Next month will be the 1 year anniversary of when I purchased my first weather station. I started out buying a very economical one because I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy having one or not. I never had one before and didn’t know what to expect. The station was an Ambient WS-1090 which cost about $129 and had most of the same features as some of the $600 ones I’d seen while doing research. Last January I set it up and started tracking the weather data from my home in North Haven, CT. Working as a data analyst as my full time job, I work with numbers and data on a regular basis. The data is much different but I found that collecting the weather data was an instant obsession.
Setting up the station required a lot of research and care. I needed to make sure that wherever I set it up, that it was securely in place so that any strong winds wouldn’t knock it over. I also needed to make sure that it was facing the correct direction and that the temperature sensor was in a location that wouldn’t be affected by any extra sources of heat (like from a roof top).
I had the Ambient station for about 8 months and during that time I was able to collect some remarkable data. From high rainfall rates during strong thunderstorms to extreme high temperatures during the summer, I collected and saved this data and summarized it every month on this blog and on wxedge.
While a lot of the data was great, there were also a lot of times that I needed to make adjustments to the station. Comparing my data to other stations in a 5 mile radius of me, I noticed that my high temperatures were running about 3-5 degrees higher. Also every week or two the software I was running to collect the data would malfunction and I would have to reset the station. Sometimes I even had to go into my data logs and manually adjust readings because the malfunction would cause it to give outlandish readings such as 137° and -40°.
In early September I decided that I was fed up with all the modifications and all the corrections I had to make in the data logs. I wanted a station that I wouldn’t need to make constant adjustments to and one that would last me a very long time. I also wanted one that would give me very accurate readings most importantly. Now I have a Davis Vantage Pro 2 and I couldn’t be happier! This station has never let me down once! It was more costly than my old station but I think it was worth it.
The data is very accurate and the product is made with top notch quality. So far it survived super storm Sandy and the foot of snow that fell during the November 7th Nor’easter. I always enjoy comparing my data with the data presented by the National Weather Service for locations close to my area.
Comparing data isn’t the only use I have for the weather station. I use it to notify local meteorologists of current conditions in North Haven during active weather. They can then use my information to better inform the public of conditions in northern new haven county. I have tweeted out rainfall rates, wind readings, rainfall totals and other specific details about the current conditions going on at my home. Its fun to see in real time what is happening. I encourage anyone interested in the weather to go out and look into purchasing a station.