However, if not installed properly,even high quality and expensive weather stations can generate misleading (false) readings of temperature, humidity, pressure, wind direction, wind speed and precipitation amount!
All weather stations need to be installed in proper surroundings. If not, they give accurate readings of local, micro situations . . . that do not reflect the true meteorological situation of the surrounding area.
Height above ground and distance from buildings, trees and heat generating sources such as motor vehicles, air conditioning units, very dark or black surfaces are some of the important "things" to consider if you are going to get the reliable measurements you paid for and expect.
Let me explain with a few examples.
Thermometers And True Air Temperature
Take an ordinary ten dollar outside thermometer. You know, the type you install just outside the window. It’s the standard standby thermometer for home weather stations.
The worst place to install such a thermometer is
The wall will be heated by the sun during the day. The hot stones, bricks or siding will radiate heat, back toward the thermometer. The latter will give a reading much higher than the actual, true, air temperature in your neighborhood.
It may read 45C, on a sunny summer morning when, in fact, the true air temperature in your neighborhood is a comfortable 25!
You should always install this type of outdoor wall thermometer on the north side of your house, and away from badly insulated windows. It will then give temperature readings much closer to reality.
In some circumstances, you may want to know the true air temperature of a particular location, a meter or two above ground. Take an enclosed backyard, for example. If you are elderly, or have elderly people using the backyard, you will want to know if the micro climate, there, will be suitable for a leisurely chat, in the afternoon, even in the shade.
In this special case, you should install the thermometer on a post, one meter or so above ground, near where you expect people to gather and linger.
Anemometers And True Wind Indication
Have you have ever watched water, in a shallow brook, eddy around the stones lying in its bed? This is a perfect illustration of how the air moves around the houses and other buildings in your neighborhood.
A similar problem occurs with air movements around home weather stations. The wind, when forced to squeeze between houses, will
Therefore, if you install an anemometer between your house, and your neighbor's house, it will only give a very accurate reading of the micro situation between your houses! These readings will, almost always, not be representative of true wind direction and speed in your neighborhood!
Houses and other buildings, trees, and other objects, create small scale meteorological situations that differ from the true conditions of the lower atmosphere, in which you live.
Fortunately, you can install a wireless weather station well away from these negative influences and, thus, obtain true readings of the parameters you want to measure.
If you install such sophisticated, and often expensive, home weather stations on the corner of your balcony, please remember that you will get readings that will not be representative of lower atmosphere over your neighborhood!
Ideal Location For Home Weather Stations
Government weather stations in Canada, and in all member countries of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
The mining, smelting, or refining industry will also install a professional weather station with as much care. They rely on accurate readings to meet their pollution control legal obligations.
As you can see, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for you, and most people, to install your home weather stations in ideal locations.
Just remember that your outdoor weather station will only accurately measure the weather parameters in its location. Try and make that location as representative of the lower atmospheric conditions over your neighborhood.
A Question Remains
Finally, let me leave you with this question to ponder.
What influence does the information on this page have on the weather forecasts, some of the companies claim you can make, or get from, their home weather stations?
Stay tuned, and keep a sharp weather watch!