Meteorology is an interesting hobby that draws more and more people into its spell. With hardly any other leisure activity can nature, physics and technology be combined in such a fascinating way. However, there are other reasons to buy a weather station: gardeners, farmers or outdoor athletes use the exact local weather forecasts for their hobby or profession.
The range of digital and analog weather stations is huge. Sometimes it can be very difficult to make an optimal choice right from the start. This comparison of the best weather stations tells you what to look for when buying your own meteorological station.
Top 10 Weather Stations
How does a weather station work?
Each weather station usually works on the same principle: The sensors absorb the current environmental influences. From these conclusions then the further development of the weather is forecasted. The simple analog models provide only the basic information about temperature, air pressure, and humidity.
The digital weather stations, on the other hand, provide more precise forecasts with partly very differentiated measurement results, which can be automatically converted into meaningful forecasts if desired. Among other things, the length of the interval in which the measurement data is updated is decisive for the measurement accuracy of a digital weather station.
In order to obtain very accurate results, short intervals and frequent updates are necessary, which is technically more complex. The latest generation of digital weather stations not only works with PCs but can also use specialized apps to send the measured data and resulting results to mobile devices.
What functions should a weather station possess?
First, you will probably want to know what the weather will be like during the day or the next day. That’s the main job of a weather station and it has to be. The weather stations are now available in many different versions.
Whether it is a satellite-based weather station, hygro-thermometer or a professional device including wind and precipitation measurement, depends on personal needs. Before buying a weather station, you should first ask yourself the following questions:
- what do you want to measure with a weather station?
- which functions should the wireless weather station offer?
- which models are available?
- what to look for before buying?
- does the station suit your location?
You can get some tips and tricks on the Internet or in specialist shops. If you know the answers to these questions, then a small preselection can be made for the time being. The weather stations provide you with very accurate information about the current weather conditions and their appearance is usually modern and chic. New weather stations with many different functions are regularly developed.
However, not all features will be needed, some of them are just gimmicks. Keep in mind that the more features a device offers, the higher the purchase price. A weather station is generally considered as a source of information and provides information about the indoor and outdoor temperature – for this purpose, wireless weather stations were originally developed.
So if you are only interested in this information, you can actually choose any basic model. In addition to the current temperature display, a weather forecast is certainly a useful thing, especially if you are planning a party in the garden in the next few days and are therefore dependent on the weather.
The weather stations provide very reliable data in the prediction. In addition, models have added that measure relative humidity and air pressure. The latest models also come with a rain gauge, which would be of benefit to gardeners. Even if you are planning a long bike ride, a wireless weather station is a welcome aid so you do not have to do the tour in heavy gusts of wind.
The anemometer shows you the current situation. In the cold seasons, a frost detector can also be useful. When it does occasionally freeze in the spring, the weather station is a useful and practical tool to help you protect your plants in the garden in time. Devices with these features are already available for little money.
In summary, it can be said that the functions of a weather station are very versatile today. However, the display of indoor and outdoor temperature is one of the basic features of any wireless weather station. These functions should have a good weather station:
- Display of indoor and outdoor temperature
- Display of date and time
- Weather forecast
- Wind and rain gauge
- Air pressure and humidity measurement.
What types of weather stations are there?
Until recently, there were only analog weather stations in many private households. They determine the temperature, air pressure, and humidity. These combinations of three classic meters have recently been replaced more and more by digital weather stations. Even more modern are the wireless weather stations, which are satellite-based.
The range of weather stations for private households is very extensive, the differences between the individual models and weather station types are not only in the price but also in the functions.
- Analog weather stations
This type of device has been known for a long time and comes as a set of the well-known thermometer (measures temperature), barometer (measures change in air pressure) and hygrometer (measures relative humidity). In terms of appearance, they generally have a somewhat less technical effect than the digital devices and therefore fit less discreetly into the interior of the living room. One of the advantages of these models is their attractive appearance, their robustness, and reliability. To the minus points, one must add the less developed technology and the lack of additional functions.
