In the market for a weather station? We’ve tested all kinds of weather stations at every price point to determine the best and the most reliable weather stations on the market to help you choose the best device for you or your family. Today, we’re going to learn how this technology works, different kinds of stations in use, important features to look for, and, of course, take a good look at some of the best weather stations on the market. Read to discover the TOP 8 Best Weather Stations of 2018.

What You Will Learn from This Guide:

The weather has long been regarded as the quintessential example of something unpredictable and random. In fact, in the early days of computing, one of the main goals of tracking multiple parallel values was in hopes to properly predict the weather five to ten days in advance.

Well, that certainly didn’t work out, but computers have, in turn, made tracking and forecasting the weather far easier and more accurate over the years. Once upon a time, the best weather readouts you could get were from the news, simple rain gauges, weather vanes, barometers, and thermometers. These worked well enough for hindsight, and a real-time gist of climate and meteorological conditions, but that’s just not the same.

Over time, more advanced equipment made it possible to track the weather digitally, and with the advent of smartphones and broadband computer connections, things changed. Apps and feeds could provide real-time feeds from meteorological stations, giving you a decent view of local weather over a large area. This doesn’t suffice in some cases, though, and more accurate weather readings and forecasts might be preferred. This is where home weather stations can come in handy, and thank goodness, there are plenty to choose from nowadays. In this guide, we’ll cover all types of weather stations on the market, from really simple go-to models to more advanced and sophisticated semi-professional weather stations. So, hop on and enjoy the ride!

How to Choose a Wireless Home Weather Station?

Digital weather stations have replaced the analog barometers, which used to predict the weather in a rather mediocre manner, taking into consideration only the atmospheric pressure indicators. The weather stations consist of a framework that processes and displays all of the following relevant data from the corresponding sensors:

  • Temperature (thermometer)
  • Humidity (hygrometer)
  • Atmospheric pressure (barometer)
  • Wind direction (wind vane)
  • Wind speed (anemometer)
  • Precipitation (rain gauge)
  • Solar radiation
  • UV etc.

Pay attention to the following factors when choosing a weather station.

1. Purpose: To what do you need a weather station for?

Invest in the cut-rate thermometers if you only need to measure temperature and humidity at home. The most primitive cut-rate items are only equipped with two built-in sensors of the temperature and humidity and will merely outline a general picture.

Obtain advanced items to monitor the temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure indoors & outdoors. If a weather station is equipped with a barometer; it is possible to get a forecast of 12-24 hours. Such stations may have several temperatures and moisture sensors for monitoring the state of different rooms. Many homeowners find this set of sensors to be sufficient for continuous monitoring of the room comfort level, as well as for forecasting the weather accurately for a few hours. Check out all the models

Go for the semi-professional weather stations to have the complete analysis of weather and the most precise weather forecast. Such stations are equipped with various additional sensors such as a rain gauge and others. Such additional options significantly increase the price of your purchase, but they will help monitor and forecast weather extremely accurately. Check out all the models

2. Price

This point follows from the previous one: the larger sensor and the better it works, the more costly a meteorological station will be. A weather station can be acquired at the prices ranging from ~ $9 up to $500, and the prices for the semi-professional weather stations equipped with all kinds of wind turbines, and solar panels, etc start from the $100.

3. Wired or Wireless Powering of Base and Sensors

Certain weather stations are only outlet-powered. But we prefer the wireless ones: they can be moved around the house to more appropriate locations etc. The wireless devices are powered with a penlight or rechargeable Li-On batteries. Also, don’t forget about the sensor power. They can run on a small round or special solar batteries. There is another option of using wired sensors, but it is not a very sensible investment.

4. Weather Station Protection: Water, Heat and Impact Resistance

You’d better have a weather station that will be protected from insects and small animals. It is even more essential to pay attention to the distance at which the base station receives analyzer signals. The standard signal radius is 30-70 meters. Everything is pretty obvious when it comes to the water and heat resistance: sensors used outdoors must be water and sun-proof.

5. Screen Graphic Characteristics, Projector

The backlighting, font size, colors, a pleasant interface with widgets, the presence or absence of a projector are all the secondary advantages of a weather station. But they are quite significant for those who appreciate the easy-to-use gadgets.

