9 Best Weather Stations | December 2016

9 Best Weather Stations
Best Mid-Range
★★★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If dew point, humidity and wind chill factor give you goose bumps, you probably need one of these weather stations to satisfy your scientific bent. Of course, they will also be extremely useful to farmers, gardeners and anyone else for whom upcoming temperatures and precipitation can be vital information. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best weather station on Amazon.
9
The Netatmo NWS01-US is a revolutionary personal weather station that lets you monitor indoor temperatures right through your iPhone or Android device. It fits beautifully into any contemporary home and gives you complete access to all recorded data online.
  • measures indoor co2 concentrations
  • one-piece aluminum cylinder design
  • inconsistent outdoor readings
Brand Netatmo
Model NWS01-US
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
8
The Ambient Weather WS-08-X4 is ideal if you need data readings from multiple rooms. It can remotely read and update up to eight thermo-hygrometer sensors at the same time from the large-digit, uncluttered jumbo display, but it only shows information in black and white.
  • scroll mode updates each sensor
  • dip switches for channel selection
  • display cycling is distracting
Brand Ambient Weather
Model WS-08-X4
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
7
Get animated color forecasts using the La Crosse S88907, which offers real-time backyard weather info and gives expected weather trend forecasts. Also, the indoor comfort indicator helps you to achieve a healthy and enjoyable living environment in your home.
  • has high and low alert settings
  • auto daylight savings time updates
  • only gives minimal weather details
Brand La Crosse Technology
Model S88907
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
6
If you need to take your weather station on the go, whether for sailing, camping, or hunting, the pocket-sized Kestrel 4500 can be your solution. It has bright backlighting and a rugged case that can stand up to the most intense activities.
  • automatically logs your data
  • optional bluetooth capability
  • runs on two aaa batteries
Brand Kestrel
Model 0845YEL-P
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
5
The AcuRite 00589 is an affordable choice that can stand upright for tabletop use or be wall-mounted if space is limited. It uses a patented self-calibrating technology to provide your personal forecast of weather conditions and has a colorful screen that is easy to read.
  • daily monthly and historical data
  • customizable time frames
  • display has an adjustable dimmer
Brand AcuRite
Model 00589
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
4
The Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue is a self-contained weather monitoring system that provides nearly every aspect of current weather conditions. It also offers weather forecasts, moon phase information, and sunrise and sunset times.
  • sensors have radiation shields
  • glow-in-the-dark keypad
  • updates wind chill every ten seconds
Brand Davis Instruments
Model 6250
Weight 7.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
3
Keep abreast of all weather situations with the Ambient Weather WS-1200-IP. It features two sensor arrays, one for indoors and one for outdoors, that measure everything from humidity and rainfall to barometric pressure and solar radiation.
  • displays metric and imperial units
  • graphs to provide detailed trends
  • has a stable wireless connection
Brand Ambient Weather
Model WS-1200-IP
Weight 7.8 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
2
The AcuRite 01517 features a beautiful illuminated color display that generates data from a 5-in-1 sensor in your yard to provide accurate forecasts in your location. It is easy to set up and is virtually maintenance-free, making it perfect for the average consumer.
  • ticker streams real-time data
  • tracks rainfall by day month or year
  • optional battery backup
Brand AcuRite
Model 01517RM
Weight 5.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
1
The Davis Instruments 6152 Vantage Pro2 is a very reliable weather option that features a versatile sensor configuration and easy-to-install design. It updates weather information every 2.5 seconds and has various alarm tone options for specific weather conditions.
  • 1000 foot wireless range
  • solar powered sensor unit
  • ideal for serious weather watchers
Brand Davis Instruments
Model 6152
Weight 11.4 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Four Good Reasons Why You Should Buy A Personal Weather Station

If you're a weather geek, you don't need us to sell you on the benefits of having your very own weather station recording, analyzing and predicting the temperature, wind speed and rainfall in your backyard. But if chasing storms and measuring the dew point are not among your hobbies - and you're not a farmer, or in a similar field with a professional need for monitoring the weather - you might be wondering whether you really need a weather station in your life. Well, we think you might do - if...

