Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get - Mark Twain
Everything that we have done, want to do, and will do is, and has been, governed by the weather. The weather shapes our world and our lives and while we have no control over it, it holds sway over us and dominates every aspect of our existence.
Even though we have no power over the weather, we can predict what it is going to, and will, do and can adjust and formulate our plans accordingly.
Granted, it may not seem like much in the grand scheme of the natural order and our place in it, but as the technology, we use to read, and our understanding of, meteorological events, increases so does our ability to plan, modify and fine-tune our schedules to accommodate the ever-changing nature of our weather.
We’ve all heard the jokes about weathermen and know that you don’t have to be one of that exclusive group of on-screen talent to know which way the wind blows.
While we may not necessarily want to be on television, thanks to Wunderground (or Weather Underground) and the increasing mass availability of personal weather stations, we can all become meteorologists and by doing so can become part of a global community that helps to predict, and produce, regional and world-wide weather forecasts and patterns.
All you need to join the growing army of amateur meteorologists is a personal weather station and access to the Weather Underground website on your laptop or app on your smartphone.
That’s why we’ve taken an in-depth look at five of the best personal Wundergound ready weather stations. So that you can better plan your tomorrows, by recording and predicting what Mother Nature will do, and is going to do, today. Welcome to the Weather Underground
Top 5 Best Weather Stations For Weather Underground
OUR TOP PICK
One of the five hundred best e-retailers in the world for the last three decades, Ambient Weather has always been at the forefront of the personal weather station and environmental monitoring machine industry.
First released in 2017, the WS-2902 was made with the amateur weather enthusiast in mind but features everything that the more dedicated home meteorologist needs to keep tabs on the weather.
One of the best selling personal weather stations in America, the WS-2902 is easy to install and ideally suited to the freshest faced and the newest members of the global meteorology community.
You don’t need any in-depth scientific knowledge to set it up and you don’t need to live in a secret volcano lair to understand and make full use of it’s simple to read, incredibly accurate, and detailed readouts.
The WS-2902 (or Osprey as Ambient Weather like to call it) comes with an easy to read full color, LCD display unit that connects wirelessly to the station, and records wind speed and direction, humidity levels, temperature, rainfall, UV and solar radiation levels.
It’ll share your backyard weather with the internet and the world and it doesn’t matter where your fellow hobbyists live, as the Osprey records everything in metric and imperial units of measurements, you’ll be able to freely communicate using the only language that matters to you. Meteorology.
- The Osprey is easy to set and simple to use and connect to Weather Underground, all of which are big ticks in any meteorology book.
- This display unit is a thing of technological beauty that uses a full-color display on an all-black background and, thanks to being wirelessly connected to the station, keeps you and Weather Underground constantly updated with any, and all, localized weather changes.
- Everything that Ambient Weather do is designed to make your pursuit of meteorology as effortless and enjoyable as possible and as such, their customer service department has garnered a nearly impeccable record and is widely acknowledged as being a prime example of how customer service should be handled, and dealt with.
- It is what it is. The Osprey is made to record the weather and that’s about it. It’s a difficult station to adapt or update. It does what it says will on the tin, and nothing else. But that said, why would you want it to do anything else?
Another Ambient Weather station, the Observer steps up the Osprey’s meteorology game and takes it to a whole new level of the amateur pursuit of weather data, one that balances somewhere on the fine level that separates the professionals from the hobbyists.
How does it do that?
Well, for a start it’s solar-powered and only uses it’s batteries as a back-up power source, and secondly, it also comes with an additional sensor that means it can also read and record indoor temperatures and humidity levels and provide a more in-depth and complete picture of localized weather patterns.
It’s sensor array continually samples wind speeds, and calculates, records and updates the average wind speed every fourteen seconds.
As well as recording outdoor and indoor temperature, humidity and pressure, rainfall, solar radiation, and UV levels it also monitors the heat point and dew index and takes into account the phases of the moon and sunrise and sunset times.
All of which allows the Observer to combine environmental factors with local weather measurements, which in turn makes it incredibly precise and accurate.
The menu-based screen that the display unit uses allows you to record in either metric or imperial measurement, or both if the mood takes you, and also has an alarm which triggers during specific high and low alert conditions.
It also has an SD card slot that can be used for firmware updates and to transfer specific data that can be used to make far-more advanced weather calculations. The Observer is the stuff that amateur meteorologists’ dreams are made of.
- Easy to set up and install, it’s made to be used right out of the box and get all of your meteorology juices flowing in less time than it takes a downpour to ruin an afternoon in Florida
- It’s solar-powered and the batteries that it needs? They’re just the back-up. This means it goes through fewer batteries, so the Observer is also kinder to the environment. It doesn’t just record the weather, it helps to save the planet.
