Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Float Cabin Living: What is the weather like?

Wayne and I love watching the changing seasons at our float cabin. That's probably because we came from Southern California.

Here in southwest Coastal British Columbia we have moderate weather.


Summers are sunny and warm with only a few hot spells of 30°C. Fall and spring alternate between sun, clouds and rain with temperatures to the low double digits. Winter has more cloudy and rainy days with temperatures occasionally below zero and moderate snow on 10-15 days. As Canada goes, we're balmy.

An anemometer next to our wind generator.
Since weather is an integral part of our daily lives, it was natural for us to want to know more.

First we purchased an inexpensive portable weather radio. We listen to broadcasts from the Pacific Weather Centre of Environment Canada. Our weather 25 kilometres  inland varies somewhat, but it gives us a good idea about frontal passage and expected winds. When we hear the reports for Grief Point (in Powell River) and Sentry Shoal (a buoy south of Savary Island), we know what's coming.

Our manual and digital rain gauges.
Next came a digital thermometer. Then a wireless weather station by Acu-Rite that you can purchase at Walmart or other places that sell thermometers. In addition to temperature, it has a digital barometer and humidity gauge (hygrometer). A handheld anemometer gave us wind information, but you had to stand out in the gale to get a reading. (Oops, there goes Wayne off the deck. Just kidding!).

Solar-powered temperature gauge.
Finally we upgraded to an Oregon Scientific Complete Wireless Weather Station. (Eleven years later it's still going strong). It has a rain gauge, thermometer, hygrometer and an anemometer. Our probes are solar powered, the new ones require batteries unless you opt for the expensive professional model. There are also gauges for barometric pressure, indoor temperature and humidity.

The display panel inside the cabin.
The indoor display light is easy to turn on with a touch of the screen, saving batteries when electrical power is off.

The LED screen is easy to read and a memory feature lets us know what we missed while away.


US rain gauge into its new Coastal BC home.
One summer a good friend came to visit by motorcycle. And he had a big (literally) surprise for us. He used to be a fire captain. Part of his duties were to report precipitation to the U.S. National Weather Service. When the devices were retired, he got to keep two. One is now installed at our cabin.

Whether you start small like we did, or graduate to a professional station, watching the weather is fun. -- Margy

22 comments:

  1. You must both be experts at predicting the weather now.

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    1. As much as we can based on reports and data. But there are times we really get surprised, either good or not so good. - Margy

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  2. I can understand your attention to the weather and your buy 11 years ago sounds fantastic.

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    1. I was shocked at the price of the one with solar sensors. We didn't pay anywhere near that. More like the amount of the ones that now use regular batteries. That would be a pain replacing them all the time. - Margy

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  3. I'm sure living on a river requires that you carefully monitor the weather each day for your safety. It sounds like you have had mostly wonderful experiences there and enjoy the variety in your life. Where we live in Colorado our weather is very changeable but mostly mild. We have a "code red" service that will call our house and cell phones if the National Weather Service forecasts hail, severe thunderstorms or rare tornadoes. It helps to have that warning to take cover.

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    1. We have an emergency service here as well, but they don't call for weather related issues. - Margy

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  4. Love the technology even in the middle of nowhere (compliment :) I imagine living on the water it is fairly critical to decide when to go to town based on weather.

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    1. An example is tonight. We came to town because the forecast for the morning was high winds. We didn't want to miss three scheduled activities. - Margy

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  5. You do live ina very beautiful part of the world. I've always wanted a little weather station of my own but wondred how accurate they are compared to the TV weather forecasts.

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    1. The weather station only records what is happening. You can make some inferences about forecasts, but it doesn't actually do that for us. Along with the radio and/or RV weather reports it helps us know when it is safe to travel on the lake. - Margy

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  6. Am originally from the Netherlands, so when I lived in Southern California we went in the winter months to somewhere where there was snow:) Where in California did you use to live, and why move all the way to the North?
    By the way, consider yourself invited to the meme All Seasons with one photo per url(from Sunday through Wed. 7pm - about the experience of the season, also b'days, holidays, special events, etc.)
    Have a beautiful week!

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    1. Our last SoCal home was in Pomona, but I was born and raised there. Thanks for the invite to your meme. I came over there today. - Margy

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  7. Looks like a wonderful place to be. The weather station is impressive. Happy Tuesday.

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    1. I think we got a lot for our money eleven years ago. - Margy

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  8. This is really interesting. JB loves checking the weather before a drive. It's crucial for you. He does go a bit overboard!

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    1. Moving north has made me a weather junkie. When I lived in Los Angeles, why bother. - Margy

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  9. That is quite a fancy weather station. And you certainly can benefit from it in your house on the water!

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    1. In addition to the station, Wayne keeps weather records so we can compare them from year to year. - Margy

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  10. Very impressed by your weather technology! We're just using an old thermometer and looking out the window, but I guess it's more important when you live on water!

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    1. Does the thermometer work during really cold winter weather? Do you use a mercury version or something else? - Margy

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  11. I really admire how you two are always learning and making life an adventure. We know that knowledge of Weather, winds, and tides are vitally important for even pleasure boaters ... and obviously for float homes...

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    1. We listen to the weather reports for boaters. They are much better than the weather given on the local radio stations. - Margy

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