About Ferny Grove Weather
This page provides an overview of the operation of this weather observation site and website.
Purpose and Objectives
The operator/ administrator of Ferny Grove Weather is a weather enthusiast and observer who is especially interested in recording and analysing weather data. We have been collecting data from electronic weather stations for 10 years in Ferny Grove and also have 30 years of manually measured daily rainfall.
The purpose of Ferny Grove Weather is to "to present detailed local weather data measured within the constraints of a suburban environment."
The objectives of Ferny Grove Weather are to:
- Provide reliable local real-time weather data,
- Provide data to external weather exchange networks,
- Provide weather data that is quality controlled, monitored for accuracy and information demonstrating this,
- Provide useful analysis of local weather and climate data for Ferny Grove, and,
- Provide complementary educational information of weather related topics particularly regarding weather data
Observation Site Information
Ferny Grove is a suburb in North West Brisbane, Queensland, Australia about 12km from Brisbane City and 20 km inland from the coast. This observing site is approximately 500 metres west-northwest of Ferny Grove railway station.
Suburban site, located in medium-density housing area on the western fringe of the city of Brisbane. Urban housing surrounds the site with open space to the south and south east of the site of site (400 to 800 metres away) and Ferny Grove railway station and Samford road about 500m to the east southeast. Ferny Grove (population 5609 – 2011 census, 5725 – 2016 census) is a hilly suburb with the site in the lower part of the suburb which is the case in the northern and eastern parts. The site is surrounded by the very hilly Brisbane Forest Park (on the southern extend of the D'Aguilar Range) to the west (on the fringe of Ferny Grove) and to the north (Ferny Hills). Hilly forests also extend to the south of the suburb (Keperra). Underlying soil is a mixture of heavy clay soil and shale rock which doesn’t drain well on level ground. Storm water drainage is good, closest waterway is the Kedron Brook 400 metres to the east.
The website is based on the Bootstrap 4 framework and created from a template by Start Bootstrap and a theme by Bootswatch. This is a fully responsive website and automatically adopts to different screen sizes. Some content is not entirely suitable for small screens; however utmost efforts have been made to accommodate the content for small screens.
This new website was launched in April 2019 as a replacement for the previous website offering. As this is a new website it's considered to be in beta meaning there will be bugs and issues as new functionality is gradually added to the website. If you find issues please let us know as we may not be aware of the issue. All major issues are reported on the Website Information page. The intention is that all of the weather data collected at Ferny Grove Weather will be available on this website. While this process will take time to complete, contact us if need specific weather data.
We develop and maintain this website to conform to international web standards specified by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Energy efficiency of this website
Ferny Grove Weather strongly believes in the efficient and effective usage of computing resources to reduce the carbon footprint on the environment relating to the energy usage of this service. The following practices are in place for this website:
- The server this website runs on is hosted in Australia reducing the distance transmitting and receiving data as the target audience of this website is Australians.
- Effective Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) reducing the time spending browsing the web for the information on this website.
- Careful usage of images relating to how necessary they are, reducing the size of images or using more resource efficient technologies. Graphing have been almost exclusively rendered using on-the-fly server side processes rather than using potentially image intensive solutions.
- Considerations relating to good user experience allow you to find the information you need quickly and easily.
- Whilst the nature of this service provides constant weather updates and is less energy efficient than a static website efficient coding have been at the forefront of the development of this service.
- All improvements and changes to the content are tested off line to ensure the efficient usage of server resources both for user experience and energy efficiency
- The Raspberry Pi used to process the data at the weather station location is a low power miniature computer with very low power usage. A Solid State Drive have been used for storage which is very efficient in power usage and uses less energy to run compared to conventional hard disk drives.
- The Davis Vantage Pro 2 weather station sensor transmitters run off solar panels with batteries only used as backup thereby reducing the environmental impact.
Using the information on this website
It is hoped that you find the information useful. Your questions, comments, thoughts and/or suggestions are most welcome. Feel free to send an email here.
Station History & Awards
This section provides a brief history of our weather observing site and website, as well as the awards we have received.
The weather observing site began operating in Ferny Grove, measuring daily rainfall manually on paper.
April 15 2009
The weather observing site was upgraded with the installation of a Oregon Scientific BAR629HG electronic weather station measuring atmospheric pressure, and observed weather followed by temperatures on a part-time basis from June 2009 recorded on paper
February 15 2010
The weather station was replaced with a La Crosse WS1600IT electronic weather station allowing for more detailed daily data to be measured and recorded on paper along with the addition on 3 hourly wind direction and daily wind speed data.
Most paper based records of data measured during 2009 to 2011 were converted into digital form, which will allow for detailed analysis.
