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.
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.
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.
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.
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