Best Home Weather Station Reviews

Best Home Weather Station Reviews 2019

WxObservation is run by a combination of weather geeks and gadget junkies.  Our number one priority here has always been to help consumers find the best home weather station.  As you’ll see in our reviews, the latest models are easy and convenient to use and install, as well as reliable.  Sure, you can watch the news or check your phone for the day’s weather forecast, but it’s not the same.  Those mediums often get their weather feeds from the nearest large airport which could be 50 to hundreds of miles away from your house.  No wonder it always feels like they get the weather wrong!

The purchase of a good home weather station is a significant investment for many, but we think they are more affordable and easier to set up than most consumers realize.  We hope our ratings, reviews, and expert recommendations help you find the perfect match!  We aim provide the most complete home weather station reviews and buying guide on the web so you can make an informed buying decision today.  Almost everything you need is right here on this page and if you want more, you can click through to any one of our many detailed, comprehensive weather station reviews.  We have one for every home weather station we recommend here.

Best Home Weather Station Picks for 2019

Quick Comparison Chart

Ambient Weather WS-2000

Best Home Weather Station

Ambient WS-2000 Quick Compare

Ambient Weather WS-2902

Best Budget Weather Station

Ambient WS-2902 Quick Compare

AcuRite Atlas

Includes Lightning Detection

AcuRite Atlas Quick Compare

Davis Vantage Vue

Best Wireless Weather Station

Davis Vantage Vue Quick Compare

AcuRite 01012M

Great Digital Weather Station

AcuRite 01012M Quick Compare

Davis Vantage Pro2

Professional Weather Station

Davis Vantage Pro2 Quick Compare

Ambient Weather WS-1002-WIFI

WIFI Weather Station

Ambient WS-1002-WIFI Quick Compare

AcuRite 01036M

A “Best Buy”

AcuRite 01036M Quick Compare

Netatmo Weather Station

Perfect for a Smart Home!

Netatmo Weather Station Quick Compare

AcuRite 01512

Great Social Proof

AcuRite 01512M Quick Compare

This chart is just a quick comparison of our top 10 favorite home weather stations.  Below, you’ll see a quick review on each of models with a link to a more detailed weather station review.

Best Weather Station Selection Criteria

With so many options available to consumers, how did we pick the 10 best home weather stations?  After hundreds of hours of research and writing detailed, comprehensive reviews on more than a dozen weather station models, we narrowed them down based on the following criteria.  We cover each of these criteria in great detail as part of our buying guide below.

  • Ease of Installation
  • Connectivity Options
  • Weather Instruments & Interface
  • Reliability
  • Accuracy
  • Affordability
  • Real User Feedback

The Importance of Weather Station Reviews

Of course we don’t just expect you to take our word for it on which is the best option.  When making a purchase online for something like a weather station, most consumers want to do a little research first to make sure they are making the right decision.  WxObservation is the best place for this type of technical information, and there’s plenty of it here.  Probably more than anywhere else on the web on the specific topic of reviews on weather stations for sale.  We break down over fifteen of the top models in our completely unbiased reviews so that you can learn as much, or as little, as you want before buying your new home weather station.

We can probably all agree on the importance of a weather station review.  That’s why you’re here, right?  Our expert’s reviews, along with feedback and customer reviews at the retailer level, provide you with all the information you need to make an educated decision based on the experiences that others have had with these products.  We can tell you about the good, the bad, and the unique features and benefits for each model.

Home Weather Station Reviews Header

SUMMARY

The WS-2000 is Ambient Weather’s latest weather station model.  It has a total of 10 weather instruments and uses their proven Osprey sensor suite, but pairs it with a new tablet-like, high-definition user interface.  This display (shown below) can be switched between light mode and dark mode so that it can be easily seen in any lighting situation.  The outdoor weather sensor on the WS-2000 is solar-powered and uses battery back-up, making yet another great Ambient weather station.

SENSOR POWER

Solar-Power 

WIRELESS DISTANCE

Up to 300 feet

CONNECTION

WIFI Weather Station

INSTRUMENTS INCLUDED

  1. Indoor Temperature
  2. Outdoor Temperature
  3. Indoor Humidity
  4. Outdoor Humidity
  5. Indoor Barometric Pressure
  6. Wind Speed (Anemometer)
  7. Wind Direction (Wind Vane)
  8. Rainfall (Self-Emptying Rain Collector)
  9. Solar Radiation
  10. UV Sensor

Ambient WS-2000 Display (Weather Station Review)

WS-2000 Display

WHAT WE LIKE

We’ve always loved the value that the Ambient weather stations provide the user.  The WS-2000 just adds a great, new touch panel interface that increases the weather station’s popularity among its user base.  It does cost a bit more than the next model on our list. If the screen doesn’t matter as much to you and you’d like to save a few bucks, we recommend taking a look at the Ambient Weather WS-2902 in our #2 spot. In additional to the value for your money and the nice screen, the WS-2000 is the best weather station for Weather Underground due to it’s easy to connect and upload WIFI capabilities.