A La Crosse WS-2306 AWS was installed in late September to provide automated frequent data processed by Cumulus and to expand the weather data that is measured. This is digitally stored on computer facilitating improved data management. The La Crosse WS-1600-IT remained the primary electronic weather supplemented by the La Cross WS-2306 AWS.
All of the manually recorded rainfall written on paper was converted to paper with detailed analysis and experiments of the weather data commenced.
The installation of a La Crosse WS-2306 resulted in the weather data being publicly available on the web and to share with external weather exchange networks.
11 September 2012
Measurement of grass minimum temperatures started which is also known as minimum terrestrial temperature, sited at ground level using a liquid in glass min and max thermometer. An identical thermometer also commenced use to measure the minimum air temperature sited over grass with higher accuracy temperatures.
10 February 2017
Due to data quality issues with the La Crosse WS-1600IT during 2016, this weather station was withdrawn from use but the data continued to be collected. From this point the electronically recorded data was handled by the La Crosse WS-2306 AWS.
Submitting automatic and manual weather observation to the Weather Observers Website commenced.
5 October 2018
The La Crosse WS-2306 AWS is nearing the end of its useful life and was replaced by a Davis Vantage Pro 2 which is much higher quality, more durable and collects higher accuracy data.
3 November 2018
The radiation shield for the temperature and humidity sensor was upgraded with the addition of a solar powered fan to prevent the temperature over-reading by maintaining the movement of air past the sensors on sunny days with light winds.
A software migration to use Cumulus MX instead of Cumulus was conducted in February. This was followed by successfully running the weather station and Cumulus MX on a Raspberry Pi model 3 B+ running off a solid state drive. This negates the need to have the computer running to share the weather data (which was not all the time), uses much less power, is a very compact unit and the data is now being processed all day every day.
Fernygroveweather.com was launched as the new website for our weather observations delivering constant real time updates of current weather data and to allow for the future expansion of the published weather data as well as inclusion of the detailed data analysis not published to date.
The Observations Website (WOW) awarded our weather observation data the Gold Award for submitting observations on at least 350 days per year. WOW is a collaborative project between the BoM and the United Kingdom Met Office where anyone can submit weather observations.
Station Instruments and Information
This section outlines the up-to-date details of our meteorological instruments in use including sensor details, location and the exposure of the instruments which is rated by the Weather Observer Website (WOW) site grading scheme.
|Station opened (manual daily data)
||Station opened (electronic data)
||Urban Climate Zone (UCZ)
||Overall WOW Site Rating
|1 Jan 1987
||15 Apr 2009
||27°S 23' 52"
||152° E 55' 35"
Date records began at this observing site
- Air temperature and relative humidity – 12 June 2009
- Barometric pressure – 15 April 2009
- Rainfall – 1 January 1987
- Wind speed and direction – 15 February 2010
- Automatic records (high frequency data) - 6 October 2011
- Grass minimum temperature – 11 September 2012
||WOW Exposure Rating
||Data on website
||Min/ Max liquid in glass Thermometer
||11 September 2012
||Ground level over grass for grass minimum temperature
|Min/ Max liquid in glass Thermometer
||11 September 2012
||Air temperature (old sensor) as comparison against new sensor; mounted 1.5 metres above grass
|Plastic 250 mm standard rain gauge
||16 April 2013
||Daily rainfall for site, to be superseded by a gauge undergoing testing
|Plastic 250 mm standard rain gauge
||12 April 2018
||Test gauge 1.5 metres above grass adjacent to Davis Vantage Pro 2 temperature and humidity instruments
||Temperature and humidity sensor
||Davis Instruments (Sensor: Sensirion)
||Vantage Pro 2 (Sensor: SHT31)
||5 October 2018
||Mounted 1.5 metres above grass in solar powered aspirated non-standard radiation shield
|Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge
||Vantage Pro 2 (Sensor: #6465)
||5 October 2018
||Mounted with rim at 1.7 metres above grass
||Vantage Pro 2
||5 October 2018
|Anemometer and wind vane
||Vantage Pro 2 (Sensor: #6410)
||5 October 2018
||Mounted with wind cups at approx. 3.8 metres above ground level
|Temperature and humidity sensor
||WS 2306 (Sensor: WS2300-25S )
||Late September 2011
||(old sensor) as comparison against new sensor; Mounted 1.5 metres on brick wall under eaves of dwelling
|Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge
||WS 2306 (Sensor: WS2300-16)
||Late September 2011
||(old sensor) as comparison against new sensor; 2.4 metres above ground adjacent to dwelling roof
||Late September 2011
||(old sensor) as comparison against new sensor; Installed indoors
|Anemometer and wind vane
||WS 2306 (Sensor: TX20)
||Late September 2011
||Mounted with wind cups at approx. 2.4 metres above ground level adjacent to dwelling roof
Station equipment history
This provides information on changes to equipment at the site being:
Install – A new sensor/ instrument/station is installed. This can be for a variable not previously measured or to replace a removed sensor/ instrument/station using a different type
Remove – This is when a sensor/ instrument/ station is removed either because it is replaced or is no longer required for the site
Replace – This is when a sensor/ instrument/ station is replaced with the same or similar sensor/ instrument
Failed – This is when a sensor/ instrument/ station has failed but not replaced or removed at that time
Return - When a previously withdrawn sensor/instrument/ sensor is returned to use
- Nylex plastic 250mm rain gauge – INSTALL – 1 January 1987
- Oregon Scientific BAR629HG - INSTALL – 15 April 2009
- Oregon Scientific BAR629HG - REMOVE – 14 February 2010
- LaCrosse WS1600IT - INSTALL – 15 February 2010
- LaCrosse WS-2306 - INSTALL and REPLACE – late September 2011
- Nylex plastic 250mm rain gauge – REPLACE – 16 April 2013
- LaCrosse WS1600IT - REPLACE – 10 Feburary 2017 with existing Lacrosse WS2306 AWS. Remained installed and data collected but unreliable communication and incomplete data.
