Personal Weather Stations (PWS)

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What is a PWS?

A personal weather station (PWS) is an outdoor instrument that measures weather conditions.

Basic stations may include a thermometer, barometer, anemometer, hygrometer, and wind vanes. More sophisticated stations may also measure UV index, leaf wetness, soil moisture and temperature, and water temperature.

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Who uses personal weather stations?

PWS owners include everyone from amateur weather enthusiasts who simply enjoy collecting their own weather data to the meteorologists and scientists at the U.S. National Weather Service who use personal weather stations to provide national forecasts. Various industries rely on the data collected from personal weather stations to make informed business decisions. For example, agricultural entities are increasingly turning to personal weather stations to collect localized data for farming purposes.

What’s the deal with PWS networks?

PWS networks incorporate and display individual and collective PWS data from around the world.

Many PWS owners donate their data to these networks in return for worldwide online access to personal real-time weather conditions, archival data, charts, and graphs.

The largest PWS networks is our Weather Underground PWS Network, with 32,000 stations worldwide and growing.

PWS set-up tips.

Personal weather stations provide the most accurate readings when they are installed under optimal conditions:

  • located over a natural surface, unobstructed by any trees or structures, with maximum exposure to the sun
  • positioned at least 5 feet above the ground
  • easily accessible in case station instruments require calibration

What PWS is right for you?

Weather station models vary by hardware and configuration. To find the right model for you, see our personal weather station guide.

The quality and number of measurements included in a personal weather station vary by manufacturer. Prices for stations range from $100 on the low-end to over $1,000 for a more sophisticated and commercial instrument.

Most importantly, once you have your weather station make sure to join our Weather Underground network and help us provide the most reliable and localized forecasts in the world.

Benefits of Joining Our Network

By purchasing your own station and joining our PWS community, you can:

  • Get personalized forecasts based on your own weather data
  • Access archived data with charts & graphs
  • Easily share your weather data

Your PWS data will go into our proprietary forecasting model, making forecasts more local and more accurate.

Our PWS network is the world’s largest, with over 32,000 active stations and growing. Be a part of our community and join today!

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The Weather Underground PWS Network

Started in 2001, the Weather Underground personal weather station network was started to address the growing need for our meteorologists to gain access to more granular data. The network allows us to access weather data from people’s actual neighborhoods, not just from the closest airport where the majority of government stations are located. We now have the world’s largest network of over 32,000 personal weather stations; each sending live weather conditions to us as often as every 2.5 seconds.

How we use the PWS data

Personal weather station owners are considered Weather Underground’s very own “backyard meteorologists”, and have helped in the development of our proprietary BestForecast™ forecasting system. Our meteorologists spent over five years developing and testing this revolutionary forecasting system, which leverages the constant stream of neighborhood weather data that we receive from our community of dedicated personal weather station owners around the globe. BestForecast™ uses the most innovative weather forecast models available and then cross-verifies that output with all of the localized data points from our personal weather station network.

What is a PWS?

Browse stations on the WunderMap