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A common question is, “What
The better question may be, “What are the best weather stations for Weather Underground and me?”. Weather Underground is looking for some things, and you are looking for some things too, but maybe not the same things.
Read on about the following 4 home weather stations and choose the perfect one.
- Ambient Weather 2902C WiFi
- Weatherflow Tempest Weather System
- AcuRite 01036 PC Connect
- Davis Instruments Vantage Pro 2
What is Weather Underground looking for?
Weather Underground is looking for weather data from home weather stations. The weather information they collect is:
- Outside temperature and humidity – From these figures, calculated data like dew point, heat index, and other comfort factors can be charted by Weather Underground.
- Wind speed and direction – These are interesting measurements to see over time intervals of hours, days, and months. Wind gusts are also charted.
- Rainfall – The rate of rain is reported along with accumulation over hours and up to yearly.
They also expect the data received from the Weather Underground network of weather stations to be:
- At least of average accuracy – WU has a personal weather station quality control system in place that compares your reported weather data with neighboring weather station data. If your data is too far off, it’s not shown. If the nearest weather station is miles away, their quality control algorithm doesn’t work well.
- To be updated at regular intervals – To measure changing conditions, the better the data points. Stations that report only once an hour have charts that are only useful in the longer time frames.
- To be complete enough to be useful for their forecasting algorithm – WU uses your data and that of others in your area to come up with custom long-range weather forecasts. They take the current measurements and include all of the past historical measurements to get an ever-improving forecast. The more data, the better forecasts!
Here is an article on weather station accuracy in more depth.
What should you be looking for in a home weather station?
In addition to Weather Underground’s requirements, you’ll also have some requirements of your own.
The best weather stations for you and Weather Underground also need to:
- Be an internet weather station – only uses about 1Mb per day; no data cap problems.
- Have all 5 weather sensors or more – Few people have more than 5 sensors; if you do, send the data, it helps.
- Be durable, reliable, and accurate – I’ve listed some good ones for you to look at.
- Be relatively easy to install and maintain – Even the best weather station will require maintenance; keep ease and safety in mind.
- Have a competent and responsive help desk – With some companies, this is a BIG issue.
- Not cost an arm and a leg – This is relative, of course, so choose a highly-rated weather station that fits your budget.
Some more commonly desired home weather station features:
- An easy-to-read indoor display
- The capability of remote access
- The possibility of installing additional sensors
That narrowed the range of choices down, didn’t it?
On the fence about buying a weather station? Read my article here.
Three companies dominate the Weather Underground-compatible weather station market.
Another company, Weatherflow is making waves with its offering: the Tempest.
There are others, but they don’t all measure up to the requirements mentioned above. Ambient, Acurite, and Davis are all leaders in the home weather station market. They all have excellent products have very high customer satisfaction.
Top 4 Best weather stations for Weather Underground
In my opinion, these are the best home weather stations for Weather Underground. Any of Ambient Weather’s and Acurite’s all-in-one sensor-based personal weather stations are good. As for Davis Instruments, all of their weather stations are very good.
The following list is a selection of the top weather stations from each company with some of the different ways of connecting to Weather Underground represented.
#1 The Ambient Weather 2902C WIFI:
Read Review: 2nd Most Popular Weather Station on WU
- Very easy to install and set-up
- Easy to connect to WU
- All wireless set-up
- Color on the black background display
- Best customer service
- LCD display is hard to read at too much of an angle. Note: see the same weather station with a better display here
- This weather station is not easily expandable.
See the Ambient Weather 2902C on Amazon
#2 The Weatherflow Tempest
Read Review: Weatherflow Tempest Weather System Review
- Probably the easiest weather station to set up and get online.
- 100% solid state, no moving parts to wear out.
- WeatherFlow has a long history with weather station networking.
- Keeps getting better with real-time feedback from the weather station network.
- Excellent support.
- No indoor monitor, everything is online.
- Some people report rain measurement inaccuracies.
