HMP automated weather station

The following photos show the automated weather station located in the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park (HMP), Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

An annotated photograph of the weather station features labels for most of the instruments. The tipping bucket rain gauge is shown in the preceding photo, near the left side of the image; the rain gauge is one of several sensors not shown in the annotated photo provided by Virginia Tech University.

The following real-time data is available online: air temperature; wind direction and speed; and current water surface elevation.


(sample graphic image)

Air temperature is of particular interest to odonate hunters. 70°F is widely believed to be the minimum body temperature necessary for dragonfly flight. That is, for most species of dragonflies. Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) has been observed in flight at temperatures as low as 50°F!

Current water surface elevation may be the most challenging observation to interpret. Two known values help to put the measurement into context: the elevation of the berm is 34.5 feet; the bottom of the concrete box/culvert that serves as the outlet for the wetland is 32 feet. The water level may be higher than 34.5 feet when water breaches the berm. The water level may be lower than 32 feet when evapotranspiration exceeds inflow (precipitation and runoff).

Archived data: See a graph of hourly air temperature for the past two days.


(sample graphic image)

Archived data: See a graph of daily precipitation totals for the past month.


(sample graphic image)

Related Resource: My photoblog features a link from the right sidebar to the HMP Weather Station, where the reader will find quick links to all of the resources featured in this post.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “HMP automated weather station”

  1. Mike Powell Says:

    Thanks for sharing the info and photos, Walter. I have passed by the weather station many, many times, but had never figured out what information it was collecting, nor how to access that information.

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