DIY Friday: Build Your Own Weather Station

Longtime DIY Friday fans may remember that we’ve provided plans for an at-home weather station before.

So are we repeating ourselves? Running out of ideas? Not really. The previous DIY Friday weather project was pretty sophisticated, relying on a satellite tracker, antenna, and PC-controlled receiver to deliver the forecast to you.

But the folks over at Expert Village have put together a nice video series (aimed at kids) on How to Predict the Weather. Here’s the first episode:

Steps To Become Your Own Weather Forecaster — powered by ExpertVillage.com

The series inspired us to track down some good family-friendly DIY weather projects. After all, it’s almost August — time to make some memories (not to mention barometers) with the kids before they get back into school.

There are two places we recommend starting.

Disney’s Family Fun has a good set of DIY instructions on building your own weather station, suitable for kids age 6-12: 

Making instruments for a weather station is a great rainy day activity. Weather is on the mind of any kid trapped indoors on a summer day: A rain gauge can be put to immediate use and a barometer is best set up when air pressure is low. To hold everyone’s interest over the long run, you and your kids can set up a weather station and update it each day for a couple of weeks or you can visit the station when big weather happenings are in store….

A basic station starts with a wind vane, barometer, rain gauge, and a maximum/minimum thermometer. If you want a deluxe weather station you can add an anemometer to measure wind speed, a nephoscope to track cloud movement, and a psychrometer to measure relative humidity (directions are in most kids’ weather books).

All of the devices can be built with simple household tools and easily-acquired materials; the barometer, for example,  requires a clear, straight-neck glass bottle, a clear glass jar, some food coloring, and a rubber band.

In other words, even the clumsiest mom and dad can lead their brilliant kids through this project. Or vice versa, as the case often is.

Also check out Franklin’s Forecast for another family-friendly guide to building your weather station.

So check the forecast, find a rainy day, get your tools and materials together — and enjoy a day with the kids. We predict that you’ll have fun.


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