Another feature on the WS-2000 that sets it apart is the stand-alone indoor sensor.  Nearly all of the other home weather stations on this page utilize the display for the indoor sensor.  This works fine, but if you wanted to record data from a different room, it wasn’t possible before the WS-2000.  In addition, this makes expanding to multiple indoor sensors very easy!  Are you looking for more detailed information on the WS-2000? Read our Full Review…

WHERE IT FITS BEST

The Ambient WS-2000 is fairly priced towards the middle of the pack.  Due to its ease of installation, high-end tablet-like screen, and suite of 10 weather sensors, it’s perfect for any weather enthusiast, from beginner to professional.

SUMMARY

The Ambient Weather WS-2902 (now called the WS-2902a due to some minor upgrades) also uses the Osprey weather sensor and includes a total of 10 weather instruments.  The outdoor sensor is solar-powered and has back-up batteries.  With its WIFI capabilities, it’s one of the easier weather stations to get setup and connected to the cloud quickly.

SENSOR POWER

Solar-Power 

WIRELESS DISTANCE

Up to 300 feet

CONNECTION

WIFI Weather Station

INSTRUMENTS INCLUDED

  1. Indoor Temperature
  2. Outdoor Temperature
  3. Indoor Humidity
  4. Outdoor Humidity
  5. Indoor Barometric Pressure
  6. Wind Speed (Anemometer)
  7. Wind Direction (Wind Vane)
  8. Rainfall (Self-Emptying Rain Collector)
  9. Solar Radiation
  10. UV Sensor

Ambient WS-2902 Display (Home Weather Station Review)

WS-2902 Display

WHAT WE LIKE

As our previous pick for the 2018 Best Home Weather Station, the Ambient WS-2902 provides the consumer with more value than another other weather station.  You get so much for so little as it’s priced very competitively to other personal weather stations with similar, or even inferior capabilities.  Keep in mind that if the WS-2000 above is out of your budget, the WS-2902 is likely a great candidate for you.  One of the few major differences between these two is the screen.   If you intend to primarily view your weather data on your smartphone, you likely won’t be using it much anyway. Read our Full Ambient WS-2902 Review…

WHERE IT FITS BEST

The Ambient WS-2902 is perfect for the budget-conscience weather watcher.  This gives you as many sensors as a professional weather station at a cost almost any amateur can afford!  This has been a top performer and one of the most popular personal weather stations over the past year or so since it’s been released.  We love this option for most enthusiasts looking to get into a weather station at an affordable price.

SUMMARY

AcuRite teased the Altas release for over a year and had consumers pretty excited about it coming out.  It uses a new, larger outdoor weather sensor and includes a total of 11 weather instruments.  This is more than any other home weather station on this list comes standard with.  Another unique feature of the Atlas that sets it apart from the rest is the lightning detection sensor.

SENSOR POWER

Battery-Operated

WIRELESS DISTANCE

Up to 330 feet

CONNECTION

Yes, Access Module

INSTRUMENTS INCLUDED

  1. Indoor Temperature
  2. Outdoor Temperature
  3. Indoor Humidity
  4. Outdoor Humidity
  5. Indoor Barometric Pressure
  6. Wind Speed (Anemometer)
  7. Wind Direction (Wind Vane)
  8. Rainfall (Self-Emptying Rain Collector)
  9. Light Intensity Sensor
  10. UV Sensor
  11. Lightning Detector

AcuRite Atlas Display Detail Image

AcuRite Atlas Display

WHAT WE LIKE

Obviously having more sensors than the other options and including a lightning detector sets this model in a league of its own.  In addition the screen is very nice and easy to use and AcuRite’s mobile app makes viewing real-time weather data super easy.  The one thing holding us back from rating the AcuRite Atlas is that the outdoor sensor runs on battery power.  This unfortunately means you may run into a situation where you’ll have gaps in your weather data and might even have to go outside and change batteries when there’s snow on the ground.  Luckily, AcuRite does offer a remote battery pack for the Atlas. Read more about it in our full Atlas Review…

WHERE IT FITS BEST

AcuRite’s Atlas is the best option if you’re interested in lightning detection.  Very few home weather stations have this option built-in.  In addition, the MyAcuRite app is arguably the best from any manufacturer.  If you’ve used AcuRite in the past and are looking for an upgrade, the Atlas is a great choice and obviously the best weather station with lightning detection!

SUMMARY

The Davis Vantage Vue is a highly-accurate and quick-updating wireless weather station that has been around for quite some time, proving its longevity.  The Vantage Vue is another small all-in-one outdoor sensor, but its accuracy, update frequency, and long-distance wireless capabilities are only matched by professional weather stations.

