Questioning the Accuracy of Personal Weather Stations
Weather is very important to you. Collecting the climate instrument data from around you is important to you.
You are not a novice with the elements nor are you a geek for climate information.
You are seriously interested in the daily climate changes that are in and around your world.
You keep detailed records, you really enjoy forecasting, and you plan your life around the readings from a climate station’s remote sensors. You depend on, you count on this information being accurate.
When it isn’t that accurate, it has a way of tilting your world. You would like to avoid this from happening.
Can You Depend on Readings
Your dependency on your climate instrument station is solely based on you trusting the readings you are getting fed. Just like your relationship with your best friend, is solely dependent on you trusting each other.
You trust your friend with your friends and it’s the same for you trusting the readings you are getting. This isn’t easy to have. You must find a unit, whose readings you are able to put your total trust.
How Accurate is your Weather Station
All of our reviews will show you the range of each and every sensor that the station has. These are not our accuracy ratings these are the manufacturer’s evaluated testing results.
We do however try to figure in customers’ reported findings of the complete correctness of the readings. We do think this is very important to all future station owners. You would want very accurate readings you can trust in.
How does an accuracy rating work and how do I trust what I am getting sent to me? How do I interpret the manufacture provided instrument accuracy ratings?
Here is what a typical reading sheet will look like.
Error Ranges Explained
As you can see it has the three main sensors that are involved in this model from AcuRite, and it has the accuracy range listed for each of the sensors.
The sensors involved in the AcuRite Environment System model #01075 Bundle are the temperature, the relative humidity, and the anemometer.
The accuracy rating for the temperature is that it shouldn’t be off more than 2 degrees F-either 2 degrees warmer than it really is or it shouldn’t be 2 degrees colder than the thermometer reads.
For the relative humidity readings, they give them (the readings) a larger rate of error at the lower temperature and higher temperatures. The humidity in those ranges is seldom in those temperature ranges.
So anyway the 20%-80% humidity range is where most people live every day. The percentage of error there is much smaller. So that is where the sensor is calibrated to be most accurate.
The error range is +/- 3% and goes up +/- 5% for error. So a 3% error at the most common humidity range. Than 5% error for the ranges that are most unlikely to show up for a person’s location.
How About Wind Accuracy
The wind speed accuracy is determined by the anemometer, its error rate is calibrated to work best at lower speeds of wind, and then as the wind speed goes up, as the anemometer works much harder, the error rate goes up to 5 mph plus or minus that it could off.
As an example, your wind could be actually blowing at 85 mph but the anemometer could actually show you that it is blowing at 90 mph so it’s registering at plus 5 mph than it actually is.
Some things you can gather from these readings are that the anemometer is geared towards more accurate ratings at slower wind speeds. You probably do not have a strong need for one that can handle very high-speed winds because you seldom get any wind over 35-45 mph.
When you look at this product from AcuRite you will see the wind cups are made of plastic, compared to the top-quality wind cups being made from lightweight alloys. The plastic will hold up better inaccuracy with the lower winds.
The Rain Gauge
The last correctness ratings are the station’s rain gauge collection. The rain gauge is calibrated to be accurate within a plus or minus 5 one-hundredths of an inch over calculated or 5 one-hundredths of an inch under-reported.
This is very accurate. A very small error percentage. So the rain gauge, as long as it is in a good location for proper rainfall collection should work very well for you.
Some Views On Accuracy Ratings
The main thing that we have found to be very true with climate stations, is that you do get what you pay for. This is true not only with the number of element tools (sensors) that you will get with a station but also to the life expectancy of a climate instrument station.
The more you pay for your equipment the longer they will last, the more accurate they will be, and the more bells and whistles you are the owner of. All of this is great for you.
In fact, it’s a very big thing for you, if you are looking to purchase a climate instrument station. You need to absolutely take the time to study and know that with 100% surety, why you want a station and what it is you wish to get from one.
We are very sure you need to match up as well as possible, your wants, your needs, and your budget.
If you do not do this, you will be dissatisfied and most likely be a very frustrated station owner. You will be one of those customers who write up those negative reviews of the products we have seen.
But if you have done your homework then you can be a satisfied and happy owner of a climate elements station.
We know these things to be true. You can budget a personal weather station in at the range of $40.00 up to $4000 very easily. There are some very excellent stations which you can spend $4000 on.
They have the very best instruments, made of the very best material. The rates of accuracy are rated in the same neighborhood that the inexpensive models don’t even discuss. You can run a farm with this type of unit.
But maybe you don’t own a farm. You would just like to have just some small amounts of information around for you to plan out your day with. A $40.00 unit may satisfy you beyond your imagination.
The accuracy of instruments that we use to collect data is a very polarizing thing with avid outside element fans. Long and strong arguments can be had, overall the recommended uses of the instruments, and the location of the instruments as well.
You can read government reports online, where the study was how the location of stations is one of the most critical findings in how accurate weather field information is.
The major complaint is over where the climate station is placed, the inaccuracies of the thermometer readings, causing weather studies from being accurate.
So take this complaint and bring it down to your level. Down to the level of how well do you place your sensors in your backyard? The location placement of weather instruments does make a huge difference inaccuracy of the information you use to make decisions.
But it is not the only determining factor inaccuracy of information. As discussed, materials used to manufacture sensors/gauges, etc. can make a difference as well.
Like I said earlier you get what you pay for. The wind cups on a $200.00 station are made of plastic. The wind cups on a $3000.00 station are made of lightweight metal alloys. Obviously, the alloys will be able to withstand extreme climate conditions much easier than the cups of the plastic anemometer.
Please keep all of these thoughts in mind as you search for your match of the station for you. Please take the time to study, and examine what other customers are saying about the accuracy of the instruments on each station.
Some manufacturers are very good about supplying accuracy ratings for their equipment, and yet others don’t supply that information. The buyer is aware.
Accuracy seems to depend on price, quality of the product, and location placement of the instruments. Good luck with your purchase.
George is a big fan of the weather. He has enjoyed for years observing all types of weather in several places he has lived. He shares his love by doing reviews of personal weather stations and discussing several key elements that are related to using weather stations.
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