Best Automated Weather Station
Automated weather station is not just a toy for weather bloggers and enthusiasts. In fact, automatic weather stations are central to many key functions of organizations large and small.
But what exactly is an automated weather station (AWS)? How do they work? Scroll through this guide and find or click on the topic that interests you most to get started.
What is an Automatic Weather Station?
First, we have to answer: “What is a weather station?”
A weather station is a system of integrated components that automatically measure, record, and sometimes transmit weather data.
An automated weather station is an automatic version of a traditional weather station. They can be single-site or part of a weather network. Automatic weather stations are the worldwide standard for climate and boundary-layer meteorology.
These stations most commonly report on surface weather observations like:
This isn’t a complete list of measurements, but these are some of the most common. Depending on the weather station, they can also measure things like cloud height. It all depends on a station’s components.
How an Automated Weather Station Works
Now that you know what an automatic weather station is, you’re ready to learn how it works.
At the most basic level, an automatic weather station works by measuring atmospheric conditions and transmitting them to a network, forecaster, or display.
They use special instruments to measure the surface weather observations we mentioned above. Some parts of a weather station include a thermometer to measure temperature and a barometer to measure atmospheric pressure. We list out all the different parts and what they do in the weather sensor section below, so keep reading!
Depending on the provider and model, there are several components that make up a station. Each component enables the weather station to measure and transmit different atmospheric data. Some common equipment typical for automatic weather stations include:
Although “weather sensor” sounds pretty broad, most weather sensors just measure wind speed and direction.
The next piece of an automatic weather station is a lightning sensor.
While lightning sensors are optional, any comprehensive weather station includes one. This is because lightning sensors are a key safety tool. Make sure your automated weather station has a total lightning sensor, so you don’t miss a strike.
Another weather sensor component is the sensor shelter. While this might just sound like a protection for automated weather stations, it’s actually one of the most instrument-heavy pieces.
Red raindrop icon on a grey circle backgroundThe next important and easy-to-understand piece of any automatic weather sensor is a rain gauge. Rain gauges measure the liquid-equivalent precipitation. A rain gauge looks like a bucket or wide, vertical cylinder.
Two pieces of automatic weather stations that work hand-in-hand are data-loggers and network appliances. These systems work together in an automated step-by-step process.