6. Transmission distance

Transmission distance is another important factor that you have to consider when shopping for a weather gadget. The longer the transmission distance, the further away you can place your sensor from the base unit. This might be a crucial and determining parameter if you own a large country house; however, it might also be unimportant if you rent a small apartment in the city. The standard transmission rate is 300 ft.

7. Battery or solar power

The weather stations can be either battery or solar powered. The solar-powered ones are usually on the higher end of the price spectrum and are recommended in places with unreliable electricity.

However, if the weather is more unreliable than the electricity, then you’d better stick to AA batteries. On the downside, you always have to remember to change your batteries on a regular basis; otherwise, your weather station will stop recording data. Another disadvantage of using batteries is that they can leak because of water damage or corrosion, and will eventually damage the sensor unit.

The solar-powered stations, on the other hand, have usually a wider operating temperature range and will last longer than regular batteries. Besides most of the modern solar-powered panels will have a backup battery enclosed in case something unpredictable happens with the solar panels. Some of the best weather stations that are solar powered will also include radiation shielding and aspiration fans. However, all the best features will come with an additional price tag.

8. Smart home support

Smart home stations are technologically advanced weather stations that work with Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and other smart home systems. These smart stations will offer great add-ons to the smart home infrastructure that will help you even better monitor your home microclimate and changes in atmospheric conditions in any part of your house.

TOP WEATHER STATIONS

Advanced Compact Weather Stations for a Big House, Winemakers, Farmers, and Gardeners

We’ll start with a basic digital hygrometer & thermometer ThermoPro. It’s very simple, cheap and transmits only temperature and humidity readings. There’s nothing really much to add.

But then, we’ll walk you through some of the trendiest gadgets on the market within the price range of up to $100 that would provide you with quality monitoring of weather conditions in different locations. These devices are less prone to errors and equipped with additional sensors.

La Crosse Technology S88907 Vertical Wireless Color Forecast Station with Temperature Alerts

La Crosse Technology - Vertical Wireless Color Forecast Station
La Crosse Technology - Vertical Wireless Color Forecast Station

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✔ HMonitors indoor & wireless outdoor temperature (F/C) & humidity
✔ WWVB self setting time and date with automatic daylight saving time updates
✔ The remote sensor reads the environment where it is mounted.
-

Price:

La Crosse Technology started back in 1980s when one man traveled across the country with a mobile showroom. Since then the company has grown into one of the largest multinational corporations and become a well-know and reliable industry leader in wireless weather solutions. La Crosse Technology S88907 featured in this guide was one of the first weather stations that came with color animated screen, back in the day. Although the functionality of this device is far from impressive, there are certain important features that make this product worth looking into.

First, the wireless sensor transmission distance range is up to 300 ft which is far from enough to cover a large house area. Then, the station calibrates barometric pressure based on its location over a period of time to generate accurate and personal forecast. However, you need to allow about a month for the readings to be accurate. Third, it’s the price, as you can buy this for less than 15 dollars.

The external sensor measures temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure (powered by 3 AAA batteries) outside and thus, needs to be placed outdoors. The base unit (powered by 2 AA batteries) measures the temperature, humidity inside the house, calculates the comfort level of the room based on those readings and displays the result in three modes: humid, good, or dry.

Some other cool features include: fully customizable alerts, automatic reset for daylight saving time, alarm functions with snooze, adjustable backlight settings, and fold-out leg stand in case you want to place your station on a table.

The customer response to this model was more positive than negative, with a bunch of testers saying it was easy to set and read. Those who didn’t have much of a success with the device said the station was not reliable enough, stopped working after a while, and was perhaps a bit outdated. Thus, it comes as a no surprise, that if you’re a stickler for precision, we’d recommend buying more advanced models.

star What do buyers say? star

«I set this weather station up about 10 days ago. Great value and functionality. Sets up quickly. I love the fact that the writing is large and that there are three brightness levels. I also love the fact that I can connect to the atomic clock so that the time is highly accurate all of the time».

«I have had this product for about 16 months now. Accurate temp. and humidity readings. There's also the added convenience of having both indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity levels, so it's easy to know when the windows can be open to get some fresh air into the home».

