I Don’t Care what the Weather Man Says…

March 22, 2011

Among my gifts yesterday was something I’ve long wanted: my own mini weather station. Not the old fashioned kind in a white wooden beehive affair, which is a bit of a shame as I’ve always liked those, but a much more practical wireless job with a little sensor that hangs outside and a unit in the house that tells you how F cold* it is without having to go outside, get in the car and drive around for a bit to get a proper temperature reading. Woo hoo! I bet you can’t wait to see the spreadsheets I’m going to do with this.

But first we had to find a place to place the sensor and the base unit out of both direct sunlight (not a huge problem) and rain (ah), where its wireless signal wouldn’t be interrupted by thick stone walls – in a cottage made almost entirely of 18-in thick walls. We’ve finally settled on the sensor dangling off the back of the other half’s shed under an eave (can you have just one eave? Or is it like a trouser?), and the base unit in the North wing, aka our summer quarters. Where, I note, it’s exactly the same temperature indoors as it is outside.

Would you take fashion advice from this man?

Apparently it has to do a 14 day learning mode and then it will be able to accurately forecast our weather for us, or at least as accurately as a single source of data can. There’s even a little man who shows what the suitable clothing for such weather might be – anything from shorts and a t-shirt to hat, scarf, gloves, coat and boots, although I don’t think there’s an icon indicating when it’s okay to take your fleece off indoors. And, this being an American product, there is a little caveat in the instructions. The weatherman might be saying ‘get the shorts out’ but the laywerman has added a footnote: ‘This is a recommendation only, please use your own judgement when choosing your daily wardrobe.’

Please tell me this is just a wry little joke on the part of the manufacturers, and that nobody ever sued because they wore a hoody to a job interview after their electronic weather station told them to…

*And it’s American so it only does F cold. I’m going to have to print out a little conversion chart to Celsius for the winter (for some reason when it’s hot, I like to think of it in Farenheit, but the cold only makes sense in Celsius. I think it was because I was the generation that grew up with metric at school and imperial at home and I’ve ended up with a bastard hybrid measurement system of my own.)