SENSOR POWER

Solar-Powered

WIRELESS DISTANCE

Up to 1000 feet

CONNECTION

Requires Add’l Parts

INSTRUMENTS INCLUDED

  1. Indoor Temperature
  2. Outdoor Temperature
  3. Indoor Humidity
  4. Outdoor Humidity
  5. Indoor Barometric Pressure
  6. Wind Speed (Anemometer)
  7. Wind Direction (Wind Vane)
  8. Rainfall (Self-Emptying Rain Collector)

Davis Vantage Vue Display Detail Image

Vantage Vue Display

WHAT WE LIKE

Davis Instruments makes the most accurate and robust home weather stations that are readily available and affordable to average consumers.  The Vantage Vue packs all that into an all-in-one outdoor sensor that can transmit wireless weather data up to 1000 feet.  That’s farther than any other on the list, prompting us to consider this model the best wireless weather station!  However, one downside to the Vue is it’s need for additional hardware in order to upload weather data to the cloud.  Another is what we consider an outdated display console.  Want to know more? Read our full review…

WHERE IT FITS BEST

The Vantage Vue is the best choice if you need to place the outdoor sensor more than a couple hundred feet away from the indoor console.  Davis claims it’ll work up to 1000 feet with no obstructions!  In addition, Davis weather stations are very rugged and this is probably the best option for an all-in-one weather station that will stand the test of time in extreme weather conditions.

SUMMARY

AcuRite is a huge brand and claims “the #1 top-selling weather product line in North America”. They sell heavily into big box stores and have weather stations that are user friendly, easy to setup, and affordable for everyday folks.  This makes their digital weather stations popular among hobbyists.

SENSOR POWER

Battery-Operated

WIRELESS DISTANCE

Up to 330 feet

CONNECTION

Yes, Access Module

INSTRUMENTS INCLUDED

  1. Indoor Temperature
  2. Outdoor Temperature
  3. Indoor Humidity
  4. Outdoor Humidity
  5. Indoor Barometric Pressure
  6. Wind Speed (Anemometer)
  7. Wind Direction (Wind Vane)
  8. Rainfall (Self-Emptying Rain Collector)

AcuRite 01012M Display Detail Image

AcuRite 01012M Display

WHAT WE LIKE

The AcuRite 01012M uses the same “Access” module we saw in their Atlas weather station.  This makes for another good Weather Underground weather station as it allows for remote monitoring and is expandable for additional sensors.  This digital weather station uses their proven PRO+ 5-in-1 outdoor weather sensor. The upside is that this sensor has tons of social proof and thousands of positive reviews at Amazon.  We’ve mentioned it before…the downside is that it’s battery-powered rather than solar, meaning semi-frequent battery changes.  Despite some downsides, the screen is very bright and vibrant and the price is fair. Read more about it in our full review…

BUYWHERE IT FITS BEST

This AcuRite model is a great all-around home weather station for beginners that want to connect to the Wunderground network.  It’s easy to install and setup on the cloud, but also expandable and can monitor additional sensors outside and throughout the inside of your home.

SUMMARY

The Davis Vantage Pro2 is a professional-style weather station that includes many sensors.  Beyond the standard sensors, the Vantage Pro2 is expandable to provide data from even more sensors, sensors that are not options on many of the other home weather stations.  This professional weather station has the ability to separate the wind vane and anemometer from the thermo-hygrometer.  In layman’s terms, that means you can measure wind speed at 33 feet while still measuring temperature at 5-6 feet above the ground.  These are the optimal heights for accuracy per proper siting guidelines.  This is not something that can be done simultaneously on an all-in-one sensor like every other one on this list.

SENSOR POWER

Solar-Powered

WIRELESS DISTANCE

Up to 1000 feet

CONNECTION

Requires Add’l Parts

INSTRUMENTS INCLUDED

  1. Indoor Temperature
  2. Outdoor Temperature
  3. Indoor Humidity
  4. Outdoor Humidity
  5. Indoor Barometric Pressure
  6. Wind Speed (Anemometer)
  7. Wind Direction (Wind Vane)
  8. Rainfall (Self-Emptying Rain Collector)
  9. Solar Radiation Sensor*
  10. UV Sensor*
  11. Leaf and Soil Moisture Sensors*
  12. 24-hr Fan-Aspirated Radiation Shield*
Davis Vantage Pro2 Display Detail Image

Vantage Pro2 Display

* Denotes optional items that can be purchased for an additional cost.

WHAT WE LIKE

The Davis Vantage Pro2 is quite unique and definitely belongs on this list.  Depending on your purpose for buying a weather station, it could be placed anywhere from the top to the bottom of the list.  If you have a critical application where an accurate weather station is needed, the Pro2 is your only choice besides paying multiple thousands of dollars to buying a high-end professional model.  Similarly, if you run a large farm, the Vantage Pro2 is the perfect fit.  With optional soil moisture sensors and the ability to network multiple stations together in nodes, it’s the best weather station for farmers.

All these added benefits and high-performance features are great, but they come at a price.  The Vantage Pro2 can cost anywhere from twice as much as some of the others on this list to well over $1000 if you add enough of the bells and whistles to log data in the cloud and add sensors galore.  It all depends on what you need it for.  If you need some of these added features, click here to read our full Vantage Pro2 review.

WHERE IT FITS BEST

The Vantage Pro 2 is best for someone that cares about accuracy or wants the highest performance you can get out of a home weather station.  This is typically a business or some other professional use.  It’s also the best weather station for schools and farms.

