Weather Station Returns to Historic Pilot House Roof
Live weather data is now collected and shared from the Museum. In January 2004 staff and volunteers mounted a Davis Vantage Pro wireless weather station on the pilothouse of the William Clay Ford, returning weather instruments to the same location they were found when the William Clay Ford was an operational freighter.
This location is ideal for collection weather data and the sensors actually hang over the Detroit River.
Weather conditions have always
been important to sailors, for their very lives depended on a knowledge of what
was to come. A century ago the US Weather Bureau Station at Detroit provided
weather through a system of signals that were displayed at three sites along
the riverfront. The first was from a steel tower and flagstaff on the roof of
the Union Trust Building which was also the headquarters of the Detroit &
Cleveland Navigation Company. Besides this lighted flagstaff at the northeast
corner of Griswold and Congress Street, there was a flag at Smith's Coal Dock
on the Detroit River, and the U S Mail Boat displayed flags to advise the
passing vessels of weather conditions.
The expansion was funded by a grant from Marine Publishing Co., the publisher of Know Your Ships.
The weather station provides real time conditions to visitors of the Detroit Historical Society website. The captured data is uploaded to the Internet using a computer running Virtual Weather Station and is included on the Detroit River Watch Webcam pages. Beyond sharing the information to Webcam visitors, the data collected at the museum is also shared across a regional network of weather observation stations.
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