Being prepared for bad weather is more important than ever in the United States, and you can’t always count on accurate weather reports on television or online. One way to go around that is getting your own weather station in the backyard, enabling you to obtain first-hand information on temperature, humidity, pressure, and other indicators that could tell you bad weather is on the way. Curious what the best weather stations are this year? Find out by checking out our comparison below!
Key Features and Benefits
Getting a weather station can provide you with countless benefits, but also loads of extra features you should be aware of. Weather stations can provide you with the essential data, which includes temperature and humidity. However, it can also provide you with internet connections, phone applications, solar panels to give you renewable energy and loads more. Below, you can find an overview of common features you can expect on a weather station.
One of the most basic features of a weather station is undoubtedly the thermometer. Thermometers can be used to measure the temperature of various things; this includes the air temperature, but also sea surface temperature, depending on the location where the thermometer is used.
A hygrometer is not as known as a thermometer, yet it is an important tool for all your weather predictions and weather forecasts. The hygrometer is a tool used to measure water vapor in the atmosphere. Therefore, this measuring instrument is necessary to determine humidity.
Measuring instruments such as the hygrometer will be dependent on other instruments, which you can usually find in your weather station. Tools that could contribute to the determination of humidity and its influence on a weather forecast include temperature, pressure, mass, mechanical change, electrical change, and more.
Another measuring instrument that is commonly found in weather stations is the barograph. The barograph is used to measure atmospheric pressure. The atmospheric pressure is the pressure within the earth’s atmosphere.
Getting an accurate representation of atmosphere pressure usually requires combining the data obtained from the barograph with data from other measuring instruments; this includes hydrostatic pressure.
Most home weather stations will also include a barometer. The barometer is a common measuring instrument used in meteorology, more specifically to measure atmospheric pressure.
Changes in atmospheric pressure could indicate short-term weather changes; this is one of the reasons why the barometer is often used in weather forecasts and predictions. Taking numerous measurements with a barometer could also help you to determine surface troughs, high pressure systems, and frontal boundaries.
One of the most common power sources for weather stations today is the solar panel. As you may know already, solar panels use sunlight and convert this sunlight into power. Naturally, using solar panels comes with advantages and disadvantages.
The main advantage of using solar panels on weather stations is the affordability of the power source. Since you do not have to hook up your weather station on the main power supply, your electricity bill remains unaffected. However, there are some disadvantages too, since prolonged cloudy weather could affect the power the weather station gets.
There are some brands of weather stations that stand out more than others. The most successful and advanced brands include Davis, Ambient Weather, and AcuRite. These brands are discussed in more detail below.
One of the best-known sellers of weather stations is undoubtedly Davis. The name Davis stands for Davis instruments, a private company that is known to develop the most extensive weather instruments. The company is also known to provide weather stations for quite the affordable price, so you will often find the Davis brand in overviews of the best and most affordable weather stations.
Purchasing a weather station from Davis comes with additional advantages, because this brand does provide a factory repair service. However, make sure your weather station comes with a Returns Authorization Number; this enables you to return your weather station when problems occur.
Much like the Davis brand, Ambient Weather is quite known for their weather stations. Ambient Weather is also one of the leading manufacturers of station monitoring equipment, weather station software solutions, and more. Ambient Weather is also one of the best brands producing wireless weather stations.
Ambient Weather provides weather stations with current technologies that guarantee users can obtain accurate data; this includes additional features such as the radiation shield and integrated sensors. Therefore, Ambient Weather products are certainly a recommendation for anyone who is passionate about obtaining weather data.
AcuRite is one of the largest manufacturers of weather stations in North America. Their latest release is the all-in-one weather station, which combines various important features into one. The brand also created a weather app, allowing weather station users to upload their data online.
Previously mentioned brands such as Davis and Ambient Weather are mainly known for their advanced weather stations, while AcuRite provides better versions for home users. Since weather stations tend to be quite expensive, most home users cannot find one within their budget. However, AcuRite has succeeded to bring the perfect weather stations for home users on the market, since their prices tend to be most affordable.
|Feature 1||Feature 2||Feature 3||Feature 4|
|The Davis 6250 Vantage Vue||Up to 1000-foot transmission||More accurate reporting through sensor radiation shield||Tipping bucket technology on rain gauge||Wind speed measurements from as little as 3 kilometers per hour.|
|Ambient Weather WS-1001 WIFI||Transmission of 915 MHz through WIFI connection||Contains radiation shield for more accuracy.||Indoor sensor with thermometer, hygrometer, and barometer||All-in-one integrated sensor for outside weather variables|
|AcuRite 01036 Pro Color||Quick data update frequency||Temperature range between 0 and 50 degrees Celsius for indoor sensor||Temperature range between -40 to 70 degrees Celsius for outdoor sensor||Wireless unit that does not require professional help|
|The Davis Vantage Pro 2 (Wireless Edition)||Wireless and solar powered integrated sensor unit||Contains temperature sensor, humidity sensor, rain gauge, and anemometer||Wireless unit with transmission range up to 1000 foot outdoors.||Repeaters can be added with a distance up to 2.7 kilometers.|
Davis 6250 Vantage Vue
- Radio-compatible weather stations; this makes the Davis 6250 Vantage Vue quite different from most weather stations with a broadcasting feature.
