Most people love to joke about how useless the weather forecasts on national TV are, but few of us do anything about it. If you’ve ever wondered if you could do a better job as a weather forecaster, why not buy your own weather station and see what kind of data it produces?
Home weather stations are surprisingly affordable, and come in several different varieties. You can get simple weather stations that track only temperature and humidity data, or more sophisticated devices that will automatically upload their data to a community-run database, helping the community to produce more sophisticated weather forecasts. Here’s a quick run-down of some of the best weather stations on the market today.
Netatmo Weather Station
An easy to use weather station, it’s designed to look good in any home. Instead of looking like a piece of scientific equipment, the monitor looks quite stylish and modern, and will fit in well in any home.
The Netatmo weather station tracks both indoor and outdoor air quality, CO2 concentration, barometic pressure, acoustic comfort, the temperature, and weather conditions. Real time updates and alerts can be pushed to your mobile phone, and you can view detailed charts using a cloud-based personal dashboard.
Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue
The Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station is a self-contained weather station with a built-in sensor suite and a separate LCD console. The station transmits updates to the LCD console every 2.5 seconds, and has a connection range of up to 1,000 feet, so it should be easy to find a place to mount it. This station can track indoor and outdoor temperatures, humidity, the current wind speed and wind direction, barometric pressure, rainfall and the dew point.
The LCD console provides you with several pieces of weather trend information, alarms and alerts, and will also tell you the moon phase, and the current sunrise or sunset times. The console is not as sophisticated as the Netatmo device, and does not have built-in support for sending push notifications to your phone, but it is a good choice as a first-time owner’s weather station.
Ambient Weather WS-2080
This low cost weather station is quite compact and easy to install. It tracks all of the most important metrics, including wind speed and direction, temperature, indoor and outdoor humidity, barometric pressure and rainfall.
The Ambient Weather WS-2080 Wireless Home Weather Station comes with an LCD console which receives real time updates from the monitoring system. You can plug the console into your PC and use EasyWeather to get more detailed weather reports, or share your data on the Weather Underground using the free Cumulus Software.
This weather station is one of the most affordable stations on the market. The outdoor monitoring system does not look particularly impressive, but it does get the job done. The display system is well-made and easy to read, and the suite of software that comes with the system is quite flexible. If you are a tinkerer, you can do a lot with this station.
La Crosse Technology Digital Thermometer & Hydrometer Station
This compact device is not really a weather station as such. Rather it is an indoor-only device which provides you with updates on the current temperature and humidity, along with the time of day. The only tracking feature provided by this device is the ability to record the minimum and maximum value for each metric.
This device is available in Black and a range of colors, and is quite compact and stylish. If you aren’t interested in mounting a proper monitoring station outside of your home, but would like to get real-time temperature updates, this could be the device for you. Unlike the more sophisticated stations, this display will look good on your shelves or your bedside table.
Oregon Scientific Advanced Weather Station
The Oregon Scientific Advanced Weather Station is one of the few weather stations that also has a self-setting atomic clock. The station can monitor indoor and outdoor temperature data from up to three remote sensors, however it comes with only one sensor, so you will have to buy extras if you want to take full advantage of the features of the device.
The monitor has a large LCD display with a backlight, making it easy to read in the dark. The station displays a lot of information, but it does not have built-in support for uploading your data to a computer. This means that you’ll have to rely on your own ability to interpret the meaning of the humidity and temperature data, and limits your ability to join community weather forecasting groups.