La CrosseTechnology S88907:  Check the current price

Oregon Scientific RGR126N Wireless Rain Gauge Weather Station with Thermometer - for accurate analysis of precipitation and soil for gardeners

Oregon Scientific RGR126N Wireless Rain Gauge Weather Station

This is yet another bestseller, which is a bit pricier than the model from La Crosse, but seems to be much more reliable and sophisticated. In case you’re not yet familiar with Oregon Scientific, it’s high time to get acquainted: it’s a huge company that was also started back in 1980s and later became a subsidiary of IDT, a Hong Kong-based corporation. Oregon Scientific was the first company who manufactured the first stand alone waterproof mp3 player.

The model featured in this guide would be particularly useful for farmers, gardeners, conservationists, and anyone else, really, who’s in need for a reliable rain detector. In fact, this device has been particularly marketed as a wireless rain gauge and a reliable measurement of precipitation and moisture. It’s extremely accurate in reading the rainfall collection (up to .04 inches). The transmission range from rain gauge sensor falls into a standard distance of 300 ft, whereas the temperature remote sensor transmits up to 100 ft. The unit stores past rain history data for up to 10 days so that you can calculate how much water your lawn/garden has received over time.

The consumers indeed purchased this station to watch for rainfalls, determine the amount of precipitation and moisture. While there were many happy and satisfied consumers, it seemed that this particular model had some serious drawbacks that affected its performance over time: in particular, there were testers who reported the model flashing intermittently and not being able to gauge the rain after some time. In case anything like that happens, call Oregon Scientific for instructions on how to perform a hard reset on your item.

Oregon Scientific RGR126N: Check the current price

If you don’t want to overpay for features you’ll never use, then let’s get back to less expensive (up to $50) but still very popular devices.

AcuRite 02081M Home Weather Station with Jumbo Display & Atomic Clock

Home Weather Station with Jumbo Display: photo

AcuRite is a popular American brand that specifically focuses on weather technology and has been seldom praised for it efficacy and innovative approach.

AcuRite 02081M is a color station with large digits (might be a good gift idea for your granny). Atomic clock technology ensures split second accuracy and is automatically updated for daylight saving time. The wireless range is bit longer than in its previously described counterparts and covers as long as 330 ft. The device transmits data every 16 seconds and patented self-calibrating forecasting pulls an accurate data from wherever you decide to place your remote unit. If you decide to save on a color display, you may purchase the same exact model with a monochrome display that will cost half as less (around 30 dollars). The main disadvantage, though, is that you have to use AC adapter as a main power source for the device and batteries are for backup only. The customers’ response was mixed with many testers noticing inaccurate readings, unreliable predictions, among other maintenance issues. So, this model, albeit from a reliable manufacturer, is not just as easy to recommend. Perhaps, add a few dollars, and buy something more reliable and advanced.

AcuRite 02081M:  Check the current price

TOP-5 Semi-Professional Weather Stations for Amateur Meteorologists

If you’re a farmer, gardener, contractor, or have some other profession that’s up to the whims of nature, having a solid way to track the weather in a more localized and comprehensive way is a must.

Scientists have had weather station equipment for a long time, but this is prohibitively expensive, fragile, and hard to operate stuff. It’s only somewhat recently that semi-professional weather stations have come around, ideal for amateur meteorologists and those whose jobs depend on a better grasp of the weather.

This equipment is remarkably easy to use, and interfaces, usually, with computers, phones or even Alexa/Google Assistant in some cases.

Understanding/Setting Up Home Weather Stations

Setting this equipment up is actually generally pretty easy, merely needing to be mounted in an appropriate location, and power to be supplied to them (unless they’re solar). Little to no assembly is actually necessary aside from connecting a handful of things, such as possibly a readout display, which is generally wireless.

Best Place to Install the Station

Depending on your property, the best place to install your station may vary. If you have an open area in your front or backyard which gets the full brunt of direct sun, wind, and rain without trees, structures or other things hindering such, then these can be an alright place.

Otherwise, you may find yourself needing to install it on the roof, or on a balcony/terrace if you have one. The idea is to install this where it’s exposed to the full brunt of weather your location is experiencing. Otherwise, the readings won’t all be accurate.

