Weather information is vital for sailors so how can you get the best data to forecast from? Duncan Kent checks out six of the latest and best digital weather stations available
Virtually all barometers are now electronic and many are now complete digital weather stations capable of providing extensive meteorological data, the likes of which only a professional forecaster would have had access to a few decades ago. So what should you look for in the best digital weather stations and where do you buy them?
In addition to a simple barometer giving the air pressure and trend, most of these stations also provide time/date, temperature, and humidity inside and out, sunrise/set times, tidal data, moon phases, plus historic data and trends in graphical format.
They all provide one or more weather-resistant outdoor remote sensors, and the more comprehensive models even monitor wind speed and direction, plus a rain catcher. Furthermore, most have the ability to upload your local data to an online weather network as well as to a mobile phone app for you to view the data remotely.
With all this information to hand, working up your own personal weather forecast is now a viable prospect for all.
Best digital weather stations
A 5-in-1, solar powered, Wi-Fi weather station capable of wirelessly transmitting real time values for wind speed and direction, humidity, temperature and rainfall to its base station. Both current and historical weather data is clearly displayed on its large colour display, or by connecting via your home Wi-Fi router to your mobile phone or PC.
The DWS5100 also calculates a local weather trend forecast for the following 12 hours while alerts can be programmed to notify your mobile should user-programmable minimum or maximum values be exceeded.
The outdoor sensors are solar powered, so you have no worries about changing batteries as you do with many other models, and it connects to your home Wi-Fi router enabling you to send your real time local data to weather websites.
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This 2022 UK version of the Youshiko YC9387 has all the features you’d expect from a high-end weather monitoring and forecasting device. Its wireless 5-in-1 external sensor operates at 868MHz and a measures temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, and rainfall.
The base station console has a clear, colour background, 7in LCD that displays a forecast, indoor and outdoor temperature, outdoor ‘feels like’ temperature, barometric pressure, rainfall, humidity, wind speed and direction, rainfall quantity, time and date, heat index and dew point.
The console also records timed/dated minimum and maximum readings and values measured over the past 24 hours. Plus, you can set different alarm parameters to alert you to upcoming serious weather conditions.
Wi-Fi connection allows internet time synchronization and the ability to publish local weather data onto various on-line weather platforms, allowing you to remotely interrogate readings from your own station.
From renowned German manufacturer, this model has all the usual bells and whistles, including Internet connection and data upload capability to established weather platforms, plus a smart, multi-window, portrait-oriented, colour LCD. Other, landscape-oriented displays are also available if preferred.
The base console also features direct access buttons on the front to quick-select history and max/min data, plus an audible buzzer to warn of max/min alerts such as ice and fog warnings.
Being a prolific instrument supplier, this company’s products can often be found elsewhere online under different brand names, so check around first for the best prices before buying.
A comprehensive, 7-sensor weather station with remote interrogation, the WS2910 features a clear, high-resolution colour base LCD showing nine information windows simultaneously.
Internet connectivity via your home router allows data to be uploaded to numerous online weather data platforms, including Weather Underground, Weather Cloud, the UH Met office WoW service and Ecowitt’s own weather network.
Solar charging for the outdoor sensor eliminates frequent battery changes and all batteries for the base station display are included.
This station from renowned retailer, CPC Farnell, represents excellent value for money. It has most of the advanced features boasted by many of the semi-pro models, including solar-powered outdoor sensor, but at a very reasonable price.
The smart base station LCD has an adjustable backlight and connects via radio frequency to the external sensor. It has alarms to warn of impending extreme weather and it records all min/max data, along with the time and date of each event.
The console accepts three AA batteries and can be wall- or desk-mounted.
Its only real shortcoming is the lack of a barometric pressure display, which can be had with the next model up, the PSG04173.
Boasting a large, easy-to-read 7.5in colour display station, the Newentor Q7-DE has been well reviewed and represents excellent value for money.
Features include indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity, barometric pressure and weather forecast trends, dew point display with heat index, calendar and moon phase, and an automatically updated time/date system with alarm and snooze. The base station supports the connection of up to three remote sensors for the monitoring of multiple locations and its forecasting program calculates the weather forecast for the next 12-24 hours using real time and historic local weather data.
When powered by batteries the backlight remains on for 15s. When plugged into mains it can remain on permanently with backlight intensity adjustment.
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