NOTE FROM JEREMY: I am using a lot of labeled links, but all have been checked and verified as safe.
I received a question to the NKYWx Facebook inbox from Mary Remley. Mary wanted to know where you can obtain a weather station for information gathering.
This is actually a great topic to discuss in a public forum. What’s the best brand? How do you then hook it up to gather data? And, is there a way your information can then be used to help forecasters understand what’s happening?
The answer to the first question is subjective. The answer to question three depends on the answer to question 2.
So, let’s start with the “where can I get one” question. There are many manufacturers of weather stations. For my money, the best answer is Davis Instruments. However, they can be quite expensive — running upwards of 500 bucks on their website, so they can also be had on Weather Shack.
Oregon Scientific is another well known, established brand. Unfortunately, their selection over at Weather Shack is limited to one weather station.
You will also need the software for the station you select to be installed on your computer, so keep this in mind.
Next, you’ll have to get the instruments set up. How do you do this? Weather Underground actually has this information in an easy to read Wiki, but in short, the thermometer should be at least 5 feet off of the ground, 50 feet away from any paved roads, and well away from trees or buildings. It should also be covered by a radiation shield that allows ventilation. The anemometer and rain gauges should be placed well away from buildings, ideally in a backyard; and the humidity sensor needs to be at least 50 feet from pools, lakes, or streams.
Now, you’re ready to obtain weather readings. An interesting fact, however, is that TV stations, some websites, and the NWS can actually use your info. How is this done? You will have to transmit your data to CWOP. Information on how to do this is at this link. You will need to register for a designation number. To do that, go to FindU.com and fill out the form.
Hope this has answered some questions. As always, feel free to ask any additional questions you may have!