Temperature/Humidity Sensors

One of the most important sets of sensors is for temperature and humidity – thermometers and barometers. Thermometers are usually digital, using similar thermistor technology as is used to control thermostats and monitor computer CPU temperatures. This is a lot more accurate than old-fashioned mercury thermometers and can update a reading when a fraction of a degree of temperature change occurs.

Barometers work in various ways, and I won’t lie and say I’m positive how this is done digitally, though I suspect it’s spectroscopic in most cases. Humidity is measured in millibars, the more there are, the higher the humidity and atmospheric pressure.

Wind Vane/Anemometer

Not all of these stations have a traditional vane and anemometer set up, but it’s relatively common. A wind vane does exactly what it seems, indicating the direction the wind is blowing. Anemometers, which generally look like three spinning half-spheres, measure the speed of the wind in either MPH, KPH or knots. Knots are surprisingly archaic but still used.

Rain Gauge

The rain gauge is pretty straightforward, and will just be a collecting apparatus looking like a funnel or other aperture. This measures how many inches of rain have fallen.

Mounting the Station

These generally mount with either a screw-on platform, suction cups, or can be dug into post holes, depending on where they’re being set up. It’s usually pretty easy, taking minutes to do.

A note on the DCF77 Protocol

Some stations may have you adjusting for the DCF77 time protocol, which is an adjusted time base centered out of Germany, which helps to synchronize with GPS/Weather satellites. You probably won’t have to mess with this much, and in many cases, they’ll adjust on their own. It’s the result of special relativity meaning that time passes a little slower for satellites than it does down here on Earth.

What to look for when buying a semi-pro station

There are a few things to look for in a semi-professional weather station. Given your display is wireless, you’ll want a significant transmission distance. If you have multiple sensors (which can be nice), you’ll want to consider this transmission distance, even more, to make sure all the differently-placed ones can all communicate and coordinate in real time.

You’ll also want compatibility with a mobile app because it can be a lot easier to control the station and get data, even if there’s a wireless display included. You’ll want the app to have controllable units of measurement, automation for notifications based on certain criteria, logging, and the like.

Ideally, you want a device that includes all of the key sensors – barometer/thermometer, rain gauge, anemometer, weather vane, and possibly the ability to measure atmospheric static (a precursor to lightning).

Netatmo Weather Station Indoor/Outdoor – a Simple device with Alexa Support

Netatmo Weather Station: photo

This weather station is designed for indoor or outdoor use, and is compatible with Amazon Alexa, and has a mobile phone app. This is one isn’t really designed for deep data collection for outdoor weather but works well enough at the end of the day.

Features 

  • Sensors: (indoor) Temperature, Humidity,
  • CO2 Sensor, Sound Meter; (outdoor)
  • Temperature, Min/Max temperature,
  • Humidity, Barometer, Forecast Compatibility.
  • Form Factor: Cannister.
  • Weather Vane: No.
  • Rain Gauge: No.
  • Anemometer: No.
  • Included Display: No.
  • Compatibility: iOS 9 or Later, Android 4.2 or Later, Windows Phone 8.0 or later, Desktops via a web app.
  • Broadcast Range: 100 Yards via Wi-Fi.
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi.

Performance

This is a very basic model, which works for simple weather monitoring, and is probably what I’d have down here, now that this type of design works. The weather forecasts here are remarkably vague and sweeping, and if you’re in a place where a more sensitive station can’t be set up easily, this sort of design has a lot of potential.

It lacks the ability to gauge wind speed or rainfall, though, which isn’t ideal.

Pros Cons
  • Works anywhere.
  • Good app compatibility.
  • Indoor and outdoor.
  • Affordable.
  • Works with Alexa.
  • No anemometer, vane, rain gauge.
  • Kind of basic.

Summary 

If the other two on the list aren’t viable for you, then this one might be ideal for you. It’s kind of basic, but it’s the easiest one to get running, and is just a click and go affair. But, if you’re serious about weather, this one’s a little underpowered for you.

