So why 'The Sanctuary" weather station? Some years back, we had only about 3 or 4 varieties of birds on this property - and very few of those. We built two feeder stations, each consisting of 4 different types of feeders for different types of food, put one station up the back of the property and the other around the front. We now have approx. 16 different varieties of birds and literally several hundred of them, the vast majority of whom are resident and breed here. Out of them all, the song thrush is my favourite because of the wonderful varieties of song they produce all through the winter. Although we call our entire property "A Patch in the City" - a blatant plagiarism of the title of one of my favourite books "A Patch in the Forest" by Elizabeth West, surrounded by and filled with trees, this place truly has become a "Sanctuary" not only for birds but also wildlife in general and for that we feel very blessed.

Station Location: The weather station is located in Mount Roskill, Auckland at an altitude of 53 metres (174 ft) above sea level in the central Auckland area. Although centrally located, the area does have a great degree of micro-climate, being surrounded by low hills on three sides. Auckland being a hilly city, surprising degrees of difference can be seen in localised weather.

Equipment: The station consists of a Davis Vantage Vue weather station located on the roof approximately 30' above the ground. I might add that the process Davis Vantage Vue involved scrambling about in high places during some rather inclement weather. Madness? Probably! The data from the sensors - temperature, hygrometer (humidity), wind vane (wind direction), wind speed and rain 'bucket' - is wirelessly transmitted to a base station within the house and then fed to a dedicated computer. The PC uses Weather Display software, written & designed by New Zealander Brian Hamilton, which captures all the live weather related data and uploads it to the web site every 10 seconds.

Historical Notes: The station and web site was first launched in December of 2007 and ran almost continuously until late April of 2010. At that time a series of disasters happened, involving both hardware and software, which resulted in complete loss of weather records going back over more than two years. The decision was taken to remove the web site from 'live' status until such time as a) a new piece of vital equipment could be obtained and b) the web site completely redesigned. The weather station and web site went live again on May 15, 2010. On May 31st, we retired our La Crosse weather station, which had given excellent service for two years but had begun to give consistently erroneous data, and installed a new Davis Vantage Vue purchased from Scientific Sales. I need to say that Craig, the owner of Scientific Sales, gave us excellent service despite our changing our minds several times and asking him daft questions. The data from the station is shared with Weather Underground, CWOP (Citizen Weather Observer Program) and the UK MetOffice, who also shares that data with other organisations. The Sanctuary Weather Station is also a member of the New Zealand Local Weather Network.

Update: On the Midwinter Solstice (Celtic New Year), June 21st, 2017 and after more than a year of being 'mothballed', both the weather station and web site came back online.

About the web site: Simply put, the main purpose of this site is to provide our local community with the best possible weather information that we can. Whether it be the current local conditions, short term forecast for the area, or even learning about various weather terms, cloud types and DIY forecasting - should that be where your interests lie. The web site itself is mainly based upon a template design by CarterLake.org with PHP conversion by Saratoga-Weather.org. Thanks go to Kevin Reed at TNET Weather for his work on the original Carterlake templates, and his design for the common web site PHP management. Special thanks to Mike Challis of Long Beach WA for his wind-rose generator, Theme Switcher and CSS styling help with these templates. Special thanks to Ken True of Saratoga-Weather.org for the AJAX conditions display, dashboard and integration of the TNET Weather common PHP site design for this site. The template is originally based on Designs by Haran.

Please Note: the web site is under almost continuous development, at least for the time being, as we seek to bring you the most comprehensive weather site we possibly can.

Special Acknowlegements: In addition to the credits above, we would particularly like to thank both Ken of Saratoga-Weather and Martin of Lochaber Weather for their patient assistance in helping us to get various things working properly. Martin was also kind enough to create the Song Thrush logos which you see at the top of each page.