minute reports over the Internet to Weathernews headquarters in Tokyo.

Pretty amazing. I can imagine a world where pollen, pollution, and the UV index are more important than Sunny or Rainy indicators for your daily weather. It will be interesting to see how this data gets revealed to the general public, and whether or not (no pun intended) weather forecasters will start to convey this data.

Pollen Robots [Pink Tentacle]
CitySense [official Web site]

Via io9

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Check Out This Week's Wind & Weather Deal of the Week

January 30, 2008

Yahoo! Weather Widget for Mac and PC


Get the weather report right on your computer's desktop with our Weather Widget. It's a beauty!

  • Current weather and 5-day forecast for your city
  • Easily flip between multiple cities
  • Covers the globe with cities around the world and optional Celsius display
  • And it's easy on the will liven up your desktop, even when it's rainy

At Yahoo! Weather - Yahoo! Widgets

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 29, 2008

Meteorologist - Free Weather Program for Macintosh


Meteorologist is a free weather program for OS X. It allows users total control over their weather viewing, including simultaneous interlaced weather reports from multiple weather servers, multiple weather locations, weather alerts and much more.

We just downloaded it, and it's impressive. We think this will give Weather Bug a run for it's money.

At Meteorologist

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 28, 2008

NOAA Invests in Unmanned Aircraft Systems - Robot Hurricane Hunters


A Robot Hurricane Hunter

Seems like NOAA has finally gotten the word that sending pilots into hurricanes isn't the best idea when you can do it with a robot. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has decided to invest $3 million to use UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) for “the missions we call dirty, dull and dangerous.” These include predicting intensity of hurricanes, tracking Arctic ice melting, and flooding of the west coast of the U.S.

Via Gear Live at BBC UK

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January 25, 2008

Know the Temperature - Oregon Scientific Cable Free Thermometer


It's that time of year again here in the Northeast - cold, cold, and more cold. You're going to need an outdoor thermometer at your home to make sure you know what to wear before you go out. We often find the temperature difference at our home, versus the forecast can be as much as 5 degrees. Oregon Scientific's Cable Free thermometer allows you read the temperature outdoors, indoors and in up to 3 remote locations at a time. The thermometer has a jumbo display for easy reading.

  • Monitor temperatures outside
  • Jumbo display shows indoor temperature
  • Read temperatures in up to 3 remote locations at the same time, at the touch of a button
  • Unique user-set alarm features allows selection of high/low temperature alarm limits 4 in x 7 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in

At Oregon Scientific EMR812A Cable Free Thermometer

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 24, 2008

Warm Weather Boosts Mood and Broadens the Mind


Get out—for at least 30 minutes. The positive impact warm, sunny weather can have on mental health and mood is real, according to new U-M research. Given the weather today in New England - we agree - sun and a little warmth from it can relieve the stress in your day.

Taking a trip to someplace warm in the middle of winter or lingering outside when spring arrives can be especially beneficial, with pleasant weather improving mood, memory and broadening cognitive style (openness to new information and creative thoughts) as time spent outside increased, researchers found. Hotter weather during the summer, however, lowered mood levels and the effect of pleasant weather was far less noticeable in other seasons.

"Being outside in pleasant weather really offers a way to re-set your mindset," says Matthew Keller, the post-doctoral researcher who led the psychology study. "Everyone thinks weather affects mood, but the biggest tests of this theory in 2000 found no relationship, so we went back and found there are two important variables: how much time you spend outside and what the season is. If you go from winter to spring and spend enough time outside, there's a noticeable change."

The findings, completed by a team that also included social psychology professors Barbara Frederickson and Oscar Ybarra, will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science.

Read Warm weather boosts mood, broadens the mind

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January 23, 2008

American Red Cross FR400 Emergency Radio - Be Prepared


Last night at our house could have been a disaster. Sure we have emergency candles and some lights, but not emergency entertainment with two small kids. The American Red Cross FR400 Emergency Radio saved the day at dinner time. The power cycled - then cycled again - and then never came back on for over two+ hours. I entertained my daughter and son by finding radio stations, using the light to get around the house and get stuff set up, and then using the light again to help them take a bath and get to bed. The best part is the self-powered hand crank - we never used the batteries once and had a pretty good time powering up the American Red Cross FR400 Emergency Radio. It was also really nice to be able to check whether or not it was a real emergency and not just a power blip by using the alert channels.

