Some people find weather stations fun and educational, while others consider them a technological curiosity. Weather stations come in all shapes and sizes, from small indoor units to huge outdoor ones that measure everything from humidity to barometric pressure. With such a wide selection, it can be hard to know where to start when faced with the prospect of buying your station or simply deciding which unit is suitable for you.
Choosing The Best Weather Station For Your Needs
The type of weather station you need will depend on what you plan on doing; some are better suited to different tasks than others. If you want information about precipitation (i.e., rain and snow), then getting one that tracks this data is necessary; you won’t see any measurements if you purchase a weather station that only measures temperature and humidity. Similarly, wind speed and direction are essential factors to consider if you want to predict the weather; without this data, your forecasts will be less accurate.
Another thing you’ll need to think about is where you’ll be using the weather station. If you’re only interested in local conditions, a tiny, indoor unit should suffice. Still, if you’re curious about global weather patterns or want to use your data for scientific research, you’ll need an outdoor station with a more comprehensive range of sensors.
The final consideration is budget: like most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to weather stations. A basic, entry-level unit will usually cost around $50, while a top-of-the-line station can set you back well over $200. It’s essential to decide the vital features and find the best weather station that fits your needs and budget.
Types of Weather Stations
There are two main types of weather stations: Amateur or Personal Weather Stations (PWS), which are meant for home use, and Professional Weather Stations, used by scientists or commercial enterprises.
Personal weather stations come in various shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: they’re meant for home use. They typically include a sensor suite that measures temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, and sometimes precipitation. Some also include sensors for soil moisture and solar radiation. Personal weather stations are a great way to keep track of your local weather conditions, and they make an excellent gift for the budding meteorologist in your life.
Scientists or commercial enterprises use professional weather stations to collect data for research or forecasting purposes. They typically have more sensors than personal weather stations, including sensors for things like ozone concentration, water vapor content, and ocean temperature. They can also be much larger than private stations, with some models measuring over 10 feet tall. Professional weather stations usually require a special license to operate and cost thousands of dollars.
Choosing The Right Weather Station
Now that you know about the different weather stations, how do you choose the right one for you? Here are a few considerations:
What do you want to use the weather station for? If you’re just interested in local conditions, then a small, indoor unit should suffice; but if you’re curious about global weather patterns or want to use your data for scientific research, you’ll need an outdoor station with a more comprehensive range of sensors.
Where will you be using the weather station? If you’re only interested in conditions in your backyard, then an outdoor station is overkill; if you’re living in a remote area without easy access to weather data, however, an outdoor station might be just what you need.