1. You want the weather forecast for your home - not just your county. Despite advances in the technology used and the data available, the weather forecast you see on TV is never going to be completely accurate or specific to your exact location. Weather reports are based on the data picked up by sensors, so they're only accurate for the area where those sensors are, and not necessarily for the area where you live, host barbecues, and send your kids out to play. What's more, an area as small as your garden could be affected by a microclimate, which means the weather you experience will be way off the weather that was predicted for your region.

2. You want real-time weather insight. Sure, these days you don't need to wait for the TV weather forecast: just ask Google or Siri whether it's going to rain. But the kind of forecast you can find online is no more specific than what you're going to hear from the weatherman - and it's probably even less detailed. If you're about to start building a deck and you want to know whether the weather is going to hold, you need to know the rain forecast for your backyard, and you need to know it now.

3. You want your kids - or yourself - to learn more about how weather works. There are a lot of educational opportunities to be gained from running a personal weather station - have a look at the list on this website. It's literally an ideal rainy day activity! And even if you're not a parent or teacher, it's an interesting field to explore for yourself.

4. You want to make weather reports more accurate for everyone. Thousands of people share the data from their personal weather stations to weather networks like the WeatherLink Network, the Citizen Weather Observer Program or Weather Underground. This data is then used by the National Weather Service (and others) to make weather reports more accurate and more specific. In the UK, users can share their data using the Met Office's Weather Observations Website.

Ask Yourself These Important Questions Before You Decide

How much weather data do you really need?

Almost all personal weather stations will measure, display and record the basics: temperature, humidity, and/or dew point, wind, precipitation, and barometric pressure.

Side note: If you've been wondering what the difference is between humidity and dew point, you should read this.

If you're a private homeowner, this is all the weather information you will really need. However, if you're buying a weather station to help tend your garden or even an entire farm, you'll want to look for one that measures soil temperature and/or moisture.

Also, some weather stations measure solar radiation, which could be useful if you want to make sure that you and/or your family are wearing enough UV protection.

What are you going to do with the data?

Again, if all you want to do with your data is look at it, then almost any personal weather station will work: but some stations can store data and record trends for much longer than others, so bear this in mind if you want to be able to analyse weather patterns over a period of time.

If you'd like to share your weather data with wider networks, like we discussed above, then look for a weather station that can upload your data easily, either to your computer or directly to the internet.

Where are you going to place the equipment?

For accurate results you need to make sure your weather station sensor is not in the shade, not where precipitation can fall into it, and be positioned where it has a direct line of sight to the receiver. If all of those things mean you're going to have to run it across your backyard, then you should definitely consider a wireless weather station. Otherwise, the cables could fall prey to wildlife, as described in this useful article about weather stations in the New York Times.

How is your station going to be powered?

You can buy a weather station powered by ordinary batteries, but if you'd like to save power it's worth investing in a solar-powered station: hey, the thing's going to be sitting in the sun all day anyway!

But Seriously, How Do Weather Stations Even Work?

There's some really detailed technical information here about how weather stations collect data about various aspects of the weather, and while it is kind of interesting, we think there are really only two reasons why you'd want to know more about how weather stations work:

First, you have a crush on a weather geek and want to be able to impress them by asking knowledgeable questions, like "So, let's talk temperature...do you use a thermocouple or do you prefer the RTD probe method?"

OR

Second, you want to know how to find and use a weather station that will work best for your needs.

Assuming that what you want is the latter, here's our breakdown of what you need to know.

Temperature: There are, as we mentioned above in our characteristically whimsical fashion, three slightly different ways in which weather stations measure temperature. But they can all be affected by radiation - i.e., if they're out in the sunshine, they might record temperatures that are warmer than is accurate - so for the best results you'll want to make sure your weather station comes with a radiation shield, or buy a separate one.

Barometric pressure: This is measured using electronic pressure sensors, and it's probably the most important part of your weather station for actually predicting the weather - check out this interesting information from the UK Met Office to learn more about how air pressure can predict weather patterns.

Rain: Most weather stations have a 'tipping bucket' rain gauge, where every 'tip' represents a certain level of rainfall. This is usually , although some weather stations are less precise, so check before buying if measurement of rainfall is a priority for you. The precision of these measurements varies - generally speaking, the bigger the surface area you have for collecting rainfall, the more accurate your rain gauge will be.

Bear in mind that it's very rare to find a weather station with a rain gauge that can cope with snow.



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Last updated on December 15, 2016 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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