By: Metshop  06-Dec-2011

Most people who look up this site are looking for weather instruments of one sort or another so we have put them all in this section.  That makes for rather a long list but attending to keywords in the product title will help screen your attention.  Besides, thermometers include bath and lab thermometers, and wind readers include windsocks – none of which are really weather instruments. So you’ll find all kinds of thermometers in the temperature section but only weather thermometers in this section.

Those of us from older generations well remember the ritual tapping of the barometer before washing day to see if it jumped towards or away from 30, and maybe even the Swiss cottage forecaster where if the man was out it was going to rain. Well, there has been a technical revolution in weather instruments over the last decade and modern weather instruments are commonly standing screens somewhere between cellphone-size and PC-size  with lots of digits on them - DIGITALS. The trusty older clockface or vertical scale types are of course still around, still working, and still very useful especially for indoor applications, and here we call these CLASSICAL (or sometimes clockface). So, if you are ONLY interested in digital (or only interested in classical), scan for those keywords.  Another keyword to look for (amongst the digitals) is WIRELESS (or cabled). Wireless digitals send signals from a monitoring point hundreds of metres away to an indoor console, and cabled digitals by definition are limited to a few metres around the house.

Traditional factors used to distinguish quality weather instruments from ordinary ones have been RESPONSIVENESS (how quickly or slowly it displays changes), ACCURACY (how close to a true reading it displays), SENSITIVITY or PRECISION (how fine the gradations are), and of course READABILITY. In general we have to say that digital instruments perform better than classical on these factors. But digitals also introduce more factors to consider too – FUNCTIONALITY (whether it has a memory and how much it has, how many elements of weather it measures and displays, for example we won’t call it a weather STATION unless it has at least temperature, air pressure and humidity readings, and “multi-functional” stations can monitor wind and/or rain as well); and USER-FRIENDLINESS (how easy or difficult it is to set up and to service).  As usual, quality factors get reflected in price.

In the specific “More About” pages accessed below the headings in sections like temperature or air pressure, we have put extra detail on the specific background for each type – how it works, how to set it up or calibrate it, what some of the jargon means. We can adjust this over time – let us know via feedback what else would be useful, or what’s there and not useful.

Finally, why have your own weather instrument when weather reading and forecasting are abundant in the media? Since you’re here you probably know that already but maybe you’re considering it as a gift for a friend/relative.  Because media forecasting is all about larger regional areas, it’s not about your locality. Forecasters count their forecast “accurate” if they predicted showers in a region and it does indeed rain during the 24 hours (lightly, in the northern hills, maybe 50km away.) This is not a great deal of help to the gardener, farmer, fisher, tramper , houseworker or sports player right here.  Your own instrument tells you the conditions at YOUR PLACE, and so assists YOUR ACTIVITIES.   Besides, they are fascinating (because they record real changes going on) and they last a lifetime – think of all those classical barometers still going, still useful, still valued.  Your purchase here today can be that precious item 50 years on..   

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