Introduction to Creating a Homemade Weather Station

Being able to predict tomorrow’s weather is one of the most challenging and frequently requested bits of information to provide. Do you need a coat tomorrow? Will soccer practice be canceled? Will the crops freeze tonight?


Scientists use different instruments to record the current weather conditions, like temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed, humidity, etc. The real work comes in when they spend time looking over their data over days, months, even years and search for patterns.


But where does the weather station get its weather from?


One of the greatest leaps in meteorology was using numbers to predict the flow of the atmosphere. The math equations needed for these (using fluid dynamics and thermodynamics) are enough to make even a graduate student quiver with fear. Even today’s most powerful computers cannot solve these complex equations! The best they can do is make a guess at the solution and then adjust it until it fits well enough in a given range. How do the computers know what to guess?


Several weather stations around the world work together to report the current weather every hour. These stations can be land-based, mounted on buoys in the ocean, or launched on radiosondes and report back to a home station as they rise through the different layers of the atmosphere. Pilots will also give weather reports en route to their destination, which get recorded and added to the database of weather knowledge.


We’re going to build our own homemade weather station and start keeping track of weather right in your own home town. By keeping a written record (even if it’s just pen marks on the wall), you’ll be able to see how the weather changes and even predict what it will do, once you get the hang of the pattern in your local area. For example, if you live in Florida, what happens to the pressure before the daily afternoon thunderstorm? Or if you live in the deserts of Arizona, what does a sudden increase in humidity tell you?
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Comments

8 Responses to “Introduction to Creating a Homemade Weather Station”
  1. Aurora says:

    Hmm, that does not sound right. It’s a K-8 level experiment. I’ll have my team take a look and correct any issues. Thanks for letting me know!

  2. debbie_banks says:

    I found the making a homemade weather station under the grade 3 Earth Science section, however, there is a note saying that it is for high school students. Is this correct?

  3. Aurora says:

    Sorry I missed seeing your question! A sun room will only give you the weather in the room itself. If you want it to be more accurate, you’ve got to put it outside for most of the instruments. The only one it really doesn’t matter for is the barometer, which will indicate if a storm is brewing or if the weather is going to be fair and nice. You’ll notice the stick moves in one direction for good weather and the other when bad weather (storms) are coming. Does that help?

  4. jennifer_comito says:

    Hey I’m working on a weather station in our sun room any tips? Also I’m not good at predicting the weather so how do you
    tell when it will snow, rain, storm or be sunny?

  5. Aurora says:

    Click the link in the upper right side that says “Physics Experiments & Videos” and then all of them will show up. Scroll down and find the barometer, thermometer, hygrometer, anemometer, and more!

  6. Jeanie Schmidt says:

    Where is the actual link/direction of how to make the equipment?

  7. Science Teacher says:

    Aurora,

    My son is interested in launching a weather balloon and collecting some data. Have you had any experience with this and where can I obtain some information to do this?
    Thank you
    Beth

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