Letter: Weather Station Recommendation


Do y’all have any recommendations on home weather stations? On searching I found a lot of references to using HAM and FM to get NOAA data but nothing for on site weather stations. Is this viewed as a valuable addition to the retreat or just a toy? – M.P.

HJL’s Comment:

With the advent of solid state sensors weather stations have become commodity items. Sadly, all the affordable ones that I know of are made in China. If the desire is just to have some basic data, any of those that you see on Amazon will work. You might have a desire to log data to get long term trends so you will really need one that can communicate with your computer. If you want to learn about electronics, there are also a number of DIY kits as well.


  1. I hunted for weather stations several years back. There were many digital ones available. But I wanted to be prepared for off grid weather info. I did find one, kinda. It looked good on Amazon and was super cheap. When it arrived, it turned out to be a kid’s science kit. The rain gauge and wind indicator work minimally, but wouldn’t have survived Irma. I would recommend purchasing individual components, which are still available.

    1. Kim, I can’t recommend a specific model but I will suggest a few starting points. SKYWARN is a system setup for reporting weather. These reports usually come from ham radio operators with specific equipment, and they report finds over ham radio nets. There are non ham ways of reporting, I just don’t know much about it.

      So, to learn what you should be collecting for data, checkout https://www.skywarn.org/online-training/. Online classes are free.

      The site I see referenced the most for equipment is https://www.weathershack.com/listing/black-friday-cyber-monday-sale.html

      Those two sites should get you enough info to learn what you need.

  2. I have an Accu-rite wireless that I bought from Lowe’s for around $100. The outside part runs off of D batteries and the inside display uses AA and/or a electrical plug that comes with the unit. The outside part has a solar recharge unit that is built into the unit. I use rechargeable batteries on mine and have been pleased with the unit. I would suggest you check one out and see if this is what you are looking for.

  3. This isn’t useful for post TEOTWAWKI situations, but for now, you can volunteer to be an observer for the national weather service. I am doing that. I take a weather reading every morning and report it on their website. It is an unpaid position, and uses a small amount of electricity. But they maintain the equipment, and it is highly accurate. I do rain amounts and temperature. Further north than me, observers also measure snow/ice. The rain gauge is by the hundredths of an inch, and can hold 8 inches. The thermometer is down to the tenth of a degree. I track the high and low temperature of the day, and then throughout the year, for my personal use, I track the high and low of the year, and the first and last freezes, and the total rainfall. They like me to do it, since it’s useful information to me too.

  4. Davis weather stations or PEET are the best out there for a “reasonable” ($600-1500.00) price. I won one at a “Hamfest” in 2003. It was used for the next 12 years. It slowly stopped working (most likely poor connections) and I bought an Accu-rite. That piece of junk didn’t last a year. On more thing about Davis, you can send your unit back to then, no matter how old, and they will rebuild it for you.

  5. 1) The only really good weather station is the raw data reports from the National Weather Service radiosondes — gathered from the 100+ balloons released every day.

    2) If you slice the atmosphere into 1000 foot segments going upward, you will see that the wind speed and direction varies greatly from one level to the next. If you are trying to predict where fallout from a nuclear strike on primary targets will go, you can’t just use the ground level wind vector — you have to sum the vectors at the different altitude levels up to where the mushroom cloud reaches (which is a function of expected yield) in order to get a total resultant vector.

    3) The Winds Aloft report provided for airplane pilots is a less useful summary.

    http://www.aviationweather.gov/windtemp/data?region=bos (Northeast region of usa)


    (Click on center menu “Vert Level” to see wind speeds and direction for levels up to 48000 feet– speed indicated by how many feathers are on tail of wind vector arrow )

  6. I’ve had a couple davis weather stations (weather vantage pro 1 and 2 along with their computer interface and software)over the past 15 years and had them send data to weather underground. It works well running on a dedicated 15+ year old thinkpad (with a pentium 3 CPU and running windows 2000).

  7. Six months ago I bought the AcuRite 01057RM Color Weather Station Display & 5-in-1 Weather Environment System with My AcuRite Remote Monitoring App.
    With two additional AcuRite 06002M Wireless Temperature and Humidity Sensors. So far it has worked well.
    You can spend a thousand or more on heavy duty stations.
    The main reason I went this route was using the Accurite app via the ‘hub’ is to monitor Home conditions when not home.
    You can set “Alert’ rules; ie: send email when temp is over/under a specified degree, etc. I find this comforting when away from home. If furnace or AC were to quit; I could notify neighbor. While I do not have one; you can connect a water sensor (basement) and when water triggers it you will be notified. (Sump pump failure.)
    You can also connect with Wunderground and your station becomes part of the weather community and is information is available via that website. Several of my neighbors use this avenue to monitor rainfall and temperature.
    The monitor is full color and has an information ticker that rolls pertinent stats. (I love this.)
    Additionally; in the ‘Alert’ rules are options to set about battery strength and signal strength.
    Time will tell about longevity but all the parts are available individually and ‘reasonably’ priced.
    Here are the Amazon links:


    PS: The console does NOT send inside temperature/humidity information to the app. Connecting the AcuRite 06002M to the internet Hub accomplishes this.

    1. Thank you, Dave. If I read the product details correctly, the sensors are wireless and require batteries. Does the unit itself have a powers supply and if so, is it compatible with 220VAC input?

  8. A thermometer,hygrometer(humidity gauge),and barometer are all the basics you need and can be extremely cheap(combo thermometer/hygrometer $2 on sale,quality barometer more but necessary),a storm glass is a excellent predictive tool also but how they work isn’t understood. Learn to read the sky(clouds,rain patterns,moon and sun dogs) and you can be as accurate 24-36hrs as the weatherman much past that needs lots of equipment and skills.

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