SUMMARY

The Ambient Weather WS-1002-WIFI is another 10-sensor weather station.  This is not something to gloss over as you pay extra for the last two sensors with other brands…that’s if they’re available at all!  In addition, the WS-1002 has a nice screen and is made to connect easily to your home’s WIFI connection, and thus Weather Underground if that’s your interest.

SENSOR POWER

Solar-Power 

WIRELESS DISTANCE

Up to 300 feet

CONNECTION

WIFI Weather Station

INSTRUMENTS INCLUDED

  1. Indoor Temperature
  2. Outdoor Temperature
  3. Indoor Humidity
  4. Outdoor Humidity
  5. Indoor Barometric Pressure
  6. Wind Speed (Anemometer)
  7. Wind Direction (Wind Vane)
  8. Rainfall (Self-Emptying Rain Collector)
  9. UV Sensor
  10. Solar Radiation Sensor
Ambient Weather WS-1002-WIFI Display Detail Image

WS-1002-WIFI Display

WHAT WE LIKE

Similar to their WS-2XXX series weather stations, Ambient packs a ton of features in this WS-1002-WFI model.  We think the display falls in line somewhere between the WS-2000 and WS-2902 controllers.  There are many die-hard weather observers that like the “OBSERVER” weather sensor that Ambient makes better than the “Osprey” of the WS-2XXX, which we believe is why they keep making this weather station. It’s a proven technology and this WIFI weather station is one of the best.  It’s very easy to set up right from the screen.  It doesn’t get much easier than this! See more in our full review.

WHERE IT FITS BEST

This WIFI weather station makes uploading your weather data to the cloud a breeze.  This model and the newer WS-2000, also from Ambient, have similar capabilities and price-points.  It’s all about preference.  If you like this screen and/or outdoor sensor better, this is the best weather station for you!

SUMMARY

The AcuRite 01036M is a very inexpensive home weather station, perfect for any beginner.  It has all the basic weather instruments and has a nice, bright and colorful digital screen.  This model does allow for PC Connect, meaning you can upload your weather data unlike other “cheap” weather stations, but it is a wired connection and does not flow through your home’s WIFI like some of those towards the top of our best home weather station list.

SENSOR POWER

Battery-Operated

WIRELESS DISTANCE

Up to 330 feet

CONNECTION

Yes, Hard Wired

INSTRUMENTS INCLUDED

  1. Indoor Temperature
  2. Outdoor Temperature
  3. Indoor Humidity
  4. Outdoor Humidity
  5. Indoor Barometric Pressure
  6. Wind Speed (Anemometer)
  7. Wind Direction (Wind Vane)
  8. Rainfall (Self-Emptying Rain Collector)
AcuRite 01036M Display Detail Image

AcuRite 01036M Display

WHAT WE LIKE

It’s simple…this is the lowest cost full-function home weather station that can upload weather data to a PC and the cloud.  You can use the MyAcuRite App from AcuRite or send data to Weather Underground.  All that for right around a hundred bucks!  You can’t beat that.  Are there downsides?  Yes, it requires a wired USB connection from the weather station console to your PC.  If you want inexpensive and a wireless connection to the cloud, consider the AcuRite 01012M or the Ambient WS-2902.  See more in our full review.

WHERE IT FITS BEST

If you’re looking for a low-cost option that allows for an online connection real-time viewing of weather data on your smartphone, this is the best weather station for you.  You won’t find another option that works this good for a lower price.

SUMMARY

The NETATMO weather station is a more modern, sleek design than most.  Due to its size and shape, it’s perfect for an urban environment where more standard weather stations don’t work well.  In additional to some of the more common weather instruments, the Netatmo also contains sensor for air and noise pollution.

SENSOR POWER

Battery-Operated

WIRELESS DISTANCE

Up to 330 feet

CONNECTION

Yes, Hard Wired

INSTRUMENTS INCLUDED

  1. Indoor Temperature
  2. Outdoor Temperature
  3. Indoor Humidity
  4. Outdoor Humidity
  5. Indoor Air Quality
  6. Outdoor Air Quality
  7. CO2 Sensor
  8. Sound Meter
  9. Wind Gauge*
  10. Rain Gauge*

* Denotes optional items that can be purchased for an additional cost.

Netatmo Rain Gauge

Optional Rain Gauge

(Click to See at Amazon)

Netatmo Wind Gauge

Optional Wind Gauge

(Click to See at Amazon)

WHAT WE LIKE

We love how the Netatmo is different than the rest!  It’s clearly not for everyone and can’t do everything you might need.  But, it fits almost anywhere and provides air quality readings both inside and outside that you won’t find in any other home weather station.  In fact, it’s a smart weather station that can connect to Samsung SmartThings and Amazon Alexa homes and can also be controlled via IFTTT!  See more in our full review.

WHERE IT FITS BEST

The Netatmo is the best weather station for urban applications and also fits well in smart homes due to Amazon Alexa integration.  Its unique ability to be both a weather station and an air quality monitor at the same time surely is a big reason many choose it.

SUMMARY

The AcuRite 01512 5-in-1 wireless weather station is very basic and easy to set up.  There is no connection for your computer or any cloud service.  It contains all the standard weather instruments and has been available and proven itself over several years.

