Which budget weather stations are best?
There’s a popular saying in rural areas to the effect of “Don’t like the weather? Drive a mile or wait five minutes.” But if you’re expecting catastrophic weather, either of those options may not be worth the wait. With an accurate and useful weather station like the AcuRite Notos (3-in-1) Weather Station for Indoor/Outdoor Temperature, Humidity, and Wind Speed, you can dress for the weather or get that vital early warning, all without breaking the bank.
What to know before you buy a budget weather station
As with virtually any device that relies on accurate data to operate at peak performance, having sensors of sufficient strength and quality can make all the difference when attempting to track something as complex as weather patterns. As such, any decent budget weather station for home use should include a number of basic functions, including both indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity levels.
In addition, home weather stations can also come equipped to cross-reference historical and current weather data to make accurate forecasts and predictions. While basic systems usually include measuring devices, including hygrometers for humidity and thermometers for temperature, systems with greater technical capabilities can feature anemometers to measure the wind’s speed and direction, rain gauges, barometers and even actinometers for measuring ambient solar radiation and the UV index.
Budget weather stations rely on properly placed sensors. If you end up placing any of your humidity or temperature sensors near an HVAC unit in full operation, you will likely be unable to rely on the result to accurately predict the weather.
While you should always follow set-up instructions from the manufacturer, some good general advice is to avoid areas that are heavily obstructed or have temperature distortions, including near buildings or other structures, irrigation systems such as lawn sprinklers or on the eaves of your roof.
What to look for in a quality budget weather station
Wireless vs. wired units
With effective wireless ranges up to several hundred feet, you can enjoy accurate weather reading without the pain and hassle of organizing and installing considerable lengths of wire.
Wired components will be more difficult to operate, require more in-depth installation and be more expensive than wireless options.
Temp, humidity, wind speed, direction and rain
A budget home weather station can be very useful to avoid getting caught in a local downpour, but it cannot operate efficiently without basic functions. For example, your home weather station should be able to detect and provide readings for the temperature and humidity (both internal and external), as well as detect rain, wind speed and direction.
Some models can provide high and low readout and predictions for an entire week and can do so between 12 and 24 hours in advance of any weather conditions. The ability to detect these five basic facets of weather can allow you to create customizable sensor alerts for humidity, temperature and more, depending on the individual unit.
Budget units may also have some premium features, like easy-to-read, full-color displays, adjustable brightness settings and real-time data on local weather conditions.
Some models may also link the weather station to Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa, which offers the capability of analyzing historical weather trends to predict current weather and more. By being able to make accurate predictions about the weather in your local area, you can stay as prepared as possible.
How much you can expect to spend on a budget weather station
Depending on your desired features, a quality budget weather station can cost anywhere from $44-$141.
Budget weather station FAQ
Does my budget home weather station need an internet connection to work?
A. Maybe. While some units can show local data offline, some require the internet to cross-reference your local weather with national or historical trends.
Do I really need to buy a home weather station?
A. Local weather forecasts are based on country-wide and state-wide readings that can bear little to no basis in reality for your specific area. By purchasing a budget weather station, you can prevent outdoor events from being rained out and ensure perfect weather for parties.
What are the best budget weather stations to buy?
Top budget weather station
What you need to know: This is a robust and accurate budget weather station for home use.
What you’ll love: This unit offers hyperlocal forecasts up to 24 hours in advance, plus data for heat index, dew point, wind chill, pressure, temp and humidity. It has an illuminated LCD for ease of viewing and also provides historical data to make tracking weather trends incredibly easy.
What you should consider: The unit may fall.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top budget weather station for the money
What you need to know: An extremely affordable budget weather station for home use that gives great results.
What you’ll love: This unit comes with customizable alerts for humidity and temperature, automatic settings and a range of 330 feet.
What you should consider: Users have reported poor service and sensor connectivity issues.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: A budget weather station for home use with self-calibrating technology.
What you’ll love: This unit can provide a personalized forecast up to 24 hours in advance. It has three different lighting settings for easy readability, plus it measures temperature, humidity, rain, wind speed and wind direction. It comes with a mounting bracket, hardware and power adapter.
What you should consider: Users have reported a lack of support for using these devices with macOS systems.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Daniel Martin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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