Netatmo Indoor/Outdoor:  Check the current price

Ambient Weather WS-2902A 10-in-1 – Station with display and great mobile monitoring

Ambient Weather WS-2902A: photo

This one is much more like the quintessential weather station design people think of. This one includes solar power, a digital display, and wifi with phone app readouts. This is the complete kit.

Features

  • Sensors: Temperature, humidity, rainfall, daylight intensity/duration.
  • Form Factor: Standard.
  • Weather Vane: Yes.
  • Rain Gauge: Yes.
  • Anemometer: Yes.
  • Included Display: Yes.
  • Compatibility: iOS 9 or Later, Android 4.2 or Later.
  • Broadcast Range: 100-150 Yards via Wi-Fi.
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi.

Performance

This one covers it all, but it can be harder to find a place to mount it as a result. But it’s inclusive, and even has a wireless, comprehensive display, as well as interoperability with smartphones (fully customizable).

Pros Cons
  • Works with smartphones. 
  • Has all the basic sensors. 
  • Easy to set up. 
  • Excellent wireless display. 
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Can be hard to find a place to set it up.
  • May not stand up to severe wind.
  • Could be struck by lightning – this happened to a similar unit my friend had!

Summary 

This is much more ideal for the serious amateur meteorologist, farmer, or the like. It provides all the weather data you need and gives you multiple ways to actually see the output. This is one I am happy to recommend, just, be aware, I’ve seen lightning strike these before.

Ambient Weather WS-2902A:  Check the current price

Ambient Weather WS-1002-WIFI Observer – Nice solar station with three readout methods

Ambient Weather WS-1002-WIFI: photo

This station is entirely solar (though battery or another source can also be provided), where its little brother, seen above, is only partially solar (mostly for UV sensors).

Features

  • Sensors: Temperature, humidity, rainfall, daylight intensity/duration.
  • Form Factor: Standard.
  • Weather Vane: Yes.
  • Rain Gauge: Yes.
  • Anemometer: Yes.
  • Included Display: Yes; simple LCD speaker/readout and a color display monitor both.
  • Compatibility: iOS 9 or Later, Android 4.2 or Later.
  • Broadcast Range: 85 Yards via Wi-Fi.
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi.

Performance

Like the previous one, this is a nice, all-inclusive station, with three different ways to get your information. It has a comprehensive display, mobile interop, and a little speaker/basic readout unit as well. This one is for the serious amateur meteorologist and is my favorite of the bunch, to be honest.

Pros Cons
  • Works with smartphones. 
  • Has all the basic sensors. 
  • Easy to set up. 
  • Excellent wireless display.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Solar is vulnerable to depleted UV.
  • A rain gauge can clog.
  • Anemometer can get misaligned if dinged around too much.

Summary 

This is the unit for the really serious weather watcher and the price kind of reflects it. But if you’re serious about watching the weather, and the price is no issue, I feel like this is probably the one you’re really going to want.

Ambient Weather WS-1002-WIFI:  Check the current price

AcuRite 01512 Pro Color Weather Station with Rain, Wind, Temperature, Humidity and Weather Ticker

AcuRite 01512 Wireless Weather Station: photo

This is a pro device from AcuRite that costs more than 100 dollars, but it looks and performs just as advertised. There are several add-on options that you can buy for another 20-something dollars: dual displays and internet connected options. AcuRite positions this device as a high-precision 5-in-1 wireless weather station that accurately measures temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and rain. There are also moon phase readings, indoor comfort levels, “feels like” temperature, barometric pressure, high and low records, among other cool features that would make this device an indispensable home gadget. As with the other AcuRite device we covered above in this article, this pro model guarantees 330 ft of reliable wireless signal transmission. High-precision anemometer and wind vane will make sure you have the most up-to-date wind speed readings. This device can also serve an invaluable tool for those concerned with rain precipitation numbers and rainfall history: the gadget measures a rain accumulation for today, over all-time, by year and by month.

All of the described features above, as well as an overwhelmingly positive consumer response, make this product very easy to recommend. Albeit pricey, this weather station merits a solid endorsement.

