Best Home Weather Stations (2021): Netatmo, WeatherFlow, AcuRite, Ambient Weather
Storm (Rating: 6/10) is the final entry into the scene, and like Netatmo, aims to provide a lot of information with a limited footprint. Although the hardware is larger than Netatmo, it is more discreet than AcuRite and Ambient, looks like a bird feeder, and is mounted on a pole (not included) somewhere in your yard or roof. The system also requires an indoor module that transmits data from the sensor to the Wi-Fi network, but this module does not provide information about the indoor climate. The setup is pretty painful, at least compared to most other weather stations on the market.
Storm provides a wealth of information, including temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed / direction, light strike information, and UV data. The system also measures rainfall activity, but does so without the traditional funnel of catching rain. Instead, Tempest uses a haptic rain sensor to basically measure when and how water droplets hit the top of the device. It’s surprisingly accurate and much more confusing than a typical rain sensor, and doesn’t need to be cleaned regularly.
Storm temperature readings tend to be somewhat high and the weather forecasts have been the worst in this round, averaging 5.2 degrees. The storm forecasts are usually pretty wild, including that the highest would be 9 degrees lower than Netatmo and another that predicted a 30 percent chance of “winter mix” of precipitation on a day when it didn’t rain and we had 40 degrees. low. Curiously, this is because the forecast is supposed to be Tempest’s strength, using machine learning to “significantly improve the forecast over time,” according to the company. I’ve been testing the device for several months now and I see some pretty nice predictions on days that still don’t stand out.
Another complaint I have with Tempest is that its app is not as useful. The real-time homepage and forecast views are intuitive, but if you want to delve deeper into the story, you’ll only be presented with a numerical weather sheet for each day. Going back in time means going from page to page, one day, until you find the day you’re interested in, without finding a long-term chart or graph.
Overall I like Tempest despite the bugs due to the hardware, but the $ 329 kit requires a lot. With an updated app and some tweaks to the AI, I may be inclined to revise my rating up the line.