- La Crosse TX20 anemometer [wind direction measurement only] of La Crosse WS 2306 station – FAILED - 11:00 AM on December 24 2017
- LaCrosse WS1600IT - RETURN – 25 December 2017 – In use for wind direction only as a temporary substitute.
- Nylex plastic 250mm rain gauge – INSTALL – 12 April 2018 – As a test gauge for a potential new site for daily rainfall
- La Crosse TX23 anemometer of La Crosse WS-1600 IT station – FAILED - 10:30 am on September 26 2018
- La Crosse TX23 anemometer of La Crosse WS-1600 IT station - REMOVED - 4 October 2018
- La Crosse TX26 TBRG of La Crosse WS-1600 IT station – REMOVED - 4 October 2018
- La Crosse TX22-IT temperature and humidity sensor of La Crosse WS 1600 IT station – REMOVED - 4 October 2018
- Davis Vantage Pro2 station # 6152 – INSTALL 5 October 2018: comprising of #6410 Anemometer, #6465 TBRG, Sensirion SHT31 temperature and humidity sensor and indoor console #6312
General station metadata information
Most data presented on this site is constantly gathered by Cumulus weather station software which started recording from October 2011 with data since 2009 soon to be available on this website. This software is currently constantly running on a Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+ which is a low power Linux based miniature computer with the Davis Vantage Pro 2 station in use permanently connected.
The Davis Vantage Pro 2 currently in use is professional equipment of moderate accuracy. This collects data every 2.5 second for wind speed and direction and every 10 to 15 seconds for most other parameters. The sensors measuring temperature, humidity and rainfall (the Integrated Sensor Suite) transmit this by a very reliable wireless signal to the indoor receiving console using a solar powered transmitter. Similarly a separate solar powered transmitter sends the data from the separately installed wind speed and direction sensor to the indoor receiving console. The sensors are sited in the most suitable locations that are available in a suburban backyard and are sited in more exposed locations than previously.
The Temperature and Humidity sensor (SHT-31) is mounted 1.5 metres above grass in a radiation shield which protects the sensor from sunlight and rain while allowing air to flow freely through. The shield was upgraded on 3 November 2018 with the addition of a solar powered fan to keep air moving while the sun is out which ensures heat doesn't collect inside the shield on calm sunny days. It is sited as far from buildings and trees as possible though is affected by some degree, with a large tree to the NE. The tipping bucket rain sensor adjoins the temperature and humidity sensor with its rim at 1.7 metres above grass and measures to a resolution of 0.2 mm. The anemometer and wind vane which measures wind speed and direction is mounted as high as possible at 3.8 metres above ground level and about 0.3 metres above roof level. This is sheltered to the SW and NE to E by trees, with very good exposure to the NNW to NNE and reasonable exposure in the other directions. Air pressure is measured by the indoor receiving console.
The accuracy of the sensors, not taking into account the siting of the sensors is +/- 0.3 °C for temperature , +/- 2 % for relative humidity, +/- 0.3 hPa for air pressure, ±4% for rainfall total or one tip of the bucket (0.2mm) for rainfall rates of up to 100 mm/hr, whichever is greater, +/- 5% for rainfall rate of less than 127 mm/hr, +/- 3.2 km/h or +/- 5% for wind speed, whichever is greater and +/- 3° for wind direction.
