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Columbia Weather Systems

Come see our "new" space!

CWS will be hosting a holiday open house on Thursday, December 3 from 3:00 to 6:00. Come by to enjoy some refreshments and see what we do. RSVP or just drop by if you're in the neighborhood: 503-629-0887 or

Open House Invitation
weather as art

The lobby of a new Microsoft building boasts "Elements" by Ethan Rose.

Portland-area artist Ethan Rose has created a permanent art installation that interprets the weather with music. “Elements” is located in the lobby of a new Microsoft building in Redmond, WA.

Using an Orion weather station to capture the data, the Weather MicroServer offers an XML data file over an Ethernet connection. Weather measurements interpreted by software trigger musical sounds that play through around one hundred speakers mounted into the lobby's ceiling.

“This representative gesture sonically engages the lobby space as a threshold between built and natural environments, inviting building users to experience a musical connection between inside and out.”

Click here for more information, images, video

Snow Level Sensor
Snow sensor installed

Snow level sensor installed.

Just in time for winter preparations, a Snow Level Sensor has been added to the sensor options for the Weather MicroServer. 

This feature has been added by customer request and can be used with any model weather station that includes the Weather MicroServer. The sensor is installed with an Orion Weather Station at a ski resort and with a Pulsar 600 Weather Station at a regional water district.

The sensor transmits an ultrasonic pulsed sound wave through the air to meet a reflective object, such as snow. When the sound wave makes contact with the target it bounces back toward the sensor. The sensor records the time required for the sound wave to travel to the target and return. Using the speed of sound, the sensor calculates the distance to the object.

For more info click "Additional Sensors" tab on Weather MicroServer page

Pharos Marine Automatic Power, one of our OEM customers, has incorporated our Magellan Weather Station into their WXPro system shown here with tide sensor at the busy industrial port of Map Ta Phut, Thailand.

According to World Port Source, "The Port of Map Ta Phut is a high-volume, high-capacity industrial port serving the area's heavy industries. It is Thailand's biggest industrial port, offering one-stop services that meet the highest international standards."

For more information: Magellan Weather Station

We mourn the passing of company founder Gene W. Hinds. Gene founded Hinds International in 1971. The meteorological instruments division was spun off in 1998 with the incorporation of Columbia Weather Systems.

For more information:


The Magellan Weather Station now offers an option for the tipping bucket rain gauge. The rain gauge comes with a 50-ft cable that connects to the Interface Module along with the Magellan all-in-one sensor cable. A heated option is available.

For more information: Magellan Weather Station

The Weather MicroServer now supports SNMP v3 which adds privacy and authentication to the Simple Network Management Protocol. SNMP is an Internet-standard protocol for managing and monitoring devices on IP networks for “conditions that warrant administrative attention.”

Developed for a U.S. Air Force technology application, this MicroServer upgrade will benefit any SNMP user who requires a high level of security.

For more information: Weather MicroServer

noise monitoring weather station

Orion weather station setup for ACI

ACI Acoustical Consultants Inc. is an acoustical engineering consulting company based in Alberta, Canada. Principal partner and engineer Steve Bilawchuk explains how they use their Orion LX Weather Stations, “One of our main services is to conduct environmental noise monitoring for things like road noise, rail noise, industrial noise, etc. In addition to the noise monitoring data, we also need the local weather data for the duration of noise monitoring period."

" Weather conditions are the single largest variable factor in how sound travels over large distances. Specifically, wind speed and wind direction are of crucial importance. Having a portable weather monitoring station gives us the flexibility to set up wherever we need and gives us very localized data. The equipment is typically set-up, locked, and left to run un-attended in the field for as little as 24-hours and as long as a few months at any one location.”

“When we conducted a search, the unit available from Columbia Weather Systems was the only one that met all of our criteria.”

New application page describes the system in detail

One World Observatory opened last week in New York atop the Freedom Tower, otherwise known as One World Trade Center. Promising to be a popular tourist destination, the Observatory combines panoramic views of the city with a museum-like experience.

This caught our attention because the control system for One World Trade Center’s iconic Spire Lighting, designed and installed by Barbizon Lighting, incorporates an Orion weather station for environmental monitoring.

Kate Groener of Barbizon explains: We are using a CWS Orion Weather Station to monitor weather conditions and trigger safety measures if certain parameters are exceeded. The station sends an XML file with current weather conditions via FTP to Barbizon’s lighting control server every few minutes. Our lighting control server checks that file and reacts automatically to extreme conditions – for example, if the wind speed at the 1,776 feet is above 50 MPH the system will automatically shut down the beacon motor, or if the temperature is below -10 degrees Celsius the lights will automatically be turned on in order to generate heat and keep themselves from freezing over. The weather station is also used for realtime monitoring through the Barbizon Lighting’s custom user interface so that maintenance workers can get an accurate idea of the conditions they are going to be dealing with up above the city.

For more information:

Barbizon Lighting

Architectural Lighting Application Page

Our move provided an opportunity to get some video of Nader installing the Capricorn FLX wind sensors on our new facility roof. The sensor assembly is installed on a Universal Mast Mount arm and a smartphone compass helps orient the wind direction vane.

Capricorn FLX™: Installing Wind Sensors

March 2015 -- We have integrated a dual barometric pressure sensor option for the Weather MicroServer. Developed in collaboration with one of our international representatives for a small airport application, this installation will be a Capricorn FLX Weather Station. The Weather MicroServer can be used with any of our weather station models. (While CWS weather stations are not FAA certified, they are used by many small airports in the US and around the world that are not subject to FAA certification.)

The dual barometer measurements are used to report the two (redundant) pressure readings, the difference between them, and calculated QNH and QFE based on average value of the two sensors. The dual barometer sensor unit includes a weather shield outdoor installation kit. Depending on accuracy requirements, Class A or Class B barometers can be specified.

We have reorganized our Resources webpage to highlight FAQs.

The latest tutorial outlines how to establish communication with the Weather MicroServer.

Be sure to let us know if you have any questions....frequently asked or not!

Click on the links below for more information:

Resources Page

How to Establish Communication with the Weather MicroServer

Weather MicroServer

  Happy New Year! 

In response to requirements from the building automation industry, the Weather MicroServer now has a BACnet interface protocol available through Ethernet. Click here to go to the Weather MicroServer page.

Also, our GSA contract has been renewed through 2019 with some price adjustments and product changes. We've added the Capricorn FLX line and some optional sensors, mounting options and accessories. If you are a GSA customer, check us out on GSA Advantage!