- More resistant to corrosion thanks to the special weatherproof cover.
- Weatherproof cover makes the Davis 6250 Vantage Vue suitable for extreme weather conditions.
- The weather station is solar powered, so you do not require additional power to run this weather station.
- Rain data could become inaccurate due to rainwater loss in the tipping process.
- Somewhat confusing setup for most users.
- Not perfect for cloudy environments due to solar technology.
- More expensive than other similar weather stations.
The Davis 6250 Vantage Vue is currently one of the most reliable and accurate weather station, despite some of the minor problems with the rain data. The weather station includes an LCD console, outdoor sensor array, and a mounting kit, providing you with everything needed for your own backyard weather station.
With a Davis 6250 Vantage Vue, it becomes easy to measure current weather conditions; this includes common denominators such as temperature, humidity, dew point, wind direction, wind speed, rainfall, and barometric pressure.
The Davis 6250 Vantage Vue also has a dedicated integrated sensor unit, designed by Davis. The specialist sensor unit ensures more reliable weather reports, making this unit the advised choice for anyone with a passion for weather.
By choosing the Davis 6250 Vantage Vue, you get a little more than basic weather data. Through the console, users can access information such as moon phases, 22 different alarms to notify you in case of emergency weather situations, the heat index, wind chill, and countless other features that make the Davis 6250 Vantage Vue stand out from other weather stations.
Since the Davis brand has an excellent reputation on its own, you can be sure that all Davis weather stations will be reliable. However, we do suggest reading the specifics on each Davis weather station, since some are more suitable for specific environments than others.
Ambient Weather WS-1001 WIFI
- Synchronization with Wunderground website is possible, a site that hosts personal weather stations.
- Easy installation for the entire weather station; this because of its bubble level installation design.
- Universal mounting pole is included with the Ambient Weather WS-1001 WIFI, making the unit more affordable.
- Bad weather may interrupt wireless signal.
- Weather station is not compatible with salt water environments. If the weather station is used in such an area, the durability of your weather station may be affected.
- Indoor temperature and humidity can only be accessed through the Wunderstation iPad application, which may require you to acquire an iPad if you do not own one yet.
The Ambient Weather WS-1001 WIFI is usually the recommended option for beginners; this because the weather station is easy to install and to understand. The unit comes with a dual wireless technology, but also with a powerful LCD-console and multifunctional sensor array.
With the Ambient Weather WS-1001 WIFI, you can transfer information relating to the indoor and outdoor readings this unit obtains. The information can be send through a wireless connection, making it a lot more practical than cabled weather stations.
The Ambient Weather WS-1001 WIFI has an integrated sensor that measures all types of weather variables outside, as we mentioned earlier. Data that can be obtained with this unit include temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, UV radiation, and rainfall.
To ensure more accuracy for this weather station, the people at Ambient Weather have added a radiation shield around the temperature and humidity sensors. The weather variables for this unit are updated frequently too, more specifically every 14 seconds. The wind speed is also updated every 16 seconds.
Like the previously discussed weather station, the Ambient Weather WS-1001 WIFI comes with several alarms. These alarms can be configured by the user to provide a variety of alerts. Data obtained from the weather station can also be put in a graph, which allows you to compare weather over the course of several months.
Despite the fact that the wireless signal could get interrupted during poor weather, the Ambient Weather WS-1001 WIFI still provides one of the more stable WIFI connections for weather stations. WIFI signals during bad weather are certainly not uncommon for weather stations, so this is not a point you can hold against the Ambient Weather brand.
AcuRite 010396 Pro Color
- Easy installation because of the wireless features of the AcuRite 010396 Pro Color.
- The weather unit can provide users with a weather forecast.
- One of the most affordable personal weather stations.
- Advanced features other personal units do not have; this includes PC connection, data sharing, and analysis.
- Durable weather station that can withstand frequent and prolonged use.
- Even though there is an internal fan inside the sensor unit, which keeps the temperature accurate, the fan could wear out prematurely in some weather units.
- Signals can be lost due to the wireless nature of the weather station.
The AcuRite 010396 Pro Color is the perfect weather station for enthusiasts who want to receive data on current weather conditions and get a more accurate forecast. The AcuRite 010396 Pro Color also comes with an application; this application works with self-calibrating technology, providing the most accurate weather forecasts to users.
We must mention that the AcuRite 010396 Pro Color is specifically designed for hobby users. Therefore, it is not as advanced as some of the other weather stations mentioned today. Still, the AcuRite 010396 Pro Color is easy to install in your backyard.
