How My Weather Station Detected the Volcano Eruption in Tonga

Environment • by Sven Reifschneider • 29 June 2023 • 0 comments
#weather #nature #weatherstation

For many years, I've been the proud owner of a weather station, providing me with current environmental information that goes far beyond the everyday prediction of sun or rain. What started as simple curiosity has evolved into a deep passion for meteorology and understanding our complex and dynamic atmosphere.

Over time, I have learned to use my weather station not only for observing weather changes, but also as a useful tool for my smart home and my garden. Eventually, I even created my own Weewx Skin to optimally view and analyze the extensive weather data.

Ausbruch des Vulkans

Source: Tonga Geological Services, Frame-Screenshot from video, licensed under CC BY.

The Visitor from the Far East

On the 14th and 15th of January 2022, the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano in Tonga occurred, one of the strongest ever recorded eruptions. This massive event was so powerful that it circumnavigated the Earth several times and was measurable on the other side of the globe. Discovering something so monumental on my personal weather station was more than just fascinating.

Global Impacts of a Local Disaster

The pressure wave of the volcanic eruption could even be measured at my weather station. An air pressure pulse of about 1.5 hPa was recorded, which could be measured both north and south. It may seem minor at first glance, but considering that this pulse is the result of an event thousands of kilometers away, it's astonishing.

My weather station was able to measure that pulse, as can be seen here. There was a rise of about 1 hPa, and then a notable drop of the same magnitude in the early morning hours.

Pressure Diagram from Jan 15 / Jan 16 2022

Scientific Wonders and Unanswered Questions

Scientists were surprised by the gravity waves of the atmosphere triggered by the eruption, which were visible both on the top of the eruption cloud and in satellite images. It is suspected that these waves have circumnavigated the Earth multiple times and may even have a long-term influence on the weather. However, there is still much to learn about the precise impacts of such events on our global climate.


A volcanic eruption is an impressive event, reminding us of the tremendous power of nature. But it is also a reminder of how interconnected we all are on this planet. An event on the other side of the world can have measurable effects in your own backyard. That's what makes meteorology and science in general so fascinating. It reminds us that we are all part of a large, complex system that still has much to discover and learn.

Weather Station

The Weather Station

For countless years, a weather station has stood in my garden. Since April 2014, I have been capturing the data with my server and have since then kept an almost complete record of weather data here in Altenstadt. Since 2019 with a Davis Vantage Vue.

The current values and the annual and monthly archives of the entire period can be viewed at any time on the website of the weather station.

cloud To the Weather Station

This post was created with the support of artificial intelligence (GPT-4). Curious how AI can create such texts from its own ideas? Learn more about it on the website of the Neoground GmbH - Your partner for AI-Consulting, web development, and digital strategies.

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Sven Reifschneider
About the author

Sven Reifschneider

Greetings! I'm Sven, a tech innovator and enthusiastic photographer from scenic Wetterau, near the vibrant Frankfurt/Rhein-Main area. This blog is where I fuse my extensive tech knowledge with artistic passion to craft stories that captivate and enlighten. Leading Neoground, I push the boundaries of AI consulting and digital innovation, advocating for change that resonates through community-driven technology.

Photography is my portal to expressing the ephemeral beauty of life, blending it seamlessly with technological insights. Here, art meets innovation, each post striving for excellence and sparking conversations that inspire.

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