If you’ve stumbled upon this page, chances are that you might already be familiar with the purpose of a weather station and are trying to understand how to use one better. The great thing is that you can measure just about everything related to the weather using these devices. Weather stations provide accurate measurements of the outdoor and indoor climate, for example, temperature, humidity, wind speed, air pressure, and dew points.
To find the hottest weather stations for 2020, visit our blog-post Best Home Weather Station – 2020 – Reviews & Buying Guide. It is important to refer to a user guide if you are a first-time user as it will name all the unfamiliar symbols and their purpose.
New users might get confused because from all the different numbers they see on the screen. Don’t let the newness of the display get to you! We’ve done our best to provide you with the simplest explanation of how to make sense of those numbers.
Without further ado, let’s look at how to understand what these numbers on the weather station display are telling us.
How to Read the Primary Weather Station Variables
In this section, we will take a look at the primary weather variables, how to identify them, and understand what the measurements are telling us.
Weather stations display the inside and outside temperature of the house. Finding the temperature reading is very simple in that any number with a °F or °C represents the temperature.
Most weather stations record the maximum and minimum temperatures of the day which allows you to get an estimated average of the overall temperature. For older or cheaper models, you may have to reset the temperature bar every day at a particular hour.
Humidity is the moisture level present in the atmosphere. The number with a percentage (%) sign on the right is for the humidity value on the weather station display. Weather stations display the humidity levels of the area outside and inside your house and can be found near the temperature readings. For a more in-depth discussion on how to interpret the humidity reading, you can refer to “What the Numbers on Your Home Weather Station Mean.”
For example, on the Ambient Weather WS 2902A, the real-time humidity levels are displayed right under the outside and inside temperature respectively.
The most comfortable and ideal humidity readings should range from 25% to 55%. The air feels heavy if it contains a lot of moisture or water vapor, which leaves everything feeling sticky. When the humidity level is less than 25%, the atmosphere feels dry and uncomfortable.
3. Barometric Pressure
Don’t let this seemingly scientific word alarm you!
In simple words, barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us. This pressure is measured in various units like inches (in), millibars (mb), Inch of mercury (Hg), etc. On weather stations, you can usually set the unit of measure of your choice.
The average land value of barometric pressure is about 29.92 Hg. You can feel the side-effects on your body if the pressure goes a few digits above or below this range.
The barometric pressure is usually available on the main screens of the weather stations. Consider the Netatmo Weather Station, where the pressure is visible on the screen under the temperature. The clear-cut appearance of this device makes the readings stand-out and easier to read.
4. Wind Speed
Wind speed is the rate at which air moves past a fixed point. The wind speed varies when air moves from high-pressure points to low-pressure points. Weather stations update wind speed readings in short intervals of seconds and measure it in miles per second (m/s).
Almost all weather station models provide the readings of wind speed on their main display. Some models, such as the Davis 6250 Vantage Vue, show the direction of the wind through an easy-to-read image of a circle with labeled directions.
Advanced Features of a Weather Station
So far, we have talked about the primary features that all weather stations have but since the weather stations that we’ve recommended on our previous blog have many more features, let’s look at few other measurements that weather stations provide us with.
1. UV Radiation
We need to protect our skin from high doses of UV radiation to keep from getting sunburns or skin cancer risks. UV radiation readings from our weather stations allow us to effectively plan our time in the sun without exposing ourselves to such side-effects.
The unit of measurement of UV radiations is usually milliWatts per square centimeter (mW/cm^2).
Rainfall rates are also an added-on feature on some weather station models. In most devices in which this feature is available, the readings are under the heading “RAIN” and are measured in inches.
Tips for Beginner Weather Station Owners
We’ve gathered some of the widely accepted and fail-proof tips to help you understand your weather stations better. If you remember these tips when setting-up your weather station, then you will be guaranteed accurate weather readings and device durability.
The location of your weather station plays a huge role in the accuracy of the measurements it provides. Here is a list of areas where you should place the various components of your weather station to get accurate readings.
1. Temperature & Humidity Sensors (Weather Station Essentials)
There should be no obstructions, such as those of trees, buildings, vents, etc., near these sensors. We need them to be away from places that may affect the temperature of their environment. Therefore, experts suggest that we should place them at least 5 feet above the ground while also making sure that it is not in a too high location. Moreover, the sensors need to be away from direct sunlight and rain.
2. Wind Speed Measuring Device (Anemometer)
Accuracy is necessary, especially, for anemometers; so, you should place them in high areas such as rooftops and fence poles. Therefore, make sure that the anemometer is higher than all obstructions by at least 10 times. Above all, it needs to be a minimum of 30 feet above the ground level.
3. Rain Gauge
Fix the rain gauge on an even surface, like the ground of your backyard, and at least 5 feet off the ground. Be mindful not to hang it from a tree or railing as the evenness of the surface is important for accurate readings.
We hope that this article proves to be useful to you and is as simple to understand as we intended. So, now that you’ve got all the basics down, it’s time to start making your weather reports.
If you play around with your weather station while keeping these tips in mind, then this device will become as easy-to-use as your smartphones!