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"It is best to read the weather forecast before we pray for rain."
-- Mark Twain
If you live in an area that can experience sudden severe weather, you’re probably familiar with how important it is to keep up with changes in the weather. Just recently, the life-threatening Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 hurricane with winds at over 155 mph, hit Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina, cutting off electricity for thousands and causing over $67 billion in damage. A home weather station can help keep you posted on weather changes.
And even if you live in an area without such devastating weather, a home weather station can be useful. It can be educational to see the relationship between changes in air pressure and the weather. It can help if you engage in gardening, to know what the weather will be like in the next few days. Some weather stations also can tell you the “feels like” temperature, to help you know how favorable the conditions outside are at present. And they can also provide a forecast, letting you view data on a console or your cellphone.
We’ll go over some of the most popular home weather stations on the Best Reviews Guide list. Some are quite modestly priced, while others provide enough data to be your own weatherman!
Looking over the Best Reviews Guide of the best home weather stations, we can distinguish between their types of sensors:
Indoor/Outdoor: There are weather stations that allow you to set up sensors both inside and outside your home. Some outdoors sensors require attaching a mount to your roof. An example is the Netatmo Indoor/Outdoor Weather Station. The indoor sensor will tell you the temperature, humidity, air quality and carbon dioxide levels, and air pressure indoors. In addition to this data, the outdoor sensor will also tell you what the weather feels like outside, based on wind chill and heat index. You can also purchase a separate wind gauge and rain gauge which you affix to your roof.
The Netatmo Weather station, with the outdoor sensor, indoor sensor, wind gauge, and rain gauge
Outdoor sensor: There are weather stations that you set up outdoors only, and it sends the information to a console indoors. An example is the Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station.
Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station
You can also find weather stations that can display weather data on your smartphone, as well as their included console. An example is the Ambient Weather Smart Weather Station (Model WS-2000).
Ambient Weather Smart Weather Station (Model WS-2000)
Basic weather stations: You may find the above weather stations that provide data like barometric pressure, dew point, wind chill, and heat index to be a bit expensive. If you’re looking for a simpler device, there is the Newentor Weather Station, which provides barometric pressure, indoor and outdoor temperatures, humidity levels, and a forecast.
Newentor Weather Station
Good for people with respiratory problems: There are weather stations, such as the Netatmo, that come together with a humidifier. This way, it can adjust the humidity in your home if the air is too dry. This is a nice feature for families who suffer from respiratory problems and need to breathe moist air.
Solar-powered outdoor unit: Some of these sensors will require rechargeable batteries. But, there are also weather stations that use solar-powered batteries for power. An example is the Weather Flow Tempest Weather System.
Range: Since the outdoor unit has to communicate with the console (or your cellphone), take note of the maximum range of your sensors. Some have a range of up to 1000 feet!
Here are some tips and features of weather stations that may help you make a decision:
Data analysis: Some weather stations, like the Ambient Weather WiFi Smart Weather Station, let you actually transmit your data to a network of weather stations, and thus report the goings-on in your region. If you want to do your own data logging and analysis, some weather stations allow a download of your weather data to your smartphone. If your data console doesn’t have that capability, you have the option of buying a datalogger and attaching it to the base station. The Davis Instruments Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station has this option.
“Feels like” data: You’ll notice that some weather stations display a “feels like” temperature. This takes two pieces of data into account, depending on the temperature and humidity of the air outdoors:
Wind chill: You’ve probably noticed that you feel colder on a windy day than on a day when the air is still, even though the actual outdoor temperature is the same. This is because a flow of cool air will dissipate your body temperature. The wind chill formula will depend on the air temperature and wind speed, with the formula in units of Celsius degrees and speed in km/hour, or in Fahrenheit degrees and speed in mph.
Heat index: Also, you have probably noticed that you feel a lot more uncomfortable on a hot day when it’s also very humid. This is because your body perspires to dissipate heat. But that will only work if your perspiration evaporates, as in an evaporative cooler. The heat index takes the air temperature and relative humidity, to determine whether the combination of extreme heat and humidity can be dangerous.
We went through some of the features of the best weather stations on the market. Some give basic weather information, such as barometric pressure, temperature, and humidity, while more expensive models can tell you about UV radiation, dew point, wind chill, heat index, and much more. Whether you just want to teach your children about the basics of meteorology, or if weather information is vital to you, you’re sure to be able to find an appropriate weather station in the Best Reviews Guide list!