Thursday, November 29, 2007

What Is The Best Outdoor Thermometer?

I really love these questions you all have been leaving in the comments.

Yesterday an observer asked if there is a preferred type of thermometer for using to gather high and low weather data?

My honest answer isn't that there is a preferred type, but use a lot of care when setting up the instrument so that you are getting a true sample of the air temperature.

For example -- if your instrument is too close to a house, shed, deck, etc. it will potentially read warmer than the air temperature from the heat retained in the brick or wood.

Likewise, if it has too much sun exposure it could read higher during the daytime than it really is. You see this a lot on bank signs for example.

Most weather stations you can buy have the temperature sensor in a solar shield I believe.

WWW.AMBIENTWEATHER.COM is a good website to use for researching weather stations.


  1. Try to steer away from Oregon Scientific stations. Their Thermo-Hygrometer do not come with a radiation shield ($50 extra) and if a sensor does break I had a 5 month back order as it was shipped from China.

    Davis stations are pretty solid but more expensive.

  2. I own an Oregon Scientific and found it to be reasonably satisfactory. Mine has the radiation shield (thermo.) and auto-emptying rain gauge. The 300' wireless feature was very important. The comparable Davis was better looking but fewer of the features I wanted in the $300 range. I wasn't impressed with the OS factory support when I asked about setting/adjusting the barometric sensor.

  3. I currently use Davis wireless temp/humidity station with the radiation shield.the system has worked very well.i also use the weather echo plus display/only drawback displays in whole numbers only.i wouldnt buy the whole system because the wind speed only updates every 2.5 seconds and could miss a gust.for wind i use inspeed anemometer which uses a bicycle computer for a display which is great because you can figure avg. wind as well as the wind run.

  4. I have a Davis VantagePro2 wireless station setup. The station comes with a passive radiation shield, however I replaced that with the daytime fan aspirated shield. This system has been extremely accurate and runs on solar power during the day. At night and during cloudy wxw, it runs off a 3V lithium battery. The Davis last time I checked listed for $595.00. There is a way around this...I won mine on ebay for $350.00. Another option is a company called Provantage which gives an excellent price on wx stations.