Is it going to rain, will I need my sunglasses? Is it t-shirt weather, or time to get the woollies out again? Not the questions you’d think you’d be asking yourself in June, but yet again our wonderful British weather is being it’s usual unpredictable self.
Fortunately, the good people at Oregon Scientific may have the solution to answer some of these questions. Their weather stations. Not only can these help make the most of our varied weather, they can also help us make better informed green living choices along the way.
The weather station that I have been reviewing is the BAR800, a stylish, easy to use and very compact weather station from Oregon Scientific’s extensive range of technological gadgets. With a RRP of £49.99, this very affordable system features an indoor display unit with a wireless external sensor/transmitter. The internal unit is neatly designed to be ultra thin and tastefully finished in white. Being battery operated and complete with its own stand the display can be positioned anywhere without the need for trailing cables and wires, which I found to be a real bonus.
The external sensor is very discreet and can be easily positioned following very simple guidelines from the manual to avoid direct sunlight and overly moist areas, which helps to avoid misleading data being collected.
Once the unit is set up, information is immediately displayed on the internal display screen which also includes a radio controlled clock, internal and external temperature and humidity. Easy to read weather icons provide ‘at a glance’ weather forecasting for the next 12-24 hours, whilst clear icons indicate the status of the external unit’s battery and signal strength.
Having tested the unit for a while, I have found it to be very reliable and easy to use with an incredible battery life. The information it provides has helped me make informed decisions in many areas, from driving in potentially icy conditions to when to protect plants in the garden from frosts.
Aside from these obvious benefits, I have also found the weather station a useful tool in making everyday green lifestyle choices which save me money. For example, energy saving tasks such as hanging washing out to dry rather than using a tumble drier and choosing cycling or walking rather than driving can be undertaken with increased confidence due to a more accurate forecast of rain or inclement weather. The internal temperature display has also proved to be a useful visual reminder that the heating can be turned down if the internal temperature rises beyond a comfortable level without us noticing.
The system is easy to use for all the family and my children now regularly check the forecast. Aside from them trying to get a ‘heads up’ on the possibility of a school snow closure we’re pleased to see them taking a very British interest in the weather at such a young age.
This is a very simple to use, basic system that works well in my opinion. For those with bigger budgets Oregon Scientific have more complex systems to suit the more serious home meteorologists and for more information visit www.oregonscientific.co.uk
Good luck with your own weather forecasting this summer. At least if it all goes wrong, you will have seen that downpour coming and know exactly how wet /cold that barbeque will be or, if like me, you’re ‘glass half full’ kind of person you’ll know just how much ice cream/beer/wine you will need to chill to cope with the heat wave.