Weather Stations are the Backyard Technology You Didn’t Know You NeededSiobhan Treacy | July 25, 2017
If I’m being honest, before starting this article I had no idea that people can have their own weather stations in their backyards. I always thought that weather was something that only a meteorologist could track and measure because the weather is so unpredictable and complicated. I have been proven wrong. While researching DIY home weather stations, I have discovered that I want to have a backyard weather station of my own one day. I am obsessed with checking my weather app – I check it multiple times a day. I like being prepared for any weather situation.
An at-home weather station collects weather data in your area from rainfall to wind speeds. This weather
station can help the meteorologists in your area collect more data and help them accurately predict the weather for your town. You can mount the weather station either on your roof or in your backyard if you have the correct open air conditions. There are many different home weather stations on the market, ranging in price and complication from $170 to $500 USD.
There are many benefits to an at home weather station. Having your own weather station allows you to collect data about your home’s weather so you can better plan your home improvement projects. You don’t want to be painting your house or preparing for winter when it is raining or snowing. Sure – you can look at your local weather app, but that information can be too general and not fully accurate to the weather at your home. With your own weather station, you can easily predict what the weather will be like, making it easier to prepare for harsh storms or properly plan outdoor home improvements.
Weather stations help you prepare and stay safe from intense weather like high winds, falling barometric pressure or wind chill, as well as predicting dangerous storms. At-home weather stations can also help you properly take care of your lawn and garden. Since they measure rainfall on your property, it is easy to check how much rain has fallen at your home and ensure that you don’t over- or under-water your garden.
There are a few basic rules for siting a weather station. It is important that the whole station is at least 50 feet away from paved surfaces. A paved surface could affect the temperature and humidity readings of the weather station. It is also important to make sure that the station is at least 50 feet away from tall obstructions like houses or trees. It should also be at least 33 feet above the ground. It is important that the weather station is in an area that mimics an open field in order to record the most accurate readings.
A lot of components go into an at-home weather station. The thermometer measures the temperature outside. It is important to make sure that the thermometer on your weather station is in a sunny, open area, not in shade. The thermometer should be 5 feet above the ground, or the roof if you have put your weather station on your roof. It is suggested that you buy a radiation shield for the thermometer. A radiation shield protects the thermometer from harsh sunlight and helps provide an accurate temperature reading. If you don’t want to go buy a radiation shield, the aluminum foil would work too. The weather station also needs plenty of ventilation.
Weather stations have a rain collector to measure the inches of rainfall and report back to the user. The rain collector should be at least 5 feet taller than the nearest obstruction. Weather stations also have an atmospheric humidity sensor. The humidity sensor must be at least 50 feet away from trees or a body of water.
Weather stations have an anemometer, which analyzes the wind speed and direction. There are three types of anemometers. The cup anemometer has a separate wind vane which measures wind direction and three cups to measure the wind speed. The propeller anemometer, also known as a vane anemometer, has a vane and a propeller that work together to measure wind speed and direction. The vane faces the propeller towards the wind, and the wind is measured by a four-blade propeller. The final kind of anemometer is the sonic anemometer. This uses sound waves to measure wind velocity in a 3D flow based on the time-of flight-sonic pulses. This kind of anemometer is ideal for measuring turbulence.
Weather stations can either be wired or wireless. It is generally agreed that a wireless weather station is the most useful option because it is easier to install and operate than its wired counterpart. It integrates a sensor suite, which means that all the sensors are in one package. Wireless weather stations can be powered by either solar panels or batteries. Solar power is the easiest power source for a weather station since the station is generally in sunlight. Solar powered weather stations have battery backup power for the cloudy weather to ensure that they are always operating.
If you are committed to knowing the weather in your area, or you like collecting weather data, then building your own weather station is for you. Having a weather station allows you to help your local weather man have an even more accurate reading of your town’s weather while providing you with personalized weather information. While they do require a bit of assembling, putting a weather station together could be a fun family project. I, for one, want my future home to have a weather station.
Learn more about weather stations and shop around your options here.