AcuRite 01512 Pro: Check the current price

Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station with LCD Console

Davis Instruments 6250 Weather station: photo

Davis Instruments have been an industry leader for over 50 years providing both hobbyists and large corporations with an excellent array of innovative products and services. These top-notch devices won’t come cheap, but if you’re really serious about investing in your “weather business”, then totally go for Davis, and you won’t be disappointed. So what really makes Davis stand out from the competitors (other than its price)?

First and foremost, this 6250 model offers a complete set of weather forecasting equipment that includes Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS), LCD console, and mounting hardware (albeit, mounting pole not included and have to be purchased separately). The wireless transmission from the ISS to console covers up to 100 yards with updates every 2.5 secs, which is by far superior than its competition.

The ISS unit is solar-powered with stored energy backup, meaning solar panels get the station going during the day, on-board capacitor keep it functioning at night, and lithium battery provides backup when needed. What’s also super cool about this station, is that its ruggedly built to stand up to even the most intense weather conditions, meaning it’s durable enough to survive a hurricane. The built-in anemometer records wind speeds from two to 150 miles per hour.

Just as the other devices covered in this guide, Davis also reports current weather conditions (both indoors and outdoors), humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, dew point, and rainfall, although much faster and with much more precision.

Console features an easy-to-read, backlit LCD display with a glow-in-the-dark keypad and includes weather forecast icons, moon phase, sunrise/sunset times, graphing of weather trends, alarms, and other customizable features.

It’s needless to say, that customers are overly pleased with the product and just as impressed by its superior performance. Only a few people to date have reported minor maintenance issues that have been resolved under careful supervision of Davis customer service.

Davis Instruments 6250:  Check the current price

There are a few other weather stations that are worth mentioning here since each of them offers additional perks that can prove to be handy. AcuRite 01024 Pro Weather Station comes with a special lightning detector with a lightning strike counter that displays total number of strikes detected and provides an estimated distance to the lightning-producing storm. Another Oregon Scientific model, which is also worth recommending, features a self-setting atomic clock and an ice alert with green LED light. And in case you’re looking for a reliable mounting kit, then this beast from Ambient Weather is your safest bet.

Conclusion

This technology has come a very long way since back when I had one of these, and I am frankly quite impressed with what some of these can do, and how affordable they are. Of the ones on the list, I’d have that cannister one we first looked at simply because of location. Otherwise, I like that OBSERVER unit myself, though it has some tendencies to component failure if you don’t take good care of it.

Regardless, one of these is going to serve you well, depending on how serious you are, and what you’re looking for.

Comparative chart of Home Weather Stations

Product Features Price

La Crosse Technology S88907

lacrosse color min table

  • Sensors: Temperature, humidity
  • Form Factor: Standard. 
  • Weather Vane: No. 
  • Rain Gauge: No. 
  • Anemometer: No. 
  • Included Display: Yes; simple color LCD 
  • Broadcast Range: 300 ft
 

Oregon Scientific Wireless Rain Gauge

oregon min table

  • Sensors: Temperature, humidity, rainfall
  • Form Factor: Standard. 
  • Weather Vane: No. 
  • Rain Gauge: Yes. 
  • Anemometer: No. 
  • Included Display: Yes; simple color LCD 
  • Broadcast Range: 300 ft
 

AcuRite 02081M

Home Weather Station with Jumbo Display min: photo

  • Sensors: Temperature, humidity, rainfall, daylight intensity/duration.
  • Form Factor: Standard. 
  • Weather Vane: No. 
  • Rain Gauge: No. 
  • Anemometer: No. 
  • Included Display: Yes; simple color LCD 
  • Broadcast Range: 330 ft
 

Netatmo

Netatmo Weather Station min: photo

  • Sensors: (indoor) Temperature, Humidity, CO2 Sensor, Sound Meter; (outdoor) Temperature, Min/Max temperature, Humidity, Barometer, Forecast Compatibility.
  • Form Factor: Cannister.
  • Weather Vane: No.
  • Rain Gauge: No. 
  • Anemometer: No. 
  • Included Display: No. 
  • Compatibility: iOS 9 or Later, Android 4.2 or Later, Windows Phone 8.0 or later, Desktops via a web app. 
  • Broadcast Range: 100 Yards via Wi-Fi. 
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi.
 

