The gadgets on the previous pages allow people to observe the key atmospheric levels that affect weather. However, if you're willing to invest between $2,000 and $4,000 into your passion for meteorology, you can actually purchase a professional weather station.
There are essentially two varieties of professional weather stations: modular and all-in-one designs. Modular systems consist of mounted clusters of electronic sensors: thermometer, barometer, hygrometer, anemometer and rain collector. In addition to these sensors, models can also boast an ultraviolet light sensor, a solar radiation detector and a visibility sensor. All-in-one weather station designs bundle the sensors in a single, streamlined housing.
Professional weather stations involve far more than just a high-tech assembly of weather gadgets -- they also include the programming and equipment necessary to catalog weather statistics and analyze collected data. Users can even program these systems to alert them of hazardous weather conditions.
The data from a professional weather station can be exported in a number of ways. You can network it with other stations or integrate it into existing networks. The data can be streamed to multiple recipients. And just because you dropped a few grand on your weather station doesn't mean you have to mount it on top of a building. Portable and vehicle-mounted versions are also available.
These systems are typically employed by the likes of airports, construction companies and emergency rescue departments, but there's nothing stopping you from operating one on your own property.
Explore the links below to learn even more about gadgets.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- "Acu-Rite 00990 Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer Combo Pack." WeatherConnect.com. 2009. (Feb. 6, 2008)http://www.weatherconnect.com/product.asp?itmky=291195
- "Aviation Weather -- Principles." Free Online Private Pilot Ground School. (Feb. 6, 2008)http://www.free-online-private-pilot-ground-school.com/Aviation-Weather-Principles.html
- Columbia Weather Systems. 2009. (Feb. 6, 2008)http://www.columbiaweather.com/
- "How a barometer measures air pressure." USA Today. May 5, 2005. (Feb. 6, 2008)http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wbaromtr.htm
- "Hygrometer." Britannica Online Encyclopædia. 2009. (Feb. 6, 2008) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/279238/hygrometer
- "Rain and Snow gauges." Pronamic. (Feb. 6, 2008)http://www.pronamic.com/meteorological.asp
- Worboys, Jenni. "How does an anemometer work?" The Weather Hut. 2009. (Feb. 6, 2008)http://www.weatherhut.com/site/1298901/LearningCenter/Anemometer.html
- Worboys, Jenni. "Hygrometers and Humidity." The Weather Hut. 2009. (Feb. 6, 2008)http://www.weatherhut.com/site/1298901/LearningCenter/Hygrometer.html