While it is convenient to have Wind Speed, Direction, Temperature, Pressure, Humidity, Rain and Lightning sensors in one convenient portable weather station, one must understand that this convenience comes with its own set of limitations.
For proper use, here is a guide to understanding these limitations:
- Wind speed and direction accuracy is highly effected by structure surrounding the anemometer (wind sensor) and the wind vane.
- Bulkiness of many weather stations and placement of rain gauges (buckets) near wind speed sensors results in strong air flow distortion which will reflect in erroneous wind speed and wind direction readings.
- Temperature sensors are very susceptible to the effects of sun heating.
- Thus it is important to choose a weather station with properly ventilated and shaded temperature sensors. This is not always easy to judge before purchasing, as a result one should use the following simple rule: Radiation shields should be the only objects near a temperature sensor any other material or plastic will conduct sun’s heat to the sensor and cause error in your measurements.
- Pressure sensor, unless its compensated for wind speed effects, should be located in a symmetrical housing in the weather station.
- This way wind speed from different directions will not cause error in its readings.
- Humidity sensor, just like its sister air temperature sensor, should be located within a few millimeters of each other and covered by radiation shields (plates to block sunlight that allow good open airflow to the sensor)
- Humidity sensors should not be inside big housings and near any surfaces wetted by rain which will cause erroneous humidity readings after even small amounts of precipitation until water off the surfaces evaporates.
- Rain gauges are somewhat less susceptible to errors in measurement and should be placed away from any obstacles that may shade them from rain.
- Lightning sensors are not very sensitive to placement and can be placed just about anywhere as electromagnetic radiation resulting from lightning is strong and can travel through many objects.