Here are the details of this radio which I think you should get if you don't have one for any emergency:

  • Two turns per second for 90 seconds will provide 40 to 60 minutes of operation.
  • The controls are easy to use.
  • There is also a built-in triple LED light with emergency light source built into the side of the radio.
  • There is even a loud siren function in this device. The battery compartment allows access to the built-in NiMH pack or for the three optional AA cells.
  • The FR400 comes with a 4.5 VDC 120 VAC adapter. There are jacks on the rear panel for: earphone output, 4.5 VDC input and phone charger output. These jacks are protected under a water resistant rubber flap.
  • The FR400 has the additional capability of recharging certain cell phones. Several common cellular power adapters are included with your FR-400.
  • Eton is also including a very nice black canvas carry case and an AC adapter. This radio comes with an Owner's Manual, Eton Catalog and mini Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Guide. 8.7 x 4.5 x 2 inches 1.3 Lbs.

At American Red Cross FR400 Emergency Radio

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January 22, 2008

Big Discounts on Oregon Scientific Weather Forecasters

Starck Large Music Clock in Yellow was $150.00 now $45.00

You can get up to 75% off some weather gadgets at Oregon Scientific. Deals included the following big savings on weather forecasters.

  • Atomic Travel Clock with Indoor Temperature was $29.95 now $14.95
  • Starck Small Music Clock with AM/FM Radio - Gray was $40.00 now $15.00
  • 2.4 GHZ Lifestyle Cordless Phone with Caller ID Through Mirror was $79.95 now $39.95
  • Motion Activated Wall Clock was $80.00 now $40.00
  • Starck Large Music Clock - Yellow was $150.00 now $45.00
  • Starck Medium Projection Weather Clock with Free Starck Small Music Clock - Grey LCD was $65.00 now $50.00
  • Starck Basic Medium Bundle was $135.00 now $90.00

At Oregon Scientific

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 21, 2008

Weather Storm in the Drake Passage

A rather interesting video that you can hear the crew of a ship riding through a rather large storm in the Drake Passage. I think this video helps ensure I won't be making the trip to Antarctica anytime soon.

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 18, 2008

Weather Photo Friday: Sea Wall Storms

We simply love this picture of a storm making waves large enough to blast a sea wall.

From the photographer, "It looks like a scary ghost coming over the walls ready to make us all lose our marbles. Those of us that haven't."

Originally uploaded by Squicker
Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 17, 2008

Weather Movies - The Day After Tomorrow

It's cold here in the Northeast, and we're pretty sure the Day After Tomorrow is right around the corner. Okay - well maybe not, but if you want to see a movie that has both amazing weather and global warming all in one package - the The Day After Tomorrow is for you.
The movie centers on global warming triggering the onset of a new Ice Age. Tornadoes flatten Los Angeles, a tidal wave engulfs New York City and the entire Northern Hemisphere begins to freeze solid. Then, climatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), his son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal) and a small band of survivors must ride out the growing superstorm and stay alive in the face of an enemy more powerful and relentless than any they've ever encountered: Mother Nature!
Come on - admit it - it's a much watch for weather snobs.

At The Day After Tomorrow DVD

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January 16, 2008

Solar Powered Thermometer - Lights Up in the Dark

Why would you want a solar-powered outdoor thermometer? So you can read the temperature in the dark. The solar thermometer stores enough solar power during the day to remain lit up for around 4-8 hours at dark. It has a temperature range of -20 F to +120 F and comes with an on-off switch that helps conserve the stored energy for delayed usage.

At Gardeners' Supply Store via Popgadget

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 15, 2008

Polar Cities to Save Humanity from Super Storms

With global warming up on us, we may want to retreat underground once the super storms take over. Envisioned by "visionary futurist" Dan Bloom—the first model polar underground city will begin construction in 2012 in Norway, with "volunteer testing occupancy" starting in 2015. Click on through to see the entire gallery of ideas for this super safe city of tomorrow.

Via Gizmodo At Polar City Gallery

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January 11, 2008

4 Day Weather Forecaster from Weather Direct

You can get the forecast for 600 Cities, and this Weather Direct model also features a 4 Day Forecast w/ Daily Sky Conditions. You can even get the Sunshine Forecast - the total amount of hours of Sunshine you'll get the next day. We hope to get one of these to review - the amount of extra info is really interesting - plus the wireless outdoor temperature sensor is a bonus.