SENSOR POWER

Battery-Operated

WIRELESS DISTANCE

Up to 330 feet

CONNECTION

N/A, No Connectivity

INSTRUMENTS INCLUDED

  1. Indoor Temperature
  2. Outdoor Temperature
  3. Indoor Humidity
  4. Outdoor Humidity
  5. Indoor Barometric Pressure
  6. Wind Speed (Anemometer)
  7. Wind Direction (Wind Vane)
  8. Rainfall (Self-Emptying Rain Collector)
AcuRite 01512 Display Detail Image

AcuRite 01512 Display

WHAT WE LIKE

There are two things we really like about the AcuRite 01512.  First, it’s social proof.  There is tons of great customer feedback and positive reviews all over the web for this weather station.  And second, we love that it’s so basic.  Not everyone is looking to share their weather data with Weather Underground or even wants to connect it to anything.  Ever heard of the KISS Method?  Keep it simple!  See more in our full review.

WHERE IT FITS BEST

The AcuRite 01512 is the best weather station for someone that wants no connection between their weather data and the outside world!  This also makes it simple and easy to set up, day I say the ultimate amatuer weather station?

Comparing Weather Stations

A common request we receive from the readers of WxObservation is to compare or contrast specific weather stations.  If you take the time to read through our full reviews, you’ll have all the info you need to do just that.  In case where we get enough requests, we’ve actually put guides together to compare models.  Here are a couple examples that we’ve done in the past you might be interested in.

Home Weather Station Brands

Another way to differentiate between the best weather stations is through brand comparison.  There numerous small, lesser-known brands out there, but we can’t cover them all.  A few of the most popular brands that specifically make full-featured home weather stations for consumers are shown below.  If you paid attention above, you’ll see that each of these brands has a significant presence on our best home weather stations list.  You can click on the logo to find our assessment of the brand and our favorite weather station from each.  We also reference different weather station mounting options for each brand as well.

AcuRite Logo
Ambient Weather Logo
Davis Instruments Logo

Weather Station Uses 

Despite the fact that we offer the list above, there is not one size fits all “best home weather station”.  The model that works best for others might not be a good fit for you and your needs.  This is the reason we added the category titled “Where It Fits Best” in each of our mini home weather station reviews above.  Here’s an example scenario…Say you live in an apartment in the middle of New York City.  Let’s face it, the Ambient WS-2000 is never going to be a good fit for you even though it was rated as the best on our list.  Hopefully it’s abundantly clear that the Netatmo Urban weather station is the best fit for your specific needs in this case.  The same holds true for a number of special applications that weather stations are used for.  Here a few additional examples.

Farms 

Farmers rely on and react to weather constantly in their profession.  In most areas of the country, the weather can make or break an entire season.  Clearly, knowing the weather is critical to them.  Davis Instruments has put in a ton of effort for the agricultural industry, specifically using the Vantage Pro2, making it the clear choice as the best weather station for farmers.  They have an entire suite of products just for farming applications.

Best Weather Station for Farmers

Vacation Homes

Protect your investment and oversee your home away from home with a remote monitoring weather station.  The AcuRite Altas allows for expansion with additional indoor and outdoor sensors connected to its “Access” module.  This means you can watch not only the weather, but also keep an eye on things like indoor humidity to ensure no mold growth, busted pipes, and flooded basements with a hygrometer while you’re away.  It can also help you remotely monitor temperatures.

Gardening

Another very common reason someone comes to read our home weather station reviews is to keep an eye on their garden.  The best weather station for gardening can help you keep track of historical rainfall as well as the best times and temperatures to plant and harvest your garden.  Nearly any of the top home weather stations would work for this application.  We recommend the Ambient Weather WS-2000 of course!

Schools 

There are several reasons every school at all levels should have a weather station on campus.  A couple of the more important ones are for educational and safety purposes.  School weather stations help teach students of all ages the basics of meteorology and provide them with a better understanding of the weather in general.  In addition, sharing the weather data to the public can bring awareness to weather safety, but also provide the community with the tools they need to see current weather conditions.  What’s the best weather station for schools?  For a high-end experience, the Davis Vantage Pro2 makes a lot of sense as a community weather station.  If you’re on a tight budget, the Ambient Weather WS-2902 can measure and report much of the same info for a fraction of the cost.

Home Weather Station Reviews - Buying Guide Header

How to Choose a Home Weather Station:  The Ultimate Guide

As you know, most consumers search out product reviews for advice when making large purchases, especially online.  Of course, this is probably why your are here!  You don’t expect you to blindly follow our recommendations, which is why we provided you with the weather station reviews above.  In addition though, it’s important to understand what things to look for when you’re buying a weather station and how to navigate all the different options.  That’s the purpose of this comprehensive weather station buying guide.

As with most products, not all weather stations are created equal.  Prices can vary significantly from around $150 up to thousands of dollars.  How much you spend will depend on your budget, but also what you’re using the weather station for.  Regardless of why you’re in the market, we’re here to help you figure out what’s best for you and your specific needs.

Here are some of the guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for your home weather station.

