Handheld Weather Meter aids US firefighters


November 5, 2003

Thursday November 6, 2003

A hand held digital weather station that measures every major environmental condition has proved a useful tool for firefighters battling the recent spate of serious wildfires in California. The Kestrel 4000 provides on-the-spot, location specific weather readings for humidity, barometric pressure, heat stress, dew point, altitude, wet bulb temperature, wind chill, wind speed, temperature and density altitude, giving immediate access to critical information on which fire fighting decisions can be based.

According to manufacturers Nielsen Kellerman, the device is particularly attractive to firefighters because of its accuracy and speed in measuring humidity (+/- 3 percent accuracy), temperature (quick response to within +/- 1 degree) and wind speed (3% or better accuracy).

The Kestrel 4000 is also a tracking device that logs the environmental data throughout expeditions via a 250 data point memory that stores, logs and charts weather conditions for up to four months.

An optional computer interface also makes it possible to upload data for long-term storage, analysis and detailed charting over time.

The Kestrel 4000 costs AUD$695 (including GST) and the optional computer interface and upload software retails for US$79.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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