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The First Steps to Build Your Personal Weather Station

craft

Perhaps you feel like getting into the hobby of collecting your own weather data, but think that the process of building your personal weather station will be complicated. It can actually be really easy and fun.

There are more than 12,000 public weather stations across the US. That may sound like a lot until you hear that more than 200,000 people in North America run their own devices from home and contribute with accurate hyper-localized forecasts of the North-American weather.

You can build your personal weather station, or PWS, for less than $500. Vendors like Ambient Weather and Adafruit have all the necessary parts available. Let’s start the fun.

The structure

capacitor

Particle Photon and Arduino are known to be the best motherboards. Mount the motherboard in a waterproof container and then in a plastic housing that is well-ventilated. The larger housing will hold most of the sensors. Attach it to one side of the pole, a few feet from the top. The ventilation of the housing is the biggest contributor to accuracy.

Temperature

thermometer

Look for a waterproof coin-sized thermometer to attach to the motherboard. It looks like a cable with a stainless-steel pin on one of the ends. That pin is the part that will pick up the measurements.

You should mount it inside the ventilated plastic housing but outside the waterproof container. This sensor should never be exposed to direct sunlight as it would register inaccurately hot values.

Humidity

hygrometer

To measure humidity you’ll use a hygrometer, which is a polymer sensor that absorbs water from the air. When water soaks into it, the electric current slows down its flow. So, the hygrometer is able to measure humidity based on how quickly electricity is flowing through it.

If you buy a 2-in-1 thermometer/hygrometer you’ve been taught all the steps above. Otherwise, mount the hygrometer near the thermometer and connect it to the motherboard as well. Only when the two sensors are very close, can they measure the exact same sample of air.

Air pressure

barometer

Don’t opt for an analog barometer. Instead, you should buy a digital one with an electronic pressure sensor. How does the barometer’s sensor measure pressure? As atmospheric pressure rises, more and more weight of the air will press down on the sensor. It then sends an electric signal to the motherboard.

Tracking atmospheric pressure allows home weather data collectors to help forecast storms and movements of warm and cold fronts in their location in North America. For this one, you can connect it either directly to the motherboard inside the waterproof container or next to the other two sensors, the thermometer and the hygrometer.

There you have it. These are the first steps for building your personal weather station at home. It requires a lot of your attention, but is not necessarily complicated, and it definitely is fun.

Many people stick to these three sensors, the thermometer, the hygrometer and the barometer. However, if you’re curious about collecting more data, we will teach you how to measure rainfall and wind speed and direction. We will also go over the final steps, including installing the station and hooking it up to the internet. All in a new article coming soon.

The 4 Best Home Weather Stations

map-jumping

As a fun and interesting project, you can build your own personal home weather station nowadays, without much fuss and cost. Weather Station Finder will teach you how to.

But maybe you lack the time or are simply looking for a more immediate solution to start analyzing the weather status and share it online. In that case, take a look at some of the most reliable options in the market.

Ambient Weather WS-2902

The WS-2902 is arguably the absolute best home weather station in the market. The 10-in-1 system measures temperature, radiation, UV, humidity, pressure, rainfall, wind direction and wind speed. It connects via Wi-Fi and lets you read your data on the go on your phone, tablet or laptop.

The LCD display has all the measurements color coded. And with the Wi-Fi integration you can collect data from the entire network of Ambient Weather’s home weather stations. Not to talk about the state-of-the-art tech. You’ll feel like an actual meteorologist.

La Crosse Technology S88907

For those whose main concern is the cost, the S88907 system is a great and affordable solution. It’s perfect for beginners since it keeps it simple with a thermometer and a hygrometer.

This is the system with the best accuracy rate within its price range, up to 75%. You can receive your data wirelessly over 300 feet and be warned of forecasted sudden weather changes.

AcuRite 01036 Pro Weather Station

This is a 5-in-1 wireless system with sensors that measure temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind speed and wind direction. It uses self-calibrating technology to deliver high-precision forecasts.

You can hook it up to your devices via USB. That way, you´ll be able to monitor your collected data remotely and download it to share. You can also set up text or e-mail alerts for each of the measurements. The 01036 station has one of the best quality-price ratios in the market.

AcuRite 00589 Pro Color Weather Station

If you plan to use your station to collect only the most essential data you don’t need to spend money on a more advanced system. This top quality 3-in-1 station may very well be the best answer.

The unit consists of a thermometer, a hygrometer and an anemometer to measure temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure, respectively. It also measures wind speed and direction. The color-coded data display is simple and quick to analyze, just how you want it to be.

Evaluate to what degree you want to analyze the weather conditions at your location and choose one of these dependable stations.

The Top Characteristics of the Swedish Weather

snowy-day

Our last overseas trip to measure atmospheric data with our weather station installations was to the incredible country of Sweden. Our team was able to gather conclusions that made us think about the Swedish weather differently than what is usually portrayed.

Many people picture harsh winters and never-ending cold when thinking about Sweden. However, the Swedish weather can be much milder and that’s greatly thanks to the warm Gulf stream.

The seasons and regions

One of the things Swedes love to highlight about their climate is that each of the four seasons is extremely unique and different from one another. They are also very different depending on the region.

The Swedish territory can be divided in three regions: “Götaland” in the south, “Svealand” in the middle and “Norrland” up north.

The south – Götaland

In the south, winters are milder and shorter and summer temperatures frequently reach 25ºC (77ºF). Daylight averages 19 hours in the peak of the summer. Due to the significant levels of humidity, cold days feel colder and warm days feel hotter. Snow is rare during the Götaland’s winter.

The midlands – Svealand

Stretching across Stockholm in the east to the Norway border in the west there is the Svealand region. The weather is generally slightly colder than in the south throughout the entire year. Snow is much more common, particularly in the northwest, the place of several ski resorts. Average temperatures are just bellow 0ºC (32ºF) in January, the coldest month.

The north – Norrland

The Norrland up north is the home of the extremely challenging climate the general consensus somehow associates with the entirety of Sweden, even though few people inhabit the area. Winters are cold, dry and long with very low temperatures dragging across several months. Summers are short. However, the temperatures are very comfortable during the season, from 15ºC to 25ºC (59ºF to 77ºF).

We are sure that as a weather enthusiast who probably has their own weather station, you are glad you were able to gain some new and demystified insights about the Swedish weather. If you’re into travelling, you now know you shouldn’t be so afraid of visiting Sweden.