  • Wind Gust, Speed and Direction
  • Barometric Pressure Readings
  • HI and LOW Daily Temperature Forecast
  • Indoor Temperature
  • Wireless Outdoor Temperature (Sensor Included)
  • Time Sets Itself (Alarm with Snooze)
  • User-Defined Forecast Alarms: Temperature, Wind Speed & Rain

At - Weather Forcasters

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 10, 2008

Weather Direct 4-Day Audio Weather Forecaster

Photo by Curtis Walker

Set to launch just in time for this Spring's weather, the Weather Direct 4-Day Audio Weather Forecaster has an internet connection to download weather predictions for the next three days. It has text-to-voice email capability, and can actually read the subjects and sender fields as new mail piles up in your inbox. Add RSS feed reading as well, and the Weather Direct 4-Day Audio Weather Forecaster is a weather forecasting force to be reckoned with.

Via Gizmodo At Weatherdirect

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 9, 2008

Weather Robot Tells of Sunny Days to Come

This robot is government funded and even walks around telling you the weather. We're now really glad/mad we didn't trek all the way to Vegas and attend CES just for this weather robot.

Via Engadget

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January 8, 2008

Are Home Weather Stations Worth Having?

We recently came across this Gizmodo article - Solving Problems That Don't Exist. We tend to agree with some of the points - one being that most weather stations you can buy for you home don't connect wireless to the internet or your computer. Having to plug in a direct line or sync the weather station is a total hassle. You can record what happens - but isn't the weather in the present the best thing to know?

For us having a home weather station at Weather Snob means knowing how truly cold it is where we live instead of just going by the local weather, and also getting details on rain fall - etc. Though there are current "gadget" issues in the current crop of weather stations, they are still really great to have at your house for getting the true local picture.

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 7, 2008

Grundig Eton FR1000 Voicelink Survival Radio Hands On

Gizmodo has a hands on sneak peak at the Grundig Eton FR1000 Voicelink Survival Radio. We love the way it looks an the amount of stuff it can do for you in an emergency is staggering. It has AM/FM/NOAA Weather/2-Way GMRS Radio, a Flashlight, siren, and Cellphone charger. It runs off of 4AAs, but has a hand crank as well to power it.

Awesome: The Eton FR1000 Voicelink is maybe one of the most pornograpic survival radios I've ever seen, but functionally so. It has AM/FM/NOAA Weather/2-Way GMRS Radio. And a Flashlight, siren, and Cellphone charger. It runs off of 4AAs, but has a hand crank. The design seems superfluous, but those cutouts actually protect the knobs. There's a large handle on the back. If I were to die stranded in the wilderness, I might be slightly less upset clutching one of these beautiful machines. $150.
The Catch: No word on water resistance, and the recessed knobs seem hard to turn with gloves on.

Via Gizmodo

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January 5, 2008

Colored Images of Sun Reveal Sunspots

We love all types of weather - especially space weather. NASA has just released these ultraviolet images of the sun. The non-artistic reason for the differing color spectrums is to show off a reversed-polarity sunspot, on the left. This sunspot marks the end of another cycle of waxing and waning solar flares, meaning the sun will begin climbing towards Solar Max, which it will reach in 2011 or 2012.

Via at Space Weather

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January 3, 2008

The Weather Channel On Sale for $5 Billion

You too can buy the Weather Channel for a cool $5 billion+. Cable TV network The Weather Channel is on the market for a reported $5 billion or more, according to the NY Times.

As well as providing the leading cable weather channel, the company also has a big web presence, with the 25th most popular site in the United States, according to Alexa. The Weather Channel provides data to a range of leading online destinations including MySpace, Yahoo and AOL and started offering mobile video forecasts with technology from Vantrix in October.

Potential buyers are said to include NBC, Comcast and News Corp.

Via Tech Crunch

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 2, 2008

SkyScan Hand held Portable Lightning Storm Detector

Are you scared of lightning of the golf course or just afraid to go outdoors in a storm? Don't leave home without this hand held device. SkyScan's technology detects the actual frequency of lightning and alerts you to how far away it is, and whether it is moving towards you or away from you.

With a range of 40 miles, you will have more than enough time to seek shelter - and perhaps avoid being fried as you put in that last golf ball.

This unit is used by the Armed Forces, local governments, utility companies, Little League teams, soccer teams, swim teams, golf courses, boaters, campers, and fishermen.

Housed in weatherproof ABS plastic, the unit features 4 LED warning lights for ranges of 0-3, 3-8, 8-20 and 20-40 miles, and an audible tone. Also has a low battery light/tone and a belt clip for portability.

Runs on 2 9-Volt batteries for 40-70 hours (not included).

At SkyScan Hand held Portable Lightning Storm Detector

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

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