Ambient Weather WS-2902A

Ambient Weather WS-2902A min: photo

  • Sensors: Temperature, humidity, rainfall, daylight intensity/duration.
  • Form Factor: Standard. 
  • Weather Vane: Yes. 
  • Rain Gauge: Yes. 
  • Anemometer: Yes. 
  • Included Display: Yes. 
  • Compatibility: iOS 9 or Later, Android 4.2 or Later. 
  • Broadcast Range: 100-150 Yards via Wi-Fi. 
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi.
 

Ambient Weather WS-1002-WIFI

Ambient Weather WS-1002-WIFI min: photo

  • Sensors: Temperature, humidity, rainfall, daylight intensity/duration.
  • Form Factor: Standard. 
  • Weather Vane: Yes. 
  • Rain Gauge: Yes. 
  • Anemometer: Yes. 
  • Included Display: Yes; simple LCD speaker/readout and a color display monitor both. 
  • Compatibility: iOS 9 or Later, Android 4.2 or Later. 
  • Broadcast Range: 85 Yards via Wi-Fi. 
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi.
 

AcuRite 01512

AcuRite 01512 Wireless Weather Station min: photo

  • Sensors: Temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and wind direction. 
  • Form Factor: Standard. 
  • Weather Vane: Yes. 
  • Rain Gauge: Yes. 
  • Anemometer: No. 
  • Included Display: Yes; simple color LCD 
  • Broadcast Range: 330 ft
 

Davis Instruments

Davis Instruments 6250 Weather station min: photo

  • Sensors: Temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction, dew point.
  • Form Factor: Standard. 
  • Weather Vane: Yes.
  • Rain Gauge: Yes.
  • Anemometer: Yes.
  • Included Display: Yes; LCD console
  • Broadcast Range: 1000 ft
 

How Wiki Tested Budget Home Weather Stations

As a child, I had two irrational dreams: to go to Australia because of a kangaroo and get a weather station. I do not remember why I needed the weather station, but for some peculiar reason, I did. I’ve never had a chance to visit Australia, but I’ve finally got home weather stations. As many as three, to be exact. We bought three home stations, which we chose randomly, and decided to test them.

Home Weather Stations: photo

And why on earth does an average person need a weather station?

  • Accuracy in a specific location. We already have the Google weather forecasts with an 80% reliability, but they are city or town averages with all data being averaged out. And if you live in a big city, then in one neighborhood, you might have a shining sun, while in the other - a pouring rain.
  • Children and respiratory diseases. Air humidity is hugely important for the health of young children. If the air is too dry, it irritates the child’s larynx and nasal passages and dries out the mucous membrane, which leads to the decrease in resistance to bacteria and viruses and provokes respiratory diseases. Pediatricians advise that if the air humidity in the child’s sleep and play areas drops below 50%, then you need to turn on your humidifier immediately.
  • For weather-sensitive people. I have problems with arterial blood pressure which made me air pressure and humidity sensitive. Therefore, I need a weather station to know the cause of my headaches, whether they are weather-related or not.
  • Hobby. For many people, “watching the weather” becomes a part of life. Our expert friend, Sergey, has 5 barometers at home which he checks every morning for consistency and weather “overboard”.
  • Schoolchildren. If your kid loves natural sciences, a weather station might be a useful gift idea for your future Noble laureate.
  • Weather talk. The weather is the most frequently discussed topic with friends and relatives, as well as an excellent conversation starter. Besides, you can always show off your erudition and keep the conversation going.
  • Museums and private collections, where humidity control and storage conditions are of crucial importance.
  • If you live in extreme areas, like near the mountain ridge with unpredictable weather patterns, google forecast might not be enough. You need your own personal home weather station.

Setup and installation

Generally, the setup process doesn’t take long, all instructions are pretty straightforward. It took us about 15 minutes. These are a couple of things we’d recommend you to pay attention to:

  1. The clock is radio controlled, so you need to choose the correct time zone.
  2. To configure the barometer, you should set the height above sea level first.
  3. If you remove the batteries, all the settings will be gone and you’ll have to re-setup the station from scratch. Therefore, from day one, install reliably powerful batteries.
  4. Be prepared for the station to show “cloudy” weather for the first few days. The real weather will be shown in 2 days from the set-up. Why does this happen?
To forecast the weather, home weather stations compare current indicators from the sensors, namely pressure, humidity, temperature, with average values for your area. Such an averaged value will be different for a mountainous area or a seaside town. Therefore, it takes the station several days to collect enough data on weather changes in your area. Maximum accuracy is achieved in about a week of data collection.

