We decided to up our weather station capabilities here at our place. Our original weather station was doing alright mainly, but we could tell it was not measuring the wind speeds out here accurately. As in regularly being 20-30mph under the true wind speeds.
Based on the orientation of our house, wind speeds can easily pass 60mph on a normal day. It has been bothersome to not be able to tell what the biggest gusts really were registering. (When the house is vibrating from the pressure of the winds, accurate knowledge suddenly becomes very important to one’s peace of mind). So we upgraded and went for this new set-up from Ambient Weather.
So far this new station has performed top-notch with near-instant signaling between the station and our indoor display.
We didn’t realize before how important that fast signal between station and interior display is when measuring high wind. If it is a slow signal to your digital dashboard, you potentially miss measuring and seeing the peak of a gust and likely your station isn’t reporting back the true speeds. This is what we think was happening with our other model and were always seeing speeds of almost 20mph less than what it really was due to the slower latency.
We look forward to keeping up with our weather here now with better detail (and both staying safe with it while having some fun)!
Yesterday brought a fast-moving front across our place west of town and I watched it culminate into a towering cloud formation far and wide that slowed down and stalled over the populous of Cheyenne, WY. (Technically we are in Cheyenne also by zip code, but beyond the horizon in the photo is the city area).
The Hubs noted that driving into town for his night shift felt like entering “frozen Mordor” as per his description, the travel transported him into the dark and dreary setting of the dark and foreboding landscape of Mordor in the Lord of the Rings movies. The temperature can drop disturbingly fast out here so it’s not unheard of to see us go down 20-30 degrees in short order and things go pear-shaped quickly.
A few hours later I took a peek outside and found that at least from out here on our little ranch on a ridge, while the cloud bank was still there, it was softened by the pastels and sunset colors of the fading evening. Definitely a changed narrative looking back at the weather from the clear side of things from what it apparently looked like from within it.
I purposefully took this photo yesterday during the peak of some high winds we have been receiving here at our little ranch house. The scene in the picture is very deceiving as the wind was fierce despite how calm it looks. In fact, for the last two days, we have been taking a pounding by stronger-than-normal winds:
I tried to step outside onto our back deck through a sliding patio door to take the above photo of the western view. On inching the door open it was clear by the roar of the winds that I was about to see all of my worldly possessions go scattering across the floor, so I quickly shut it. The photo was instead taken through a window.
Now that’s wind, friend.
And it really is getting difficult to live with. Powerful winds once in a while is one thing. But this week’s our top gusts have hit over 87mph. That kind of wind makes one’s mind go a little stir crazy when it keeps going.
As I type this post, my house is vibrating. I use a small Dell XPS laptop and the screen is actually shaking here on my dining table where I am seated. As are the floors, the furniture and if I stare at my windows long enough, I can see them flexing and vibrating as well.
Now, is it always this windy? No. But it regularly is over the 50mph+ range and the descriptions above still occur even if not quite at the intensity we are at this holiday weekend here in the US.
Just the act of bringing in the groceries from our detached garage becomes a physical feat of prowess to not lose everything to the wind. I’ve learned to use zipper grocery bags as if the bag is open it’s likely something is flying out.
I’ve lost my sunglasses off the top of my head once (found them later).
I nearly injured my wrists trying to wrangle fly-away pegboard sections when having to face the wrong direction of the wind.
Even today, my husband had to run across the prairie land to chase down a runaway METAL BARREL that had been upended from inside a fenced in loafing shed. As in he had placed inside of a wooden fence and somehow, the winds today took it up and over. Granted it was empty, but still!
There is no choice in what waste container you use out here – everyone uses heavy metal dumpsters. But why in the name of all that is smart in this world are the lids plastic? We keep trying to get one with a heavy metal lid but so far no luck. Currently we use sandbags to hold down our dumpster lids but the wind still blows the lids off and back.
Let’s think about that one: We sandbag our trash dumpster. And it doesn’t hold.
And the house. We have one of those two-sided propane fireplaces which is really quite pretty to see it run. But on these windy days, the entire inside of the chimney right down to the logs becomes its own wind instrument with loud bass tones you can hear from every place in the house. How we haven’t broken some part of it yet mystifies me.
I sleep listening to music and audiobooks every night (a habit I had before we moved here). I use what I like to think are pretty nice earbuds with noise-cancelling features. And yet the wind still wakes me up a lot of nights.
By now if you’ve made it this far in the blog post, you are probably wondering – why did you buy this house then, if the wind is so bad? Well dear reader, this is because there was no wind when we found the house and toured it. Not one gust or any indication of what was to come in the winter months. Just a lovely little current that softly blew through the house in the remaining weeks of August and September when we toured and made our offer. We thought it was quite nice, actually.
Oh had we known.
The next time we look to purchase a home in a rural setting, we’re checking local weather trends and history. I will be asking our realtor for a PowerPoint presentation, thank you.
For the foreseeable future though, you’ll find us holding firm here on our little ranch against the legendary southeastern Wyoming winds. And here is hoping that this is really just seasonal and we get to enjoy a calmer spring, summer and autumn soon!
This weekend’s forecast of 6-10 inches in our area produced barely an inch (not even half) of accumulation. A lot of ice, a lot of short hoar frost, but not the major weather even predicted.
Our area is notorious for poor weather forecasts. Based on my time living here (five years so far), it seems 8-9 of every 10 meteorological estimates are a total miss or greatly off.
The stillness of this kind of winter is contemplative. Especially when one is a bit isolated. Weather has a way of slowing us down, making us more thoughtful about moving around and other things. It is almost like a frozen hall pass to stay in, do only the necessary and stop the rush of things.
This coldness, despite the lack of accumulation, wrapped everything in sight in gray blankets of clouds, fog and frost.
I never get tired of seeing hoar frost. It is a bit magical having come from the southeastern US where I had not seen it before. I suppose that as long as I live where it appears, I will always want to step outside and look at it.
Even as I turned around on our front porch to head back inside after my impromptu photos, there is a little Jack Frost there on the door too.
Even the wood grain of the posts that support our front porch put on their own little show of crystalline frost when examined closely enough to see. This is just the start of winter here, so I look forward to a few days of warming trends hopefully soon until the next batch of frozen stuff comes around.
We’ve been fortunate to receive much-needed rain in occasional storms the last few days, off and on. This weekend, I caught a part of a rainbow peeking through a patch of open sky when glancing out a window in my house. It was worth the uncomfortable barefoot trod into the dirt road to see…
We’ve been fortunate to receive much-needed rain in occasional storms the last few days, off and on. This weekend, I caught a part of a rainbow peeking through a patch of open sky when glancing out a window in my house. It was worth the uncomfortable barefoot trod into the dirt road to see the full expanse of these two rainbow with full color spectrums on display.
Isn’t it a wonderful thing, that we never quite outgrow the magic and awe of rainbows?
This evening brought a long and softly-rolling thunder storm to our home. A long-awaited simple pleasure, I turned off every sound-making machine, opened every window that was not rain-facing and turned off any unnecessary lighting. And then I immersed in the deep reverberation of the storm as is slowly and gently, passed through.
Yesterday brought an interesting storm front just south of our home that made for curious cloud watching from our front yard.
This time of year will see storms coming through more regularly until winter settles in. Until then, we will enjoy the cloud watching, remain prepared and remember that mother nature is not to be trifled with.