What are the main factors you should consider when buying a weather station? In this article, we’ll take a look at what you should consider when buying a weather station.
Why Use a Weather Station and Not Your Smart Phone?
One of the most common questions we get is: why do I even need a weather station when I have my smart phone?
The main reason is to get far more accurate weather reporting. Often your smart phone will be tied to a weather station far away from your position. As a result there can be a vast difference in weather conditions from where you are compared to where your smart phone is reporting from.
Additionally, a weather station is going to give you far more precise measurements of the weather including:
- Relative humidity
- Barometric pressure
- Wind speed
- Wind direction
What to Consider When Buying a Weather Station?
There are many things to consider when you’re buying a weather station. Here’s some of the things you should think about:
Accuracy and Precision
A thermometer that you pick up from your local dollar store is technically a very crude weather instrument. However, the precision that you will get between a dollar store thermometer and a high precision Davis weather instrument will vary vastly.
Internet/Smart Home Capability
Nobody wants a dumb home. The best weather stations are going to have internet connectivity and be compatible with other devices including Alexa and/or Google Home.
Power Options: Solar/Hank Crank/Batteries/Plugin
How your weather station is powered is arguably one of the most important factors when buying a weather station. Often people are buying a weather station for remote locations where reliable power may not always be possible. In these cases, you want a power source that reflects those situations.
How Much Does a Weather Station Cost?
The cost of weather stations varies vastly (as you can imagine). Thankfully, over the years, the prices of weather stations has come down and sophistication has gone up.
The price of your weather station is going to be highly dependent upon the precision of the instruments. For the most basic weather stations, you’ll be looking at spending around $50 to $100. For a more advanced weather station like the Davis Vantage Pro 2, you’ll be looking at upwards of $1000.
Where Should You Install Your Weather Station?
Where you should install your weather station is dependent on getting the most accurate measurements from your weather station’s instruments:
- Partial/Full Shade: You don’t want your weather station completely exposed to the sunlight otherwise you’ll get higher than normal readings. Place your weather station in full or partial shade.
- Elevated Off the Ground: You don’t want your weather station getting splashback from falling raindrops or, once again, you’ll get inaccurate rain measurements.
- 33 Feet or Higher (Or Above Your Roofline): This one is the trickiest. The most accurate wind readings are at 33 feet or above. If this isn’t achievable, than mount your weather station above your roofline.
- Accessible: Your weather station will need to be maintained from time to time so make sure it’s accessible enough to be able to access.