Weather monitoring tools for amateur meteorologists

Ditch your phone app for the real thing.

weathervane in sky
Precision forecasts for your outdoor activities.Jodran Ladikos via Unsplash

To little kids everywhere (and maybe some big kids too), weather forecasts are kind of magical. How is it possible to know if Saturday will be a good beach day, or when snow might be heavy enough to knock out power? Meteorologists seem to have all the answers. These tools aren’t a substitute for sophisticated satellite radar and data aggregation, but they will help you predict what’s going to happen where you are—and document weather events as they unfold.

Stratus Precision Rain Gauge

Stratus Precision Rain Gauge
Does the rain in Spain really fall mainly on the plain?Amazon

Monitoring your rainfall (as well as snow and hail) can help you decide when to plant your garden, how much to water, and when to prepare for basement flooding. This all-weather gauge features a calibrated inner measuring tube within an outer cylinder, which collects up to an inch of rain with accuracy to 1/100th of an inch. Decant additional amounts collected in the outer cylinder into the inner tube, and repeat as needed to complete your calculations. Consider making your data available to the National Weather Service through CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network), and increase understanding of weather patterns.

HOLDPEAK-Anemometer

HOLDPEAK-Anemometer
Know when to batten down the hatches.Amazon

Whether you are training to be a storm spotter or participate in sports like biking or sailing where knowing current wind speed and wind chill are key to performance, an anemometer is a must-have. This digital model is a popular option at an affordable price and offers multiple data points from miles per second to nautical knots.

La Crosse Technology Wireless Forecast Station

La Crosse Technology C85845 Wireless Forecast Station
Don’t forget a barometer.Amazon

A drop in barometric pressure is a key indicator of a storm’s approach—and this digital weather station is on it. It also acts as a thermometer and hygrometer (to gauge humidity) and monitors both outdoors and indoors using a remote sensor. Allow 7-10 days for barometric calibration, and then enjoy a personalized forecast for your location.

Whitehall Products Horse Accent Weathervane

Whitehall Products Horse Accent Weathervane
Which way is your horse facing?Amazon

Digital is great, but we had to include this classic analog weathervane made from die-cast aluminum alloy and coated for all conditions. A simple and sleek addition to the roof of your home or barn, you’ll always know which way the wind is blowing. Strictly speaking, of course.