John Densem with the weather station on his house in
Mosgiel. Photo by Linda Robertson.
If you have ever wondered how much different the weather
in Mosgiel or Fairfield is to Dunedin city, there is a way to
John Densem, of Mosgiel, and Bruce van Essen, of Fairfield,
both run amateur weather stations from their homes.
The stations are hooked up to the internet so anyone
interested can have a look.
And they do - from people wondering what way the wind is
blowing before they send up their battery-powered
helicopters, to radio stations keeping their listeners
informed of the suburbs' weather.
Mr Densem, who is retired, sought help from Mr van Essen to
set up his station when he moved to East Taieri about 15
''I've always had an interest in the weather. I did a lot of
fishing out at sea.''
He records temperature, humidity, wind and rainfall from a
station attached to a television aerial pole on his roof.
''It's all totally automated. It all goes on to the computer
and is hooked up to the internet.''
It cost very little to do and he enjoyed doing it.
''I check it every morning and when I get home at night. A
builder friend also uses it.''
When cold fronts came through it was fascinating to see the
how quickly the temperature dropped, he said.
Mr van Essen, an ACC claimant, took over monitoring the
weather from his father when he died about 10 years ago.
''My father always monitored the weather, writing in a diary
the temperature and rain, so I bought him a unit as a present
and set up the self-running system.
''I've kept it going in his honour.''
He had received good feedback over the years from ''people
from all over'' who used the site.
He often checked Mr Densem's site to see what was ''happening
on the other side of the hill''.
It was not an expensive or time-consuming hobby for anyone
interested in weather, he said.