- Digital weather stations
Compared to analog devices, the digital weather stations are much more complex. This concerns both the scope and the structure: In addition to the base station, special sensors for collecting measurement data belong to a conventional digital weather station. Some models can also be connected to a computer. This gives you an even wider range of possibilities: The data collected can be converted to easy-to-understand graphics and diagrams using software that even monitor and visualize the weather over an extended period of time. consider the more complex and extensive the sensor array, the more meaningful the final result is. The high-end models can quite reliably calculate a trend for the next few days, whereas the simpler wireless models usually only provide a rough statement for the next 24 hours. Among the advantages of the digital weather stations are especially the many additional functions, and these are also space-saving. However, digital devices can be quite prone to failure.
- Satellite-based weather stations
Further developed in the technical sense are the satellite-based weather stations, which rely on the support of real weather satellites. As a result, they provide a lot of detailed and reliable results. The measured data are transferred almost directly from space to the local weather station. Combined with the data from their own sensors, the satellite-based weather stations, with the right configuration, can deliver very accurate and far-reaching weather forecasts. Such devices are in demand especially in agriculture, where one is dependent on timely weather warnings. A satellite-based weather station works much faster and more reliably than a conventional model because the weather satellites in space see the possible cloud fronts wind up much earlier.
- detailed results
- far-reaching forecasts
- precise information.
However, such models are not particularly cheap and only recommended if you use them regularly and to a certain extent.
What to look for when buying a weather station?
An important purchase criterion is the climatic zones of the earth, which is only aware of the fewest consumers before the purchase of a weather station. If you live in a milder climatic zone, then you can assume that the weather station provides reliable data. On the other hand, higher quality appliances are needed if you live in climates that are dominated by many disruptive factors, such as the North Sea coast or the foothills of the Alps.
The interference factors can affect the operation of the weather stations and emptying the batteries faster. Choosing a suitable weather station is no easy task. It depends on your personal needs, whether you opt for a wireless weather station, a weather station with the color display or a design weather station.
First, look at the use and scope of the weather station. Today’s weather stations can do much more than just inform about temperature and humidity. First, ask yourself what extent of services you need for your own weather forecasts.
What about usability? Make sure the display is big enough and the data is clearly legible. This is especially true for the elderly, who find it difficult to read the values. A large, well-lit display is always an important factor when buying a weather station.
Furthermore, look at the description of the range of the individual sensors and the placement of the components in the house. The sensors have different ranges. Make sure that the range is at least 100 meters.
Which accessories are useful?
Certain accessories are a mandatory requirement for some models to keep the weather station running smoothly. This is the case, for example, if the basic equipment does not include external sensors and they need to be purchased separately. However, the possible accessories vary from model to model and from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Without sensors, there is no measurement, but some models come as a basic version only and you will need to purchase the outdoor sensors separately to enjoy the full functionality of the weather station.
In some digital weather stations for professional or semi-professional use, the functionality can be extended afterward. It will then be retrofitted with additional sensors that do not originally offer measuring functions, such as lightning detectors, sensors for soil moisture, water temperature and more.
Sometimes you have to replace certain components, such as the temperature cables for the outdoor sensors. In general, the necessary spare parts are easy to order online. Always create a supply of branded batteries so you do not have to miss the operation of your weather station all of a sudden.
Of course, it depends on the operated weather station, which spare parts will be needed in the future. Useful accessories also include adhesive tapes, hooks, and dowels that provide the right grip.
Which alternatives to the weather station are there?
The weather forecasts are among the news since they exist. They are transmitted in the form of newspapers, television or the Internet. Even if you do not want to have a weather station at home – there is always a way to get information about the weather and its development.
The classic media give you the chance to get up to speed on the weather. Virtually any daily paper contains the desired information about how the weather will be up to date and in the next few days. The other alternatives at a glance:
- Weather Portals on the Internet. The online weather data is available around the clock. For this purpose, entire websites were set up to log weather data and pass it on to interested surfers. In addition to the professional offers on the net, there are also some privately operated projects of hobby meteorologists who measure on their own weather data and compare with others.
- The weather apps for mobile devices. Mobile phones have become universal weapons for every occasion. The right app even replaces the weather station. The necessary data is quickly retrieved from the internet. In addition to the paid apps, there are also programs that are free.
- Storm tag – a weather station for the keychain. It is the most original alternative to the weather station. It comes via Kickstarter and is a weather station for the keychain. Storm tag is similar to a trailer, which is connected via a Bluetooth interface with the smartphone. The gadget is about the size of an SD card and collects the data almost incidentally.