Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Home Weather Station

Everybody loves to talk about the weather.  A subject that is both entertaining and practical. A basic home weather station can be relatively simple and inexpensive to put together, while also having loads of scientific value.

You will need a rain gauge. You can buy a simple graduated cylinder for measuring, or easily make your own with a ruler and a container. Of course, you must be mindful of a couple of things. The container should have straight sides, and nothing overhead or nearby that would shelter the guage from the rainfall from above or if it is coming down at an angle.

A weather vane is something that can be easily made or purchased. Mount it high on a roof top or up on a tall post, positioning it to avoid disrupted air flow from buildings and trees. A wind sock serves the same purpose, and it can be nice to have both--you can also make your own wind sock relatively easily.  If you are using these with children, the visual of the colorful windsock reinforces the accuracy of determining the wind direction. With a wind sock you will have a great visual. Use a compass with it for precision, which gives the children a chance to learn a great life skill with other applications, too.

An anemometer reads the wind speed. These look very cool and high-tech, and you can get one for $30-$50 range at the low end. The same rules apply about mounting it high and away from obstructions to the air flow.

Another instrument you will want that will not be a DIY choice, but is inexpensive to purchase is a hygrometer. These are only about $5 for a reliable tool that is used to measure the humidity in the air.

A barometer measures fluctuating atmospheric pressure. In actuality, you can easily make one of these as well for a fun family project, but you will want something more durable for regular use. Check out all the different types of barometers. Classic analog or glass barometers can be interesting decorative finds for inside the house. Modern ones are digital, of course, and run the gamut in pricing.

Assembling your own weather station should be fun, but if you want the easy way out, there are always fancy electronic ones that are ready to use and streamline the details.


  1. A cool blog post related to this subject, especially if you have a science fair project due. http://www.salemclock.com/weather/weather01.htm

  2. hey mel! great work. thank you for posting these blogs! such fun info. to talk about! :)

    ~Melani H.