Weather Station Mounted to Roof of Home

Purpose

How you plan to use this device is maybe as important as any other criteria.  For instance, are you a novice just looking to learn more about local weather patterns or interested in using this tool for a hobby?  Or, conversely, do you require accurate weather measurements for some aspect of your job or business?  If the data is needed for something weather dependent that will affect lives or finances, it’s clearly more important than if it’s just a hobby.  Farmers, fishermen, hunters, sports stadiums, academics, gardeners, and emergency responders all use personal weather stations, and for different reasons.

Some Examples…

Farmers or gardeners might want to know the average rainfall from last season.  Understanding recent rainfall levels can help them identify if irrigation is needed, along with how much and when to use it.  Meanwhile, sporting events need to know if a lightning-producing storm is coming their way in order to keep fans and athletes safe.  Likewise, emergency responders of hurricanes and floods need to understand the real-time conditions in order to respond safely and efficiently.  A good weather station would help in each of these cases!

Once you’re able to determine how critical accurate and frequent weather data points are, it’ll be easier to determine if you need a professional weather station like the Davis Vantage Pro2 or if our favorite, the Ambient Weather WS-2000 will do the trick!

Connectivity

Just like most other gadgets, the best weather stations are becoming “smart” devices.  They can be interconnected with our smart homes through Amazon’s Alexa or by IFTTT.  Most weather station brands also offer their own smart phone apps so you can see real-time weather data right from your mobile phone or tablet at any time.  Many of them can even be connected to the cloud and viewed on the very popular weather station network, Weather Underground. 

Depending on how you intend to use your device, connectivity can be an important factor in your selection.  In what seems like a long time ago now, there was a day when we had run wires to an outdoor sensor.  Almost everything today is a wireless weather station, meaning data transmissions between the weather instruments and the display console are wireless  This makes installation practices so much easier!  No drilling, no running wires, and much less work, especially when weather instruments are further away, higher off the ground, or are on rugged terrain. 

Transmission Distance

Each of our weather station reviews include the manufacturer’s estimated maximum wireless transmission distance.  This will help give you an idea of how far away you can put the sensor array from the display console for a given weather station model.  Keep in mind however, that this distance is not always realistic in real world conditions.  Terrain and other objects like trees or buildings will degrade the connection when in the line of site between the sensor and the console. 

PC Connect

Connection to PC

Connecting directly to your local PC can be helpful if you want to chart or graph historical trends or rainfall for a season.  After all, you can log your weather data indefinitely on your PC since space isn’t a concern.  Most display consoles will only carry a certain amount of data before it’s lost.  Connections to PCs come in the form of WIFI or hard-wired units via USB or Ethernet cables.  Some connect directly to your PC while others go through your home’s router.

weather station with app

 Smartphone Apps

Generally speaking, most personal weather station manufacturers now offer a free smartphone app that covers both IOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android platforms.  Even some of those that don’t offer well-built applications for smartphones offer online servers for connecting your personal weather station.  Keep an eye out though, some weather stations require additional hardware to make this happen.

Weather Underground

Weather Underground

Ultimately one of the most popular connections for all personal weather stations is to the Weather Underground (AKA “Wunderground“).  The Weather Underground has made it their mission to make quality weather information available to every person on this planet. Through their online network, they collect vast amounts of weather data.  They have assembled a proprietary forecast model by combining this with their team of meteorologists.  Their personal weather station community is leveraged to provide one of the most reliable and localized forecasts available.

Note, while there is some brief information above with connectivity details, we have covered this topic extensively within our individual weather station reviews.  Some models have tons of capabilities in this arena, while others cannot even connect to the cloud or a PC out of the box and require additional hardware to have these capabilities.  We’ve done our best to include what additional hardware is required to make this happen in these cases.

Display Consoles

Displays, screens, consoles, whatever you want to call them, may seem materialistic on the surface.  But some models don’t even come with consoles so it’s an important topic to cover.  A few brands obviously put a higher priority on offering some really nice vivid, high definition displays.  It makes them more attractive and easier to see from across the room.  However, other brands like Davis Instruments, place more emphasis on their instruments, accuracy, and performance.  In fact, some of their displays can seem a bit out of date for this reason.  With this in mind, there are some tangibles when it comes to displays such as size, resolution, and ease of use.

Best Home Weather Station Display Consoles

Sample Home Weather Station Displays

Of course, it’s not all about looks.  The power source is something to consider.  Most screens are powered by an AC adapter (using the wall power).  An often critical item is whether or not the display also has the option of battery backup power.  Viewing current conditions might most critical during a storm, right?  Well this is the same time you’re most likely to have a power outage.  Surprising as it may be, not all screens have battery backup. 

There are other “bells and whistles” to watch out for also.  These include things like weather tickers, forecasts, graphs of historical data, and alarms.  Weather tickers provide real-time data rolling across the screen.  Forecasts are based off of algorithms using recent data from your home weather station.  Some displays deliver historical data in a graph format so longer term trends of things like temperature or rainfall can be seen.

