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Weather station an online hitWebcam and detailed reports from Kimmirut draws an audience
Northern News Services
Published Monday, September 23, 2013
Millions of live streaming webcams allow curious Internet users to get a momentary glimpse of life elsewhere and a particular one in Kimmirut is no different.
As a weather enthusiast, Cameron Bobinski runs kimmirutweather.com, a website that has racked up almost 900,000 hits since it was first launched six years ago as a hobby.
Go to: KIMMIRUTWEATHER.COM
The webcam at the top of the page displays the view of Kimmirut harbour in the southwest area of Baffin Island from his kitchen window, and refreshes every 15 minutes.
"I've always been interested in the weather," he said, adding he used to be fascinated by the equipment at the airport, where he worked as a co-ordinator for First Air for 14 years.
Eventually, he decided to purchase the Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station and set it up on the roof of his house. His equipment can measure barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, rainfall and wind speed and direction.
Bobinski's website, which averages 400 hits per day, is chock full of graphs, charts, maps and tables which detail Kimmirut's weather on a daily basis.
Its simple design is completely devoid of advertisements of any kind and Bobinski intends to keep it that way.
"It's always just been for fun," he said.
Fortunately, the website is low maintenance, Bobinski said, as it updates itself every half hour.
Every so often he'll get an interesting e-mail from a random Internet user who dropped by and found the information interesting.
"I've gotten e-mails from people in Spain, Australia, all over the place," he said.
"They like to write and compare their weather with ours, they're fascinated by our temperatures. One time I got an e-mail from an Australian mother who said her son wanted to do a book report on my website, so he sent me a few questions to answer."
His webcam shots have also been featured on CBC Newsworld, most recently a few winters ago when the ice in the harbour hadn't frozen up yet.
Every night at midnight, Bobinski's "weather computer" compiles the hundreds of pictures it's taken throughout the day into a stop-motion video. Unfortunately, the high cost of bandwidth prevents him from uploading it to the Internet to share with others.
"It's quite amazing to see, especially in the winter, the ice looks like it's breathing, the way it comes in and out," he said.
The most satisfaction he gets from running the website is hearing from former Kimmirut residents who have moved away from the community.
"They tell me they really enjoy it and look at it every day," he said.
"It's a little piece of home for them."