Weather Instruments for Fun and Safety
by: Kent Wood

The interest in weather instruments for the home has increased dramatically in the last several years because of shifting weather patterns and new discoveries in meteorology. Everyone from young kids to retirees has found that keeping track of various aspects of the changing weather can be both educational and fun. It can also help people ensure their own safety during a weather emergency.

There are a variety of weather instruments you can get for home use. Prices range anywhere from ten to hundreds of dollars, depending on the quality, materials and type of weather instruments you get. Some of the most popular weather instruments include:

o Barometers – these track the change in the barometric pressure in the atmosphere. Changes in this pressure reveal whether a change in the weather is coming; a drop in barometric pressure signals a low pressure front moving in.

o Thermometers – Easily the most popular of all home weather instruments, thermometers measure the temperature of the immediately surrounding air. You can get ones that measure both indoor and outdoor temperatures.

o Rain Gauges – These range from simple cylinders to complex mechanical models, but all do the same thing – measure the actual rainfall in inches during a particular time period. This is often one of the first weather instruments (after the thermometer) that children are introduced to, and they love keeping track of the rainfall in their own yard.

o Weather Stations – Weather stations are battery or electric controlled stations that track several different weather measurements you would usually need several different weather instruments for. A typical desk-top weather station might track the phases of the moon, the temperature, barometric pressure, humidity and provide forecasts for the next twenty-four hours based on the changing conditions of each reading.

o Tide Clocks – Track the timing of the ingoing and outgoing tides in coastal areas. While most weather instruments are of use everywhere, this is one that is primarily of value to mariners, surfers and other ocean coast dwellers.

Keeping Safe – the Importance of Weather Radios

One of the weather instruments that few people are familiar with, but everyone should have, is weather radios. These radios are specifically designed to pick up low frequency radio signals that are broadcast from various stations across the country providing twenty-four hour weather updates and emergency bulletins. Weather radios typically have both visual and auditory warning signals whenever there is a weather emergency in your area. These may be sirens, flashing lights, alert tones or recorded warning messages to alert you to turn up the weather radio.

The weather updates and radio broadcasts are of constantly updated information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Many weather radios can be programmed using “SAME,” meaning Specific Area Message Encoding. This restricts broadcasts that are received to information pertinent to your local area.

Weather instruments are useful for any number of reasons, from knowing how much you need to water your garden (rain gauges) to knowing how to dress for the day. But weather instruments are also simply a fun and educational way to learn more about the atmosphere and the world around us. And finally, with weather instruments such as weather radios, we can rest easy knowing we will be warned of a weather emergency as quickly as possible.


About The Author

Kent Wood is a contributing author for Since 1992, The Weather store has been committed to supplying accurate & dependable weather instruments including including barometers, hygrometers, thermometers, and anemometers for amateur and professional use. Visit The Weather Store today to view their huge selection! 



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