The Best Weather Stations for Gardeners - 27 East

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The Best Weather Stations for Gardeners

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A group portrait. The WS 6000 on the left. One of the two Tempest stations sit atop a rigid plastic pipe and was clearly the easiest to install. On the right side of the same post is the Davis Vantage Pro 2 stations with the rain collector on top, solar collector on the right and naturally aspirated sensor bundle (white) at the bottom. The wind vane and wind cups for the VP 2 areto the left of the Tempest. There was some concern that the VP 2 would create vibrations that the Tempest might pick up and misinterpret. This turned out not to be the case. ANDREW MESSINGER

A group portrait. The WS 6000 on the left. One of the two Tempest stations sit atop a rigid plastic pipe and was clearly the easiest to install. On the right side of the same post is the Davis Vantage Pro 2 stations with the rain collector on top, solar collector on the right and naturally aspirated sensor bundle (white) at the bottom. The wind vane and wind cups for the VP 2 areto the left of the Tempest. There was some concern that the VP 2 would create vibrations that the Tempest might pick up and misinterpret. This turned out not to be the case. ANDREW MESSINGER

The Kestrel 6000 (WS 6000) from Ambient Weather. This is the largest of the four units tested and it’s mounted on a steel mast attached to a 4x4 pressure treated post sunk 3 feet into the ground.  On top is the propeller-type anemometer/wind vane. Below that is the rain collector (with spikes to keep birds out). In the front (facing) is the solar panel with the cell antenna on the right of the solar panel. This came in a large box and was easy to assemble and set up. To the right is the plastic

The Kestrel 6000 (WS 6000) from Ambient Weather. This is the largest of the four units tested and it’s mounted on a steel mast attached to a 4x4 pressure treated post sunk 3 feet into the ground. On top is the propeller-type anemometer/wind vane. Below that is the rain collector (with spikes to keep birds out). In the front (facing) is the solar panel with the cell antenna on the right of the solar panel. This came in a large box and was easy to assemble and set up. To the right is the plastic "proof," rain gauge, which proved to be the least accurate tool. ANDREW MESSINGER

All the five weather stations in a row. This certainly got the neighbors curious and wondering what kind of electronic surveillance they were being subject to. None. ANDREW MESSINGER

All the five weather stations in a row. This certainly got the neighbors curious and wondering what kind of electronic surveillance they were being subject to. None. ANDREW MESSINGER

The Ambient Weather WS 5000. Also mounted to a 4x4 post, it was the least sturdy of the mountings and difficult to assemble. Once set up it was pretty flawless, and it has a great display console that goes inside. The bottom white cage (wires hanging) holds the transmitter for the soil temperature probe. Above that are the arrays for wind, rain, humidity and other parameters. Of all the tested stations this is the one that might make the most sense if you want soil temperature and soil moisture probes. You can add them to the WS 6000 and VP 2, but that makes those stations very expensive. ANDREW MESSINGER

The Ambient Weather WS 5000. Also mounted to a 4x4 post, it was the least sturdy of the mountings and difficult to assemble. Once set up it was pretty flawless, and it has a great display console that goes inside. The bottom white cage (wires hanging) holds the transmitter for the soil temperature probe. Above that are the arrays for wind, rain, humidity and other parameters. Of all the tested stations this is the one that might make the most sense if you want soil temperature and soil moisture probes. You can add them to the WS 6000 and VP 2, but that makes those stations very expensive. ANDREW MESSINGER

This is the display on the VP 2 console. It’s not as colorful or customizable as the WS 5000 display but it’s adequate. The console receives the signals from the station then can provide the data to a local computer or it can upload directly to a service like Weather Underground for archiving and public viewing. ANDREW MESSINGER

This is the display on the VP 2 console. It’s not as colorful or customizable as the WS 5000 display but it’s adequate. The console receives the signals from the station then can provide the data to a local computer or it can upload directly to a service like Weather Underground for archiving and public viewing. ANDREW MESSINGER

The console/display for the WS 5000 is only 6 inches tall and 8 inches long but information packed and customizable. The symbols on the topline indicate that the console is connected to Weather Underground, Wi-Fi and the internet. The temperature on the left (33.3) is the outdoor air temperature with maximum and minimum for the time since midnight. The smaller temperature to the right (37.2) is the soil temperature at a depth of 3 inches. It also toggles between the soil temperature and the temperature at the console. The blank humidity circle to the right would show the soil moisture if the probe were active. This display was bright and very easy to use only needing to be configured once. ANDREW MESSINGER

The console/display for the WS 5000 is only 6 inches tall and 8 inches long but information packed and customizable. The symbols on the topline indicate that the console is connected to Weather Underground, Wi-Fi and the internet. The temperature on the left (33.3) is the outdoor air temperature with maximum and minimum for the time since midnight. The smaller temperature to the right (37.2) is the soil temperature at a depth of 3 inches. It also toggles between the soil temperature and the temperature at the console. The blank humidity circle to the right would show the soil moisture if the probe were active. This display was bright and very easy to use only needing to be configured once. ANDREW MESSINGER

The weather data from the WeatherFlow Tempest displayed on an iPhone 13. The display is configurable and the data history from the station is also accessible as are forecasts for the two weeks ahead. Alarms (audible and visible) such as rain alarms will also appear on this interface with several other alarms available. ANDREW MESSINGER

The weather data from the WeatherFlow Tempest displayed on an iPhone 13. The display is configurable and the data history from the station is also accessible as are forecasts for the two weeks ahead. Alarms (audible and visible) such as rain alarms will also appear on this interface with several other alarms available. ANDREW MESSINGER

Autor

Hampton Gardener®

When I was 10 years old my parents gave me my first weather station for Christmas. Fifty years later, I got another one. Today, there are five light industrial/residential weather... more

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