Build your own weather station using household items
What you need: A barometer, a thermometer, a rain gauge, a wind vane, an anemometer.
--A barometer is the most important instrument in predicting the weather.
It measures atmospheric pressure. "We'll, what is so important about that?", you ask. This helps you determine
if it will be clear skies, or if precipitation will occur soon. I use this homemade barometer very often. Keep
this barometer inside at all times. Air-condition may or may not have an effect on your barometer. I'm not really
sure. Putting the barometer outside will not allow it to work properly.
- An ordinary glass jar
- A rubber band
- A regular size balloon
- A straw or popsicle stick
Cut the bottom part(the part where you blow air into it) of the balloon off. Wrap the left-over
balloon around the top of the jar and put the rubber band around it to keep it sealed. Next get a popsicle stick or
a straw and use glue to glue it to the top of the jar on top of the balloon. You are ready to predict the weather.
If the barometer indicator points up, expect fair skies. If the barometer indicator points down, expect precipitation.
--I suggest buying any thermometer that you can find in any local store near you. I seriously
don't know how to make a thermometer. Any thermometer will measure the temperature great.
--A rain gauge measures how much precipitation has fallen.
- Glass jar
- Masking tape
Take the ruler and tape it to the outside of the clear glass jar. Place your rain gauge outside
where it can accurately measure precipitation. The ruler measures how much precipitation has fallen. The reading
you may see may be different than the acutal reading from your city. Don't worry. That's it! You may
wish to place the rain gauge in a box so that it dosen't get knocked over.
A wind vane measures wind direction. Follow these steps below to build a homemade wind vane.
- A straw
- A small paintbrush
- Paper, and tape
First, cut the straw in half. Take one half of the straw and tape it to one of the open
ends of the other straw, so it look like a "T" when you tape it fully. Then cut a piece of paper and shape it like
a triangle. Does not have to big, I prefer small. Tape it to one end of the straw. Cut another piece of
paper and shape it like a rectangle. Make it small too. Tape it to the wind vane. I suggest hanging
your wind vane somewhere outside where it is free of obstacles. Keep it away from places where it can not measure
the wind correctly. I prefer a branch on a tree. Tape the paintbrush upside-down to a side of a branch.
Use masking tape or better tape. Place the wind vane on top of the paintbrush and you're set!!!
An anemometer measures wind speed.
five 3 ounce paper Dixie cups
two straight plastic soda straws
sharp pencil with an eraser
Take four of the Dixie cups. Using the paper punch, punch one hole in each, about a half inch below
Take the fifth cup. Punch four equally spaced holes about a quarter inch below the rim. Then punch
a hole in the center of the bottom of the cup.
Take one of the four cups and push a soda straw through the hole. Fold the end of the straw, and staple
it to the side of the cup across from the hole. Repeat this procedure for another one-hole cup and the second straw.
Now slide one cup and straw assembly through two opposite holes in the cup with four holes. Push another
one-hole cup onto the end of the straw just pushed through the four-hole cup. Bend the straw and staple it to the one-hole
cup, making certain that the cup faces in the opposite direction from the first cup. Repeat this procedure using the other
cup and straw assembly and the remaining one-hole cup.
Align the four cups so that their open ends face in the same direction (clockwise or counterclockwise)
around the center cup. Push the straight pin through the two straws where they intersect. Push the eraser end of the pencil
through the bottom hole in the center cup. Push the pin into the end of the pencil eraser as far as it will go. Your anemometer
is ready to use.
Your anemometer is useful because it rotates with the wind. To calculate the velocity at which your
anemometer spins, determine the number of revolutions per minute (RPM). Next calculate the circumference (in feet) of the
circle made by the rotating paper cups. Multiply your RPM value by the circumference of the circle, and you will have an approximation
of the velocity of at which your anemometer spins (in feet per minute). (Note: Other forces, including drag and friction,
influence the calculation but are being ignored for this elementary illustration. The velocity at which your anemometer spins
is not the same as wind speed.)
The anemometer is an example of a vertical-axis wind collector. It need not be pointed into the wind
to spin. (Note: This paper cup anemometer will produce a reasonable approximation of circumferential velocity, but should
not be used for any purpose other than elementary illustration.)
Anemometer information is credited to: