ERF Company, Inc

EWIN: The ERF Weather Information Network

The need for additional real-time weather information prompted me to develop and supply my own weather stations to clients at various locations around the region. My initial group that wanted these stations were transportation folks, but as the program has developed and grown we have now extended this to include agriculture and utility clients.

There are many local weather stations maintained by the National Weather Service and FAA, but these are located mainly at airport sites; unfortunately, not many people live, or farm, or plow roads at these locations. Thus, our desire is to place our stations in locations that have meaning for us and for our clients. Some of the more interesting sites in Oregon and Washington include: Weyerheauser-Mt. St. Helens (3,500 ft.), City of Portland-Council Crest (1,650 ft.), Black Butte Ranch, SunRiver, Tulelake, and Mt. Hood-Ski Bowl. We currently have over 200 of our sites up and running, another 50 are on order, with another order of 250 sites ready to go in the next 18 months.

These stations are provided to our clients as part of the regular service contract or for a small additional monthly fee. The cost is minimal versus the benefit of the program. Some of our clients have even paid for additional sites on their own, which is great for us, too! The citing of the stations is quite variable and is basically up to the client. We want these stations to measure the parameters in the best location for the client, not necessarily for us. So, we place these station in the middle of orchards, fields, on top of mountains, in major transportation corridors, and along light rail lines. The goal is to place these in the locations that the clients want to watch the most!

Setting Up a Weather Station on Your Site
Constructing weather stations is a technological feat that can't be trusted to just any manufacturer. Since I like to use local suppliers as much as possible, I decided a number of years ago to go with Hinds International located in Hillsboro, Oregon. The reasons are numerous, but the most important is that I have known and worked with Paul, James, and Tom Hinds for a number of years and have grown to trust them and their work immensely. They are very professional and have helped us develop a very fine, high quality weather station. Because they are local, they are able to respond to problems and trouble-shooting efficiently. This means less downtime, and allows us to drop-ship any components overnight.

The EWIN weather stations cover all weather parameters that can be measured: multiple temperature sensors, wind speed and direction, humidity and dew point, rainfall, leaf wetness, solar and even infrared temperature probes. The stations are also designed to accommodate new sensors that can be defined by the user. The EWIN stations are hooked up to phone lines and can be connected to PCs; they can be viewed directly or on-line. Once the data has been collected, ERF can run various pest, disease, and irrigation modeling on the collected data. The client can have up-to-the-minute information for their site. Geing able to develop site-specific climatological data for your site can benefit all of us. This is a long-term program for ERF, not something we take lightly. Therefore, we do require a five-year minimum commitment for the program. Clients can purchase these stations separately if they so desire.

430 North Lotus Isle Drive
Portland, OR 97217
Fax 503-285-3633

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