Users can receive data from the AcuRite 010396 Pro Color wirelessly, but it is also possible to connect the digital display to your computer through a USB cable; this makes reading data a little easier, since the size of most weather station displays can be rather small.
Despite being designed for home use, the AcuRite 010396 Pro Color has quite the range. The transmission distance of this unit has been determined on 100 meters, or 330 feet. Even though other weather station units discussed today can provide up to 1000 foot, the AcuRite 010396 Pro Color still provides outstanding value for money. Still, if you require a weather station with a better transmission, you must be willing to invest more in another weather station; for example, the other weather stations mentioned here today from the Davis and the Ambient Weather brands.
The AcuRite 010396 Pro Color can be powered through various methods. Firstly, the weather station can run on 4 AA lithium or alkaline batteries. Tests have shown that these batteries should last for at least two years. We must also mention that the type of batteries you use will have an influence on the effectiveness of the weather station. For example, if you are dealing with an environment that has a temperature below -29 degrees Celsius, lithium batteries will be recommended.
In addition to being powered by batteries, the AcuRite 010396 Pro Color also comes with two solar panels. Please note that these solar panels are not meant to power the weather station, but meant to power the internal fan within the weather station. Since the internal fan ensures the accuracy of the thermometer, it is vital to keep the solar panels in an optimal position.
Since the AcuRite 010396 Pro Color works with solar panels, it is important to determine how much sunlight you get in your current location. If sunlight is a rare occurrence, then a solar-powered weather station may not be the best idea. However, if you do get enough sunlight, a solar-powered weather station for your backyard could save you a considerable amount of money.
Davis Vantage Pro 2 (Wireless Edition)
- First wireless weather station with frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology.
- Additional features such as soil moisture and leaf wetness measurements. These features could prove especially useful to farmers.
- View humidity and temperature up to eight different locations.
- Easy installation.
- The Davis Vantage Pro 2 (Wireless Edition) runs on solar power; this could make the unit less suitable for areas that are subject to frequent cloudy weather.
- Wireless signals could get disrupted during extreme weather conditions.
- More expensive than most weather stations. However, the Davis Vantage Pro 2 does come with a bunch of extra features most weather stations do not have!
The Davis Vantage Pro 2 (Wireless Edition) is one of the more reliable weather stations in existence today. The weather station comes with unique sensor configurations, ensuring the most accurate data for users. Therefore, the Davis Vantage Pro 2 (Wireless Edition) is usually a good recommendation for anyone who is more advanced at working with weather stations and the data acquired from them.
When you choose a Davis Vantage Pro 2 (Wireless Edition), you can count on an integrated sensor suit; this includes a wireless solar powered integrated sensor suit. The sensor suit also includes a high-end temperature sensor, humidity sensor, rain gauge, anemometer, and solar panel.
Like some of the other weather stations mentioned in this overview, the Davis Vantage Pro 2 (Wireless Edition) has special temperature and humidity sensors are covered by a radiation shield. The radiation shield protects the sensors against excessive amounts of radiation and heat, subsequently keeping the readings accurate.
The Davis Vantage Pro 2 (Wireless Edition) also has an elaborate console. The console is quite large; this with a dimension of 6 inches by 3.5 inches. The console also includes a keypad, ensuring data entry is easier.
With the console, users can gain easy access to date, time, sunset, sunrise, moon phases, and other weather variables such as temperature, humidity, wine speed, barometric pressure, rainfall, and more. Given the overall size of the console, the data is also easier to read than most other consoles for weather stations out there.
There is no doubt that the Davis Vantage Pro 2 is one of the more advanced weather stations out there. Even though this weather station is a little more expensive than the average weather station, the amazing features are undoubtedly worth the extra cost. If you already own a good weather station, but are looking for an upgrade, then be sure to consider the Davis Vantage Pro 2 (Wireless Edition), one of the best home weather stations currently in existence.
Since there are many weather stations to choose from nowadays, it is usually best to do some research into each weather station for yourself and determine the features that are most interesting to you. If you are serious about predicting the weather, you should be willing to invest a little more into your weather station. Unfortunately, accuracy and extra features still seem to come at a price. Still, there are some affordable options out there with excellent functionality too.
Today, we have discussed some of the best home weather stations available today. Varying in price and features, these weather stations provide you with an accurate overview of the possibilities today. If you are looking for a new weather station to use in your backyard, using one of these four will certainly help you obtain the best data.
Of course, the brands mentioned here today, more specifically Davis, Ambient Weather, and AcuRite, do product other weather stations that are worth looking at. These companies come out with new technology on a yearly basis, which could be of special interest for weather forecast enthusiast.
Before you purchase your weather station, be sure to look at the warranty you receive from the manufacturer. Since weather stations are exposed to the elements, which is considered as a high-risk environment, it is easier for things to go wrong. So, check the warranty of your weather station carefully before obtaining one.
Finally, make sure to install your weather station per instructions of the manufacturer. Poor installation could lead to inaccurate data, but could also cause premature damage to your weather station.