The 7 Best Home Weather Stations to Buy in 2017

Be your own meteorologist

Ambient Weather WS-1200-IP
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Watching the weather channel can be informative, but nothing gets more local than your very own home weather station. There are a wide array of models out there, designed for everyone from the budget-conscious to campers to gardeners and farmers. Of course, your use case will determine the sorts of features you need in a system. Most capture data such as temperature, pressure, wind speed and humidity, but some go on to track more specific measures such as soil conditions and rainfall. Other important factors you’ll want to consider include accuracy, transmission distance, connectivity type and more.

Not sure where to start? Read our handy guide to help find the right home weather station for you.

When monitoring weather from your home, one feature is likely the most important: reliability. The Ambient Weather WS-1200-IP is one of the most accurate and reliable stations out there. It consists of an outdoor sensor, an indoor sensor and a display, which together give you detailed measurements of temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, rainfall, temperature, humidity, solar radiation and UV at a maximum transmission range of 330 feet.

The WS-1200-IP doesn’t use any radio or Wi-Fi connectivity to transmit the data to the console. Rather, it connects directly to your router to enable real-time, streaming data to the Internet. That means its signal stays strong, even in extreme weather conditions. Perhaps one of our favorites features is the ability to sync with Wunderground, a popular website that opens access to real-time data from more than 37,000 personal weather stations.

If cost is your primary concern, turn to the La Crosse Technology S88907. This integrated sensor system keeps it simple with a thermometer and a hygrometer. Data can be transmitted wirelessly over 300 feet up to every 30 seconds. It doesn’t offer the distance that higher-end systems do, but for beginners, that won’t be a deal breaker. It calibrates barometric pressure based on location, though you can expect it to take up to a month for calibration. You’ll also get forecasting (about 70 to 75 percent accuracy), which is rare in systems in this low price range, and it’ll even go so far as to alert you of extreme weather changes.

Other notably missing features include wind and rain sensors and PC connectivity. You’ll be glad to know, though, that it comes complete with a one-year warranty, so you don't have to worry about buying a budget device that doesn’t live up to its promises.

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 will do the trick. 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.

If you’re in the market for a home weather station that will help you better monitor your plants and crops, then the Vantage Pro2 is a great option. By far, it’s one of the most accurate and reliable systems out there, which is certainly reflected in the spendy price tag. Still, it’s a wireless station that uses frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology to transmit data wirelessly up to 1,000 feet.

It has a temperature sensor, a humidity sensor, a rain gauge, as well as an anemometer and a solar panel. (Its temperature and humidity sensors sit in a standard radiation shield, which prevents the sensors from excess radiation and heat and keeps the readings precise.) Note that the solar panel is its only power source, so it’s important to keep the Vantage Pro2 somewhere that gets direct sunlight. It can also sense soil and leaf moistness, which is vital in monitoring planting conditions. You can track temperature and humidity in up to eight different locations, which helps to analyze and compare planting areas.

This 5-in-1 high-precision wireless weather sensor measures temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction and rain. And it uses a self-calibrating technology to deliver the most accurate forecast possible. It updates wind speed every 18 seconds, wind direction every 30 seconds and temperature and humidity every 36 seconds.

Using the PC connect feature, you can hook up your display to a computer via USB, so you can monitor weather remotely and download data to review or share. You can also set up weather alerts for temperature, humidity, wind, rain, dew point, heat index and storms, so that you can get texts or e-mails when conditions change or reach specified levels. The transmission distance is standard, so you must place your unit within 330 feet of the display. All in all, the AcuRite 01036 packs a lot of features for a relatively low price.

The Ambient Weather Observer is one of our favorites because of its ease of use, accuracy and wireless connectivity. The system consists of a 6.25- x 3.5-inch full-color LCD console and an all-in-one sensor array for both indoors and outdoors, which transmits 915 MHz using Wi-Fi. The outdoor array transmits measurements such as outdoor temperature (-40°F to 149°F), humidity, wind speed, wind direction, rainfall, UV and solar radiation, while the indoor array transmits indoor temperature, humidity and barometric pressure.

Plus, this station has the ability to sync with Wunderground, so you can access real-time data from more than 37,000 personal weather stations. You also can view, store, analyze, share and compare data from local personal weather stations with customizable charts. For the at-home weather enthusiast, this alone makes the Observer an easy choice.

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.

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