Weather Instruments

Weather instruments included with a personal weather station vary by manufacturer and model.  Yet, most of them have at least the following basic weather sensors…  

Thermometer
Anemometer - Wind Speed
Barometer - Atmospheric Pressure
Digital Hygrometer - Humidty
Wind Vane - Wind Direction
Self-Emptying Rain Collector

Common Weather Sensors

There are countless weather instruments available that are not included on the list above.  In general, most other sensors would come as optional features on higher-end weather stations.

However, an exception to that is the Netatmo Weather Station.  Out of the box it doesn’t offer wind or rainfall measurements like most others do.  Instead, the Netatmo does include solar radiation, UV, CO2, and air quality sensors.  It also includes a sound meter, proving that this weather station model has more of a focus on indoor rather than outdoor sensors.

We’ve provided a list below that contains some examples of less common instruments available on some home weather stations.  Note, this is not an exhaustive list.

Less Common Weather Instruments

  • Solar Radiation

  • UV Sensor
  • Lightning Detector
  • Soil Temperature
  • Soil Moisture
  • CO2 Sensor
  • Air Quality
  • Sound Meter

All In One Weather Stations

One last thing worth mentioning on weather instruments is how the sensor array is put together.  Most of the reviews on this site have been done on all in one weather stations, meaning all of the weather instruments are packaged together in a single unit. There are pros and cons to this format.  

All In One Weather Station

All in ones do make the station much easier to install and requires fewer components to find a place for and mount.  On the contrary however, being able to separate the thermometer and the anemometer are part of proper siting techniques.  Placing them at optimal heights allows for a more accurate weather station.

For this reason, you’ll see that professional weather stations actually split the weather instruments out.  This allows for mounting each weather sensor in its optimal location, independent of the other individual sensors.  The Davis Vantage Pro2 is a good example of this.

Power Sources

There are three basic power sources for the instruments on home weather stations.  They are solar energy, battery powered, and wired personal weather stations that get their power from an outlet.  Obviously no one uses wired weather stations any longer.  We focus on the other two, battery operated vs solar powered weather stations.

Weather Station Power Sources

Battery-operated weather stations are obviously more convenient than a wired model would be, but they do require battery replacement from time to time.  This can be a difficult task depending one where you mount your station.  It’s not uncommon to mount them fairly high off the ground for instance. 

The best home weather stations are solar-powered.  Many of them store solar energy in super capacitors for top performance during the day.  Then when there is no sun for long periods of time, they have battery backup.

Accuracy

Again, depending on your use, accuracy may be another important thing to consider in your selection of a home weather station. For example, farmers and emergency response crews need to know when we hit freezing temperatures.  Likewise, research projects in academia might require a high degree of accuracy to ensure success. By contrast however, weather station accuracy is not usually as important for amateur weather watchers. 

For comparison purposes, we’ve provided measurement accuracy for all of the weather instruments on each of our weather station reviews where published.

Here’s an example of the accuracy stats we provide in our reviews:

  • Temperature: ± X° F
  • Humidity: ± X%
  • Barometric Pressure: ±0.0X inHG
  • Rain: ± X%
  • Wind Direction: ± X°
  • Wind Speed: X mph
Make Your Weather Station More Accurate!

Update Frequency

Like most of the categories in this buying guide, the update frequency of a home weather station matters to some weather watchers, but not all.  Update frequency is how often data from the weather instrument is transmitted to the display console.  In general, this varies by model.  The higher end units typically provide more updates to the user in a given period of time.  Some units update the user every 2-3 seconds.  By contrast, others allow 30 seconds and even up to a few minutes between data updates.

Some Examples…

Weather conditions can change rapidly, particularly wind speed.  For example, since wind gusts are temporary bursts of wind speed, lower-end weather stations often miss them.  Namely, this is because they update data less frequently.  For this reason and others, the frequency of updates are an important factor in capturing accurate weather data.

In addition, there are other reasons update frequency matters besides picking up wind gusts and other rapidly changing weather patterns.  For instance, the more often the weather sensors update, the more data points the station has.  For this reason, accuracy increases for building averages, trends, and forecasts.  Update frequency is more than just how often your phone updates.

Affordability

Generally speaking, one of the first questions always asked is, “what does it cost?”  While price isn’t everything, the phrase “you get what you pay for” does typically apply with home weather stations.  After all, it’s time to take into consideration everything we’ve learned above and decide what’s important and what’s not.

If things like accuracy and update frequency are dire to public safety, you’ll need to buy the best weather station money can buy.  Conversely, if you want something that’s just easy to connect to your smartphone for convenience, you’ll be able to find a more affordable model.   Certainly the same is true if you don’t care if it’s highly accurate or updates more than every 30 seconds. 

User Feedback

Ultimately, one of the best sources of recommendations and honest feedback are unforced reviews of actual product users.  Altogether, we’ve gathered and studied thousands of reviews and feedback assembling our weather station reviews.  We weight feedback and ratings heavily when writing our reviews.  In addition, highlights of our own research are provided so you don’t have to spend the time doing it yourself.

