Remember making those weather stations for the school science projects at home? Yes, they were fun, but how many of you actually checked on the station and took regular data to make sure they work.
With the advancement of technology, now you can build a solar-powered, wi-fi-enabled weather station at home. However, that requires a lot of tools and expertise.
This article will show you how to make a weather station at home in the easiest way possible. It requires no power tools, complicated coding, and sophisticated setups. And you can have fun making them with your kids, teaching them the basics of meteorology in the process. So, let’s dig in.
What Is a Weather Station?
Typically, weather stations refer to facilities used for collecting meteorological data. Those meteorological data include air temperature, humidity, pressure, wind direction, and rainfall measurements. These data are analyzed to forecast weather and conduct further climate and weather studies.
There are personal weather stations as well, which people install at their homes or surroundings, collect the data in your smartphone or computer as they are wi-fi-enabled.
You can also share the weather data on a website and let people nearby watch. And by doing so, you help improve the local forecasts and weather models. Such stations require sophisticated instruments and prior knowledge of them.
However, this article is about home weather stations that you can build with simple DIY tools to observe the atmospheric conditions yourself. These simple setups can be made by school kids as well. And you will have to follow the old-school method of taking everyday data on logs or sheets to make analysis and comparison.
What Are the Components of a Weather Station?
The basic meteorological data includes the air temperature, pressure, humidity, rainfall, and wind direction. So, if you are making a weather station, it should consist of all the components to collect the above measurements.
But what are those components? Well, have a look.
Of course, a weather station has a thermometer for measuring the air temperature. Various thermometers are used in weather stations. The most common ones are mercury thermometers, thermocouples, thermistors, constant volume thermometers, and others.
Learn Forehead Thermometer Accuracy Here…
The instrument used to measure the air pressure is called a barometer. There are two major types of barometers, mercury barometer, an aneroid barometer. A mercury barometer works with a simple mechanism yet gives accurate pressure measurement.
A change in pressure indicates short-term weather changes. For instance, a fall in pressure is an indication of a storm or precipitation. And pressure rise means sunny and dry weather.
The anemometer measures how fast or how strong the wind is blowing, or in other words, what is the wind velocity. Typically, cup anemometers, vane anemometers, and thermal anemometers are used in weather stations.
Sometimes sonic anemometers are used in personal weather stations. It measures wind speed using ultrasonic sound waves.
A weather vane is a simple instrument used to determine the wind’s direction. The tool is straightforward, and it poses great importance in predicting the day’s weather conditions.
The wind coming from the north usually implies colder weather in the northern hemisphere, while the wind blowing from the south usually indicates hot weather. And if the wind direction is east or west, it either indicates rain or clear weather.
A shift in wind direction from the typical or prevailing direction also indicates a change in weather conditions.
Rain gauges are used to measure the amount of rainfall in a locality. The different kinds of rain gauges can be divided into two major types, recording gauges and non-recording gauges.
Non-recording gauges are straightforward tools with no complexity in operation and are still used in many weather stations. Recording ones again includes weighing bucket type, floating type, and tipping bucket rain gauges.
The hygrometer measures the amount of water vapor in the air, that is, the humidity. The relative humidity is an indirect measurement of our discomfort also. When humidity rises, our discomfort rises and vice versa.
There are mainly two types of hygrometers used nowadays, mechanical and wet/dry bulb hygrometers. Nowadays, there are digital hygrometers too that give the humidity readings directly.
How to Make a Weather Station?
With a few simple tools, you can make a weather station at home that might not be exact; however, it can explain how slight changes in temperature and pressure can affect the weather. We are going to show you how you can build different weather station components.
With a rain gauge, you can measure the amount of rainfall in your vicinity.
Things You Will Need
- Plastic bottle
- Sticky tape
How to Make
First, you need to cut the plastic bottles in half or one-third and fix the top part above the bottom one upside-down to make a funnel shape. To achieve a flat bottom, you can pour some jelly into the bottle. You can draw the ruler readings on sticky paper tape, then fix it on the bottle or mark the readings on the bottle.
As your rain gauge is ready, place it outside, away from trees or other obstacles. You can dig it halfway into the dirt so that it doesn’t blow away with the wind. And check the gauge regularly at a fixed time.
With an anemometer, you can measure how strong the wind is. And here we are going to show you how to make a cup anemometer.
Things You Will Need
- Four paper cups
- Plastic cup with lead
- Some color
How to Make
First, make the base with a plastic cup, a lid, and a straw to make the anemometer. Mark 4 directions (north, south, east, west) with a pin and insert a straw in the middle. This straw will work as a pole holding the vanes together.
Now, take the paper cups, make two holes in each and insert two cups at both ends of a straw. Take the rest two cups and do the same. While doing so, make sure all cups are facing either clockwise or anticlockwise.
Next, you need to make plus sign with the cup-attached straws. Attach them at the junction with tapes and fix the straw cup arrangement on top of the base pole straw.
Your anemometer is ready; just paint one cup red or anything to distinguish it from others. Fill the base cup with water so that it can stand in the wind and place the arrangement outside, away from trees and larger objects.
To measure the wind speed, use a stopwatch, set a time of one minute, and count how many rotations the cups are making.
You can make a thermometer box using a thermometer to tell you the day’s temperature or a bottle straw thermometer to measure the relative temperature.
However, the problem with a bottle-straw thermometer is that it just tells you how hot or cold the day is so that you can compare it with the room temperature. And it needs calibration as well. Instead, check out the process of making a thermometer box that tells you the exact temperature.
Things You Will Need
- Wooden box
How to Make
First, paint the outer surface of the wooden box white or any color and let it dry. Fix the thermometer at the back, of course, inside the box, and attach it with a strong waterproof adhesive.
Now, place the box outside, at some safe place, and let it stand straight to keep the thermometer upright.
Wind vane shows you the prevailing wind direction. And if there is a deviation from the normal direction, it’s likely there would be some changes in the weather conditions.
Things you Will Need
- Plastic cup with lid
How to Make
First, make the base marked with four directions, just like the anemometer base. Next, take a straw and insert two cards, one flang, and another arrow, at the two ends by making a slit cut.
Then find the center of the vane by trying to balance it on your finger and insert a small pin at that point. Tape the top of the base straw and attach the vane with it using the pin. Check if the vane can rotate freely.
Place the vane outside, but before that, add some sand or water in the base cup to weigh it down. Ensure the vanes north mark is directed towards the north and use a compass for that.
Benefits of Having a Weather Station at Home
Well, there can be many benefits of having a DIY weather station at home. You get to have your kids make that and teach them about different weather factors and conditions, for starters.
Of course, there are digital instruments and the internet to tell you the daily weather report. But can we really learn how the weather factors function by looking at a reading on a mobile screen? We doubt that.
So, the process of making the weather station will enable your kids to understand how the weather functions. It’s a fun way to learn, right?
Also, by accumulating the everyday data, you can have an idea of your locality’s weather condition and predict like a meteorologist. Of course, the meteorological department has tons of data and analysis, but who knows your surroundings better than you?
You get to keep yourself and your neighbors informed every day about how the day will be. Read more details…
A simple weather station can be your fun project, yet it’s effective in giving you an idea of what’s going on and what might happen tomorrow.
No, we won’t say it will give you accurate results; you can purchase a high-end personal weather station for accuracy. However, you will miss all the fun of making it and collecting the data manually. So, how to make a weather station? Well, you know by now.