While you may be used to relying on your local weather person or an app you’ve installed on your mobile device in order to stay on top of all the latest weather details, did you know that you could in fact be manning your very own weather station? Today, you can purchase all your own instruments and gear so that you can not only set up your own personal weather station, but do so in a manner that provides you with accurate details at all times.
For those who happen to have kids, it’s also a great way to get them involved with learning about weather patterns, how to read the various measurements and details, and get a first-hand look at what goes into making weather predictions.
Now, before you rush to set up all your new personal weather station gear, you will want to take a moment and read about the best place to put it. Making sure it’s in the ideal location will help ensure that you get the most accurate readings. Here are some tips you can keep in mind as you set up your station.
It Needs to Be in the Open
First things first, you need to find a spot in your yard that is open. If you place your weather station under a large tree or an overhang from your house or porch, then it's not going to be able to collect accurate data. Take rainfall as an example; it's not going to be capturing the true rainfall amount since that overhang will interfere with the measurements.
Ideally it should be placed in an area that has distance between it and anything large or tall like your house or trees.
At the same time, you also want to be aware of wind. There may be some areas of your yard that have almost a wind tunnel like atmosphere. Perhaps the wind just always seems stronger in that one section. This can be common in between houses where there is almost a tunnel that is being created. Again, this can provide false measurements to your weather station, which means you aren’t going to get accurate results.
Don't Place it Right on the Ground
After you are sure you have selected the best home weather station for you then you can proceed with these next steps.
While each weather station will come with its own guide and suggestions, most will suggest that you don't place it directly on the ground/grass. Instead, you want to raise it at least five feet in the air. What this does is create better ventilation, which helps the station to capture accurate data.
In order to elevate the station, you can use a pole meant to be used with weather stations, or a tripod. Keeping it off the ground can also help protect it from damage.
Another good reason to keep the weather station off the ground is that if you happen to have kids and/or pets, it can help to keep it safe and out of reach. It won’t be so easy to play around with the gadgets when they aren’t able to reach it. It also makes it easier for lawn maintenance when you’re cutting the lawn. You won’t have to worry about accidentally ramming the mower right into the station.
Direct Sunlight Isn't Ideal
Another tip is to place it in an area that doesn't get direct sunlight. Often people make the assumption that putting it in full sun is best, but this can play havoc with the thermometer sensor. If you were to take a look at the definition that meteorologists use when explaining temperature, it relates to a spot that is in the shade and has ventilation. This is the kind of setting you want to create for your weather station. So just as you aren't putting it in direct sun, it shouldn't be totally blocked from the wind either.
Steer Clear of Ponds and Pools
Ponds and pools share one common element, and that's water. Water of course creates humidity, which can then show up in your weather station if it's not placed correctly. In order for the humidity sensor on your weather station to function accurately, be sure that you keep the equipment at least 50 feet away from your pool or a pond (or any body of water).
Is the Roof a Good Idea?
One suggestion you may come across is placing your weather station on your roof, or your chimney if you don’t use your fireplace. This location actually causes a bit of back and forth from experts on whether or not it’s ideal. Placing it on the roof means it will be getting direct sunlight and zero shade, which can obviously affect the accuracy of the thermometer. At the same time, the roof is a great place for measuring wind speed and direction.
Another pro in mounting it on your roof is the fact that there won't be any obstructions, nor will it be in the way in your yard. If you are going to mount the weather station on your roof, it is recommended that you place it at least five feet above the roof line so that the readings are as accurate as possible.
Is Your Weather Station Cabled or Wireless?
As you work on figuring out that perfect location, you will also need to take into account whether it is cabled and therefore needs to be near an outlet, or whether it is wireless, thereby giving you more flexibility and freedom.
Be Aware of the Instruments on Your Weather Station
It's a good idea to also be aware of the various instruments on your weather station so that you can really figure out what the best location is. Obviously, your weather station may not have every single bell and whistle - it depends on the model you purchased.
The typical sensors that you will find on a personal weather station are the rain gauge, hygrometer, thermometer, and anemometer, so you will need to take them all into consideration.
Start Getting Weather Data Straight from Your Own Station
By using these tips, you’ll be able to find that perfect location to install your personal weather station, ensuring that the data you get is accurate and reliable.