5-star Home Weather Station

However, it’s important that you actually read through the negative reviews.  There are always a few people who have bad experiences with an ordering process or a shipping issue that frustrates them.  We also see reviews from time to time where the user clearly did not know what they were doing during the installation process and blamed it on the weather station.  These particular cases need to be taken with a grain of salt.  On the other hand, stations where specific negative comments are the norm rather than the exception are something you want to watch out for.

Home Weather Station Reviews

On the whole, our weather stations reviews greatly reduce the amount of time spent researching the best weather station.  Notably, we assembled our reviews based on the criteria in this buying guide so they’re easy to follow.  Please reach out to us if there’s a home weather station model you’re interested in and we don’t have a review posted for it.  In general, we’ll do the research and quickly publish a review for that model if we consider it to be relevant to the site. 

Buying Guide Summary

Selecting a home weather station on your own can be a daunting task, but with the help of our reviews and buying guide, it should be much easier.  With all the different options, it’s critical that you follow these guidelines:  First, you must decide how the unit will be used.  Next, use the categories here to greatly reduce your learning curve.  They will assist you in determining what’s important to you during your search.  When pairing our reviews, resource articles, and all the information above, anyone can become an instant expert on personal weather stations!

Home Weather Station FAQs

Here are some of the more common weather station related questions that we see, along with their respective answers.  If you think of any that we’re missing, please contact us and we’ll get them added to the list.  Thanks!

1.  Where Should Weather Stations Be Located?

Weather stations should be located where each sensor will be most accurate.  You can research proper personal weather station siting guidelines to achieve the utmost accuracy.  An alternative option would be to look over our more realistic Installation and Siting Guide that takes a more simplistic approach for most novice weather enthusiasts.

2.  How Do Wireless Weather Stations Work?

Wireless weather stations transmit weather data from an outdoor suite of sensors to a controller or hub that collects and potentially logs that data for later use or dissemination.  See our list for the best wireless weather station.

3.  What is a Digital Weather Station?

A digital weather station is no more than another name for a home weather station that runs off of a digital display console or user interface screen.  Just like any other weather station, there is a controller (typically indoors) and a weather sensor that sends the weather data to the controller.  A good digital weather station should have a nice, higher-end display screen.

4.  What’s the Difference Between a Wireless Weather Station and a WIFI Weather Station?

A wireless weather station is referring to the “wireless” transmission of data from the weather instruments to the controller or display screen.  When we talk about a WIFI weather station, we are referring to the connection from the screen to your home’s WIFI connection.  A WIFI weather station is almost always also a wireless weather station.  However, just because a weather station is wireless, it doesn’t not make it a WIFI weather station.  WIFI-enabled models make for the best weather stations for Weather Underground and other cloud services, including smartphone apps like MyAcuRite or AmbientWeather.net.

5.  How Much Does a Weather Station Cost?

Weather stations vary greatly in cost.  Most popular home weather stations that consumers buy online at Amazon cost between $150-$300.   However, cheap weather stations actually start around $50 (very few features) and professional models can cost upwards of thousands of dollars.

6.  Do Home Weather Stations Require Ongoing Maintenance?

There is not a lot of maintenance required on a home weather station, but there is some.  Basically, you’ll need to ensure the weather sensors are still accurate and free from debris.  You may need to re-calibrate them on rare occasions.  Similarly, if your home weather station is battery-operated, you’ll need to replace the batteries from time to time.  Here are some additional maintenance tips that will keep your weather station running for years to come.

7.  What is a Personal Weather Station?

 A personal weather station, also called a PWS, refers to home-type weather stations that are operated by individuals vs. large, expensive automated weather stations that are operated by large corporations or the government.

8.  What Batteries Should I Use In My Home Weather Station?

WxObservation recommends that you use name brand alkaline batteries for optimal performance.  However, areas where outdoor temperatures fall below zero, name brand lithium batteries will perform better.  Since they are often located in a place that’s not easy to get to, remember to always use fresh, name brand batteries with an expiration date that is at least 5 years out.

9.  What is the Best Home Weather Station to Buy?

Taking into account all the info listed on this page, we believe that the Ambient WS-2902 is the best home weather station to buy.

10.  Can I Install My Own Home Weather Station and How Do I Mount It?

Yes, you can likely install it yourself.  Each home weather station should come with some basic instructions.  We have an entire page dedicated to weather station mounting ideas.

Our Top Recommended Home Weather Stations

The WxObservation team has spent literally hundreds of hours researching and reviewing all the best weather stations available to consumers.  When cross referencing this research and the guide outlined above, we’ve chosen some really good weather stations for you to consider. 

For Most…

As mentioned above, the best home weather station overall is definitely the Ambient Weather WS-2000.  This station contains ten weather sensors, a very nice, high-definition tablet-like screen, and is super-easy to install and connect via WIFI.

For Professionals…

If you’re looking for the utmost accuracy and your budget is flexible, the Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 weather station is perfect for you.  It’s fully expandable to tons of extra sensors and can even be networked with addition weather stations.  It’s just not for everyone as it’s relatively expensive when compared to the all-in-ones.

For Lower Budgets…

Last but not least, if you’re looking for a good, cheap weather station, give the AcuRite 01036M a shot.  At around $100 bucks, it’s hard to beat it.