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How to Choose a Weather Station?
A weather station is a relatively general term, and several things can be imagined under it. The market offers many different weather stations, which can differ in shape and size and mainly in functions and data received options.
In this article, you will discover what products are available and how they differ. We will outline the display area of such information and, above all, how many values you can draw.
We will focus on data processing, practical functions, accessories and, last but not least, how to properly install the weather station to get the most accurate data from the outdoors. We will help you choose a product to tell you everything about the weather.
How to choose a weather station briefly
- Decide what information you want to track. Stations can show you only primary data or choose ones with more features. So ask yourself whether a fundamental forecast is enough for you or whether you will also be interested in, for example, the feeling temperature, dew point or UV index.
- Think about whether it is enough for you to monitor only the current data. If you are one of the more demanding users, you may also want a model that will further process and evaluate the obtained data.
- Think about where you will place the station and outdoor sensor. Since the transmission between the sensor and the station usually works wirelessly, choose a device with a range that reliably covers the distance between them.
- It would help if you had an internet connection to the Wi-Fi station. It sounds like a trite remark, but remember it, especially if you plan to give the weather station to someone as a gift.
- Determine how much you want to spend on a weather station. In most cases, the rule of thumb will be that the fancier the station with the more features you choose, the more expensive it will be.
Why you should have a weather station
- More accurate information about the weather – With the weather station, you will have an overview of the outside temperature and the wind speed, amount of precipitation, barometric pressure and much more. You can also save the data and work with it further.
- Multifunctionality – The weather station usually also displays the time and can function, for example, as an alarm clock.
- Use in a smart home – Some types of weather stations can also be connected to a smart home, thanks to which, based on the weather data, you can, for example, turn on the heating or close the blinds.
- For gardeners and farmers – Based on data from the weather station, you can adjust greenhouse heating, field irrigation or spray timing.
- Protection of people and property – Accurate local weather forecasts can be beneficial in places with an increased risk of flooding, wind storms and other natural effects that can be dangerous to people and their property.
- For schools, healthcare facilities and businesses – Weather stations in schools add variety to teaching. In contrast, in healthcare facilities, they inform in advance, for example, of changes in pressure, which can be difficult for patients. But they can also be used in various accommodation facilities to inform guests about the upcoming weather in advance or other businesses.
Choosing of weather station according to usage
- For ordinary households – Simple weather stations are usually sufficient for families, which should be easy to operate and have an excellent design.
- For smart households – Smart weather stations should be equipped with a barometric sensor because they can control windows, heating or blinds based on accurate local weather data.
- For farmers – Weather stations for farmers also require a barometer; they should measure, among other things, dew point or wind speed. Smart functions are an advantage.
- For amateur meteorologists – The sophistication of the equipment will depend on how much you are willing to invest in your hobby. It is advisable to target models with more sensors.
For ordinary households
In an ordinary household, you can usually get by with less accurate weather forecasts, so it is unnecessary to get a weather station with a barometer immediately. Still, a model with forecasts from the Internet or the Meteotime system will serve you well.
The forecast values are also rather fundamental; you will mainly be interested in the temperature and the general weather forecast, e.g. displaying the time and date or an alarm clock can be helpful. The weather station must be easy to operate, the display must be easy to read, and it is advantageous if the design fits into the interior.
For smart homes
You should already choose a weather station with a barometer for smart homes. Based on the forecast, the weather station can, e.g. close the blinds, open and close the windows or control the heating, so it is ideal for monitoring local values. Among the most important are indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, amount of precipitation, etc.
For farmers and Gardeners
Farmers will also find one of the smart weather stations proper because they can install them directly on their fields or in the greenhouse and get information via a mobile application. In addition, smart weather stations can also control the heating of greenhouses, turn irrigation on and off, etc. The data should be as accurate as possible, so a barometer is a must. Essential readings will include temperature, humidity, dew point and wind speed.
For amateur meteorologists
The choice of a weather station for amateur meteorologists is quite individual, and it depends on how detailed you want to be in monitoring the weather. In general, the advantage is a good selection of different sensors and, of course, a weather station with a barometer, thanks to which you can monitor the actual weather in your location and not just take measured data from other sources. The ability to transfer data to a computer, where you can further work with it, create statistics and long-term forecasts, and share this information, is also a must.
Weather station types
The primary division of weather stations is related less to the overall processing or appearance than to the method of obtaining information and subsequently forecasting the weather. You can come across three main types of weather stations:
- Weather stations with barometric pressure measurements are the most accurate when monitoring local weather.
- Internet-connected weather stations – Can handle longer-term forecasting but may be less accurate.
- Weather stations with the Meteotime system are more challenging to focus on a smaller location but do not require an Internet connection.
Some devices combine several of these systems at once. This lets weather stations monitor the official forecast and measure local data. This makes the forecasts more reliable and accurate.
Weather station with barometric sensor
Wi-Fi weather station
Meteotime weather station
Important parameters when choosing a weather station
- Display – The basis is that the display is understandable and easy to read. You can choose from different sizes and types, including large colour displays.
- Forecast values – The basis is temperature, humidity and precipitation, but weather stations can also transmit information about wind speed, dew point, phases of the moon, etc.
- Data processing – Especially for amateur meteorologists, it is essential that the weather station allows the transfer of data to a computer; some models then also communicate through a mobile application.
- Outdoor sensor range – The distance that the sensor can communicate wirelessly with the weather station. It is usually around 30 – 60 m, but the best models can also handle approx—150 m.
- TFT displays – Displays with adjustable brightness and contrast, often combined with photo frames.
- LCD displays – Their advantage is lower consumption. You will need a mains adapter if you want them to light up at night.
- LED displays – Often referred to as active displays, they usually present a colour display with a more luxurious feel.
- V.A. displays – One of the modern technologies, displays stand out for their high contrast and good data readability on a black background.
- Temperature – In degrees Celsius (°C), indoor and outdoor temperatures can be measured.
- Relative air humidity is measured by a weather station equipped with a hydro sensor.
- Rainfall – A so-called rain gauge is used to measure it.
- Wind speed and direction – The measurement provides an additional sensor for wind measurement.
- Sunrise and sunset – Information can be obtained through the Meteotime system or the Internet.
- UV radiation – It is measured using a unique UV sensor.
- Dew point – The threshold temperature at which the air is already completely saturated with water vapour and begins to condense.
- Heat Index – A particular temperature index calculated based on two values – relative humidity and air temperature.
- Wind Chill – It is a feeling temperature, in the value of which the wind speed is also included.
- Moon Phase – Displayed through icons.
Outdoor sensor range
Features and accessories
- Sound notification – Acoustic notification that the set values have been reached, whatever the data.
- Alarm clock – Weather stations can be used as a classic alarm clock.
- Clock format – Option to change the clock format between 12/24 hours.
- Low battery signalling – An acoustic or visual warning occurs when the charge level drops below a specific value.
- Internal memory – Some weather stations can store the recorded temperature for given days, some even for hundreds of days.
- Mounting Kits – Weather stations may include, but are not limited to, outdoor wall mounting kits, including plastic connectors, brackets and rods for wireless sensors. More expensive weather stations also have additional tools for assembly, including a practical spirit level.
- Smart function – A weather station can also become part of a smart home. Some models have a mobile control application and are compatible with voice assistants, for example, from Apple or Google brands. You don’t have to decipher the data on the weather station’s display; you can ask about indoor or outdoor conditions.