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With sudden changes in weather conditions becoming increasingly frequent by the day, it has become extremely important for everyone (and not just meteorologists!) to keep an eye on them. That’s because doing so can often prove to be extremely helpful in fighting/surviving natural disasters like hurricanes and floods, which lead to a huge loss of life and property.
It’s true that not everyone can use (or even afford!) advanced weather monitoring systems employed by federal government agencies and local authorities. However, you can always invest in a weather station, which is a specialized device that continuously tracks all kinds of weather-related data and transmits it to a connected console for further action (if needed).
There are quite a few of them available in the market (across all price points), so choosing one can be a daunting task. To make things easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best weather stations you can buy.
Integrated sensor array
Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support
Somewhat unreliable connectivity
Ambient Weather is one of those brands that command the industry (alongside, perhaps, AcuRight). The WS-2902 is just about the best home weather station on the market, and the specs bring that through. This 10-in-1 station measures wind speed, wind direction, rainfall, outdoor temperature, outdoor humidity, solar radiation, and UV. Inside the console, you’ll get indoor temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure to round out the measurements inside. But beyond the normal home weather station operation, this thing connects via Wi-Fi, so you can read all the info when you’re on the go on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer.
The console has a sleek LCD display that is color-coded to show you all the measurements, and that Wi-Fi connection even pulls information from Ambient Weather’s huge network of home weather meters called Wunderground, so you’ll have the scale of crowdsourced data on your side. The outdoor sensors are top-of-the-line from a tech perspective, and the indoor controls are even compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa. You’ll feel like a legit meteorologist with this thing.
Easy to set up and use
Only basic weather data can be measured
If you're on the hunt for a reliable weather station that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, look no further than La Crosse Technology's C85845V3. It includes a digital console having a full color LCD screen that displays information in an intuitive and easy-to-understand way, complete with animated forecast icons and color-coded comfort level indicators. Capable of measuring temperature and humidity levels, the "TX141H-BV2" sensor can transmit recorded weather data to the console wirelessly, up to a distance of 300 feet.
Apart from temperature and humidity, the weather station can also display other information like heat index and dew point. You can also use it to set up customizable temperature alerts. Some other noteworthy features include self atomic time configuration, alarms, support for all the time zones in the US, and automatic On/Off functionality for Daylight Savings Time (DST). The C85845V3 uses AC power for the console (with three AA batteries for backup), while the weather sensor is powered by two AA batteries.
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Support for 12 to 24 hour forecasting
Minimal assembly required
Some connectivity issues
Undeniably one of the most versatile weather stations available in the market, AcuRite's 01528 comes with a 5-in-1 sensor unit that can measure rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, humidity, and temperature. Not only that, it fully supports forecasting for 12 to 24 hours. It ships pre-calibrated with all the necessary settings and is therefore quite easy to use. Simply install the sensor suite, sync it with the bundled digital console, and you're good to go.
Speaking of the console, it features an illuminated color display with an auto-dimming backlight, and can receive weather data wirelessly from the sensor suite up to a distance of 330 feet. As for the sensor unit, it is powered by four AA batteries that can keep it up and running for up to two years.Check out some of the best hurricane tracker apps you can use.
Frequent weather data updates
Software experience isn’t exactly the best
The Davis Instruments weather stations are designed more for scale and function than they are for the hobbyist weather watcher. This particular unit supports home gardeners and full-fledged farmers in a variety of ways. First off, the tried and true accuracy Davis offers in all of their stations will ensure accurate humidity, precipitation and wind readings to expertly monitor growth conditions.
The outdoor sensor included in this pack is impressively rugged as it survives cyclic erosion from the elements, and all electronics are fully covered and sealed to protect from any unwanted moisture. That meter reads the standard humidity and temperature (both indoor and out), barometric pressure, wind speed, wind direction and more. But the integrated indoor panel display shows a unique amount of additional stats under each category that expand on the standard information gleaned from weather stations.
Its wind speed measurement is ultra-accurate, catching measurements from 2 mph all the way up to 150 mph. It’s all solar-powered and connects to the panel up to 1,000 feet away (which Davis claims is 3x further than the competition). This is particularly important for larger gardens or farms when you want to measure the full spread of your field. In addition, Davis offers expandable units that let you add additional sensors that all connect to the same system, which means your weather system can expand with your farm.
Self-calibrating feature for personalized forecasts
History charts for tracking changes in weather conditions
Not the best in terms of longevity
Some home weather stations come with five sensors, while others come with three. More sensors are not necessarily better, though; rather it depends on what you plan to use your station for. If you’re after fairly recreational data, the AcuRite 00589 is the best home weather station for you.
