weather station sensors

Weather Station Sensors        

Most home weather stations come with a pretty standard set of sensors for measuring different things.  They can vary from brand to brand and model to model, but the basic weather station sensors include a thermometer, hygrometer, barometer, anemometer/wind vane, and rain collector.  In fact, these are the 5 sensors included when you hear about a 5-in-1 integrated sensor suite.  We’ll look at what each one does individually.

Thermometer/Temperature Sensor

For sure the most common and well-known weather station sensor is the thermometer.  You learn at a pretty young age what a thermometer is.  Obviously, a thermometer is for measuring temperature.  Like all of the instruments on this list, some weather stations have thermometers with more accurate than others.  Of course the temperature sensor on a weather station doesn’t look anything like what we’re used to seeing depicted as a thermometer (see image).

temperature sensor

Hygrometer/Humidity Sensor

A Hygrometer is an instrument designed to measure the air’s water vapor content or relative humidity.  This is the ratio of the amount of water vapor in the air compared to the amount that is required for saturation (at the given temperature and pressure).


Barometers measure atmospheric pressure.  Atmospheric pressure changes assist in forecasting short term changes in the weather.  The movement of high and low pressure systems create the changes in the day to day weather that we observe.

Wind Vane/Anemometer

A wind vane unit measures wind direction and an anemometer wind speed.  Weather stations most often use a cup anemometer that spins in the wind and is read to determine the speed.

Rain Collector

A rain collector is used to measure rainfall.  Weather station rain collectors are most often self-emptying so that there is no dumping required by the user.  The image shown here is of a rain collector from the Davis Vantage Pro2.  The source of this image, and more info on weather station sensors can be found here on Wikiveristy.

rain collector

Other Weather Stations Sensors

The type of weather instruments above are the most commonly used, but are definitely not the only ones used.  Other weather station sensors include UV & solar radiation sensors, leaf & soil moisture/temperature sensors, lightning detection.  There are others too, but they’re much less common in the top home weather stations.