Congratulations on your weather station purchase! Now comes the (sometimes) hard part: finding a spot to install your station. You want your readings to be as accurate as possible. By taking a bit of time before you start your weather station installation to plan where to put it, that’s easy to do.
We’ve created this guide below to help you do that, along with answering some frequently asked questions about the process that we hear.
Weather station installation: Siting tips
There are standards for how weather observations are taken. This is done so that the data is standardized, making comparisons possible. The National Weather Service’s Cooperative Weather Observer Program (CWOP) is a good standard to follow for personal weather stations as far as weather station sensor placement goes.
- The temperature/humidity sensor must be placed on level ground away from paved surfaces and other sources of artificial heat. The sensor should be at ‘eye-level,’ about five to six feet above the ground.
- The anemometer should be mounted at a height of 33 feet above the ground, and at a distance of 10 times the height of any nearby obstructions. This is often the hardest standard to meet in a home weather station installation, so if mounted on a roof it should be at least six to ten feet above the roofline.
- The rain gauge should be mounted at a height of 4-6’ above the ground, according to the CWOP, and at a distance of at least four times the height of any nearby obstructions.
Where should I put my weather station?
We recommend surveying your yard prior to purchase for an optimal location for weather station installation. Ideally, you’re looking for a spot in an open part of your yard with as much distance in all directions as possible from any other objects. Note the locations of tall objects such as trees, buildings, and other obstructions.
Now, look up. How tall are the nearest obstructions? Are power or other transmission lines above you? You want to especially stay away with the latter if plan to use a mount and mast.
Do I need to buy a mount for my weather station, or can I make my own?
Mounts are relatively inexpensive and are simple to install. However, if you’re handy, making a mount out of 1 1/4″ PVC piping is easy. Attach the PVC securely to a fencepost or 4×4 driven into the ground.
This will work well for basic weather station installation. However, those looking for a long-term solution should opt for a metal mount and mast instead, as long PVC pieces will not be stable in windy conditions.
Which mount brands are the best?
Almost any TV antenna mount will work as a mount for your weather station installation. Amazon’s top choice here is the inexpensive Matis Universal J Pipe Mount. We like the adjustability, as it allows for mounting on both angled and flat surfaces. However, it is only .8″ in diameter — making it too small for mounting most weather stations, which require a larger diameter pipe — typically 1.25-1.5″.
Others swear by mounts from Antennas Direct. The company’s mounts are some of the highest-rated on Amazon, and they have a wide selection of mount types to choose from.
There’s actually a company that produces mounts specifically for weather station installations, and that’s Ambient Weather. This makes installation easier, as you know you’ll have the right size (and sturdy enough) mount for the job.
While we recommend either of the two TV mount brands above, we find the Ambient Weather mounts to be of exceptional quality. Our test mounts are the company’s, and they’ve held up well over the past three years we’ve owned them.
Weather Station Mounting Ideas
There are literally dozens of options out there, but these five stand out.
Best Overall Mount – Ambient Weather EZ-48 Weather Station Tripod and Mast Assembly
The Ambient Weather EZ-48 is the mount and mast system we use here at The Weather Station Experts. You can mount it to any flat surface or secure it to the ground using Ambient Weather’s stake kit.
We’ve been able to use our EZ-48 with two additional EZ-125-35M extensions with only minimal sway without guy wires, however the company recommends you secure the mast with guy wires if you use any more than one extension.
Best Budget Mount – Matis Universal J Pipe Adjustable Mount
If you have a weather station that uses U-bolts to secure itself to a mast, or can be mounted atop smaller diameter poles, than the Matis Universal J Pipe Mount is the best choice for those on a budget.
This mount is best for situations where you’ll need to place the mounting surface on an angle. We wouldn’t recommend this mount however for bulkier weather stations like the Vantage Pro2. We’d also venture to guess that this particular mount won’t last very long in the elements. You do get what you pay for.
Best Side Mount – Ambient Weather EZ-30-12 Stable Gable Mounting Kit with Mast
If you’re mounting your weather station to a wall, we’d recommend the EZ-30-12 Stable Gable Mounting Kit with Mast. Featuring two gables, this mount is especially useful in windy locations as the mast is secured in two places to the wall.
You can even add additional gable mounts for increased stability if necessary, as well as add additional EZ-125-35M extensions as needed. Here, we wouldn’t recommend using any more than one extension or the mast will sway.
Best Chimney Mount – Ambient Weather EZ-29-24 Chimney Mounting Kit with Mast
Your chimney can act like a mast itself, and is the highest point on your house. Use the EZ-29-24 Chimney Mounting Kit in these situations. Instead of drilling into the brick, long straps are included that wrap around your chimney,
This provides an extremely stable mounting surface for your mast, where the weather station is placed. We only recommend this option if you don’t use your fireplace, or the chimney is sealed.
Best Mast-to-Mast Mount – Ambient Weather EZ-HD-PTP Heavy Duty Mast to Mast Mounting Kit
If you have a small flagpole or another circular mast in your yard, you can install your mast with your weather station onto it using the Ambient Weather EZ-HD-PTP Mast to Mast Mounting kit. This mount works with poles of up to three or so inches.
While Ambient Weather has a cheaper version of these clamps available, opt for the heavy-duty versions instead. From what we can gather, these clamps last longer and provide a more secure mount, especially when used in pairs.
Quick note: Many of the above weather station installation solutions can support extensions. If you plan to use more than one extension pole, we recommend also securing the pole with guy wires to ensure stability during windy conditions.