- And, we’re back to the exemplary customer service. If you have a problem and no-one can else can help, maybe you can phone the Ambient Weather customer service team. They’re easier to find than the A-Team and a lot more helpful.
- While it’ll connect to Wunderground (Weather Underground) easily enough, meteorologists who want to expand their internet-based weather pursuits and other networks might find it a little difficult to do so with the Observer.
- Users have reported WiFi failures, and technological issues raising their ugly heads, in the immediate aftermath of their warranties expiring. While life has taught most of us about the perils and pitfalls of inbuilt obsolescence, it’s an issue that’s worth considering if you’re thinking about investing in an Observer.
While the Osprey is one of the best selling personal weather stations in America, the station that has consistently outsold it’s competitors and resisted all efforts to usurp its place on the amateur meteorology throne is the AcuRite 01036 Wireless Weather Station.
Whether you’re a local weather fanatic, a die-hard meteorology amateur, or just want to plan your wardrobe according to what the sun will be doing, the AcuRite is the perfect personal weather station for you.
It’s five in one sensor technology measures rainfall and it’s location-specific history, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, and outdoor and indoor temperature and humidity.
It does it all, and thanks to it being easy to connect to the internet and your home-based PC it’ll constantly update not only the localized readings but also allow you to do rapid-fire updates via Weather Underground.
And if you need to know what the weather in your neighborhood is going to be like in the next day or so, don’t worry the AcuRute has that covered too.
The display unit has a self-calibrating forecast function that chews through the data the station collects to provide an accurate picture of what your local weather will be like for the next twenty fours.
- There’s a reason why it’s the number one selling personal weather station in America. It’s simple, easy, and straightforward to use and its wireless connection is just about ready to go right out of the box.
- The five in one sensor array that the AcuRite uses makes it incredibly easy to record and store all of your localized weather, which in turn makes it easier to predict what the weather will do next.
- It comes complete with everything that you need to connect the display unit to your computer and has won the “best in class” software award more times than AcuRite can, and they’re competition want to, remember.
- In order to access Weather Underground and other meteorology networks and sites, you’re going to need to connect it to your laptop. If you don’t have a laptop to connect it to, it can’t access the internet and if it can’t access the internet, it can’t connect to Weather Underground.
Davis Instruments has been making the weather personal for fifty years. Everything that they do is done with precision and dedication to producing rugged, affordable, and accurate personal weather stations that put their competition to shame.
Davis earned their reputation the hard way and the Vantage Pro2 is all the weather station that any home-based meteorologist will ever need.
The Vantage Pro2 has a thousand-foot wireless signal range, updates every two and half seconds and as it uses solar power to drive its sensors and only needs its batteries for back-up is as friendly to the environment as it is easy to use.
Its anemometer can be mounted separately to the rest of the unit and if you place it wisely, can provide much more accurate wind speed and direction readings than almost any other personal weather station.
While the Davis can’t lay claim to being one of the best selling weather stations in American, thanks to the accuracy of its wind (speed, direction and chill factor and more), temperature, humidity, rain, and pressure measurements, the Vantage is one of most popular personal weather stations used by the Weather underground community.
Durable, diligent, and quick, the Vantage Pro2 offers the home-based meteorologist an open invitation to the top of the weather prediction food chain.
- The apex predator of personal weather stations, the Vantage Pro2 does everything that its competition does, but it does it faster and better and with more versatility and wireless range.
- Infinitely expandable, if you can think of adding something to your personal weather stations set-up, the Vantage Pro2 should easily be able to adapt to and incorporate it into its set-up.
- That thousand-foot wireless range offers you a much greater placement area and the versatility that the anemometer offers makes it a perennial favorite among more dedicated weather hobbyists.
- It’s the most commonly used personal weather station on Weather Underground. There’s a reason the community loves it, and if you use it you’ll find out exactly why they’ve wholeheartedly embraced the Pro2.
- The model has been around for a while and Davis hasn’t bothered updating it as they obviously believe that if something isn’t broken, there’s no point in fixing it. As a result, the display unit and the way it shows data and the station readings look a little dated. It could probably do with a makeover, but then, couldn’t we all?
- Then there’s the price, which is reassuringly high and nowhere near as affordable as the other personal weather stations on our list. It would seem that, even in meteorology circles, if you want the best, you have to pay for it. Your pocketbook won’t thank you if you chase the Vantage Pro2, but that said, when does it ever?
Netatmo, in their own words “develops groundbreaking, intuitive, and beautifully-designed connected consumer electronics.
Truly smart, our innovative products provide a seamless experience that helps users create a safer, healthier, and more comfortable home. We carefully design the mechanics, electronics, and embedded software of all our products to the highest standards.