See the Weatherflow Tempest on Amazon
#3 The AcuRite 01036m Pro Home Weather System
Read Review: Best Weather Station for the Money
- From the #1 weather equipment seller in North America.
- All 5 weather sensors in one Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS).
- Everything you need to connect to the internet through your computer.
- Control of your weather station data.
- Nice color indoor display.
- Easy to setup and includes “Best in Class” software.
- Help desk in Wisconsin
- Requires an ‘always on’ computer to upload data. I’ve been doing it this way for over a decade without issues, but this could be inconvenient for some.
- Not expandable without additional equipment. But that’s why it’s affordable…
See the Acurite 01036m Pro on Amazon
Note: If you would like to see how the model 01036M compares to the rest of the Acurite line of weather stations see my page here.
#4 The Davis Instruments Wireless Vantage Pro2
Read Review: Best Quality Home Weather Station
- Widely acclaimed as the best precision weather instruments.
- Separable anemometer helps with weather data quality.
- Outdoor sensor transmit range of 1000 feet.
- Very expandable.
- Extensive documentation from Davis and has a large user community.
- The most commonly used weather station model on Weather Underground.
- Made in the USA
- Required WeatherLink hardware must be purchased separately
- Fairly high price for most people
- Dated software and display
See the Davis Instruments Vantage Pro 2 on Amazon
Another thing to consider is…
…How your home weather station gets the weather data online
All wireless outdoor sensors send a signal that is received indoors and from there the weather data is uploaded to the internet.
The way this weather data upload is achieved might affect your weather station choice.
This is usually done in one of three ways:
- wireless to your router
- cabled to your router
- connected through your computer’s USB port
I said usually because Davis Instruments has a cellular-based professional weather system for use in remote areas. We are getting into the arm-and-a-leg range here so I’ll leave this for another post…
WiFi, the indoor display transmits to your 2.4Ghz router.
Acurite offers this choice:
With PCconnect, the display connects to your computer’s USB port and connects to the internet through the computer’s connection. PC connect is also available for Macs.
See my review of the state-of-the-art WS-5000 by Ambient Weather
Davis Instruments internet options:
Weatherlink connects the display by USB cable to your computer and from there to the internet.
Weatherlink IP connects the indoor display directly to the router by cable.
Another choice, Meteobridge or Weatherbridge
Any personal weather station requiring a connection through a computer can be run through the Meteobridge instead. This device replaces your home computer with a small dedicated microcomputer. The meteobridge can set up as a cabled or wireless connection to your router.
Ambient Weather has a licensed version called the Weatherbridge that is preloaded with all the weather software you’ll ever need. This includes the ability to publish your weather data to many other online weather information systems. It also has the capacity to use IFTTT and Amazon Alexa.
Ambient Weather also sells the Davis Vantage Pro2 with the weatherbridge included. To use the weatherbridge, Davis’ data logger is required. To get around the weatherlink data logger requirement, Ambient Weather has a device called the Airbridge, which receives the weather data directly from the outside sensor and then sends the data on to the Weatherbridge.
To wrap it up…
That’s my somewhat informed opinion of what the best weather stations for Weather Underground are. Any of the other complete home weather stations from the recommended companies will perform well for you and Weather Underground.
Just keep in mind your safety during installation and how you plan to connect your weather station to the internet, and of course, your budget.
Publish your weather data and enjoy using the Weather Underground features like your 10-day forecast, the amazing Wundermap, and, over time, see your data charted over weeks, months, and years!
I hope this has been helpful to you and that you get to have fun with the weather station hobby and participating in the growing weather station network community.
Be sure to see my page on the best weather stations!
Brand new weather station models for you to consider:
PS, more great home weather stations discussed here. Included in that article is a newer weather station by Ambient Weather, the wireless WS-2000. The WS-2000 would be another excellent choice for Weather Underground. You can read a review here.
Do you need a remote Weather Underground station? Check out my review of the Ecowitt wh6006.
Ever wonder why weather stations are at airports? Check out this page.
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