With Hurricane Sandy roaring towards the East Coast, the world is again turning to Twitter to get instant, personal weather reports and photos directly from those affected by the storm. The ability of Twitter to spread pinpoint, as-it-happens information is the exact reason it shines so bright in the face of natural disasters (and civil strife). But for those directly experiencing the hurricane’s dangerous conditions, mindfully tweeting weather updates can quickly become a secondary concern at best.
With the accessibility of easily configurable, low-energy-consuming technology, we can mitigate part of that problem by building a not-too-tricky, self-tweeting weather station. It’s probably too late to put one together for Hurricane Sandy, but for upcoming weather situations it’s a good way to help keep people informed with data and details.
One of the easiest approaches to the project involves setting up an Arduino-controlled weather monitoring system. The easily programmed, modular ability of the Arduino platform allows for a variety of add-on sensors to be utilized, including temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. These sensors can be found pre-built onto one Arduino board, as is the case with SparkFun’s USB Weather Board, which adds the capability for its data to be recorded or shared via its USB output, or wirelessly with an optional Xbee or Bluetooth module.