About This Station - Our Equipment

This weather station is privately owned and operated, is not affiliated with the City of Belgrade, MT and the data on this site should not be used to base important decisions that could result in harm to people or property. Located at a private residence in Belgrade, MT.

Ambient Weather WS-2000 ArrayAmbient Weather WS-2902 Array

The station is powered by a professional-grade, solar powered (with battery backup) Ambient Weather array. It is comprised of an anemometer (wind speed cups), wind direction vane, a self-tipping rain gauge, UV sensor, solar radiation sensor, barometer, temperature and humidity sensor situated in optimal positions for the highest accuracy possible. The sensor data is collected and transmitted to a data logger device, then uploaded to the website every 5 seconds.

While our array already contains an automatic rain gauge with a self-tipping bucket, we also utilize a Stratus professional-grade calibrated 4" rain and snow collection gauge for the most accurate precipitation measurements possible. (see our CoCoRaHS page for more information)

PM2.5 Particulate Monitor/Air Quality SensorAmbient Weather PM2.5 particulate monitor

In addition to the array, we also utilize a solar-powered (with battery backup) PM2.5 particulate monitor/air quality sensor. PM2.5 refers to particles that are 2.5 microns or smaller in diameter. The high quality Honeywell HPM Series Particle Sensor uses laser scattering to radiate suspending particles in the air, then collects scattering light to obtain the curve of scattering light change with time. The microprocessor calculates equivalent particle diameter and the number of particles with different diameter per unit volume.

All of the electrical systems are connected to a surge-protected APC battery backup device for always-on power with a run-time of approximately 5 days, ensuring data collection continues during severe weather events -- when it's needed most. The data is uploaded to the website via a high-speed, fiber optic internet connection (80Mbps down/80Mbps up) that is also on the battery backup unit. We have done everything on our end to ensure near 100% uptime and updated information, so if anything is down, it would be at either the internet provider or web hosting level.

Future plans include adding a lightning detector with real-time strike and location/distance data. We're also in talks with a startup company that has created a pollen detection and counting device so we can provide local allergy and asthma sufferers with real-time pollen and allergy information by installing the device at our location.

Besides sending the data to this website, we also upload the data to other collection points. Click the name to see our data at these sites or for more information on that program. These other services include:

  • National Weather Service/NOAA
  • Weather Underground/The Weather Channel
  • CWOP (Citizens Weather Observation Program)
  • PWS Weather
  • MesoWest Network
  • Windy.com
  • MADIS Surface Map
  • CoCoRaHS
  • ...and more!
  • Volunteer weather observers conscientiously contribute their time so that observations can provide the vital information needed. These data are invaluable in learning more about the floods, droughts, heat and cold waves affecting us all. The data are also used in agricultural planning and assessment, engineering, environmental-impact assessment, utilities planning, and litigation. This data plays a critical role in efforts to recognize and evaluate the extent of human impacts on climate from local to global scales.

    FlightAware LogoAirNav Systems Radarbox

    Our location is also host to two separate ADS-B flight-tracking systems, with equipment (antennas, flight tracking/recording boxes) provided by FlightAware and AirNav Systems RadarBox. (For an infographic on ADS-B, click here) The system involves an aircraft with ADS-B determining its position using GPS. A transmitter (also called Transponder) then broadcasts that position at rapid intervals along with identity, altitude, velocity and other data. Dedicated ADS-B ground stations (such as ours) receive the broadcasts and relay the information to air traffic control for precise tracking of the aircraft as well as to the FlightAware and RadarBox servers, which decode the data, process it and then display the information graphically on the RadarBox and FlightAware websites. The ability of a ground station to receive a signal depends on altitude, distance from the site and obstructing terrain. The maximum range of each ground station can exceed 250 nautical miles.

    About This City

    The city was founded by Thomas B. Quaw, who applied for Belgrade's incorporation with Montana's Gallatin County Courthouse in 1881. After the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad, Belgrade grew and became an established community from 1900 to 1930. It became a quiet farming community after the Great Depression, but became more prosperous after World War II, and it experienced a population boom from 1980 to 1990.

    With a population of 7,389, Belgrade is the largest city in Montana that isn't a county seat. The city was named after the capital of Serbia as a gesture of thanks to the Serbian investors that helped finance the building of the North Pacific Railroad.

    Belgrade receives very little rainfall - only 14 inches per year, compared to the United States average of 39 inches. There is very little humidity, and winters are exceptionally cold and snowy. The typical high temperature in July is 84 degrees, while the typical low temperature in January is a frigid 13 degrees.

    About The Station Owner/Operator

    NWS Skywarn

    The station owner is a National Weather Service certified SKYWARN severe weather spotter with special access to NWS meteorologists via a direct number as well as being an FCC-licensed amateur radio operator (HAM). The Skywarn program is the National Weather Service's severe weather spotter program. Observers in this program report significant weather such as severe storms, heavy snow, flooding or storm damage to the local National Weather Service office. This data is then distributed to the public and is the basis for issuing and verifying severe weather warnings.

    About This Website

    This site is provided as a free service to the community of Belgrade and the surrounding area. Most phone weather apps or websites obtain their information from services that can report data as old as 30 minutes and even up to 1 hour! As weather is very localized and constantly changing, we believe that having up-to-the-minute information is more helpful and valuable - no matter what your plans are. We hope you will choose us to be your go-to service for important local weather and information.

    Some of the information displayed here is provided by third-party sources (WeatherUnderground, NWS, NOAA, etc.) such as radar images and forecasts. We are not responsible for non-working images/radar loops or outdated, inaccurate information as we have no control over their data. Please feel free to verify information from other sources if you are ever in doubt about the information presented on this site. Our weather radar covers a large portion of southwest Montana and is focused on the Gallatin Valley, serving the communities of Belgrade, Bozeman, Manhattan, Three Forks, Livingston, Big Sky, West Yellowstone, Four Corners, Ennis, Gallatin Gateway and those in between.

    This website will regularly update with new changes and additions to content and layout/design. Please follow us on Twitter to be informed of new changes to the website as well as having access to our top of the hour weather updates, NWS severe weather alerts and road conditions.