Live in an area where the weather fluctuates wildly, or where there are many microclimates and it is hard to get accurate readings online or by listening to your local weather station? If so, you might benefit from a home weather station. A home weather station is excellent for farmers and gardeners who need to take steps to protect their crops, and is also a great purchase if you are a weather enthusiast or simply want accurate data in a region where it is hard to come by. A home weather station can keep you apprised of the temperature, barometric pressure, precipitation, wind speed, and more.
Planning on purchasing a home weather station but not sure yet what you need? Check out the table below to compare some of the top-rated home weather station son Amazon.com.
|La Crosse Technology WS-9160U-IT|
|La Crosse Technology 308-1414B|
|Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue|
|Ambient Weather WS-1001-WiFi|
If you still are not sure what features to look for in a home weather station, read on to learn all you need to know.
What is a Home Weather Station?
A home weather station is a device you can mount outside for accurate, current readouts on your local weather conditions. Most home weather stations are now wireless and can transmit data to any device you choose within a range of around 1,000 feet. Sensors in the home weather station measure precipitation, wind speed, temperature, barometric pressure, and more. They may also provide additional data on the phase of the moon, daily and historic highs and low, meteor showers, and more.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Home Weather Station
Where do you plan to mount the home weather station?
Consider both the local climate and the spot where you want to place the station. Some units may only mount to rooftops, while others can mount to walls or other surfaces, sometimes even tree branches. If you live in a climate which is subject to extreme weather conditions, make sure you buy a unit which is rugged enough to stand up to those conditions and still take readings.
What are you going to be using the home weather station for?
There are many possible reasons you might be purchasing a home weather station. Maybe you are a farmer or gardener and need data to help you plant and protect your crops. Or perhaps you are a weather enthusiast who wants to contribute data to a site like Weather Underground. Or you might be a weather photographer or an astronomy enthusiast. Whatever your needs, make sure that you pick a model which has the right features to meet those needs.
Features and Add-Ons to Look For When Shopping for a Home Weather Station
A range of useful instruments
Most home weather stations include a certain basic set of instruments, but not all of them will have everything you need. Some may require the purchase of additional sensors for full functionality. At the least, you should look for a device that will measure temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. Wind speed, precipitation, dew point and additional data may be helpful depending on your needs. Again, the data you require will come down to your location and your purpose for buying a home weather station.
The best home weather stations can be set up quickly and easily, and can be connected to the devices you wish to use to monitor the weather. Again, pay special attention to the type of mount the station includes. Think about where you want to place the unit first, and then buy one which will work in that spot.
Ease of connecting to Weather Underground and similar services to upload your data
Many people who purchase home weather stations are doing so in part with the goal of uploading the data they collect to weather services such as Weather Underground. Not all devices are able to connect to these services, so if this is something you want to do, make sure that you do your research and select a device which will allow you to participate.
Note that you might need to send this data through your computer, but some home weather stations are compatible with specialized devices like WeatherBridge. WeatherBridge allows you to upload data to Weather Underground without your computer. This can save a lot of time and effort.
Compatibility for upgrades
Most home weather stations are not designed for additional sensors and upgrades, but some do offer you that option. You might for example be able to add more temperature modules or a rain gauge or solar panel. Just keep in mind that units which include this compatibility may be lacking in certain features which are already integrated into other home weather stations. So figure out what you need and then try to determine the best value.
Your home weather station is going to be outdoors collecting data, so it is going to be subjected to the weather conditions in your area. If you live in a harsh climate, naturally this means that it is going to be hit with thunderstorms, snowstorms, and extremes in temperature which could damage other electronics. If that is the case, shop for a device which is rugged enough to stand up to that kind of abuse and keep functioning.
Reports: forecasting, history, and more.
Some home weather stations can not only report the current weather, but can also show you histories complete with graphs and bar charts (you may need to connect to a computer for this). They may also be able to extrapolate using data on your location to provide you with an accurate forecast on upcoming weather.
You now know all about home weather stations and what types of features are important to look for and what questions you should ask when you are shopping. If you are ready to shop, scroll back up to the top of this page to take a closer look at our comparison chart. There you can see features and prices for top-selling highly rated home weather stations on Amazon.com.