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When it comes to current weather conditions, local or national news reports can be off more often than on the point. This can be true with weather forecast predictions as well. One primary reason for this is your location compared to the weather station the professionals are using. The greater the distance, the greater the potential for error.
This where home weather stations can help. Today’s units are easy to use and give accurate readings for your local weather. That includes weather predictions, and understanding barometers will inform you how home weather station work. Weather stations designed for home use can range from simple analog thermometers that measure indoor room temperatures to digital systems with multiple sensors and computer controls that come with a high price tag.
Each sensor included in a station will add to the data it collects. Adding devices like rain gauges and wind vanes allow for calculations for things such as local wind chill. You might wonder who would find a use for a home station outside of the professional meteorologist and amateur weather buffs. The truth is, many people would benefit from their use.
Farmers tending their crops as well as a gardener growing in the back yard would benefit. So would outdoor campers and hikers, as well as pilots. Even students can find real benefits from these stations. Most importantly, anyone needing more accurate readings and local weather predictions.
Home Weather Station
You may have heard about these devices without having a real understanding of what they do. For many people, when they think of a weather station, they imagine a facility filled with instruments located at an airport or harbor (or even a ship in the harbor). They are not wrong as many stations are located in these places. There are, however, stations designed for you to use at home.
A weather station for home use is an instrument that collects weather-related data through sensors that it is connected to. Each sensor collects a specific piece of information, such as a thermometer that gathers temperature data. The old analog stations that measure the humidity and temperature of a room is an example of cheap and simple design. At the other extreme are expensive and complicated digital stations that have a plethora of sensors connected to computers that are used to weather forecast.
In between the two extremes, you will find many digital home stations for the weather. Most will include time and date. They may also have a built-in barometer, which can allow for simple forecasting of the localized weather conditions. More complex information can be gathered, depending upon the sensors used. Some of the most common include:
- Indoor and outdoor temperature sensors – One or more thermometers measure the temperature and return that data to the unit.
- Indoor and outdoor humidity sensors – One or more hygrometers measure the humidity and send that information back to the station.
- Atmospheric pressure sensors – Also known as Barometric pressure, atmospheric pressure is measured with a barometer that sends data to the station.
- Wind sensors – A anemometer can be used to measure and track wind speeds, sending findings to the station. Another instrument, a wind vane, will detect the direction of the wind (as well as changes in direction).
- Rainfall sensors – Rain gauges are used to measure the amount of rainfall, and those levels are sent to the station.
Different types of sensors can also be found on some stations, depending upon manufacturer, model, and application. Those who use solar power might find sensors measuring solar radiation energy useful. There are sensors for other natural phenomena, including lightning and ultraviolet light.
Other considerations include how home weather station work
These stations can be hard wired or wireless. Hard wired systems will require you to run wiring between sensors and the station, as well as the station and the display if they are located in separate locations. This layout may have limited installation locations, but signals between devices won’t suffer from interference.
Most digital stations offered on today’s market are wireless. This provides more installation options as no wires are required. It also provides more mobility for stations and displays. Depending upon the quality of transmitters used, signals may suffer from some level of interference from walls. Also, the devices in these systems have signal ranges that cannot be ignored.
Some devices also offer the option to connect to a computer. This can provide users the option to control and/or monitor the station with computer, as well as record data from the sensors. Other options might include the ability to connect the station to the internet directly. This feature is an excellent option for users who want remote monitoring or wish to add sensor data to other amateur and professional forecasters.
Keeping It Simple With Basic Weather Forecasting
For many people, simple is better. Most of us are not amateur weather buffs or professional meteorologists. A home weather station that offered indoor and local outdoor data would suffice. There are plenty of products that provide such information, such as the ThermoPro TP-67 Weather Station.
ThermoPro TP-67 Weather Station
This indoor/outdoor unit comes with a remote sensor that can be placed for exterior readings. Interior data is collecting through the sensors in the display. The ThermoPro is able to monitor:
- Indoor/outdoor temperatures – Indoor temperature range is between -4 and 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Its outdoor range is -31 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Indoor humidity – The indoor sensor is able to measure humidity, with a +/-2 tolerance between 30 and 80 percent measurements.
- Barometric pressure – Current readings, along with readings from the previous 12-hours, are indicated on the display. This allows users to see the changes in pressure and adds critical data for predicting localized weather.
This station can monitor up to three remote sensors, providing temperature readings from various locations within the 200-foot signal range. The station shows all sensor readings in trending modes as well, allowing users to track changes. It also marks highs and lows in these categories as well.
How Home Weather Station Work To Predict Weather
Air Pressure Is Key
Through the years meteorologists have discovered that the changing air pressure can indicate weather pattern changes locally. When a high-pressure system arrives locally, it will usually indicate clear and sunny days that are warmer. Conversely, the arrival of a low-pressure system often indicates an incoming storm. These systems are usually coupled with skies full of water in the form of thunderstorms.
Types Of Barometers
There are two types of barometers in use for measuring atmospheric pressure. While they work on the same principle, each goes about it in different ways.
Mercury barometer: A tube filled with mercury is the major component of this more simple system, created in the middle of the seventeenth century. In a normal state, the system sits at about 29-inches, the average pressure found at sea level. Low-pressure systems will cause the mercury to fall in the tube. On the other hand, a high-pressure system will cause the mercury to rise. Observing the fluctuations will offer short-term weather predictions.
Aneroid barometer: This device does not use liquids to measure pressure. Instead, it uses a flexible metal box (made of beryllium and copper) for measuring air pressure. The box is closed and sealed tightly, and it will contract or expand as the barometric pressure changes. Alterations of the box caused by the atmosphere are converted to measurements on the device’s face.
Various Forms Of Measurement
Depending upon your location, the manufacturer of the barometer in question, as well as other factors will dictate the unit of measurement used for air pressure. Unlike many other forms of measuring, a more standard unit has yet to be agreed upon. This is more of a problem for buffs and professionals comparing or converting. It won’t be an issue for a typical home station user. Some of these units include:
- Millimeters of Mercury (Hg)/Torr – One of the earliest units of measurement.
- Pascal/(Pa) – Considered the international measuring unit, based on newtons and meters.
- Pounds Force Per Square Inch/(PSI) – Familiar to many North Americans, this measures pounds per square inch.
- Millibar (mbar/(Mb) – Another popular unit, based on the kilopascal.
As you can see, weather predictions with a home station is a rather simple process. Any home device that measures barometric pressure can give a short-term local weather prediction. Multiple sensors are available, and they can be added to many stations. These help to provide a clearer picture of the various atmospheric phenomenon, which helps to paint a clearer picture of the weather at your home.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money or install a large quantity of equipment. Simple designs, like the ThermoPro TP-67 Weather Station, will suffice to give temperature on location, as well as a view into future weather conditions!