Posted by Michele Redmon ● January, 2020

Top 10 Most Common Questions About the Tempest Weather System

man in smart home reading a tablet

Updated on 03/16/21

When WeatherFlow’s new Tempest Weather System launched on Kickstarter in late 2019, the campaign was fully funded in less than three hours. It quickly became the most popular tech campaign on Kickstarter, and the momentum only continued when Tempest carried forward on Indiegogo. With retail sales now in full swing, one thing is clear--people have A LOT of questions! Here, we break down the most common questions we receive about the revolutionary Tempest:

1. How does Tempest compare to other weather stations?

We’re biased, but it’s hard to compare the Tempest with any home weather station since the weather station is just one component of the system, along with the app, data science, and forecasting technology. We designed the hardware to be reliable and user-friendly, with no moving parts or fees for accessing your data. But the most exciting part of the Tempest is the science behind it.

Utilizing a system built by our team of meteorologists and data scientists, your Tempest data is validated and quality controlled. This data set is then ingested into WeatherFlow’s proprietary forecast system. That system starts with the best large-scale resolution models, including NOAA’s GFS, NAM, and the highly acclaimed European Global Forecast Model (ECMWF). We then run our numerical weather prediction model, followed by powerful machine learning (WF AI). This system works in rapidly updating cycles and improves significantly over time as more data is observed. The resulting real-time data and forecast are guaranteed to be more accurate and precise than any others.

1. Does tempest come with a warranty?

Yes! Your Tempest System purchase includes a 60 day, no questions asked return policy, an 8-month better forecast guarantee, 2-year manufacturer’s warranty and a 10-year limited lifetime warranty. These policies are automatically available with every purchase; no registration required, no extra purchase necessary. 

3.Why do I need a weather station at my house?

Most weather apps and weather reports from your evening news are based on public domain data — primarily from weather stations installed long ago at regional airports. Having a reliable weather station at your home gives you the benefit of knowing the exact conditions outside, (not at the nearest airport). Tempest also provides hyper-local forecast info, customized to your location and can even help you save money on heating & air conditioning by allowing your smart home tech to make automated decisions based on real-time weather data.

4. How does the sonic anemometer work?

Tempest measures wind speed and direction based on the time of flight of sonic pulses between pairs of transducers located on the underside of the roof over the gap near the top of the device. This technology allows for a high degree of accuracy, especially in variable wind conditions.

5. How does the haptic rain sensor work?

Located in the top of the device, the patent-pending haptic rain sensor measures and counts each falling raindrop. This allows Tempest to report the instant rain begins falling, the current intensity, and the total rain accumulation over time. Accuracy compares to a tipping bucket, but without malfunctions caused by accumulating leaves or debris.

6. Can Tempest integrate with Amazon’s Alexa?

“Alexa, enable WeatherFlow Smart Weather." It’s as easy as that! You can easily and instantly view your Tempest data on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, computer or virtually any device with a web browser. Tempest integrates with Siri, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant for your data. Tempest is also compatible with a growing list of smart home platforms and thrid party apps . 

7. WHAT's the difference between the smart weather station and tempest weather system?

The Smart Weather System (SWS) was WeatherFlow's first generation home weather station. It is no longer available for sale, although we still have many support materials on our website for existing customers. We made several meanginful improvements when designing the second generation weather system, Tempest. 

8. Is Tempest hard to install?

Not at all! From taking it out of the box to accessing your weather data takes less than five minutes (we timed it). Tempest comes with two mounting base options. One is designed to mount the Tempest on top of a standard 1" pole. The second mount is a flat base with both a standard 1/4-20 thread (common camera tripod standard) as well as a simple keyhole slot to attach to a screw head.

9. What’s wrong with my current weather app?

Most weather apps (even your local news) are based on public domain data that is very limited. If you are looking at a display of current conditions at your location chances are the data is from a NOAA station located at an airport that is not all that close to you. Having a reliable weather system installed around your home comes with a host of benefits, such as:

  • Smart home automation capable of saving you money on heating, air conditioning and water costs. Tempest can be integrated to disable sprinklers when rain begins, adjust the indoor temperature to reflect fluctuations outside, or lower your blinds when the temperature spikes.
  • Plan your day better with real-time knowledge about weather conditions in your location. No more wondering ? if you need to reschedule the pool party or cover your plants overnight.

10. Can I make a suggestion for a feature I'd like to see in the tempest app?

Definitely! We appreciate user feedback and use it to make our products and services better. We have implemented several new features based on our feature voting system on the Tempest forum, as well as suggestions submitted to our support team. Please let us know how we can make the Tempest experience better and we will do our best to make it happen!

Your Weather Data Does Good

Tempest data, along with all our real-time useful data, is part of data sets which are shared with the National Weather Service (NWS-NOAA) and other national met agencies across the world, supporting their mission of predicting dangerous weather and warning the public of potential risks. As forecasting becomes more difficult and weather patterns increasingly unpredictable, each Tempest helps contribute to a better global forecast.

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