What does a meteorological station measure (indicate)?

All weather stations determine the room and outside temperatures; all of them have a clock and an alarm functionality. They also show an amount of rainfall (either rain or snow); air pressure (barometer); relative humidity (hygrometer) and the current phase of the moon.

But semi-professional weather stations have a set of additional functions:

  • Wind chill factor is a way to measure the severity of the weather: the lowering of body temperature due to the simultaneous exposure to frost and wind. This function is a must if you’re allergic to cold like me. It also comes in handy to figure out what it’s like outside in fierce cold weather with high humidity and strong winds.
  • Evaporation rate (and soil moistening) that keeps a “diary of precipitation”, which is useful in agriculture, farming, and gardening.
  • In more expensive models, you’ll also be able to view the temperature somewhere else, for example, in a country house. Install a weather station in the country, and receive data directly to your smartphone.

But simple home weather stations, of course, do not have those professional options.

All weather stations covered in this review, however, have more or less the same functionality. In terms of respond speed, ea2 was the best, it predicted rain much faster than the other stations.

Tested Home Weather Stations: photo

Rain prediction

On September 22, by lunchtime, the weather changed dramatically, the clouds stretched throughout the sky and visually it was evidently clear that in a couple of minutes it would rain. First, the rain was predicted by the ea2 station, after 3 minutes Hama showed “drops” on the display, but TFA stubbornly showed “bright sun”.

My take away from testing a home weather station

Having used the station for about a month, I can surely say that it’s an excellent choice for basic household needs. The device shows 3 main parameters:

  1. Atmospheric pressure in familiar units of measurement.
  2. Temperature. The base station is responsible for the indoor temperature, and remote unit for the outside. Both temps are shown simultaneously on the weather station display, which is very convenient. Thermometers outside are more a thing of the past, and temperature in the iPhone widget is not always convenient to check or accurate. The forecast on the weather station proved to be more reliable and easy to check before going out and dressing according to the predictions. The room temperature is also very important for us, as we’re trying to maintain an optimal temperature regime for our child. Now knowing the room temperature, we know exactly when it’s time to open a window and give a room an airing.
    To say the truth, we decided not to install the remote unit outside, but rather leave it on the balcony. We roughly know the temperature outside, but know the exact temperature on the balcony, where we sometimes store food.
  3. Humidity is the most important parameter for us. We have a rather dry microclimate in our apartment, thus we need to use an air humidifier, which works beautifully in conjunction with the home weather station. It’s now easy to maintain a comfort level of humidity. Our son is allergic and the humidity level has to be no less than 50%. Now with the weather station, as soon as we see that the humidity drops below 30%, we need to turn on the humidifier immediately.

In addition to the above, there are other useful functions, such as:

  • Clock / Date
  • Alarm clock (which we do not use but its presence seems useful)
  • Weather forecast with an accuracy of 70%. Visually shows various weather conditions (clear, cloudy, etc.)
  • Lunar calendar — shows the phase of the moon. The usability of this function is arguable, but its presence doesn’t hurt.
  • Other various small functions which are not very significant, but such a detailed customization is always a plus.

After the initial 15-minute setup the device has proved to be very easy to use. It is simple and seems reliable. It doesn’t require the use of the internet or wifi, which is a plus, as we’ve already tied up with phones, laptops, smart watches, etc. The only thing that may be missing is the LED backlight, but it is not critical.

The station also displays changes in atmospheric pressure over the past 12 hours on a “bar chart”. The pressure is measured in inches of Mercury (in Hg), the U.S. Pounds per square inch (p.s.i.), and the pascal (Pa). There is a memory of min. and max. humidity levels and temperature.

Conclusion: on a 5-point scale, we give this station its well-deserved 5! Although simple and straightforward as it is, the gadget seemed to greatly improve the quality of our lives. It’s also an excellent gift idea in the run up to holidays.