The sensor unit consists of a thermometer, anemometer, and hygrometer, so it can measure things such as temperature, wind speed, humidity, pressure and more at a transmission range of up to 330 feet. It records daily, monthly and all-time highs and lows, and has a history chart of the past 12 hours. It displays all the data on a compact color display. It’s simple, but that’s why we like it.
Lithium battery can withstand very low temperatures
Support for up to three outdoor sensors
Only for basic weather data monitoring
Get a weather station that’s hassle-free, lasts long, and is easy to take on the go. The ThermoPro TP67A gives you the essential indoor and outdoor information you’re looking for in a unit that will last. With a rechargeable lithium battery, this station can survive the cold after months of use.
Equipped with a professional-grade rechargeable sensor, the ThermoPro will give you the most accurate temperature readings both inside and outside — comparable to more expensive models. Using six highly sensitive vents to check the temperature and barometric pressure, the ThermoPro takes measurements every 50 seconds to keep your information up-to-date and accurate to the minute so that you can plan your day accordingly. You can even purchase up to three extra sensors and measure readings in areas up to a 330ft/100m remote range.
Durable, accurate, and portably sized, the ThermoPro won’t break your wallet with its very affordable price. While it doesn't provide every possible weather reading imaginable, it is ideal for day-to-day use to keep your home temperate and make sure you’re ready to face the ever-changing climate.
Can measure indoor air pollution levels
Works great with smart home devices
Questionable customer support
To be honest, a lot of home weather stations are clunky and unattractive. Luckily, the Netatmo is not like most home weather stations. Not only does it look good, but it has some of the most advanced features you can find in a home weather station. The two monitors are sleek aluminum cylinders that can complement the interior of your home – no need to hide them away in some corner.
Its indoor monitor has a CO2 sensor that can detect the amount of pollution in the air. According to Netatmo, we spend about 80 percent of our time indoors, so monitoring the quality of your indoor air and then making necessary adjustments can drastically improve your health. On top of that, it measures things such as temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and sound, all of which can be viewed in a beautiful graph via the accompanying mobile app.
Best yet, the Netatmo is compatible with Amazon Alexa, so you can ask for local weather forecasts and other data.
Extensive sensor support
It may cost a pretty penny, but considering the sheer number of features that Davis Instruments' 6153 Vantage Pro2 packs in, the high asking price is justified. This pro-grade weather station features a rugged sensor suite that's comprised of a rain collector, temperature & humidity sensors, as well as an anemometer. In addition, you can also choose to have the optional UV and solar radiation sensors included in the package. Weather data is updated every 2.5 seconds and transmitted (up to a distance of 1,000 feet) to the station's companion digital console, either wirelessly or via a cable.
The console comes with a backlit LCD screen that can not only display all the data received from the sensor suite, but also a wide variety of additional information such as weather forecasts, moon phases, graphs, historical weather logs, and alarms. You can also use the optional "WeatherLink" service to automatically upload the weather data online for further analysis. The 6153 Vantage Pro 2 is designed to withstand even the harshest of weather conditions and is known for surviving the front of Irma, a Category 5 hurricane.
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Even though each one of the above-detailed weather stations is great on its own, our overall pick is the Ambient Weather WS-2902. Its all-in-one sensor array can measure just about every type of weather-related parameter and supports numerous optional sensors too. You can even stream recorded data to multiple online weather services for extensive analysis. Then there’s the integration with digital assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which ensures that the WS-2902 will perfectly complement any modern connected home system that it’s used with.
A technology journalist for over six years (and counting), Rajat Sharma has extensive experience in reviewing a multitude of different gadgets and seeing how they fit into our modern lifestyles. Prior to joining Lifewire, he was associated with The Times Group and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, two of India’s largest media houses.
Durability - Because your weather monitor is intended to measure all sorts of conditions, you’ll need an outdoor sensor that can stand up to even the snowiest storms. Look for one that has rugged features, like casing for protection from cyclic erosion or moisture. Also check on the warranty, as some companies will reimburse you if the product doesn’t live up to its promises.
Transmission distance - Setup of your weather station can be crucial to its accuracy. Most importantly, it needs to sit within a certain distance of the display. Standard sensors usually work within 330 feet, but more premium models have a transmission distance of up to 1,000 feet away.
Connectivity - In a standard setup, your outdoor sensor will connect to an indoor monitor that displays measurements. Some more advanced setups will also connect to your computer or mobile device, so you can view stats remotely. Still not impressed? Certain models are even integrated with Amazon Alexa, so you can ask her for your local weather.