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Best home weather station: Which one should be your personal weatherman?

Ed Oswald | June 2, 2016
Home weather stations are getting more accurate and sophisticated all the time. Follow our buyer's guide to ensure you're not left in the cold or soaking wet.

Everyone has their own morning routine. Some of us go for a run, others get the kids ready for school, some just want to know if it will be smooth sailing during their rush-hour commute. The weather can throw a monkey wrench into any of those plans.

Owning a personal weather station is one way to stay on top of mother nature. Yes, you can open an app, but the information there is from a remote station miles away and up to an hour old. With a home weather station, you get up-to-minute information on what the she’s up to doing right outside your door.

We went hands-on with two players in this space. Either would be a good choice for both casual observers and would-be meterologists, but one shines as the best choice for the smart home. We will add to this coverage as time goes on. 

Best weather station: Netatmo Weather Station

Netatmo’s Weather Station is our current favorite. While it does come in on the pricier side—$180 for just the control unit and one temperature/humidity sensor alone, and then and additional $80 for the rain gauge and $100 for the wind gauge—it is the weather station of choice for the connected home.

Netatmo works with Samsung’s SmartThings platform and IFTTT (If This Then That) right out of the box, allowing you to do all kinds of cool things, such as control your thermostat based on outdoor temperature, or flash your Philips Hue lights if it starts to rain. The app allows immediate access to your data at anytime, and your data is shared worldwide through a special webpage and Weather Underground. It even has a sensor to measure air quality, based on the amount of CO2 present in the room it’s in.

It does have its quirks though, like a humidity sensor that is easily saturated during wet periods, and sometimes finicky connectivity with older Wi-Fi routers. But its accuracy is top notch, and the issues not bad enough that we’d go elsewhere.

Runner up

Oregon Scientific Wireless Pro Weather Station WMR89A

If you’re not concerned with smart-home connectivity, Oregon Scientific’s WMR89A delivers reliable performance. At $170, it’s half the price of fully tricked-out Netatmo system, and it offers some features the Netatmo doesn’t, including optional UV index reporting (to measure ultraviolet exposure).

The console can also store up to a week’s worth of data without having to connect to your computer. That said, the station cannot currently upload data to third-party services such as Weather Underground, and the official software isn’t the best—but it is a much better option than the junk you’ll encounter at the typical big-box store. It’s also the only one at this price point we know of that can be expanded beyond basic weather measurements.

 

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