Weather Stations

Personal Weather Stations

Personal Weather Stations (PWS) usually comprise of a small set of self-contained weather monitoring instruments intended for use by an individual or non-commercial organisation.

Their low cost means many people can take up the hobby of monitoring and logging local weather conditions, and possibly sharing their weather data over the internet.

Unlike more expensive precision instruments used by weather bureaus and commercial organisations, PWS are less accurate, are more prone to wear and tear, have a lower lifespan and are generally of a much lower quality.

Many types exist, from simple systems that only measure indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity, through to comprehensive systems that also measure barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, rain, light level and UV index.

Simple systems tend to be standalone, whilst the larger and more expensive systems usually have the ability to connect to a computer for datalogging. Many people who are serious about the hobby will set up a computer dedicated to collecting weather data, which can then automatically push the weather observations to a web page.

There are wired and wireless versions. Those looking for reliability and robustness of outdoor data collection would generally choose a wired weather station, whilst those who prefer to keep their yards free of wires can opt for a wireless kit. Wireless versions need battery power to run the outdoor sensors, with some able to use rechargeable batteries along with a solar panel.

It goes without saying - "You get what you pay for". If money were no object, the Rolls-Royce of personal weather stations would be the Davis Vantage models. These cost upwards of $500, but have been designed very carefully and manufactured to stringent standards. These offer higher resolution measurements and higher frequency updates from the remote sensor. The sensor suite also has a proper Stevenson screen, giving far more accurate air temperature readings which are not affected by the sun's radiation.


philby, Thu, 10 Oct 2013 04:28 pm: Reply
Bought wa1081 in Australia on eBay . Wind speed is out by 50% . Seller says send it back but will not pay postage for warranty return. There are similar reports elsewhere. Don't buy a cheapie .

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