Advice on weather stations
1. What types of weather stations are there?
Weather stations can be divided into two different types: analog weather stations and digital weather stations. We explain to you what the difference is.
Analog weather stations are similar to an analog clock. You can easily and accurately read various data using pointers and different indicators. In general, analogue weather stations have 3 different meters: a thermometer for the temperature, a hygrometer for the air humidity and a barometer for air pressure. Real weather experts predict through this 3 data what the weather is. So you know exactly whether you have to put on your boots or just get your sandals out of the closet.
The biggest difference between an analog and digital weather station is that you read the data from a digital screen at a digital weather station and place various sensors outdoors. The sensors are connected to the main station via a 433 MHz or 868 MHz signal. Because you place sensors as a rain gauge, thermometer, anemometer, barometer and hygrometer outdoors, the values are measured very accurately. Besides the data of the different sensors, a digital weather station often also has the time, date and the time zone you are in. Of course there are differences in the implementation of a digital weather station. The luxurious variants have everything you need to know for an accurate measurement. Sometimes these luxury weather stations can even be connected to your computer, so that you immediately have all the data neatly arranged. The less luxurious variants have in most cases only the possibility to measure the temperature and air humidity. Before you purchase a digital weather station, it is therefore important to know exactly what you want to measure.
2. What does a weather station measure?
The more luxurious the weather station is, the more data you have at your disposal. Which variables are all there, you can read here.
Wind direction and wind speed
An anemometer, also anemometer, measures the wind speed and wind direction. The best known version of an anemometer is the 'mill with the scoops'. The harder the wind blows, the harder the mill turns with the scoops. Besides the scoops, there is also an ultrasonic anemometer. An ultrasonic anemometer responds to the sound. When it blows, you hear a whiz. If the wind blows faster, it will also whizzing faster. This makes the ultrasonic anemometer measure exactly what the wind speed is. The wind direction is determined with the well-known weathercock or a variation on it. Thanks to the direction of the arrow and the corresponding compass points, you can see exactly where the wind comes from.
Each weather station has a thermometer. After all, the temperature is important information for a correct weather forecast. There are weather stations that measure the temperature only indoors, only outside or inside and outside. The weather stations that measure both inside and outside are equipped with an extra external sensor that you simply place outdoors. The main panel is always equipped with a thermometer. The indoor temperature can always be read from the screen anyway.
The humidity is detected by a hygrometer. The measurement of the humidity is interesting for inside and outside. Too high humidity is not nice and unhealthy. Furthermore, too low a humidity can be unpleasant and unhealthy. By connecting an external hygrometer to the main panel of the weather station, you measure the external humidity.
Air pressure is one of the most important elements for predicting weather. You measure the air pressure with a barometer, also called air pressure gauge. You place the barometer outside. With atmospheric changes, the air pressure rises or falls rapidly. With an increasing air pressure you know for 80% that it will clear up again. When the air pressure drops quickly, you are almost certain that it will rain.
An air quality meter, also called CO2 meter, measures the air quality at your home. We are becoming increasingly aware of the health of the air we breathe daily. Indoors, the air is often unhealthier than the air outside. By linking an air quality meter to your weather station, you can read the exact values of the air quality at your home. The values are in most cases a combination of the air humidity, inside temperature and the amount of particulate matter.
A UV radiation meter measures the UVA and UVB radiation at your location. You place the external radiation meter outside. Because the meter is connected to the main station of your weather station, you can easily read the data on the display. This way you know before you go outside to smear 1, 2 or even 3 layers of sunscreen to protect you.
Rain: something we often have to deal with in the Netherlands and Belgium (unfortunately). By collecting the fallen rainwater, we know exactly how much precipitation has fallen locally. The collection of rainwater is done with a rain gauge, also called pluviometer. Place the rain gauge outdoors and easily connect it to the main station of your weather station.
3. What extra functions are there for a weather station?
In addition to the aforementioned meters, there are more options to take into account when purchasing your weather station.
With smartphone app
For extra luxury you choose a weather station with a smartphone app. Thanks to the app you can read the data not only from the digital display of the main station, but also on your smartphone or tablet.
A radio-controlled weather station receives the exact measurement data from professional weather stations. A weather station measures different data with different sensors which are then combined with the professional measurement data. This means you always have the most accurate measurement possible.
Radio controlled DCF clock
A weather station with DCF clock is directly connected to the atomic clock in Frankfurt. There is no other way to get the time as precise as with a DCF clock. Both a digital and a radio-controlled weather station can have a DCF clock.
Alarm / alarm clock
Some weather stations have an alarm and / or alarm function. This function is processed in the main station of the weather station. When you put the main panel on your bedside table, you are awakened at the set time and you immediately see what the weather is like (without opening the curtains). With the alarm function you set an alarm when, for example, the air pressure drops to a certain level. This means you are immediately aware of possible changes in the weather.
The position of the moon, the tides and the time zone you are in, are also often data that you see on a digital weather station.
At some weather stations you can see with symbols and the time exactly when the sun rises and sets.