Our mobile and web applications are designed to be simple to operate, yet deliver a rich user experience” They’re a company who set out to make measuring and recording the weather an experience that amateur meteorologists everywhere could enjoy and make the most of and that’s exactly what they did with this personal weather station.
Measuring indoor and outdoor pressure, humidity and temperature and accurately recording wind speed and rainfall, the Netatmo is also fully compatible with Alexa and Apple HomeKit, adding to its versatility and ease of usage.
Simple to set up and even easier to use, the Netatmo constantly monitors all of the weather conditions and data and updates your smartphone accordingly.
It will also permanently remain connected to Weather Underground, or at least will stay connected as long as you want it too, and will constantly refresh the data it shares with Wundeground.
The Netatmo’s user interface also makes it easy to compile all the data it has recorded so you can accurately predict future weather conditions.
They may not be one of the biggest names in meteorology, but Netatmo is slowly but surely finding favor among its legions of devoted weathermen and women.
- The Netatmo comes with everything that the amateur meteorologist needs to get set up and started and become an active member of the Weather Underground community.
- Easy to use and simple to set up, it’s compatibility with Alexa and Apple Homekit make it even more appealing to the tech-savvy weather enthusiast.
- It’ll connect to, and with, Weather Underground and stay connected for as long as you want, and need it, too.
- While Netatmo lists it’s compatibility with Apple HomeKit as one it’s major selling points, you’re going to have to make sure that you get the Netatmo V3 to connect. Earlier models don’t, and won’t, connect to HomeKit. If you don’t get the right version of the weather station, you can kiss the Apple connection goodbye.
- Then there’s the durability issue. Some reviews have highlighted the fact that, as it gets older and approaches the end of its warranty protected lifespan, it can start suffering from network and connectivity issues. Longevity can be a problem that you might not be keen on dealing with.
Best Weather Stations For Weather Underground Buying Guide
What Is A Personal Weather Station?
A personal weather station is a set of instruments that can be easily installed at your home or place of business.
The number of instruments and the functions that they serve can vary, but should ideally include the equipment necessary to measure temperature, humidity (the amount of moisture in the air), wind speed and direction, barometric (also known as atmospheric) pressure, the amount of rainfall.
Most personal weather stations come pre-assembled as a single unit that you’ll just need to set up and can start using almost immediately.
The ease of functionality is due to the usage of wireless connectivity to transmit the data they record directly to either the display unit that comes with them or your smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
Why Do Most Personal Weather Stations Use Wireless Connectivity?
Wireless connectivity makes it easy to record and share the date that your personal weather station collects on a regular basis.
Personal weather stations regularly update all of the data that they record and because they transmit this data to either a display unit, smartphone, laptop, or tablet it makes them far more accurate as their data can be measured against time to provide a much clearer, and concise, picture of the overall weather in any are.
As they’re WiFi (or wireless) enabled, most personal weather stations can also connect to the internet allowing you to share your data with various meteorological networks and sites like Weather Underground.
This ease of usage has seen amateur meteorology experience a rise in popularity as those devoted to it can easily share the data they recorded locally with others around the world, which in turn can help to predict changes in global weather patterns.
What Is Weather Underground?
Weather Underground, also known as “wunderground” thanks to the web-site address it uses, is an internet-based commercial weather service that provides real-time weather information for most of the world’s major cities, newspapers, and various other, affiliated, third party sites.
Established in nineteen ninety-five as an offshoot of the University of Michigan’s internet weather database, it’s name is partly based on, and derived from, the Weather Underground which was a radical left-wing political group that was founded in the nineteen sixties and also based at the University of Michigan.
Since its original inception, Weather Underground moved across the country to San Francisco, where it is now headquartered.
It gathers the information that it uses to formulate and record its forecast from data that is sent to and shared with, it by the National Weather Service and a network of more than a quarter of a million personal weather stations.
The personal weather stations are permanently linked to it and used to record weather data on a much more local, and focused, level than the National Weather Service is able to measure.
Which Personal Weather Station Is The Right One For Me?
That depends on a number of crucial factors. Firstly, it needs to be wireless-enabled and should be able to connect to the internet so that it can automatically share any, and all, data that it records with Weather Underground.
All of the personal weather stations on our list are capable of doing this, so any decision that you make should also take a couple of other factors into account.
Why do you want a personal weather station? If it’s due to a genuine interest in meteorology, one that you actively want to pursue, then you’ll need it to be as functional as possible and able to record as much data as it possibly can.
The last and most important factor to consider is your budget. How much do you want to spend? Determine the size of your budget, and stick to it - there’s a personal weather station to suit every budget on our list. You just have to know what yours is.
You may not need, as Bob Dylan once sang, to be a weatherman to know which way the winds blows, but when you choose a personal weather station, that’s exactly what you will be. A weatherman.