I’ve been a weather bug all my life. I like observing the weather and keeping track of what’s going on in the sky. So when I saw the Weather Channel’s home weather station complete with temperature readings and barometric tendencies, I had to pick one up and start using it for myself. The home weather station model I purchased after read some internet reviews, The Weather Channel #9077 developed by La Crosse Technology, is a forecast station that’s a practical device without too many functions to overwhelm the user.
In my case, I would have actually sprung for a much more complex model with an anemometer (wind gauge), thermo-hygrometer sensor, and rain gauge, but at $150 to $250, that was a little more than I could afford to purchase right now for a home weather station.
Buyer’s Guide to Home Weather Stations and Indoor / Outdoor Thermometers
A weather station or indoor/outdoor thermometer allows you to monitor weather conditions outside your home and, with the proper equipment, transmit them over the internet if desired. Read on to find out which type is best for you and what features to look for…
INDOOR/OUTDOOR THERMOMETER FEATURES
Indoor/outdoor thermometers, in addition to showing the temperature, may also have the ability to show current humidity and/or barometric pressure levels. They are available in digital and analog models; digital units are usually slightly more expensive and require batteries. Most indoor/outdoor thermometers use a cable with a sensor on the end of it to detect the outdoor temperature, while some more expensive models are capable of wireless communication between the thermometer and a separate sensor unit. Depending upon the model, it may be possible to add more than one outdoor sensor. When buying a thermometer of this type, be aware that some units marked “Indoor/Outdoor” may simply be waterproof (meaning that they can be used indoors or outdoors), not that they have the capability to show the indoor and outdoor temperatures at the same time.
WEATHER STATION FEATURES
If you want to be able to monitor more conditions, such as wind speed or dew point, a home weather station may be preferable, although more expensive. Features available on some home weather stations include:
- UV index sensor
- Solar-powered external sensors
- Indicate rising or falling barometric pressure
- Provide short-range forecasts.
- Calculate measurements such as the wind chill or heat index.
If you just want to report weather conditions by telephone or manual entry on a website, an indoor/outdoor thermometer should be sufficient. However, if you want to automatically transmit weather data through the internet, you will have to select a home weather station with this capability and acquire the appropriate software. The popular website Wunderground.com allows users to upload their weather conditions and provides a list of weather reporting software available for Windows, Mac OS, and Unix/Linux, some of it available for free. The National Weather Service may provide you with equipment if you become a member of their Cooperative Observer program. Before purchasing a weather station for reporting purposes, make sure there is affordable software available which your computer meets the system requirements for.
Indoor/outdoor thermometers generally cost $10-25. Home weather stations, depending upon their features, can cost several hundreds of dollars, and are usually at least $100 if they can be connected to a computer. Some models in the $25-$75 price range may be referred to as either weather stations or thermometers and have some capabilities of both types, but lack the more sophisticated features of expensive weather stations.
The Weather Channel Home Weather Station #9077: Details
So, what did I get for my $40 at Best Buy? Actually, quite a bit. Along with indoor/outdoor temperature readings, I also picked up a barometric pressure tendency function. Why’s that important? Knowing the barometric pressure tendency helps you to find out if the weather may become or stay fair or is on its way to getting cloudy and rainy.
Also, you can save that day’s high and low temperatures along with a time stamp so you know when the minimum and maximum temperatures occurred. The clock and date are automatically set by the atomic clock.
The receiver can be mounted to a wall or stand on a desk or shelf.
Perhaps one of the key features with this home weather station is its wireless sensor. With a range up to 330 feet, it’s possible to place the temperature sensor virtually anywhere in your yard or business and get a readout on the receiver. The package for this home weather station also boasts the product’s “Swiss Precision Sensor.”
I placed my temperature sensor on a 2×2 piece of lumber under the shade of my northern eave. I also situated the sensor a little more than 6 feet off the ground.
Smooth Sailing So Far
I’ve had no difficulties running the home weather station in the few days I’ve had it. My only issue came with mounting the temperature sensor. The clip designed to hold the sensor didn’t seem to keep my sensor on very sturdily, which concerns me because I live in an area prone to the wind and strong thunderstorms. I worry that the clip may not be strong enough to hold the sensor securely enough when the weather gets a little rough. So, I affixed the sensor to the clip, but I also used a couple twist ties to gently secure the sensor to the pole itself, too.
As I have it set up, the sensor is located about 9 feet from my receiver, and the signal has to go through just one concrete wall lined with drywall inside. Of course, depending on how far apart your receiver is from your sensor and the number of obstructions the signal has to surpass, the performance of your home weather station may differ from mine.
At any rate, I hung my receiver next to my bed. That way, I can wake up in the morning and know right away how cold or hot it is outdoors.
I recommend The Weather Channel’s Wireless Forecast Station #9077 to anyone looking for a basic temperature readout and general forecast.
This weather station may not offer enough functions to satisfy the meteorologist looking for:
- Wind data
- Rain measurements
- Humidity information
- A direct interface with a desktop or laptop computer
But this home weather station is a quality and a decent unit that offers all the weather information most people need on a day-to-day basis.
A La Crosse Technology product, The Weather Channel’s home weather station #9077 is a good buy and a great gift for a weather lover, gardener, fisher, outdoor laborer, or anybody who likes to know what’s happening today with the weather!