The weather station previously in use with Cumulus weather station software is the La Crosse WS 2306 which records inside and outside Temperature, Humidity, Rainfall, Barometric Pressure and Wind Speed and Direction. It records from three outdoor sensors at 128 second intervals and transmits via wireless signal to a base unit indoors. The rain and wind sensors are mounted at roof level (2.4m) to allow for good airflow and reasonably accurate measurements with a suitable calibration for the wind sensor to report wind speeds at 10 metres. The Temperature Humidity Sensor is located under the eaves protected by direct sunlight, while air pressure is measured indoors.
The La Crosse WS 2306 accuracy of the rainfall is to within +/- twenty per cent of a manual gauge on the same site, daytime temperatures is within 1 degree of expectation, overnight temperatures under report by 1 to 4 degrees, maximum humidity under reports by up to 10 per cent (minimum humidity also at times at very low humidity) and wind under or over reports slightly at certain days especially in gusty winds. This is due to the siting of the low accuracy sensors, the low update frequency and low accuracy of the equipment. However all other measurements are within acceptable accuracy.
Note that additionally manual recorded data is more accurate than the previously used La Crosse WS 2306 station (non- professional low accuracy equipment) in use as the manual data makes allowances for inaccurate data due to the siting of the sensors. This is because the overnight temperature and humidity was measured from under the eaves and does not measure the extremes as well, wind readings are not entirely accurate and the automatic rain gauge measures to 0.5mm resolution and is not as accurate as the manual gauge which measures to 0.1mm resolution. A large proportion of this manual data has been incorporated into the website after the operation of the weather station ceased.
Routine Weather Observations
Routine weather observations comprises both automatic and manually collected weather observations.
Real-time data on this website updates every 10 seconds, most other data every 5 minutes, whilst weather data is routinely automatically provided to several third party weather networks every 5 minutes. Additionally a manual observation using manual and automatic instruments are made each morning.
All significant disruptions to the routine weather reporting, excluding problems experienced by third parties, are recorded in our Station Incident Logs.
Data provided to external networks
Current data collected at Ferny Grove Weather are submitted every 5 minutes to the following weather exchange networks:
A morning observation is nominally taken at 9:00 am coinciding with the end of the official meteorological day of the following activities:
- current temperature, relative humidity, MSL pressure, wind speed and wind direction, ground state and visibility,
- 24 hour rainfall from the manual instrument,
- overnight grass minimum temperature from the manual instrument,
- 24 hour maximum and minimum temperatures from the automatic instruments,
- the significant weather phenomena (thunder, hail and gale) for the previous day, and
- summary of weather data from previous calendar day
The morning observations are available at the Weather Observers Website, a collaborative project between the BoM and the United Kingdom Met Office where anyone can submit weather observations.
Quality Control Practices
This section outlines the quality control practices conducted at Ferny Grove Weather to provide the highest quality data possible and known instrument issues.
Incidents that affect the operation of our station and adversely impact on the availability or the quality of our data are recorded in our Station Incident Log.
Monitoring of the performance of data quality is very important aspect of Ferny Grove Weather and is conducted regularly and this information will be available in the future on this website.
Mean Sea Level Pressure (MSLP)
The electronic MSLP data are routinely compared to the MSLP data from the nearby BoM AWS at Brisbane (site number 040913). This ongoing comparison enables adjustments to be applied as necessary to the electronic MSLP data.
The electronic temperature data are routinely compared using monthly means to nearby stations in the BoM AWS network in the Greater Brisbane area. This ongoing comparison to the temperature data is to maintain local consistency and to identify and correct data quality issues.
The electronic rainfall data are routinely compared to the manual rain gauge data (the check gauge) also recorded at the same observing site. This ongoing comparison enables adjustments to be applied as necessary to the electronic rainfall data and to identify and correct data quality issues.
Our manual rainfall data, which are used as the official rainfall data in our daily reporting plus our monthly and long-term statistics, are routinely compared to the rainfall data from nearby electronic rain gauges in the BoM rainfall network for local consistency and to correct data quality issues.
Known Instrument Problems
As the instruments are sited in an suburban environment the reported data is not consistent with standard weather observation sites.
In very gusty conditions often the wind gusts are under reported, due to turbulent effects of obstacles in the suburban environment.
The electronic rain gauge is not as accurate as the manual gauge in all cases, and especially in very light and extremely intense rainfall.
Credits and Acknowledgments
Thanks to Cumulus weather station software from here which was written by Steve Loft and is used as the main software for handling of the station data on this site.
Thanks go to other weather station websites who use the Cumulus software where many of content ideas is derived from or made available scripts to use.
Additionally the following software, hardware and websites have been used: