Staying on top of the weather is important, whether you're planning the perfect barbecue, you're an avid gardener who needs to know when the frosts are coming or you simply need to know when to bring in the patio furniture. Home weather stations (or indoor weather stations, as they're also known) take all the work out of hunting down weather updates and put all the information you need at your fingertips.
A weather station is a portable device that measures indoor and outdoor temperature, as well as humidity, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, rainfall, dew point and much more, depending on the model. It works through a series of sensors placed indoors and out, and streams the data from these sensors to the receiver. Receivers are small and unobtrusive, and can easily sit on a table or be mounted to the wall.
The first thing you need to do before you buy a weather station is to think about what you want out of it. If all you're concerned about is knowing the temperature, a basic model will certainly do, but there are numerous other features available, with varying levels of complexity.
Depending on how advanced your weather station is, it may have features like storm alerts, to warn you of changing weather conditions, or data tracking, so you can monitor historical trends in the weather. It may also have a solar power feature that can help you in the event of a power outage.
The number of features your home weather station has will likely dictate how much it costs. If you just want the basics, lower-end models start as low as $50 or $60, while models with advanced features run as high as $700 or $800.
Common weather station brands include:
Whether you're going high-end or low-end, you'll want to choose a model with a clear display and easy-to-use functionality. You'll also be happy to know that wireless weather stations, which don't need cables to connect the sensors to the receiver, are now on the market at affordable prices. They're easier to install and give reliable access to more data than ever before.
Whatever model and features you choose, one thing's for sure: a home weather station will make planning outdoor activities much easier. You can't control Mother Nature, but at least now, with the help of weather stations, you can better predict her.