Weather Meters – Function & Performance

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For people who are interested in learning the ins and outs of weather tracking, selecting the right equipment can often be confusing.

Whether you’re an amateur weather enthusiast or a full time meteorologist, selecting a quality weather meter that will meet all your needs can seem like a daunting task. There are many different variables involved in meteorology, so it’s important to get a weather meter that is precise and accurate. In this article we’ll be explaining some of the functions that any decent weather meter should have, as well as more advanced features should you need them.

Besides the basic temperature, there are a few basics that any weather meter should have. A barometer is a necessity when it comes to measuring atmospheric pressure. Typically, a falling barometer indicates poor weather is approaching, a rising barometer indicates fair weather approaching. A barometer can also record changes in pressure and give the user a read-out of the overall barometric trend. The dew point is the temperature at which dew begins to form. Weather meters make this formulation by determining the temperature to which air must be cooled, at a given pressure and water-vapor content, for it to reach saturation. The heat index is the number representing the effect of temperature and humidity on humans. Weather meters can combine these two variables into an “apparent” temperature. Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air, expressed as a percentage of the maximum amount that the air could hold at the given temperature. Relative Humidity is the ratio of the actual water vapor pressure to the saturation vapor pressure.

Any weather meter with these features will generally have some sort of device for gauging wind speed, as well as other measurements, such as Maximum Wind Speed and Average Wind Speed. The Wind Chill Temperature is how cold people and animals feel when outside. Wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by wind and cold. As the wind increases, it draws heat from the body, driving down skin temperature and, eventually, the internal body temperature.

Wet-bulb temperature is usually measured using a standard mercury-in-glass thermometer, with the thermometer bulb wrapped in muslin, which is kept wet. The evaporation of water from the thermometer has a cooling effect, so the temperature indicated by the wet bulb thermometer is less than the temperature indicated by a dry-bulb thermometer. The rate of evaporation from the wet-bulb thermometer depends on the humidity of the air - evaporation is slower when the air is already full of water vapor. For this reason, the difference in the temperatures indicated by the two thermometers gives a measure of atmospheric humidity.

Deciding which functions you need is the next step. One website that specializes in weather meters is ( They are an authorized dealer of Nielsen-Kellerman’s esteemed Kestrel Weather Meters, and carry the full line of Kestrel weather meters, including the top-of-the-line Kestrel 4000 ( All weather meters sold by come with free express shipping, and their knowledgeable customer service staff is readily available to help you decide which weather meter is the right one for you and your meteorology needs.

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Joe Weirick
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