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Weather Instruments

What Are Weather Instruments?

A weather instrument is any device that measures weather-related conditions. Since there are a wide variety of weather conditions that can be measured, there is a large assortment of weather instruments available for many different purposes. You may already be familiar with common weather instruments, like thermometers and wind vanes. But to get the full picture of the weather around us, we need hygrometers, anemometers, barometers, rain gauges and sometimes even lightning detectors. Oftentimes, multiple weather instruments are combined into a single product, known as a weather station. By integrating multiple environmental measurements and a barometer, weather stations can give you a thorough view of the conditions outdoors and also generate reliable weather forecasts. This article explains the various types of weather instruments, how they work and ultimately how they can benefit you on a day-to-day basis.

Personal weather stations provide accurate conditions for your exact location. Perhaps you have a garden and need precise tracking of rainfall? Maybe a warning about impending frost would help you extend your growing season, or give you time to cover up your fragile annuals? Advance notice about high winds would tell you to bring your child's soccer goal inside before it blows down the street. And it goes without saying, the TV weather can’t monitor air conditions indoors in places like your garage, home, attic or basement.

If you want environmental data specific to your own back yard, you need personal weather instruments.

AcuRite’s product lines include a wide variety of wireless weather instruments available for personal use. Before deciding which is the best weather station for your needs, it’s important to gain a general understanding of the types of weather instruments, how they work and what they do.

Wind Vanes
What is a wind vane?

A wind vane indicates the direction the wind is blowing. For example, it can let you know wind is coming out of the Southeast, and then shifts direction to the East. Wind vanes are fairly simple devices. A fin sits on a spindle that can rotate horizontally. Since it’s longer on one end than the other, the fin will always point in the direction the wind is blowing. AcuRite weather stations feature a wind vane that is incorporated into its AcuRite Iris (5-in-1). The wind vane hangs from the sensor’s underside, and rotates on a spindle. At the end of the spindle is a 16-position optical sensor that lets the computer processor know what direction the vane is pointing to generate a wind direction reading. The wind vane’s balanced design and precision bearings let it turn smoothly even when the tiniest of forces are applied. This enables it to sense the slightest shift in wind direction. And like an anemometer, it features a dual bearing design to eliminate shaft wobble and flex.

What is a barometer?

A barometer measures atmospheric pressure. As with other weather instruments, many different barometer designs have been developed over the centuries. The most common types historically have been mercury (also known as Torricellian barometer) and aneroid barometer. AcuRite weather stations feature an electronic barometer. It uses a piezo-resistive pressure sensor, which converts atmospheric pressure into an analog electrical signal. The way it works is that the pressure sensor contains what is known as a strain gauge. Strain gauges used for this purpose are often made in the form of a diaphragm. The greater the atmospheric pressure, the more the diaphragm will deform. Since an electrical current is running through the sensor, a deformation of the diaphragm will yield a change in the electrical resistance applied to the current. This change in current is interpreted as a pressure reading by the digital barometer’s processor. In other words, the higher the pressure, the more the diaphragm moves, and in turn the higher the pressure reading. Among the array of available weather instruments, barometers are vital because changes in atmospheric pressure can indicate an impending change in the weather—such as a thunderstorm. As such, AcuRite’s weather stations take into account barometric pressure when calculating weather forecasts.

Animal Welfare Indicators

The animal welfare indicators in a farm can be taken in different ways. On one hand, there are animal-based indicators, as can be to measure the dirtiness on an animal. We extrapolate that if an animal is dirty the facilities are not well adapted to the animal to maintain its hygienic needs.

On the other hand there are the environmental-based indicators. An example of this is when we measure the troughs availability to check if the animals have enough water to drink. Finally there are other kinds of indicators, that are called management-based indicators, where we take into account some farmer habits, to measure for example the drug regularly used in the farm.

An animal welfare protocol usually includes many types of indicators, but always trying that the highest number is the animal-based ranked, as they give the actual information of how the animal is now. I mean, if we want to check if the animals are resting O.K. in a farm, we can observe the farm facilities and measure how the beds are, but we are not seeing further if these beds that look uncomfortable are provoking lack of comfort to the animals. On the contrary if we can take an animal-based indicator instead, we would check if the animals have hairless or injuries that means that the animal is not resting appropriately and there is a lack of comfort at that farm.

After a year of trying to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social consequences, the world is at a crossroads, according to the UN. Addressing the One Planet Summit in Paris on 11 January 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “2021 must be the year we reconcile humanity with nature. Until now we have been destroying our planet… We have been poisoning air, land, and water and filling oceans with plastics. Now nature is fighting back.” This drive is seen as a chance to put new energy into the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by all member states in 2015 and is centered on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are now just ten years left to achieve these goals and the UN has called for a decade of action, including a drive for sustainable innovation, financial investments, and technology.

So much has been disrupted by the pandemic that people have had to adapt to new ways of working and living. At the same time, it has made more people realise that we cannot go on treating the planet the same way. The UN Secretary-General added, “As we rebuild, we cannot revert to the old normal. Pandemic recovery is our chance to change course. … Every country, city, and business must adopt an ambitious roadmap to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”

What is a Dew Point?

What is Dew Point?

The dew point is a measure of moisture in the air, or more specifically, the temperature at which the air becomes fully saturated with water. The dew point formula relies on environmental data including the relative humidity and ambient air temperature. he dew point temperature will always be lower than or equal to the air temperature. For example, let's say your weather station records an outdoor temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) and a humidity reading of 80%. The temperature at which these two values intersect is the dew point. In this example, dew will begin to form at 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius).

Why Do I Care?

When the air temperature equals that of the dew point (a relative humidity of 100%), clouds and fog begin to form. If the air temperature continues to get cooler, the water vapor will condense and drop out of the atmosphere as precipitation or dew. During warmer seasons, the dew point temperature can be a good indicator of how humid the outside air feels, as well as how likely it is to rain or storm. From gardening, to lawn care, to enjoying the backyard, it’s important to know the dew point conditions right in your own backyard with wireless weather stations from AcuRite. Learn about the different weather stations offered in the AcuRite Olympus Series™ here.

In this image from the National Weather Service, you can see the surface temperature 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius) is much warmer than the air where clouds form 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). This is because air temperature typically decreases with height. You also see the dew point is always 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), showing the amount of water the air can hold at that time. So the upper air temperature is cool enough to match the dew point temperature, allowing for condensation to occur and clouds to form. With this example you see the daytime temperature at the surface is 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius), well let's image the overnight low drops to 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). Since the dew point temperature is still 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), you would see dew form on the grass when you wake up in the morning. It would again dry out as the surface temperature increases during the day. When temperatures are below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), frost forms instead of dew so we call it the frost point.