Daily weather records have for years been kept manually with the help of a diligent and dedicated human observer. The observer had to take the readings from manual instruments each day at a specific time without fail if accuracy of the data was to be achieved. Then came the analyzing part. This called for more painstaking paperwork of analyzing the daily data collected over a range of months and years.
But fortunately, today we live in an era of invention and innovations where a station can collect and analyze data automatically. Technological advancement has made it easy to make automated weather stations that are easy to use and within the budget capabilities of many individuals.
Some of the benefits that one can derive from owning a weather station include;
- Availability of a console display from which all weather readings can easily be taken.
- The daily maintenance chores such as emptying the rain gauge can now be done automatically.
- All readings that are consistently being updated can easily be seen from indoors at any time.
- A comprehensive analysis of weather recorded over a range of specific time can be automatically calculated and results availed within a short time.
The features of an automatic weather station
One of the primary advantages of an automatic weather station is its compatibility. This makes it easy for owners who don’t have plenty of space to be able to accommodate a station. Today, it’s very common to find stations in offices and homes. A typical automatic weather station consists of;
- Various sensors placed outdoors to take the measurement of weather parameters.
- An indoor located console unit that collects the readings from the sensors placed outdoors and displays the various readings.
- An optional data logger that links the system to a personal computer for easy transmission to other sources that the user may want such as their Smartphone or tablet or even share the data online with a friend.
The number of sensors placed outside would primarily depend on the purpose the user intends to put the station into. The more sensors a station has, the more data you will collect from the sensors. Generally, an average station can take the following readings;
- Air temperature
- Wind speed
- Barometric pressure
However, a more advanced station for those users who may be interested in more readings that are diverse can be able to measure the following:
- UV light intensity and sunshine
- Additional humidity level and temperature
- Soil moisture and leaf wetness for agricultural purposes
The readings from sensors placed outside the house are connected back to the console placed inside the house. The connection is via either cable or Wi-Fi.
Some factors to consider when choosing and an AWS
On top of the primary factors to consider when choosing the best station suitable would obviously be price. But there are other key considerations to help you get started on the right note.
- Type of sensors
Definitely, the type of sensors that you want your station to have should be a concern. A farmer would need sensors that can read soil moisture and leaf wetness while a hotel business owner would generally concentrate on air temperature, humidity, and rain gauge sensors. This implies that the choice would depend on the intended purpose of the station. However, a sensor with capability of supporting more sensors is better since you may need to add more sensors as need arise.
- The make
After making a decision on the outline specification, the next consideration should be best model that would fit your needs. A station’s suitability is measured in terms of reliability and accuracy. Once these two are assured in a station that is within your budget range, then you can make the purchase.
Now finally after taking home the station of your choice, the last and most vital point to consider is the positioning of the sensors. Wrongly installed sensors would give you wrong readings, which would make the station useless. To ensure that your data is accurate, all the outside sensors should be directly exposed to the weather parameters being measured. If sitting the outside sensors becomes problematic, it’s always advisable to seek the help of an expert as wrong sitting can undermine the credibility of your readings.
What to consider when buying a Weather Station
What most people fail to understand is that you do not have to be hobbyist to own a weather station. Interestingly anyone can own and operate one without any prior professional training. Currently there are a large number of stations ranging from mobile, wireless and or stand alone stations. Concerns about weather and its patterns have been with us from time immemorial. A lot influences the weather and unless you are a professional it would be virtually difficult to understand how things work behind the scenes. Owning a station of your own would however allow one to enjoy the great benefits of being able to know and follow the changing weather in a particular area.
These weather devices among other things, use out door humidity, rainfall, temperature and wind just to name a few to measure the weather in any particular area. This in essence is the main reason weather keeps on differing from a short distance. A lot of what you require and looking for will depend on your preference or lifestyle. Station’s used by farmers tends to differ greatly with those used to measure basic rooms temperature. It is therefore important that you have your preferences in order before making a purchase.
One of the first place buyers look for when seeking a weather station is the internet. It’s not wrong to do so but one should do so with a guide in mind. They should also remember that this is unregulated market where each buyer peddles their goods. Any unregulated market has its challenges and benefits and therefore should not be relied on fully. The best and any wise decision any prospective buyer can make is to seek professional advice. Another place worth consider joining are the forums. A forum allows you to be in discussion with people of different categories that have had the benefit of using stations of different kinds.
Upon making your queries, there is absolutely no harm having a list of the stations you considers purchasing. Seek information regarding each of the items listed in your list from the stores supplying the same. Talk to a sales representative who will be more than glad to discuss the same with you at great lengths. If for any given reason, an item in the list does not meet your needs simply cancel it from the list. You will then be able to have a shorter list to deal with and an earlier opportunity to make a decision.
There are important facts worth considering when purchasing any item of use, a weather station included mainly:-
- Ease of use
There are stand alone desktop stations that are very effective and easier to use in houses or premises where there is less movement. This will greatly depend on where you intend to install the same. If you have small children around your premises, this would not be appropriate at all. Having a budget will also allow you to work within your financial capabilities without overstretching.
For those who are always on the move, a wireless station will be an appropriate gadget to have around. It is easier to use and does not require a lot of installation process or place. A lot of buyers have been made to believe that the wireless gadgets are not accurate. This is just a myth and not true. Any station does not work as a stand alone project. Information regarding weather is remitted to the central location before finding its way to these small owned stations around the country. The same information you find in the media is not any different from what you have in your house.
Finally, there is nothing as nice as leaving the house knowing well that you are dressed for the weather. Having a weather station of your own will let you enjoy unparallel confidence which you would otherwise not be able to enjoy. Forget about the myth that only hobbyist own stations. Everyone including you is a candidate for knowing and following the changing weather patterns right in the comfort of your home. If you are not a heavy user and just want to follow and know the trending weather patterns around your home, then a basic station is the best ideal to invest on.